Zenith | New releases from
Watches and Wonders

Delve a little deeper: It’s time to reach for your star with the NEW Zenith Pilot collection.

With all eyes on Geneva this week for the highly anticipated horology event that’s on everyone’s lips (of course, we’re talking about Watches and Wonders 2023), we thought there would be no better time to take a deep dive into Zenith’s new Pilot collection.

A collection that never ceases to beguile seasoned watch aficionados and avid aviation enthusiasts, it’s no wonder that the Pilot collection is Zenith’s most long-standing line, and the next generation of watches is no different. Talking directly to the flying fan in each of us (we know it’s in each of you too), the latest chapter foregoes the typical vintage aesthetic that we’ve come to know and instead draws inspiration from the entire span of aviation. Both past and present.

Zenith Pilot Watches
Zenith Pilot Watches

Embracing what you might call the ‘essential features’ including durability, legibility, and intuitiveness but with the usual Zenith flair, with each of these latest timepieces, you can see the brand has remained respectful of the codes of Pilot watches with their understated nods to the world of aviation.

The collection sees two new models, the Pilot Automatic and the Pilot Big Date Flyback, both are available in either stainless steel or black ceramic with interchangeable straps in black cordura effect or khaki cordura rubber effect for the black ceramic models or a brown leather option for the stainless steel versions. Now for the details.

Zenith Pilot Automatic

Pilot Automatic

Boasting a 40mm entirely new case design that sits comfortably on any wrist, with a black corrugated dial and white SuperLuminova hour markers, as well as a flat-top bezel fixed on top of a round case the truly defining feature of this timepiece has to be the oversized crown. More modern and more angular, not only does it make it timelessly cool it also means it’s perfect for operating with gloves of any variety.

But, what’s the difference between the models? The stainless-steel version is sleek and smooth and makes a great everyday watch, while the black ceramic version is entirely micro-blasted for a stealthy matte finish for a new take on retro that we’re here for.

Zenith Pilot Automatic
Zenith Pilot Automatic

Editor’s notes

A new generation it may be, but the new Pilot automatic continues to capture the spirit of aviation pioneers who set their sights far beyond the horizon. With lashings of distinctive retro appeal, these timepieces are made for the adventurers of today, with their perfect cocktail of style, performance, and functionality.

Zenith Pilot Big Date

Pilot Big Date Flyback

Now, we know what you’re thinking. The Pilot collection wouldn’t be complete without a chronograph reference, and you’d be absolutely right. Introducing the Pilot Big Date Flyback, a watch that sees the El Primero 3600 calibre taken a step further with a host of new functions, but we’ll come on to that.

Just like its sister watches, there are two versions of the Pilot Big Date Flyback, one crafted in stainless steel and the other in black ceramic, both of the slightly larger case size of 42.5mm.

The stainless-steel version takes a page from one of the most distinguished El Primero 3600 chronographs, the rather aptly named “Rainbow Flyback”. Its minutes totalising boasts a vibrant touch of alternating colours for distinguishing between the five-minute marks, while the central second hands and chronograph minute hands add a zesty pop of orange to the otherwise monochromatic dial.

Or, for those of you who prefer a more stripped-back utilitarian aesthetic, look no further than the black ceramic version with luminescent white markers and hands that contrast boldly against the opaline black corrugated dial. The result? A dial that’s sure to appeal to the retro lovers amongst you.

And that new movement we mentioned, otherwise known as the El Primero 3652 automatic, sees two new functions added to the 5Hz chronograph that are the perfect fit for the Pilot: the big date and the flyback function. Intrigued? Well, you can watch each beat with its “artificial horizon” rotor through the open caseback.

Editor’s notes

We love nothing more than a watch with a big presence but one that also sits comfortably on the wrist is a winning combination in our eyes. Full of nostalgic nods to pilot watches of yesteryear but with a modern twist, if you can resist the timekeeping wiles of these handsome timepieces, we’ll take our proverbial hat off to you.

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