Inspired by the watches and onboard instruments that Zenith produced in the early days of aviation, the Pilot Collection soars to new heights by introducing its first feminine model: the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 “40 mm Lady”. An eloquent and glamorous tribute to the great aviation conquests faithfully accompanied by Zenith, this timepiece comes in four different versions expressing a free-spirited approach to time and a desire to explore uncharted territory.
As ever a forerunner in its chosen field, Zenith became right from the early 20th century one of the first companies to produce flight instruments to equip the planes and airships of the first aviation pioneers. The Manufacture thus earned the status of a must-have companion for these skyborne adventurers who reached what then seemed unreachable stars. Louis Blériot had his Zenith watch firmly strapped to his watch when he flew over the Channel in 1909, as did Léon Morane who a year later became the first pilot ever to fly at a speed of more than 100 km/h.
FROM YESTERDAY TO TODAY
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Montre d’Aéronef Zenith Type 20 equipped a number of aircraft, including the famous Caudron Simoun C.635 planes used by the French airforce for training purposes, and by the Air Bleu postal company for international and transatlantic routes. Decades later, the contemporary Pilot Montre d’Aéroneft has learned lessons from the past to represent a modern-day embodiment of precision and reliability within a timepiece capable of making the wildest dreams come true. A new feminine star now sparkles in this infinite sky and is no exception to the shining rule. The Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 “40 mm Lady” features a generous 40 mm case equipped with a ratcheted crown evoking historical aviator watches, while the Zenith flight instruments logo engraved on the case-back serves as an unequivocal reminder of the origins of this timepiece. In its stunningly glamorous full-set versions, the dial, bezel and lugs are adorned with no less than 491 diamonds (approx. 3 carats) set on rose or white gold, while it also comes in a more discreet version with a silver-tone dial bearing a minute track and diamonds set exclusively on the rose gold or steel bezel (approx. 0.95 cts). Whether flamboyant or subtle, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 “40 mm Lady” showcases the original large Arabic numerals made from blocks of Superluminova to ensure optimal readability in even the most extreme situations.
Beneath this composition water-resistant to 100 metres beats the automatic Elite 681 movement driving a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. Finally, an extremely elegant strap fitted with a pin buckle sets the finishing touch to this model designed for intrepid women: beige or black satin for the full-set models; and brown alligator leather for those with diamonds on the bezel alone.