Baselworld 2013: Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Tourbillon (live photos and price)

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Just launched at Baselworld 2013, Zenith’s top of the line Pilot watch is the Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Tourbillon. Based on the El Primero movement, this has a flying tourbillon in between 11 and 12 o’clock. 

The Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Tourbillon has the same styling as the rest of the Type 20 pilot’s watches – large Arabic numerals and cathedral hands, matched with an oversized onion crown.

The El Primero cal. 4035D contains a flying tourbillon added to the chronograph base movement, with an aperture on the dial to reveal the tourbillon carriage. Around the aperture for the tourbillon is the date indicator, which is a clever use of space.

However, the tourbillon carriage is relatively small, which was unavoidable since it was added subsequently to the El Primero, rather than being designed as a tourbillon movement. 

Made of titanium with rose gold bezel, crown and pushers, the 48 mm case sits well on the wrist  thanks to the shape of the lugs, just like the other large Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 watches.

Like the Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar, this tourbillon is a bit too cluttered to be true to the spirit of a pilot’s watch.

That being said this watch compares well with the competition. It retails for CHF65,000 inclusive of 8% Swiss VAT, which is equivalent to USD69,800. Similar watches from comparable brands, in terms of quality, tend to cost more, sometimes much more.

– SJX

The relief case back shows Louis Bleriot’s English Channel-crossing aircraft

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