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.
Zenith: Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903
Limited edition 1,903 pieces
48mm x 15.8mm DLC-finished titanium case, automatic mechanical Zenith Elite Cal. 693
The 1903 also draws inspiration from the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 — an instrument timekeeper which was fitted as of 1939 on the instrument panels of a number of aircraft, such as the Caudron trainer planes used by the French airforce.
The black dial has a sandblasted finish, with luminous Arabic numerals of a vintage style, of which Zenith notes:
“The luminous glow of these delightfully vintage figures stems from a first “old radium” treatment covered with a more classic Superluminova treatment. The effect is fascinating and the resulting appearance truly unique, since this ingenious combination creates a creamy shade enlivened by tiny retro accents that cannot be identically reproduced from one watch to the next. Each dial thus becomes unique and further heightens the exclusive character of the 1,903-piece limited edition, with the individual number appearing on a special plate screwed to the side of the case middle, like an aircraft rivet.”
The skeletonized red-tipped hand is the GMT indicator.