The Zenith Montre d'Aéronef Pilot Type 20 Extra Special ref. 03.2430.3000/21.C738 was launched in 2014. Earlier this year, a new version was released in bronze and we reviewed it here. The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special in stainless steel features a robust 45 mm case with screwed-on lugs and a satin-brushed finish that contrasts against the mirror polished bezel and ratcheted onion-shaped crown typical of historical aviator watches — that ensures a perfect grip even with pilot’s gloves.
Featuring a traditional 'Pilot's watch' matte black dial layout with Arabic numerals in SLN C1 superluminova, the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special ref. 03.2430.3000/21.C738 is one of those Pilot's watches with a flawless execution at a very nice price. The matte dial features a white rail minute track with yellow minute markers and the 'Extra Special' writing at 6 o'clock. The dial also features an applied mirror polished iconic Zenith star at 12 o'clock. The dial is rounded out by the vintage-shaped black ruthenium-plated and satin-finished hands also with super bright superluminova.
The Case, Crown & Strap
The satin-brushed finished case measures 45 mm in diameter by 14.25 mm in thickness. The lugs are screwed onto the case and the onion-shaped crown is the most iconic feature on this watch. The case is very wearable and vintage looking. Perhaps one of our favorite features on the case are the curved lugs and the engraved plate —showing the case number and secured with two beautiful rounded blued screws— on the left side of the case band.
The watch is fitted with an oily nubuck leather strap with tan contrast stitching and with protective rubber lining. The watch is very supple and equipped with an oversized pin buckle with Zenith star on bas-relief.
The Movement & Case Back
The beating heart inside this watch is the automatic calibre Zenith 3000 composed of 126 parts, 25 jewels and which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph —4 Hz— providing a power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound. The movement is protected by a solid mirror polished stainless steel case back engraved with the Zenith flying instruments logo and the watch is water resistant to a 100 meters.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, this watch wears extremely nice and slightly bigger than its 45 mm case size. The watch does sit high on the wrist but it can still be tucked under the cuff of a shirt. If you are ready to wear a Pilot's watch that is not your run-of-the-mill timepiece at an extremely reasonable price, then this Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special ticks all the boxes. Also available in bronze for those looking for that crazy patina.
Sticker Price $5,800 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.