At Baselworld 2016, Zenith released another watch in their Pilot line. Zenith has, for the last few years, released some very impressive pilot watches which successfully combine classic charms with modern functions. Here we have the newest addition to the line, the Zenith Heritage Pilot Café Racer.
At first glance, you will notice the huge beige Arabic numerals and the big onion crown. Both features give the watch a very retro style which is way stronger than previous editions. But before we go further into the aesthetics of the watch, you may question : What is a Café Racer?
A café racer is a super lightweight and minimal motorcycle which is a sheer pursuit of speed. Motorcyclists remove all unnecessary equipment and optimize their café racers for speed and handling. These motorcycles feature low-mounted handlebars, prominent seat cowling and elongated fuel tank, which all recall design cues of 1960s Grand Prix motorcycles. These motorcycle are for quick races over short distances, very often from one café to another.
Although it might be awkward for a pilot watch to be closely linked with motorcycles, the watch does get its vintage design cues from the vintage feeling of café racers. The watch features a 45mm aged stainless steel case, which may be well why the watch has Café Racer in its name. The aged stainless case is specially treated that each case is different. The dial is slate-grey in color which is slightly grained and it combines with beige hands and numerals for a more textured look.
The sapphire crystal is domed and there is a Café Racer engraved on the case back. It will be even better if Zenith has opted for an acrylic crystal to complete the vintage-inspired look. The small seconds sub-dial is at 9 o’ clock and the 30-minute chronograph sub-dial is at the 3 o’ clock position.
Included with the watch is a distressed olive strap with a titanium buckle. The movement of the watch is the El Primero 4069 which beats at 36,000VpH and has 50 hours of power reserve. The retail price is USD$7100.
If you are looking for a rugged-looking pilot watch, this might well be your choice. Of course you might choose pilot watches from other manufactures, such as IWC or even Patek Philippe, but this Zenith offers you a lot at a very reasonable price. It gives you a lot of wrist presence at 45mm (14.5mm thickness) and the watch sits high upon the wrist. It is a very stylish and young choice of a good-looking and hard-to-be-ignored pilot watch.
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