Introducing the new Zenith Pilot Range

Following on from the success of last year’s monster Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 Hand-Wound watch, Zenith have released an entire line of new models based around it.

Historical Louis Blériot Watch

Zenith has a long association with flying. The first man to successfully fly across the English Channel, Louis Bleriot wore a Zenith wristwatch. The new collection is based around these original designs and includes a GMT, Tourbillon, Annual Calendar as well as the 40mm 3-hand version.

Last years Type 20, made of titanium and a staggering 57.5mm in diameter, was a runaway success for the brand picking up awards including WatchPro’s ‘Mechanical Watch of the Year’.

The new range features 5 models in more practical 48mm cases and the 40mm version ideal for men or women, coupling a unique design with one of the best value movements available on the market.

Both the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT and the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar use existing Zenith movements. It is unusual to see new movements from the major watch brands these days due to the cost of development.

It is better value for the brands to continue to modify successful movements and this value is passed down to the consumer. Zenith is one of the great manufactures of in-house movement.

Pilot Red BarronWhat Zenith has produced is a watch based on historic designs with the style that is favourable to over-sized watch fans. In fairness a pilot’s watch should fit largely on a man’s wrist, they are of course meant to be visible.

The collection includes one limited edition, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT Red Barron. The Red Barron – real name Albrecht von Richthofen – was a renowned pilot famous for his 80 air combat victories.

In his honour Zenith have created a Titanium DLC GMT model. GMT functions have often been associated with Pilot’s watches but this is the first of its kind for Zenith.

My favourite watch from the collection has to be Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 Tourbillon, which houses its carriage on the upper left part of the dial. On the surrounding track is the date display. A pricey model that will no doubt be very attractive to collector’s.

Expect to see big things from Zenith in 2013.