Here’s a fun fact: Zenith trademarked the use of the word ‘Pilot” on its watch faces, so for a long time now, the Swiss watch manufacturer has been the only one allowed to brag aviation watch rights specifically on its dial. This alone should make its latest pilot-themed watch — the Zenith Heritage Pilot Extra Special Chronograph in bronze — well, extra special.
Armed with a robust bronze case and finished with all the works of a true pilot’s watch, we’re pretty sure collectors will be clamouring over this one.
Though far from being an all-new design, Zenith’s combination of details makes this an appealing one nonetheless. Within its rather commanding 45mm case is a black, finely gained surface that makes up the dial. And while the dial is kept relatively simple for great legibility, it also has two (out of four lines) dedicated to reminding you that this is a “pilot” watch (or in French, “Montre d’Aeronef”).
C1 Super-Luminova is applied generously to its indices and hands for low-light conditions; coupled with the screw-down crown with a 100m water resistance, so you’re good to go for that diving trip. Bear in mind, however, that the bronze will oxidise, so you need to take extra care on that front.
Bronze has been a popular material for watchmaking these days with its rugged and unrefined disposition, which works great on utilitarian designs for that extra dose of masculinity.
Inside, the watch is just as capable as it looks, with a high-frequency 4069 automatic column-wheel chronograph caliber that runs at 5Hz. Power reserve is at a healthy 50 hours.
Sold in tandem with an oiled green nubuck leather strap — which complements the vintage-looking bronze façade — the new chronograph will retail at around S$9,985, with pre-orders coinciding with the upcoming Baselworld in March.