Although pilot’s watches are often offered in over-sized (sometimes ridiculously so) bodies, this new Zenith Pilot Big Date (Ref. 03.2410.4010/21.C722) self-winding chronograph sports a deliciously mid-sized stainless steel body that will look perfect not only with a worn-leather bomber jacket and a three-day stubble but also with a custom-tailored business suit.
Sporting a stainless steel body only 42 millimeters in diameter, the new watch speaks the same design language as the Pilot Doublematic World Timer Automatic (Ref. 03.2400.4046/21.C721) that was revealed back in March 2012 in Basel, Switzerland.
While a trifle smaller, the Pilot Big Date still looks a trifle more masculine, mainly thanks to a less cluttered dial and the machine-brushed finish on all of its surfaces (the Doublematic World Timer had its bezel mirror-polished) that give it a more military appearance.
As many recently introduced chronographs, the new watch sports a bi-compax dial layout with an indicator at 9 o’clock showing small seconds and the sub-dial at 3 hours reserved for a 30-minute chronograph totalizer. Staying true to its name, the piece features a large date indicator at 6 hours. To my deepest regret, the calendar window doesn’t look as dramatic as that on the aforementioned Zenith World Timer.
From the point of view of legibility, the watch deserves the highest praises and accolades. Not only the bold Arabic numerals with their white Superluminova look contrasting on the matte black background of the dial, but the hands themselves are perfectly visible both in broad daylight and in total darkness. As you can see, even the small seconds on both sub-dials have their tips painted with white lume.
Another nice feature of the new Pilot Big Date is the telemeter scale, which is printed on the bezel flange. Although as useless as the omnipresent tachymeter scale, the indicator is at least doesn’t look as boring.
According to the Swiss manufacturer, the watch is animated by their in-house Zenith El Primero 4010 automatic caliber that was first introduced around six or seven years ago. As usual for the El Primero range, all parts of the movement are skillfully decorated with the oscillating weight sporting the traditional open-worked design with the usual Zenith Star in the center.
Of course, the watch is not terribly cheap. At this time, the Pilot Big Date is offered at $7200 (the version on a leather strap) and $7600 (on a stainless steel mesh bracelet), but you can find it online at some $5500 USD.
This can be a nice choice if you are tired of designs offered by IWC and Omega.
Zenith Pilot Big Date Special Edition (Ref. 03.2410.4010/21.C722) specification
Price: $7500 (leather strap) / $7600 (steel bracelet)
Movement: Automatic, Zenith El Primero 4010, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 36,000 vph
Power reserve: 50 hours
Movement decoration: Skeletonized oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, telemeter, date
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Leather straps of different colors or a stainless steel mesh bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective