Zenith has introduced its popular vintage style Pilot Type 20 watch in its characteristic 40mm aged steel size this year at Basel. This new range is now available in shades of mustard, khaki, blue or burgundy with matching oily nubuck straps with contrast stitching.

The watch is clearly aimed at a unisex audience.

This retro-aviation inspired line from the LeLocle brand takes inspiration from a Zenith that Louis Blériot wore on his wrist when he flew over the English Chanel in 1909. However, Zenith clearly sees this as a unisex watch given the 40 mm size and the new funky colorways.

The historic inspirationThe regular Zenith Pilot Extra Special is a 45 mm size behemoth powered by the brand’s Zenith 3000 self-winding movement. Pilots’ watches as a genre tend to be sober creatures so it’s nice to see Zenith bring a pop of color and fun to the mix.

And with watches with smaller cases come back in style, it was only fitting that Zenith introduce a version in 40 mm. The Type 20 was available in 40 mm before as well, but on the polished steel case with the Elite 681 movement.

The blue grained dial is paired with a nubuck strapLike the original, the new 40 mm range is also inspired by the early days of aviation watches. Its case is made from aged steel and features a broad fluted crown and a domed sapphire crystal. The aged steel case-back bears the company’s historical logo – a coat-of-arms studded with stars and bearing the founding date of the Manufacture Zenith: 1865. Despite the reduction in case width, this isn’t a slim watch at 12.95 mm thickness.

The grained dial features oversized luminescent numerals. While khaki and steel grey are more conservative choices; the blue and burgundy dials really stand out. Time is indicated here courtesy the black ruthenium-plated facetted hands with beige Super-Luminova coating.

This watch is powered by Zenith’s in-house Elite 679 calibre. A self-winding 4 Hz movement, it has a 50-hour power reserve. Depending on the color of the dial, each watch is paired with a matching strap in khaki, blue or Burgundy (the grey dial is paired with the mustard color) oily nubuck, featuring a protective rubber lining and a titanium pin buckle. These watches will be priced at $6,500 or around AED 23,700.