Watch Reviews, Zenith

Zenith – Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Blue & Ton Up Black


In 2019, the brand with the guiding star is complementing the retro look and sporting appeal of its Pilot collection with two distinctive new black and blue interpretations.

Created for modern-day adventurers, whether taking to the skies or hitting the highway café racer style, Zenith’s Pilot timepieces are the perfect embodiment of the adventurous spirit propelling the aviation pioneers that the Manufacture has accompanied since the early days of flight. With its intense colours and fine proportions, the Pilot Type 20 lends itself particularly well to vintage variations while never losing sight of its legendary heritage.

The imposing presence and venturesome temperament of this line make a striking appearance in the form of two muscled-up 45 mm diameter models. The Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Blue features a signature bronze case paired with a sober matt blue dial and matching blue nubuck strap. In a nod to the history of the Maison, its titanium case-back is engraved with the hallmark Zenith flying instruments logo. The latest tribute to the café racer biker community (also known as Ton-up boys), the Pilot Type 20 Ton Up Black features an aged stainless steel case, matt black dial and black oily nubuck leather strap lined with rubber for additional comfort. It offers a fresh interpretation of a model in which ZENITH has taken a pilot’s watch design and combined it with vintage motorcycle racing heritage.

Both these variations feature the easily identifiable, smoothly adjustable ratcheted wide Pilot crown and are powered by an automatic Zenith Elite 679 calibre. This reliable and accurate in-house movement drives central hours, minutes and seconds hands, while delivering a 50-hour power reserve. Devoid of date or calendar information, the dials stick to the bare minimum with outsize faceted luminous minute and seconds gold or black ruthenium-plated hands (typical of pilot’s watches) offering clear as day legibility, along with the oversized luminescent Arabic numerals emblematic of the line.