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 is presented in 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.
The new Zenith Star Moonphase (refs. 16.1925.692/01.C725 & 22.1925.692/01.C725) collection arrives at international markets sporting a nicely executed cushion-shaped body, which is elegantly decorated with a number of finely cut diamonds of different shape and size. Being just 37 millimeters in width, the watch looks absolutely gorgeous in its simple, understated beauty.
It looks like the year 2012 will be remembered by many as the year of “world timers”. Right after the stunning Transocean Chronograph Unitime by Breitling, somewhat ascetic Pilot Worldtimer (Ref. IW326201) by IWC, and the special edition World Timer ALT1 Automatic UTC by Bremont, the Swiss watchmaker Zenith offers its new Pilot Doublematic family that is available both in stainless steel (Ref. 03.2400.4046/21.C721, which is reviewed here) and more expensive 18-karat rose gold cases. The collection was revealed a couple of weeks ago during the Baselworld 2012 event.
The new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 (Ref. 27.03.0138.940) chronograph is equipped with a new self-winding caliber that was specifically re-engineered in order to move its heart, the balance wheel that beats at 10 vibrations per second, to a rather unusual position between 10 and 11 o’clock. There it is perfectly visible through a cut-out in the silvered dial right above the small seconds indicator.
Despite its outrageously gargantuan proportions, the limited edition Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 (surprisingly) doesn’t look as ridiculous as many of its similarly-proportioned competitors. You see, it is somewhat difficult to fat-shame a timekeeper when you know that it is was made big in order to accommodate a huge (and also, legendary) deck watch movement that in 1967 set (and still holds) a world record for precision in its class at the Neuenburg Observatory competition.
The new Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar Chronograph Automatic from the legendary Swiss manufacture comes equipped with an unusual, although somewhat awkward, annual calendar complication courtesy of their in-house El Primero caliber.
The 2011 Chaumet Dandy Chronograph XL El Primero automatic features a mid-sized precious case and an iconic Zenith movement beating at an impressive speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour.
The new Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th (ref. 03.2060.4057/69.M2060) automatic chronograph is said to be inspired by the 1997 Rainbow Flyback model that was developed exclusively for the French Air Force. Hmm, the French flyboys know a thing or two about flying with style.
The 2010 Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Chronograph is yet another good offer from the company that finally found its own design tongue. Although its case, which is available both in affordable stainless steel, as well as in a more expensive (and also dressier) 18-karat rose gold (ref. 18.2280.4035/01.C713), is a little oversized at 44 millimeters in diameter, it still doesn’t look bulky and may actually look great with a made-to-order business suit.
The 2010 Zenith Elite Captain Central Second (ref. 18.2020.670/01.C498) belongs to the rare breed of (relatively) affordable dressy timekeepers powered by superbly-designed in-house movements. Not as technically impressive as their “high-beat” models, it is still a good alternative to a similarly styled three-hander from ultra-luxury brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre.