Zenith is one of the few brands to manufacture watches in the style of the early pilots, with real historic prototypes as the basis for their new models. The original timepiece made for Louis Blériot in 1909 laid the groundwork for the pilot’s watch, with its cathedral hands, large, thick numerals and a crown big enough to fit flying gloves. Now, in addition to the larger Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, this timepiece is now also available in a 40mm version, which is 12.95mm thick and fits all wrists, most importantly women’s wrists.
Strap colors add an extra layer of femininity in mustard, khaki, blue or burgundy, and the corresponding dial, slate grey, khaki, blue or burgundy. The vintage stainless steel case and caseback, grained-finish dial and large fluted crown retain the vintage spirit. The watch becomes a practical everyday timepiece with excellent water resistance to 100 meters and good low-light visibility entirely provided by SuperLuminova numbers. The strap is in leather or oily nubuck with a protective rubber lining and a titanium pin buckle. The overall effect is warm, even hygge.
Inside, there is an in-house movement, the Zenith Elite 679 self-winding movement, which provides a 50-hour power reserve. It has 126 components and vibrates 28,800 times per hour at a frequency of 4 Hz.
Reference models for the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 40 mm are:
11.1940.679/91.C807 (slate grey dial, mustard strap)
11.1940.679/63.C800 (khaki dial, khaki strap)
11.1940.679/53.C808 (blue dial, blue strap)
11.1940.679/94.C814 (burgundy dial, burgundy strap)