Just last year, Zenith relaunched its pilot collection with two new watches: the Pilot Automatic and Pilot Big Date Flyback. The models introduced a new case design with a large flat bezel and a contemporary interpretation of a classic, oversized onion crown. Offered in both stainless steel and more modern ceramic, the debut revealed a refreshing take on a watch with lots of history. Now, we get two new boutique editions within the lineup alongside the first ever “Icons: Pilot” set of vintage Zenith chronographs.
Let’s start with the two new models: the Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition and Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition. Both variations introduce a new color scheme in blue as opposed to the original black of the 2023 launches. The choice of the rich hue is twofold, serving as a nod to both the sky where pilots spend their days and to the starlit sky that inspired Georges-Favre Jacot to name his brand Zenith. Aside from the color, the two models reprise the proportions and build of the pair released last year, this time exclusively in stainless steel.
The Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition offers perfectly proportioned 40mm sizing and a grooved dial reminiscent of the corrugated metal sheets that made up the fuselage of many older aircraft. Alternatively, the Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition features a slightly larger 42.5mm construction. Here, the textured dial serves as more of a backdrop for the chronograph registers, creating a beautiful sense of depth and contrast. Powering the Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition is the El Primero 3620 while the Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition houses the caliber 3652. Both models also come with the option of a blue cordura-effect rubber strap and a brown calfskin strap. Of course, the cherry on top is that both dials are proudly signed “Pilot”, as Zenith remains the first and only brand to hold the rights to mark its dials with the term.
To give the larger context of these latest Pilot creations, the brand also presents its first “Icons: Pilot” collection of highly collectible vintage Zenith Pilot chronographs from the second half of the 20th century. To date, the Icons capsule collections have focused on significant iterations of the brand’s iconic El Primero caliber that have been reimagined in Zenith’s contemporary Chronomaster line. Now, the brand is shining a light on another facet of its heritage and one of its longest-standing collections with three references from the late 1960s and 1970s: the TIPO CP-2 CAIRELLI, A3821, and 1.0230.415.
The brand new Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition and Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition are available today exclusively at Zenith online and brick-and-mortar boutiques, while the “Icons: Pilot” collection is presented exclusively on Zenith’s website. The Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition is priced at $7,500 whereas the Pilot Big Date Flyback Boutique Edition will set you back $11,500.