The first time ever Zenith has created a watch made out of silver for their iconic “Pilot” collection. The brand is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of their El Primero movement and will definitely have special edition lined up to be unveiled at the upcoming Baselworld 2019. But, in the meantime let us admire this limited edition novelty “Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Silver”.

Rivets line the wing of a WWII bomber aircraft.

Zenith re-launched this model back in 2012 with the moniker “Zenith Montre d’Aéronef Type 20”. A comprehensible marketing move, since their established popularity in France was further consolidated by linking this model to: Louis Blériot aka “Father of Aviation”, who famously piloted the first flight across the English Channel, on the 25th of July 1909 with a Zenith watch strapped to his wrist.


The 45mm case is made of 925 silver in a large round case size similar to the early days of aviation. As aforementioned this is the first time Zenith has utilized this material for this particular model line. The “925” refers to the fineness of the applied sterling silver, which means it contains 92.5% of silver in weight.


Era wise the more appropriate option would have been to make a chrome-plated brass cases. But, after using: gold, gunmetal and bronze; Zenith has now chosen silver, which is still a noteworthy choice due to its novelty factor in this model line. Also let’s not forget that just like bronze, this silver alloy will oxidize and mature with time gaining character with its owner.


On the solid silver case back Zenith has engraved this timepiece with their historic “Zenith Flying Instruments” logo. It includes a vintage aircraft and other embossed embellishments and inscriptions, plus the limited edition number for each of these uniquely numbered pieces.


It comes equipped with a big onion-style setting-crown, which is reminiscent of the ratcheted winding crowns seen on vintage aviation watches made for military pilots back in the 20th century. All topped by domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides.  Water-resistance on this watch can reach up to 100 meters (330 feet).


Time is displayed on a silver-brushed dial with a riveted motif that mimics the look of military places, plus some shiny brush stroked patches. It features large stencil-style Arabic numerals, while a ring of small black printed minute index markers with double-digit numerals for every five-minute increment can be seen on the inner flange.


It features the Zenith star and the inscription “MONTRE D’AERONEF TYPE 20” on the upper-half of the dial; while “PILOT” and “EXTRA SPECIAL” can be seen on the lower-half. The central rhodium-plated hands and numerals have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.


Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Silver

The “Zenith 20 Extra Special Silver” (Ref#: 05.230.679.17.C902) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber Elite 679 with 26 jewels and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 55 hours, when fully wound.

Zenith-Pilot-Type-20-Extra-Special-Silver-Limited-Edition-250-Pieces-00 - Caliber - Elite-679-f5

Mounted to the watch is a brown calfskin leather strap, secured to the wrist by a riveted and solid silver pin-buckle. This is a limited edition watch with only 250 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Zenith website here.

MSRP: $7,700.00 USD

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Zenith, Type 20, Silver, Pilot, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az