Case material: steel
Case size: 48 mm
Crystal: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with ant-reflective treatment both sides
Strap: brown alligator leather
Buckle: steel pin buckle
Guarantee: 2+1 years
Available on backorderOffer a price
Montre d’Aéronef Type 20
A loyal companion since the pioneering days of aviation
The Manufacture Zenith, which has remained in the very same spot for almost a century and half, was an integral part of the early days in the amazing saga of aviation and was one of the first to supply onboard watches and instruments.
Six new Pilot Montred’Aéronef Type 20 watches, including a special series paying tribute to the Red Baron, echo the fundamental role played by Zenith in the conquest of the skies..
Louis Blériot and Léon Morane were acquainted with each other. The two famous pioneering aviators took part in the conquest of the skies in the early 20th century. On July 25th 1909, at the age of 37, Blériot flew across the Channel in a plane he had built: a world-first accomplishment. Less than a year later, 25 year-old Morane flew at more than 100 km/h at an air show in Reins, France – an unbelievable speed for the time. His aircraft was a Blériot XI. The two men shared a passion for aviation as well as a taste for risks – and of course for competition. Not only that, but Louis Blériot and Léon Morane also owned an instrument that was a must-have for pilots, a Zenith watch that they regarded as the most accurate on the market. Witness these few lines penned by each: “I am very satisfied with my Zenith watch that I generally use and I cannot but recommend it to all those with a concern for precision”, wrote Louis Blériot, whileLéon Morane exclaimed “Zenith! Isn’t that a predestined name for aviators? Add to that the fact that all these qualities are housed within the attractive case of this watch, and you’ve got a Zenith.”
Zenith thus made a decisive early entrance into the extraordinary adventure of aviation. First partnering some of the greatest pioneers, the Manufacture subsequently became one of the first onboard instrument manufacturers. Altimeters and onboard watches (montresd’aéronef) intended for inflight use were supplied both to the military and to civilian airlines. Known among aeronautical industry manufacturers and professionals for its reliability, its sturdiness and its precision, the famous Zenith Type 20 appeared as of 1938 on the instrument panels of a number of planes – including the Caudron Simon C.635 used by the French Air Force as a training aircraft. Today’s Pilot collection is a worthy heir to these years of airborne glory and conquests.
Early 20th century aviator wristwatch that belonged to Louis Blériot. The impressive grooved crown is typical of aviator watches of the day, as are the luminous hands and numerals.
Montred’Aéronef Zenith Type 20, 1938.
Annual Calendar in the spotlight
Three other new models round out the exceptional 2013 Pilot range. The first, the Pilot Montred’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar, is equipped with a high-precision El Primero 4054 B movement, an evolution of the famous El Primero chronograph (36,000 vibrations per hour) produced in-house by the Manufacture for over 40 years. In addition to the hours, minutes, small seconds and a chronograph with 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, this model also displays an annual calendar – showing the date, day of the week and month – that requires just one adjustment per year in the transition from February to March. This cleverly conceived and aesthetically restrained complication comprises just nine moving parts, whereas most calendars require 30 or 40. This timepiece is available in a steel or two-tone titanium and rose gold version. In a nod to the Swiss civil aviation registration system, the letters HB appear on the side of the case, followed by a figure referring to the model’s series number.