World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Zenith tran­sits from wings to wheels with the Her­itage Pi­lot Café Racer Spirit

Watches from Zenith’s Pi­lot col­lec­tion are big and bear a dis­tinc­tive vin­tage de­sign with Ara­bic nu­mer­als in a his­toric font, straight lugs, and a large onion crown. Chronograph mod­els also fea­ture elon­gated push­ers with deep flut­ing for trac­tion, but they were pre­vi­ously of­fered with ei­ther an an­nual cal­en­dar or a tour­bil­lon. A sim­ple chronograph is fi­nally avail­able this year in the Pi­lot range, though ded­i­cated to freespir­ited bik­ers – the Her­itage Pi­lot Café Racer Spirit.

The new chronograph has a slate grey dial with a minute to­taliser at three o’clock bal­anced by the small sec­onds reg­is­ter at nine o’clock. Its chronograph is pre­cise to 1/10th of a se­cond, thanks to the 36,000vph fre­quency of its self-wind­ing El Primero move­ment. To cre­ate a de­cid­edly vin­tage vibe, the move­ment and dial are housed in a 45mm case in what the man­u­fac­ture de­scribes as “aged steel”.

The retro el­e­ments de­scribed above were de­cided on with a par­tic­u­lar group of bik­ers in mind. In the 1920s, young Bri­tish mo­tor­cy­clists be­gan a sub-cul­ture that saw ad­her­ents cus­tomis­ing their mo­tor­cy­cles to de­liver max­i­mum out­put and en­able them to speed from one café to the next – giv­ing rise to the café racer move­ment. This con­nection is noted on the ti­ta­nium case back with an en­grav­ing of a speed­ing mo­tor­cy­cle, which par­tially ob­scures the Zenith em­blem in the back­ground.

The olive green nubuck strap is lined with rub­ber on the un­der­side to pro­long the longevity of the leather and make the watch more wear­able on the road. Night rid­ers will find com­fort in the blue glow of the Su­per-lu­mi­nova coat­ing on the hands and in­dexes, which ap­pear beige in the day. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Zenith El Primero 4069 chronograph cal­i­bre with 50-hour power re­serve

CASE 45mm in steel, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 100m

STRAP Green nubuck leather over rub­ber lin­ing, ti­ta­nium ardil­lon buckle

PRICE $28,500

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