If one were to compile a shortlist of the world’s leading watch brands, a shoo-in would be Zenith Watches. The Swiss watchmaker has recently unveiled its new Pilot Collection at Watches and Wonders in Geneva, and it has caught Ong Chin Huat’s attention.
The sky may be the limit for some, but it’s all in a day’s work for Zenith Timepieces. Its founder Georges Favre-Jacot was ahead of his time when he decided to create specialised watches and dashboard instruments for pilots. Back in 1888, Zenith even went as far as to file a trademark for the word ‘Pilot’ both in English and French.
Over time, many famous names have relied on the quality and accuracy of Zenith timepieces, one being Louis Blériot, who created his footprint in history by making the first flight across the English Channel in 1909.
Fast forward a hundred years or more, and today Zenith’s Pilot collection has earned itself iconic status among aviation enthusiasts, flight fanatics, and watch connoisseurs. Striking a balance between tradition and modernism, the Pilot collection is Zenith’s longest-standing line and the most fascinating one for watch collectors.
Totally redesigned from scratch, the brand new Pilot collection leaves behind the vintage aesthetic for something a little more modern, with inspiration drawn from the world of aviation. Infused with the essence of durability, legibility and intuitiveness while respecting the DNA of Pilot watches, the new Pilot has a contemporary twist with added flair and references to the world of aviation.
Among the different variants of the Pilot is the Pilot Automatic which serves as the template for the new generation of Pilot watches. With a 40 mm case in stainless steel or black ceramic, the new Pilot Automatic features an entirely new case design with a distinct flat-top round bezel fixed on top of the rounded case.
The steel version has satin-brushed surfaces and polished chamfers, while the black ceramic version is micro-blasted for a stealthy matte finish.
The Pilot Big Date Flyback is a chronograph with a new version of its El Primero 3600 calibre. Housed in a 4.25 mm case, the stainless steel version has alternating colours on its minutes’ totaliser while the central chronograph seconds and minutes hands are in a bright orange tone.
The black ceramic version, on the other hand, takes on an achromatic and utilitarian look with luminescent white markers and hands, which contrasts boldly against the opaline black corrugated dial.
As for its performance, the new El Primero 3652 automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre integrates two functions to the 5Hz chronograph that are a perfect fit for the Pilot, namely the big date and flyback function.
The oversized date display in the Pilot Bid Date Flyback features a next-generation patented compliant mechanism that advances and stabilises both big date wheels in less than 0.03 seconds.
Originally conceived for aviators who wore thick sheepskin gloves, the flyback function allows the chronograph function to be reset to zero and restarted with a single push of a button, making the pilot’s job a little easier and offering the possibility to record consecutive times without stopping.
The ceramic version is presented with a black and khaki rubber Cordura-effect rubber, while the stainless steel version comes with a black Cordura-effect rubber strap or brown leather strap.
For further information on the new Zenith new Pilot collection, please visit www.zenith-watches.com.
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