Zenith timepieces accompanied aviators during several early, historic flights. One went with Louis Blériot in July 1909 when he made the first flight across the English Channel in an airplane he built, known as the Blériot XI. One year later, Léon Morane wore a Zenith when he became the first pilot to fly faster than 100 km/hour, also in a Blériot XI. And when the French Air Force geared up for WWII in 1939, it chose Zenith’s Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 for its aircraft instrument panels.
The modern Pilot Type 20 Extra Special captures the look of those early aviation watches. Every aspect of the dial is perfectly proportioned. The stylized Arabic numerals and the substantial cathedral hands, each wearing a generous coating of SuperLuminova, assure excellent legibility in all conditions.
The 45 mm case and oversize crown capture the essence of the early pilots’ watches, as does the oiled Nubuck leather strap with white stitching. The caseback is engraved with the elaborate Zenith Flying Instruments logo. To keep the price accessible, this watch is powered by an automatic, Swiss-made movement provided to Zenith by an outside supplier. (The remainder of our suggested watches feature Zenith manufacture calibers).
The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special is priced at $5,400.