Montre d’Aéronef type 20
The aesthetics serve mainly to make reading the time easier, recalling the functional approach taken in traditional aviator Zenith Pilote replica watches. The visually balanced counters display the small seconds at 9 o’clock and the power reserve at 3 o’clock. Adding to the vintage feel is the black dial, which is easily readable thanks to luminous elements. The 27 mm space between the lugs accentuates the shape of the extremely refined loops that attach an antiqued leather strap sewn and topstitched entirely by hand. The notched crown is reminiscent of those on antique aviator watches, which allowed pilots to set the watch without taking off their gloves. Beneath the impressive sapphire crystal (glareproofed on both sides), the raised numbers of the chapter ring are made of entire blocks of Superluminova. The time is indicated by hands that are also enhanced with luminescent material.
In obvious tribute to its inspiration, the new fake Zenith Pilot Aéronef Type 20 learns from the past to update the technical triumphs and reinterpret the codes of a high-flying success.
This watch dabbles in excess. Like the skies that beg to be conquered, it chooses to anchor time in a large space, confidently letting the hours tick away. The 57.5-mm-diameter case, made of titanium to offset the weight of the movement it contains, has the qualities of an instrument that was born to fly.
transparent caseback reveals the mechanical hand-wound 5011K movement. This COSC-certified chronometer comes with a pedigree to match its beauty: it contains the famous 5011 pocket calibre that was so successful for Zenith in the 1960s – and in 1967 was named the most accurate chronometer ever tested by the Neuchatel Observatory. The calibre has been in continuous production since then and has been used in competition timepieces, marine chronometers, pocket watches, and watchmaking school watches.
Its 50 mm diameter leaves room for exceptional finishes, such as 19 jewels and the broad linear Geneva bars that grace the rhodium-plated bridges. It features shock-absorbers on the balance-wheel and escapement arbors, fine adjustment, and a self-compensating anti-magnetic Breguet overcoil balance spring, mobile stud-holder, double-arrow index regulator, and the Zenith winding-crown stem attachment system. Oscillating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, the 5011 calibre has a separate mechanism for stopping the seconds hand and synchronising the hour. All these assets combine to ensure that the outstanding fake Zenith Pilot Big Date watch gives a first-rate performance without losing its vintage feel.
Pilot Big Date Special
Yesterday Cairo, today Tokyo, tomorrow Moscow, always with an updated time zone. A simple operation sends the Pilot Doublematic’s worldtime function through all the time zones, as the crow flies.
Day and night, here and there
Modern, balanced, classic, masculine…The Pilot Big Date Special honours the 1960 chronograph with its sober elegance and unimpeachable functionality.
Housed in a 45-mm brushed and polished steel or pink gold case, the mechanical selfwinding El Primero 4046 movement shows its skeletonised rotor ends through the sapphire caseback. The 30-minute chronograph counter is at 3 o’clock, and is topped by a large date. The sweep seconds hand is accentuated by a Superluminova arrow, while the athletic design of the hour and minute hands dates them as being squarely 21st-century. The chapter ring is set off by luminous numbers that seem to levitate above the silver or sandblasted matt black dial. This 439-piece watch operates at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour and has an ample 50-hour power reserve.
Readability is excellent. Behind the scenes, the El Primero 4010 calibre ticks away with an exceptionally consistent beat. The winding rotor is decorated with thin Geneva bars in the purest watchmaking tradition.
Its finishes can be seen through the sapphire caseback.
Echoing the historic chronograph watch from the 1960-80s, the new Pilot Big Date Special has functionality as its guiding principle. Its steel case is a moderate 42 mm in diameter, with classically styled alternating polished and satin finishes.
Both feature a snailed decoration. A pair of hands treated with black ruthenium and highlighted with Superluminova mark the hours and minutes in a decisively masculine and modern style. The matt black dial, sandblasted five times, sets off the time displays, which visually are in perfect balance. Their sporty, dynamic shape matches the refined graphic style of the Arabic numerals that pay simple and solemn tribute to those of the 1960 chronograph.
The small seconds counter is at 9 o’clock, exactly opposite the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. On the dial, a pierced black and red hand shows the time set for the alarm, while an opening at 8:30 confirms that it is turned on. An alarm reserve indicator at 7 o’clock tracks the status of the barrel.
The alarm is activated and set by a pushpiece button and crown at 8 o’clock. Paired with a chronograph, the Pilot Doublematic watch has two barrels, one of which is devoted to measuring time and the other to an alarm function. One disk transferred onto the flange reveals the time in each iconic city, while a second disk indicates day or night.
95.2420.50121/21.C723250-piece limited seriesMovementCalibre 5011K, hand-woundTotal diameter 50 mmThickness 10 mm134 parts19 jewelsCadence of the balance 18,000 vph48-hour power reserveChronometer-certified by the COSCFunctionsCentral hours and minutesSmall seconds at 9 o’clockPower-reserve indication at 3 o’clockCasePolished and satin-brushed grade 5 titaniumDiameter 57.5 mmWater resistance 3 ATMSapphire crystal casebackDialMatt black with Superluminova-enhanced hands and numeralsStrapCalfskin with hand-sewn topstitching, titanium pin buckle ReferencesPilot Big Date Special with leather strap: 03.2410.4010/21.C722 Zenith PILOT DOUBLEMATIC replica watch with Milanese mesh bracelet: 03.2410.4010/21.M2410MovementEl Primero Calibre 4010, selfwindingTotal diameter 30 mmThickness 7.65306 parts31 jewelsCadence of the balance 36,000 vph50-hour power reserveFunctionsCentral hours and minutesSmall seconds at 9 o’clock30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clockSweep seconds handLarge date at 6 o’clockCasePolished and satin-brushed steelDiameter 42 mmWater resistance 5 ATMSapphire crystal casebackDialMatt black with Superluminova-enhanced hands and numerals
Calfskin strap with hand-sewn topstitching, pin buckleMilanese mesh steel bracelet, triple folding clasp
Pilot Doublematic steel version:03.2400.4046/21.C721
Pilot Doublematic pink gold version
18.2400.4046/01.C721MovementEl Primero 4046, selfwindingTotal diameter 30 mmThickness 9.05 mm439 parts41 jewelsCadence of the balance 36,000 vph50-hour power reserveFunctionsWorldtimerCentral hours and minutes30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clockSweep seconds handLarge date at 2 o’clockCentral alarm handAlarm on/off indicator at 8.30Alarm power-reserve display at 7 o’clockCasesPolished and satin-brushed steel or pink goldDiameter 45 mmWater resistance 5 ATMSapphire crystal casebackDialsMatt black with Superluminova-enhanced hands and numerals or silver-toned with Superluminova-enhanced 5N numerals and hand StrapsAlligator leather with hand-sewn topstitching, 18-carat gold pin buckle or folding clasp