|Joined: ||Sun Sep 4th, 2005|
|Location: ||Akron, USA|
|pics are from a recent Puristpro gtg...
The El Primero 1969 chronograph
The classic look and very desirable Zenith Pilot watch in 42mm stainless steel case with an El Primero movement. This model has been discontinued this year in favour of a newer style dial. Side by side with the new version (picture below) this watch makes for a compelling 'This or That' comparison. The simple hour markers and well proportioned dial layout makes this wristwatch very easy tell time.
Here is a look at the new style 2012 Zenith Pilot watch. Some key differences between this and the previous pilot watch are on the dial with the Arabic hour markers, a two-disk calendar wheel display, and the use of leather for the straps instead of crocodile.
This display tray carried the 3 most popular watches of the evening. The Zenith Pilot Doublematic watch with alarm function, a prototype of the Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 configured with an 18k gold case, and the complicated Christophe Columb Equation of Time watch.
First up is the new Pilot Doublematic watch with alarm and multi-city display. The gold case is 45mm with sapphire crystal front and back. The dial view of the Doublematic in rose gold case is organized fairly well for a watch with a lot of information on the dial. At the top of 12-hour position shows "New York' where the time in this city is 12:32 in the afternoon— 6:32pm in Paris, and on the other side of the world, 3:32am in Sydney and 6:32am in Midway. The crown at the 10-hour sets the time zone to your current location. The crown positioned at 3-hour sets the time keeping in mind AM or PM of the 24-hour disc and also sets the alarm-hand. The 8-hour crown is used to wind up the alarm barrel power reserve and is used to set the alarm as well. The pusher works to set the alarm function on or off. The alarm when set off at full wind runs roughly 30 seconds. Unlike some alarm watches that sound like a buzzing electric razor, this watch has a very audible 'alarm-bell' sound that is pleasant to the ear.
The case back with movement display view of the Zenith Pilot Doublematic in 18k pink gold case (ref. 18.2400.4046/01.C721 ) alarm and world travel watch. The movement is an El Primero caliber 4046 with 439 parts with 41 jewels.
The Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 in gold case. Originally presented earlier this year in a titanium case, this gold cased watch is a prototype production and makes its first appearance in Canada. At 57.5mm case size it is a very large watch. Only 75 watches are being produced in precious metal and already sold out worldwide. A teaser! The counterpart production is 250 pilot watches with Grade 5 titanium cases.
From the Zenith press kit: "The transparent caseback reveals the mechanical hand-wound 5011K movement. Its 50 mm diameter leaves room for exceptional finishes, such as 19 jewels and the broad linear Geneva bars that grace the rhodium-plated bridges. This COSC-certified chronometer comes with a pedigree to match its beauty: it contains the famous 5011 pocket calibre that was so successful for Zenith in the 1960s – and in 1967 was named the most accurate chronometer ever tested by the Neuchatel Observatory. The calibre has been in continuous production since then and has been used in competition timepieces, marine chronometers, pocket watches, and watchmaking school watches. Oscillating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, the 5011 calibre has a separate mechanism for stopping the seconds hand and synchronising the hour. It features shock-absorbers on the balance-wheel and escapement arbors, fine adjustment, and a self-compensating anti-magnetic Breguet overcoil balance spring, mobile stud-holder, double-arrow index regulator, and the Zenith winding-crown stem attachment system. All these assets combine to ensure that the watch gives a first-rate performance without losing its vintage feel."
Here is a view of the caseback of the Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 which shows what is essentially a large pocket-watch size movement at 50mm. As the crown of the caliber 5011K is wound, you can hear the distinctive ratchet sound with each turn. The 5011 caliber beats at 18000 VPH with a 48-hour power reserve. It is COSC certified movement.
The Aeronef Type 20's dimension of a 57.5mm diameter case worn on a 6.25" diameter wrist size. Proportionately a large pilot watch with effective legibility.
A dial view of the Christophe Columb. This Zenith Academy timepiece was the chosen winner at the recent Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva earlier this year. And it is NOT a tourbillon. Only 75 timepieces will be produced in 18k white or rose gold. The watch featured at this GTG is the first to arrive in North America.
From Zenith's presentation: Precision through the unique gyroscopic system. Measurement of Equation of time : difference between Apparent solar time versus Mean solar time Equation of time is dependent upon the date of the year (Gregorian Calendar)/ Setting is made through a corrector at 8 o’clock. While a traditional tourbillon has approximately 66 components, this daring complication comprises 167. The result is the first wristwatch in which the rate is completely independent from its wearers’ movements. The Christophe Colomb Module with Equation of Time is inspired by the legendary marine chronometer instruments of the past and it outperform Tourbillons and Gyrotourbillons.
A close up view of the dial of the Christophe Columb complication watch, with a detailed look at the gyromatic case display. The dial is finished by hand. Crafted in a silver finish with the barleycorn 'guilloché' motif.
The El Primero used for this watch is manual winding, reference caliber 8808 with a Zenith developed gyroscopic cage system that keeps the regulator in a horizontal position independent of how the watch case is positioned. The movement itself has 359 components and the gyroscopic case itself has 167 parts for its assembly.