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The next generation of a Zenith aviation legend
Taking on many forms over the years in a balancing act between heritage and modernism, the Zenith Pilot is the Swiss maker's most long-standing line, and one that never ceases to beguile seasoned watch aficionados as well as avid aviation enthusiasts. This next-generation Pilot Big Date Flyback pays tribute to a beloved 1997 El Primero reference, but with a complicated twist: a new patented big date at 6:00. Building on the Zenith legend is a redesigned case and dial aesthetic that is at once entirely new, but in keeping with the long traditions of the brand's Pilot collection.
Zenith's fascination with the world of aviation goes as far back as the late 19th century, when the manufacture’s founder Georges-Favre Jacot believed that mankind was on the verge of finally conquering the skies – and that Zenith should be there alongside the brave pioneers who saw a world of freedom and infinite possibilities far above the horizon. In 1888, Zenith filed a trademark for the French term “Pilote”, followed by the English version “Pilot” in 1904. In the years that followed, Zenith would become one of the preeminent makers of specialized watches and dashboard instruments for pilots.
This Pilot Big Date Flyback is built around a 42.5mm stainless steel case, taking several key visual cues from one of the most distinguished El Primero Flyback chronographs, the aptly named “Rainbow Flyback." The chronograph’s minutes totalizer is done in alternating colours to more easily distinguish between the five-minute marks. The central chronograph seconds as well as the chronograph minutes hands are done in a bright orange tone, another nod to the iconic El Primero Rainbow from 1997.
Beyond its easy readability, the oversized date display in the Pilot Big Date Flyback features a next-gen patented compliant mechanism that advances and stabilizes both of the big date’s wheels in less than 0.03 seconds. Originally conceived for aviators who wore thick sheepskin gloves, the flyback function allows the chronograph function to be reset to zero and restarted by a single push of a button, simplifying the pilot’s operations and offering the possibility to record consecutive times without stopping. The El Primero chronograph calibre with its “artificial horizon” rotor is visible through the display back.
Lastly, this Pilot is supplied with a newly designed Cordura-effect rubber strap with a new folding clasp. The strap may be easily swapped using the quick-release mechanism integrated directly into the back of the straps, requiring no tools to detach from the spring bars holding them in place.
- Case: 42.5mm stainless steel, brushed & polished
- Dial: Black with horizontal grooves, hands & applied hour markers with SuperLuminova C1
- Sapphire Crystal front, exhibition caseback
- Movement: El Primero 3652, automatic chronograph (5Hz 36,000 VpH)
- Movement characteristics: Hours and minutes in the centre. Small seconds at 9 o'clock Instantaneous Big Date at 6 o'clock. Flyback Chronograph. 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock
- Power reserve: 60 hours
- Water Resistance: 100 meters
- Strap: Includes 2 interchangeable straps: Black Cordura effect rubber strap and a leather strap. Stainless steel triple folding clasp
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Toppers is excited to offer a free extended warranty on the purchase of new watches. This warranty begins when the manufacturer's warranty runs out. As such, Topper Fine Jewelers will provide an additional non-transferable warranty for a period of one year.*
*Restrictions Apply. Service provided anywhere other than at Topper Fine Jewelers or a service center of the original manufacturer is not covered and shall void the warranty. Topper Fine Jewelers will have sole discretion to determine whether the work for the warranty will be performed "in house" by Topper Fine Jewelers or at a repair facility of our choice. The limited warranty does not cover bracelets, crystals, batteries, or any damage to the case or movement caused by moisture that might have entered the watch as a result of improper handling, nor does it apply, on a more general basis, if there is evidence of misuse or abuse. Only Topper Fine Jewelers will determine at its sole discretion to repair any watch under this warranty.