Drawing design inspiration from vintage pilot replica watches and vintage aircraft dashboards, the oversized Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT is a highlight on the wrist. If you are a fan of large retro style pilot watches, then this watch should not be missed. Let us know more.
A brief history of Zenith pilot watches
Some people don’t know that Zenith owns the trademark of the Pilot name associated with the watch (it is the only brand that can use “Pilot” on the dial). This shows that the Swiss watch brand has a long history in manufacturing aviation timepieces.
In 1909, Louis Blériot became the first person to fly over the English Channel in a Blériot XI wooden plane. During this historic flight, the Frenchman wore a Zenith watch on his wrist. It uses a steel case, a large onion-shaped crown that can be operated with gloves, and a black with large hands and numbers. Dial to achieve the best legibility.
In the second year, Zenith began to produce cockpit instruments such as altimeters and stopwatches for the emerging aviation industry, and it continued for five years. In 1939, the French Air Force began to install Montre d’Aéronef 20 manually-wound clocks (“montre d’déronef” means “aircraft clock” in French) on many of their aircraft dashboards. These clocks include a knurled bezel for winding and setting the clock, as well as oversized luminous Arabic numerals and hands.
In order to design its modern aviator watch series, Zenith apparently drew elements from Blériot watches and the instrument panel clocks of the French army.
Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT
In 2012, Zenith launched a limited edition Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 watch, only 250 pieces were produced to commemorate its history of manufacturing military-spec aviation instruments. With its huge 57.5mm case and retro vibe, this watch was sold out before it was officially launched. The unprecedented success of this watch paved the way for the now routinely produced pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 watch series, which has a slightly smaller case and offers a series of different complications. More importantly, 2010 also marked the revival of Zenith’s pilot watch series, which has now become an aviation watch series with multiple materials, sizes and functions.
Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT is one of the first models to launch the new Zenith Montre D’Aéronef series. The watch uses a 48 mm stainless steel case with a characteristic knurled onion winding crown. The black dial has large Arabic numerals and a large cathedral-style central hand. The style is the same as the original Zenith onboard clock of the 1930s, but the running seconds subdial is located at 9 o’clock instead of 6 o’clock.
As a dual time watch, the Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT includes a large red skeletonized pointer that points to the 24-hour scale on the periphery of the dial to indicate the second time zone.
The red pointer indicates the second time zone
The button on the case at 10 o’clock allows the 24-hour hand to advance at one-hour intervals, which is very suitable for frequent travelers.
The watch is equipped with the self-developed Zenith Elite Calibre 693 self-winding movement and has a 55-hour power reserve. Protecting the movement is a sturdy steel caseback with a pattern of a Louis Blériot monoplane crossing the English Channel.
This Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT is equipped with a light brown calfskin strap (with rubber inlay) with contrast stitching and a steel folding clasp.
The Pilot Montre D’Aéronef Type 20 GMT is retro and practical in design. It is a sturdy and stylish luxury watch suitable for aviation watches fans.