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Zenith has an illustrious history in the realm of aviation. The lineage of the watchmakers Pilot series dates back to 1909 when Louis Blériot, a pioneer and legendary French aviator became the first man to fly across the English Channel. On his wrist at the time, was a simple Zenith watch, that continues to inspire the Pilot Type 20 series, even today. The collection has been heavily influenced by the aesthetic of historical instruments, using a combination of aged case materials and textured colored dials to emulate an early 20th century look.
At LVMH Watch Week Dubai 2020, Zenith unveiled two iterations of its iconic Pilot Type 20 Watch: The Pilot Type 20 Rescue and Pilot Type 20 Rescue Chronograph.
Both these editions come with 45mm stainless steel cases, that contrast beautifully with the slate-grey-toned sunray-patterned dial. You’ll also notice discreet touches of yellow. From the tarmac to the cockpit, yellow is a recurring color in the world of aircrafts that grabs the attention for vital controls and information. The Arabic numerals and rhodium-plated hands are filled with Super-LumiNova for optimum legibility. Other signature elements include the cathedral hands, the ratcheted crown and, of course, the Pilot marking on the dial.
The Pilot Type 20 Rescue Chronograph has a little more happening on the dial. It features a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, a Central chronograph hand and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Powering the Pilot Type 20 Rescue is an Elite 679 automatic calibre with hours, minutes and seconds. This automatic movement delivers a good 50 hours of power reserve. On the other hand, the Pilot Type 20 Rescue Chronograph, runs on an automatic high-frequency El Primero 4069 column-wheel chronograph movement, once again delivering a power reserve of 50 hours.
The caseback of these watches are engraved with the Zenith flying instruments logo. Securing the watch firmly to the wrist is an aged black calfskin leather strap recalling the classic shearling leather flight jacket, with rivets and a titanium pin buckle as well as a distinctive tab recalling those seen on vintage pilot helmets.