Blue Skies Ahead —

WatchTime - - Watch talk -

— One of the more un­der­rated time­pieces Zenith re­leased at Basel­world this year was the Pi­lot Type 20 Ex­tra Spe­cial Chrono­graph. Al­though Zenith is more linked to clas­sic chrono­graphs us­ing its El Primero move­ment, it’s done a su­perla­tive job of hon­or­ing its his­tor­i­cal her­itage of pro­duc­ing on­board flight in­stru­ments with the ex­pan­sion of its pi­lots’ watch col­lec­tion over the past few years. This lat­est ex­am­ple fea­tures the iconic, col­umn wheel El Primero chrono­graph move­ment with a matte blue dial, over­size Ara­bic nu­mer­als and a patina-friendly bronze case. At 45 mm by 14.25 mm, the watch is sub­stan­tial and has an ex­tra-large crown and fluted push­ers for en­hanced ease-of-use when wear­ing flight gloves. The nu­mer­als are made from blocks of white Su­per-lu­mi­nova and there’s a small sec­onds sub­dial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. The sap­phire crys­tal is domed and treated with anti-re­flec­tive ma­te­rial for in­creased leg­i­bil­ity. The case­back is made from ti­ta­nium and is en­graved with an im­age of the plane flown by Louis Blériot who wore a Zenith on his wrist when he be­came the first per­son to fly across the English Chan­nel in 1909. The strap is made from blue oily nubuck leather with a pro­tec­tive rub­ber lin­ing and fea­tures a ti­ta­nium pin buckle. The Zenith Pi­lot Type 20 Ex­tra Spe­cial Chrono­graph in bronze with a blue dial is priced at $7,100.

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