Based on the 60mm Zenith Type 20, the Type 20 Grand Feu features intricately worked white gold bezel, lugs and crown in combination with a case sculpted out of a block of sapphire. At 60mm, this is easily the largest sapphire watch case ever made — and a first for Zenith. Oh, one more thing — the dial is made of enamel (grand feu technique). Put it all together and what do you have? One fancy looking showpiece. And that’s really what this is, which is also why only 10 pieces will be made.
Zenith pays tribute to the Wright brothers and their first flight in December 1903 at Kitty Hawk with a watch issued in a 1,903-piece limited edition: the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903. The watch shares the general design of the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef series (“like the “Red Baron” I went hands-on with last year), though here with features such as a 48mm DLC-coated titanium case, a black sandblasted dial, vintage-styled luminous hands and a GMT indicator. It is fitted on a beige suede leather strap.
A movement well-known to collectors beats at the heart of the latest Zenith watch: Caliber 410. Zenith has now officially unveiled this caliber which was first launched 1969 — in a 500-piece limited series bearing the same name. Yes, 1969 is the same year that the original El Primero automatic chronograph caliber (the “3019 PHC”) was also launched. In fact the Zenith Caliber 410 was a variation of the El Primero — the Caliber 410 was first known as the El Primero “3019 PHF” — with a triple calendar and moonphase indications. Steadily perpetuated over the years (the 410 dropped out of production in 2000, perhaps not coincidentally this is about the same time as when Zenith started down the road to some awful watch designs
and almost successfully ran itself into oblivion until it righted course with new leadership in 2010-ish), it now appears in a form bridging past and present.
Zenith recently unveiled a high-tech version of its El Primero Striking 10th that combines a titanium and silicon movement with a carbon case. The 100-piece limited edition is a really more avant-garde version of its El Primero Striking 10th, a watch which debuted in 2010 and which features a center-set seconds hand which sweeps the dial once every 10 seconds (i.e. one second every 6 ticks).
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Zenith continues its tribute to the famous explorer Christopher Columbus with this fancied-up 10-piece limited edition featuring a superbly enamelled, engraving and micro-painted caseback. See it all, below!
by Kyle Stults on August 13, 2013
This watch is a “refresh” of the Zenith Rainbow aviation watch which first debuted as the Zenith El Primero Rainbow Flyback in 1997. The 1997 Zenith El Primero Rainbow was based on specifications established for the French Air Force, with a primary colors (R/Y/G/B) incorporated into the dial. The “Rainbow” was later manifested in the forgettable Zenith Defy Rainbow (pictured below). This year Zenith brings back the bright colors of the Rainbow as the El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow Boutique Edition, made of black Alchron (a lightweight aluminium and titanium alloy) with an aluminum bezel disc insert. Priced near $8,500.
Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow Watch
limited edition 250 pieces exclusive to Zenith boutiques
45.5mm x 14.1mm Titanium + Aluminum alloy case, automatic mechanical El Primero Calibre 405 B (column wheel flyback chronograph movement, 36,000 vph)
sub-dials: minutes counter at 3 o’clock, hours at 6 o’clock and the small seconds at 9 o’clock; chronograph sweep seconds in red
Zenith Rainbow Flyback (1997)
Zenith Defy Rainbow
Here is a brief look at the Zenith El Primero Power Reserve, a 10- piece limited edition made exclusively for The Watch Gallery of London. Reflecting the boutique-exclusive nature of the watch, the blue accents on the dial and strap are unique to this watch. This watch features a power reserve gauge (‘Reserve de Marche’ ) on the dial. The case is 42mm stainless steel, with an automatic mechanical El Primero caliber with 50 hrs reserve fully wound.
This particular piece also has an open dial, which in combination with the sapphire crystal display back provides many nice views of, the El Primero movement of the watch.
This article was contributed by Harleen Johal. Harleen blogs about on watches on behalf of The Watch Gallery.
by Kyle Stults on May 29, 2013
These are two of several impressive pieces from Zenith that I saw this year at Baselworld. I continue to be impressed with Zenith and the direction the brand is headed, and their Pilot’s collection is undoubtedly a part of their success. Shown here, the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT in steel and the Special Edition (500 pieces) Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT “Rouge Baron” (Red Baron) with DLC-finsihed titanium case, have many admirable qualities. I’ve got all your details and analysis, below.
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Good looking piece.
939-piece micro-mechanical movement masterpiece…25 pieces @$280,000 per…
As part of the Geneva festivities last month, Le Locle-based Zenith presented two new watches. I will get to the classy Captain Winsor Annual Calendar (a boutique-only watch) at a later date; right now we are going to take a closer look at the new Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane. As you can see, this is a somewhat unusual looking piece — with its “bubble” and all the visible components — with impressive mechanics underlying it all. I’ll break it all down — with lots of high-res looks — below.
Click through to see more of the incredible Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricance
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