Zenith just like other brands tend to lay off the bronze material, unless we’re talking about a dive watch. Pilot watches tend to be stainless steel, or gold, but not bronze. Actually this material has only been more heavily used in watch manufacturing in the last decade. The “Extra Special” came in stainless steel when it was originally launched in 2014. But, at first glance we can say this “bronze age” is a fitting match for this vintage looking timepiece.
The watch has a 45mm bronze case, with fixed wire lugs and its typical large screwed-in onion crown, that’s been used throughout this model line. It’s a simple but effective design that looks good on a wrist. Also features numbering on the case side, for a militaristic look, which complements the font type on the dial. The titanium caseback actually has a lot more going on, with an elaborate engraving. The image is of a Zenith logo wearing a crown like crest and its trademark flying aircraft insignia.
The original Zenith military pilot watch was released in 1931 and also exhibited the phrase “Extra Special”, which Zenith kept as a homage, in orange lettering. The black dial also reads “Montre d’Aeronef” and “Pilot” in white, just as the Arabic numerals in a military style font. The hands are gold-plated with arrow tips and like the numerals are coated with superluminova, for a greenish glow and easy legibility in dark situations. Topping this all off is an anti-reflective raised dome crystal that really makes the watch shine, amongst the timely bronze case.
Mounted to the watch is a vintage calf leather strap, tying together perfectly with the bronze and black dial, creating a very nice overall vintage feel to it. The timepiece looks like an instant classic and bronze ages with time, creating patina. And as this process builds up the color of the watch will change, making each one slightly different, thus even more original.
The “Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special” is powered by a self-winding automatic movement, caliber Elite 679, with 27 jewels, 126 moving parts. The watch works at 28,800 vph, with a power reserve lasting up to 50 hours.
Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 Extra Special, reference#: 29.2430.679/21.C753
MRSP – $7,600.00 USD
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