Mustard, khaki, blue or burgundy, the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special’s shades are still elegant while never losing the vintage look of this model. With its format suited to every wrist, the new Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 40 mm is a unisex watch that rounds out an emblematic range from Zenith, thus far composed of large-size watches. Its original attributes keep unchanged: an in-house movement, a broad fluted crown and large luminescent Arabic numerals swept over by finely crafted hands.
Crafted from aged steel, the case is topped by a domed sapphire crystal protecting a broad slate grey or khaki or blue or burgundy dials with a grained finish. An optimal legibility is ensured by an aeronautically inspired font composed of beige Super-LumiNova® blocks, along with beige luminescent facetted hands.
When is it a good idea to go “all metal” and invest in a truly classic timepiece? I would say when you are looking for hand-finished decoration and other aesthetic elements which define a particularly classic look. If you want something more contemporary, then you go with something like the Defy Lab, or many of the timepieces that Jean-Claude Biver has helped usher in at the various LVMH brands including Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith.Current Zenith CEO Julien Tornare will have his hands full trying to juggle a brand that is both the maker of classic legends such as the El Primero, and emerging novelties which build on older technology such as the Defy El Primero 21 and the Defy Lab. These watches present traditional watch lovers with a tantalizing view of what can be available if you just let in what is new out there. Nevertheless, there will always be purists who want their watches as “old style” as can be. For everyone else, there are products like the Defy Lab. Personally, I see no reason why a well-rounded watch collection can’t have examples from both sides.Much of the caliber ZO 342 is silicon, including the large monolithic regulation component. This large silicon part is a regulation system that is called the “Zenith Oscillator,” which is buzzing with cheerful enthusiasm behind the entirety of the main dial. It’s a thrilling and visceral view, unlike pretty much anything in the watch industry today.
The Pilot Type 20 Extra Special houses the automatic Zenith Elite 679 calibre. This reliable and accurate in-house movement drives central hours, minutes and seconds hands, while delivering a 50-hour power reserve. The solid aged steel case-back bears the company’s historical logo, a coat-of-arms studded with stars bearing the founding date of the Manufacture Zenith: 1865.
Water-resistant to 100 metres, this watch sets the seal on its trendy neo-retro look with choice of straps in mustard, khaki, blue or burgundy oily nubuck, featuring a protective rubber lining and a titanium pin buckle.