Zenith has broadened its Pilot collection with a horological tribute to the Wright brothers. The new special edition is limited to 1903 pieces and has the number in its name, since it marks the year when the famous pioneers of aviation made the first successful flight, and when the entire human kind reached an important historical landmark. The watch itself is a quite large and fitted in a light titanium body that hides its self-winding Elite 693 movement. As for the supported functions, they are restricted to a small seconds counter and a GMT hand that provides the reading of the second time zone. Zenith’s homage to the Wright brothers will be sold at the price of $8,600.
The Le Locle based company, Zenith, has a long tradition in the world of aeronautics. Historically, it was one of the first watchmakers who started producing airplane chronometers as well as other flying instruments. The practice established during the yesteryears still persists and the brand with the star logo was even present during the recent feat of Felix Baumgartner. As for the specific type of the watch that was used to commemorate the Wright brothers, Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20, it is watch that was premiered way back in 1939 when it was used in various aircrafts, most notably the Caudron training planes of the French airforce. Recently, the model in question was used in another commemorative restricted series which honored the Italian Naval Airforce.
Black DLC-Coated Titanium and a Sand-Blasted Face with Distinctive Numerals
Zenith Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 is made with a large round housing with the diameter of 48 mm. Despite the larger size, the timepiece is still very light since its case is constructed of black DLC-coated titanium. The construction of the watch which allows water resistance to 100 meters likewise includes a solid metal case-back with an appropriate engraving and a knurled pilot’s crown. Moreover, the watch also possesses a cambered sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective treatment on both sides. Beneath it, there is a five times sandblasted black face which includes substantial Arabic numerals. Interestingly, the numerals are first treated with a vintage radium luminous coating to provide a retro appearance. After this, the numerals are covered with modern Superluminova coating for optimal visibility. These two coatings result with an appealing creamy brown color for the numerals which are in a slightly different shade each time. The combination of coatings improves the overall styling of the timepiece and makes each of 1903 pieces in the series unique. As it is common for the specific model, the dial likewise includes a GMT hand with a red tip and a small seconds counter. Another appealing visual trait is a beige suede leather strap with heat-embossed inscriptions on the underside.
Otherwise, it should be said that the caliber that watch is based on, Zenith Dual Time Elite Calibre 693 with 26 jewels, features automatic winding and has a power reserve that exceeds 50 hours. The 4 Hz caliber is decorated with Geneva striping which is, just like the rest of the movement, invisible due to the inclusion of a solid case-back. Zenith Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 watch will retail at the price of $8,600.