As part of Zenith's focus on their Pilot watch collection for 2013, one of the new models is this Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT watch. Also new for 2013 is the Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar. Both the Annual Calendar and the GMT use existing Zenith movements. In fact, we see very little new movements these days from the major brands. Movement development is extremely expensive and time consuming. It is often best to extend the life of successful movements by dressing them up in different ways, in different watches. Zenith of course is among the true in-house movement makers.
Zenith has true history with pilot watches and the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 collection is based on historic designs made popular by themselves and other watchmakers of the time. But to us that doesn't matter. If you make a good watch today it shouldn't matter what you've done in the past. Yes, I know, I am an unrefined American. The almost art deco style of the vintage looking dials is extremely legible and sporty in that old timey way. Without trying, Zenith has also produced a watch would fit nicely on wrists of steampunk fans. No, it isn't a steampunk watch, but it fits the theme closely enough. Then there is the Red Barron limited edition version...
Like the new Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar, the Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT comes in a 48mm wide case. Larger than the smaller 40mm wide size (three-hand) that will also be available this year, but smaller than last year's 57.5mm wide Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 watch. 48mm is still big, but seen on the wrist of a man, a large pilot watch seems sensible. They are after all, supposed to be large and visible. The expansive dial of the GMT is marked by a large red-tipped GMT hand, as well as a subsidiary seconds dial. I really love the large, heavy looking hands coated in lume. Note the dedicated GMT scale on the periphery of the dial for the GMT hand.
GMT and pilot watches are often linked because pilots like to know the time in two different timezones. Among the most famous GMT pilot watches is the Rolex GMT Master (think blue and red Pepsi Dial). A cool chunky looking pusher on the left side of the case offers a simple way to advance the GMT hand in one our increments. Inside the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT is an in-house made Zenith Elite caliber 693 automatic GMT movement. No exhibition caseback, but there is a nice engraving of a place.
Two versions of the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT will debut for 2013. There is the standard steel model, and also the limited edition Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT Red Barron offered in DLC coated black titanium. That model also says "Special" on the dial, so you know you are treating yourself with that model. The power of words right? The Pilot GMT Red Barron will be limited to 500 piece. Look for a hands-on with these Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT watches soon. Price is 7,200 Swiss Francs or 7,800 Swiss Francs for the Red Baron version. zenith-watches.com
Tech specs from Zenith:
PILOT MONTRE D’AÉRONEF TYPE 20 GMT
• TRIBUTE TO ZENITH’S AVIATION HISTORY
• NEW 48 MM CASE DIAMETER
• AUTOMATIC ELITE DUAL TIME 693 CALIBRE
• ARABIC NUMERALS ENTIRELY MADE OF SUPERLUMINOVA
• ZENITH FLYING INSTRUMENTS LOGO ON CASE-BACKS
• LIMITED EDITION OF 500 UNITS FOR THE RED BARON EDITION
Elite 693, automatic
Calibre: 11½ ``` (Diameter: 25.6 mm)
Thickness: 3.94 mm
Frequency: 28,800 VpH – (4 Hz)
Power-reserve: min. 50 hours
Finishings: Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” pattern.
Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
24-hour second time-zone indicator
CASE, DIAL & HANDS
Material: Titanium case with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating or stainless steel case
Diameter: 48 mm
Diameter opening: 40 mm
Thickness: 15.80 mm
Crystal: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Case-back: Zenith Flying Instruments logo
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Dial: Matt black
Hour-markers: SuperLuminova SLN C1
Hands: Black ruthenium, satin-brushed
Brown calfskin leather strap and steel pin buckle
Black calfskin strap and steel pin buckle with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating
Red Baron, limited edition of 500 units