Zenith celebrated its heritage as a maker of pilot’s watches this year at Basel, with several introductions in its Montre D’Aéronef (“onboard watch”) Type 20 collection.Two new Type 20 GMTs were introduced, each as an homage to a famous early 20th century aviator. The first is dedicated to early aviator and Zenith customer Louis Blériot, who was the first to fly across the English Channel in 1909. The caseback is composed of a medallion struck with the image of Blériot’s plane. The second is a tribute to Albrecht von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, the legendary ace who piloted a bright red-painted Fokker Triplane Dr.1 and shot down some 80 allied forces planes during the first world war. (He was finally shot down, by a Canadian Air Force pilot, near Amiens, France, toward the end of the war). The Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT Red Baron has a case of black DLC-coated steel, with red-tipped GMT hand, red markings and a caseback medallion depicting the Fokker Triplane Dr.1.
The new Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar, with an El Primero 4054 B movement, is distinguished by an annual calendar mechanism that comprises just nine moving parts, whereas most calendars require 30 or 40. And finally, Zenith introduced a smaller version of its Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 – small for Zenith means 40mm – to better fit a woman’s wrist. The GMTs, tourbillon and annual calendar versions are all 48mm.