Zenith Type 20 – Model and history

The history of Zenith’s aviation industry logo

For more than 100 years, Zenith replica has had a deep connection with the aviation industry. Their contribution to the field began with the development of timing equipment for pilots in the golden age of the aviation industry and the provision of timing equipment for the military. Today, the brand is still the main manufacturer of pilot watches. One of the most interesting and popular series in their catalog is Zenith Type 20. Although the model was launched only a few years ago in 2012, it is the pinnacle of Zenith’s rich history in aviation.

Zenith became known as a pilot instrument manufacturer in the early 1900s. In 1909, French pilot Louis Blériot successfully became the first person to fly across the English Channel, especially wearing Zenith. Soon, the brand’s popularity in France rose exponentially. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the French Air Force had hired Zenith to manufacture aircraft clocks for Armée de l’Air, and the original Type 20 Montre d’Aéronef was born. This manual winding timing device is installed on the dashboard of the cockpit. It has large luminous numbers and has since become the brand’s logo and a standard feature of pilot watches. In addition, it also displays a unique knurled bezel for winding and setting.

More than seventy years later, this special aircraft clock launched a new series for the brand: Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20. It debuted as an exclusive limited edition watch with only 250 pieces produced. The design perfectly blends retro and modern elements. It has the iconic large luminous numbers and oversized knurled onion crown, paying homage to the original bezel. However, its weight is 57.5 mm, which is offset by the lightweight modern titanium case. The redesigned Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 is equipped with a mechanical manual winding Calibre 5011K movement, visible through the back cover. luxury replicas watches

After the first limited release of the Montre d’Aéronef Type 20, Zenith continued to introduce variants of this model. One year later, in 2013, they launched the Pilot Type 20 annual calendar chronograph. As the name suggests, this version has some additional complications. However, the case size was downgraded to a more manageable but still modern 48 mm.

Modern update of traditional 20 model
The brand launched another version of this model in 2014: Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903. This special edition pays tribute to the Wright brothers and their legendary first flight at Kitty Hawk Beach in 1903. Similar to the change of the annual calendar chronograph, the 1903 size is 48 mm. However, it also has some aesthetic updates. This time, Zenith applied a DLC coating to the titanium case and added a sandblasted dial to give it an ultra-modern appearance. As a commemorative model, this model is also limited to 1,903 pieces.

Finally, in 2015, Zenith launched three new models in the Type 20 series. The first is Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, which has a unique bronze case. The other two are Pilot Type 20 Louis Blériot Homage and Pilot Type 20 Skeleton. Each of these incredibly unique designs is limited to five pieces in volume, up to 60 mm in size. Louis Blériot Homage shows a striking meteorite dial, which is actually from an asteroid. And, as the name suggests, the Skeleton version has a skeletonized dial that highlights the Calibre 5001K movement.