Zenith introduced a new limited-edition Pilot Chronograph for 2021, with a unique dial and case.
The 2021 Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Silver comes in a 45 mm x 14.25 mm case, the same as with the 2016 Heritage Cafe Pilot Racer and the 2017 Pilot Extra Special Chronograph. As you can see, the look of the Pilot watch has remained mostly the same, with the same case dimensions, and the same caliber 4069 inside. What changes with each version is primarily the finishes and materials. Oddly, though, the naming of the watch has also changed over the years.
The Zenith 40 mm and 48 mm three-hand Pilot watches, which have been around for years now, are called “Type 20,” just as this new model is, whereas the last two chronographs were called “Cafe Pilot Racer” and “Pilot Extra Special Chronograph,” respectively. Considering all of this, even the “Type 20” name does not really fit as these are more like a B-Uhr combined with a Type 20 — and Zenith was not part of either of the historical brands that made these two types of Pilot watches.
Naming logic aside, those looking for a large Pilot watch in the ten thousand dollar range will get a high-quality watch, and this one is unique in a few ways. First, the case is made not of 316L stainless steel, instead, the case is made of 925 sterling silver. Second, the dial is made of silver and features faux rivets that resemble metal airplane panels, with what Zenith calls an “erratic satin-brushed surface to bring out the raw beauty of the metal.”
Even the caseback, which is engraved with the Zenith flying instruments logo, is made from silver. And this is all finished off with a brown calfskin leather strap with a rivet and silver pin buckle with a distinctive tab, recalling vintage pilot helmets.
The 2021 Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Silver is water-resistance is rated to 100 meters and comes in a limited edition of 250 pieces. (Ref. 05.2430.4069/17.I011) Retail is $9,700.