Zenith’s retro Pilot Collection of timepieces gets two new additions for 2019 – black and blue interpretations of a watch that embodies modern adventurers. Baroque Access takes a look
Swiss watchmaker Zenith is the brand known as the one with the guiding star – and for 2019 it’s complementing its legendary Pilot collection with two new timepieces, black and blue interpretations of the iconic Pilot watch. Whether you’re an adventurer taking to the skies or one that prefers racing on the road, Zenith’s Pilot watches embody the spirit of adventure. This is what propelled the pioneers of aviation way back when flying was still a distant dream. With its intense colors and fine proportions, the newest of the Pilot timepieces, the Pilot Type 20, lends itself well to vintage variations. But while it never loses sight of its legendary heritage, don’t be fooled – these timepieces are modern when it comes to their workings.
The latest two Pilot timepieces, in blue and black respectively, are striking 45mm models. The Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Blue features a signature bronze case, sober matt blue dial and matching blue nubuck strap. Its titanium case back is engraved with the hallmark Zenith flying instruments logo – a statement on its own and a nod to the Maison’s history.
The second new timepiece, the Pilot Type 20 Ton Up Black, is a tribute to the café racer bike community, known as ‘the Ton-up boys’. It features an aged stainless-steel case, matt black dial and black oily nubuck leather strap lined with rubber for additional comfort. The watch offers a fresh interpretation of a previous model, where Zenith took the design of a pilot’s watch and combined it with vintage motorcycle racing heritage.
Both of the latest timepieces feature a smoothly adjustable ratcheted wide Pilot crown and are powered by the automatic Zenith Elite 679 caliber, a reliable and accurate in-house movement that drives central hours, minutes and seconds hands and boasts a 50-hour power reserve. The dials do not have date or calendar information – instead they stick to the bare minimum and feature outsized luminous minutes and seconds and gold or black ruthenium-plated hands that are typical of pilots’ watches. They offer clear legibility, and the oversized luminescent Arabic numerals are a signature of the Pilot collection.
Additional technical details
The Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Blue is inspired by the legendary Zenith aviation watches and boasts a bronze case that develops its own patina over time. There are 126 components and 27 jewels and the power reserve is a minimum of 50 hours. The 45mm watch case is 14.25mm thick and the dial is matt blue. The Pilot Type 20 Ton Up Black has an aged stainless-steel case and is a tribute to the Café Racer Spirit. There are 126 components and 27 jewels and the power reserve is a minimum of 50 hours. The 45mm watch case is 14.25mm thick and the dial is matt black. Prices for the watches are in the region of US$7,000.