Among the bunch of new releases during LVMH Watch Week in Dubai was Zenith’s two new variations on its popular, vintage-influenced Pilot Type 20 collection, the Pilot Type 20 Rescue and Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Rescue. Let’s take a closer look.
Both watches, like the Pilot Type 20 pieces that preceded them in the collection, draw their influences from dashboard instruments made by Zenith in the early days of aviation, with 45-mm cases in brushed steel; a large fluted crown; broad Arabic numerals at the hour markers; stylized, period-appropriate rhodium-plated hands for the hour and minute; and a vintage “Zenith Flying Instruments” logo engraved on the solid caseback.
Zenith also introduced its its Pilot Type 20 watch in its characteristic 40mm aged steel size in 2017 during Baselworld. That particular watch was inspired by a Zenith that French aviator Louis Blériot wore on his wrist when he flew over the English Chanel in 1909.
The dials of both new models are in a sunray-patterned, slate gray tone, and their numerals are fashioned entirely from Super-LumiNova for ideal luminosity in a dark cockpit. They derive their “Rescue” name from the bright yellow highlights applied to the dials and the straps.
The time-only Type 20 rescue contains Zenith’s automatic Elite 679 caliber, which beats at 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and amasses a 50-hour power reserve. The Type 20 Chronograph, which records 30 elapsed minutes on a subdial at 3 o’clock and displays the running seconds on a subdial at 9 o’clock, is powered by the automatic El Primero 4069, with a column-wheel chronograph function, a high-octane balance frequency of 36,000 vph (5 Hz), and a 50-hour power reserve.
Both watches come mounted on aged, black calfskin leather straps with rivets and a stylish tab inspired by those seen on historical pilots’ helmets. Prices are $7,100 for the Pilot Type 20 Rescue and $7,600 for the Pilot Type 20 Rescue Chronograph, both of which are scheduled to hit retailers this Spring.