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WatchTime

januari 17, 2024

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Zenith Introduces Two New Pilot Boutique Editions with Blue Dials and Three Vintage Icon Pilot Models

At last year’s Watches and Wonders, Zenith presented its historically inspired Pilot model in a completely new design, with two executions, the Pilot Automatic and the Pilot Big Date Flyback. They were available in stainless steel and ceramic cases, with diameters of 40mm and 42.5mm respectively and distinguished by horizontal grooves on their black dials. This collection is now being expanded by two new boutique exclusive editions in stainless steel cases with blue dials.

Like its predecessor, the Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition takes to the skies in a 40mm case that is water resistant to 100 meters. Thanks to the interplay of satin-finished and polished surfaces and the slim bezel, it radiates a subtle elegance.

Decidedly sporty, on the other hand, is the oversized crown, which is easily operable even with gloves. The new color scheme complements the dial nicely. Here, distinctive Arabic luminescent numerals and hands stand out for optimal readability. The date indication at 6 o’clock is color-coordinated, with white numerals against a blue back ground.

Powering the watch is the El Primero 3620SC manufacture movement, which beats at 5 vph and offers a power reserve of 60 hours. The open, blackened oscillating weight of the winding mechanism is inspired by the typical “artificial horizon” on the dashboard of airplanes, as one can see through the exhibition case back.

Pricing is marked at approximately $8,800 when converted to USD. The watch comes with two straps, one leather and rubber one with Cordura effect.

Also part of the new lineup, the Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition fully lives up to its name. Powered by the El Primero 3652 high-frequency automatic chronograph movement, it features its namesake complications, a large date, and a flyback function which enables zero-reset and restart of the chronograph with a single push of a button. The large date window incorporates a clever mechanism that advances and stabilizes the two wheels in less than 0.03 seconds.

The Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition has its entrance in a 42.5mm case that is water-resistant to 100 meters. The watch has a price tag of approximately $13,450 when converted to USD and also comes with two straps.

Zenith Icons: Pilot – Act I 

In addition, Zenith presents its first Icons: Pilot Collection. The Icons program, initiated several years ago, encompasses the restoration and certification of original Zenith watches. While most previous Zenith Icon Capsule Collections focused on the early El Primero models, which still serve as the foundation for the modern Chronomaster series, this collection puts vintage Pilot models in the spotlight. The first release brings together three references from the late 1960s and 70s.

TIPO CP-2 CAIRELLI

Produced for the Italian army between 1968 and 1972 and delivered by the Roman dealer A. Cairelli, the Tipo CP-2 was a chronograph designed according to military specifications for improved readability. In addition to its rotating bezel, the watch is characterized by its Arabic luminescent numerals and hands, which served as inspiration for today’s Pilot collection.

The example in this set was engraved with an A.M.I military serial number, indicating that it was first delivered to the Italian Flying Corps. Equipped with Zenith’s 146 DP manual-winding chronograph calibre, originally developed by the Martel Workshops that had provided Cairelli with other chronographs for the Italian Army before being acquired by Zenith in 1959-1960. 

A3821 

Launched in 1972, the ref. A3821 (also referred to as 01.0180.415) stands out for its space-age design, featuring a dark deep sunken dial with luminescent markers and hands, and tachymeter on the flange ring. It is housed in a voluminous case with rotating bezel and fitted on an integrated “lobster” bracelet made by Gay Frères. Its movement is mounted on elastic suspension. 

The A3821 was part of the first Zenith Pilot models equipped with an El Primero caliber. A sort of hybrid watch, it combines both the legibility and luminescence of a pilot’s watch with the 300 metres water-resistance and double-gaskets of a diver’s watch. The example in this set is part of the very first production lot from 1972. 

Ref. 01.0230.415 

The very rare ref. 01.0230.415 from 1975 stands out as the first Zenith El Primero chronograph with a display back in mineral glass revealing the ground-breaking caliber. Along with its fellow Pilot-Diver models, it features a “space-age” design and an integrated “lobster” bracelet made by Gay Frères. 

To learn more, visit Zenith, here.

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