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Zenith Pilot Automatic & Pilot Big Date Flyback: Blue Like The Skies

Zenith Pilot Automatic & Pilot Big Date Flyback: Blue Like The Skies


In the summer of 2023, Zenith presented an updated Pilot collection. Although Zenith has a rich history of pilot’s watches (brought back to life in their ICONS: PILOT” capsule collection that just launched), the manufacture decided to start from scratch. The result is a modern pilot’s watch that picks up on the typical features combines them with a high-frequency El Primero movement and a sporty case. Previously, only versions with a black dial were available. Now two variants in blue colour are being presented.

Zenith Pilot Automatic

The Zenith Pilot Automatic Boutique Edition comes in a 40 mm steel case. It has a modern and sporty look with satin-finished sides and a polished caseband. The round bezel emphasises the robust character with a vertical satin finish and polished bevel. A slightly protruding box sapphire crystal protects the front. The oversized crown improves grip and is reminiscent of the days when pilots operated their watches with thick sheepskin gloves. On the back, the sapphire crystal back allows a view of the movement. The water resistance is 100 metres.

The blue dial features grooves reminiscent of the corrugated metal sheets of historic aeroplanes. The large luminous Arabic numerals ensure excellent legibility. At 6 o’clock there is a horizontal bar index instead of a numeral. This references the “artificial horizon” in the cockpit, which helps pilots to align the aircraft. There is also a date window on a blue background. Last but not least, there is a model designation „Pilot“ and Zenith lettering with an applied star.

The watch integrates the El Primero 3620 SC manufacture calibre. The three-hand movement operates at an increased frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour or 5 hertz, which makes it more shock-resistant and precise. The winding rotor is skeletonised and blackened. The “artificial horizon”, with which the aeroplane is aligned on the horizon, can be seen here again.

Zenith Pilot Big Date Flyback

The stainless steel case of the Big Date Flyback measures 42.5 mm in diameter. There are two square pushers on the side of this model that control the chronograph. Despite this, the case remains impermeable up to 100 metres.

The blue dial of the Zenith Pilot Big Date Flyback is dominated by the two sub-dials. A small seconds dial can be found at 9 o’clock, while the minutes up to half an hour are measured at three o’clock. Here too, the applied indices filled with luminous material ensure legibility even in the dark. At 6 o’clock, the watchmakers have placed a large date comprising two discs.

The Zenith Big Pilot Big Date Flyback uses the El Primero 3652 calibre. The movement features an integrated column wheel chronograph and also offers a flyback function with which a new time measurement can start instantly. The balance beats at a frequency of 5 Hertz, which makes it possible to measure tenths of a second. The blackened rotor features an “artificial horizon” and enables automatic winding. The maximum power reserve is 60 hours. Also included is a mechanism that advances the discs of the big date in less than 0.03 seconds.

Strap, Price & Availability

Both models come on a blue rubber strap with a “Cordura” effect. The company also includes a brown calfskin strap. A folding clasp secures the watches to the wrist. The wearer can swap the straps using the quick-change system. As a boutique edition, the two new models are only available from the company’s own sales outlets. The price for the Automatic is 8,100 euros. The Big Date Flyback costs 12,300 euros.


BRAND Zenith
MODEL Pilot Automatic
Pilot Big Date Flyback
Big Date Flyback
Diameter: 40 mm
Big Date Flyback
Diameter: 42,5 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 10 bar (~100 m)
DIAL Blue with horizontal grooves
STRAP/BRACELET Blue “Cordura” effect rubber and a brown calfskin leather with folding clasp.
MOVEMENT Automatic
El Primero 3620 SC
Big Date Flyback
El Primero 3652
FREQUENCY 36,000 vph (5 Hz)
Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Big Date Flyback
Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
PRICE Automatic
EUR 8,100
Big Date Flyback
EUR 13,300