Quick Take

While not unheard of, silver cases are pretty unusual in watchmaking today. With much more durable white metals like steel and titanium readily available, watchmakers typically go in that direction, and then opt for *platinum or white gold when aiming for a higher-end execution. In a way, the relative rarity of silver watches is a pity, because silver has a warmth all its own, and it tends to patina in a way that many watch lovers, especially those who are into vintage aesthetics, would appreciate.
The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special we see here is the first silver-cased wristwatch from Zenith. This is the first of the pre-Baselworld releases that we are seeing from Zenith, and this new Pilot's Type 20 comes with a dial made of brushed silver that has been matched to the case. The dial also has a riveting pattern that is a direct allusion to vintage aviation. And the oversized numerals and hands, paired with the oversized crown, and large 45mm case size, add up to a really rugged-looking tool watch. Inside is an automatic Zenith Elite automatic movement.
Initial Thoughts

The dial on this watch is very interesting to me. Besides being made, like the case, from an unusual material, the dial has a motif the likes of which I've not seen on any watch before. At 45mm in diameter, this is a watch whose size is going to appeal to those looking for a really bold pilot's watch that makes an immediate impression.*The Zenith Flying Instruments decoration on the back of the case is a reminder that Zenith has been making watches for aviation for heck of a long time. In fact, Zenith holds the trademark for the Pilot name as it applies to watches.
Commonly seen in jewelry but rarely seen in watchmaking, silver is a material that will definitely take on a its own character based on how it's worn and the conditions that the wearer subjects it too. We've seen the rise of popularity in bronze watches, I think, for similar reasons. I wonder if we may be about to see more silver models hitting the market in the near future too.
With 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the El Primero, people who follow watches are really focused on what Zenith may or may not do in the realm of chronographs this year. This piece obviously is not that, but it is a good-looking Pilot with an interesting case and dial.*
The Basics

Brand: Zenith
Model: Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Silver
Reference Number: 05.2430.679.17.C902
*Diameter: 45mm
Thickness: 14.25mm
Case Material: Silver
Dial Color: Brushed silver
Indexes: Large, luminous
Lume: Yes, hands and numerals
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Brown calfskin leather strap
The Movement

Caliber: Zenith Elite 679 movement
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Diameter: 25.6mm
Thickness: 3.85mm
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Jewels: 27
Pricing & Availability

Price: $7,700
Availability: Expected late April
Limited Edition: 200 pieces
For more click here.


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