While the Zenith Pilot Type 20 requires no introduction, the Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar Tribute to Russell Westbrook —designed in collaboration with the young basketball player— deserves a closer look. As its name implies, it is equipped with an annual calendar —an elegantly discreet complication that might almost go unnoticed if it were not mentioned on the dial. The annual calendar differs from the perpetual calendar in that it does not take into account the additional day that is added to the month of February in leap years —every four years.
This is a complication that calculates odd and even months and also factors in the 31st day of August. In a nutshell, it is a useful function that avoids the wearer having to adjust his watch every month. Visually speaking, the day of the week and the month are displayed on the blue dial at 3 o’clock in a rectangular aperture. Just above it are the name of Zenith’s new ambassador, Russell Westbrook, together with his silhouette in action on the court and his signature. The date is displayed in a window at 6 o’clock. Another distinctive feature of this watch is the fact that its automatic El Primero 4054 movement drives a chronograph function with a single 60-minute counter appearing near the center at 6 o’clock, along with a central sweep seconds hand and a power reserve of 50 hours. Moreover, this highly legible dial features small seconds also displayed near the center at 9 o’clock.
The orange hue of the satin-brushed large chronograph seconds hand and the tips of the two counters discreetly echo Russell Westbrook’s signature, matched by the top stitching and the rubber lining of the strap. The hour and minute hands, as well as the hour-markers, are all enhanced with Superluminova SLN C1 to ensure optimal readability in the dark. As Zenith President and CEO Aldo Magada recently said in referring to the partnership signed between the brand and young American basketball player Russell Westbrook: “Since the start of its history, Zenith has always been keen to support skills and talent by accompanying leading figures in their activities.” He added that “Russell is a genuine talent in his field and we are delighted to have discovered that he shares our philosophy, which consists in giving top priority to innovation, creativity and courage in all our endeavors. Russell is distinguished by his exceptional talent, as well as by his daring dress style that has earned him iconic status both on and off the court. I am thrilled to be able to say that he has now become a true friend of the brand.”
Russell Westbrook confirms this sense of kinship: “I am a professional basketball player. As such, I am constantly pushing my own limits in order to reach new heights. I think this is a spirit that we share. I find many echoes of my own passions in Zenith’s philosophy and am thus pleased and honored to have joined a brand that has such a rich heritage and displays such tremendous creativity. This is a fantastic partnership.” Born in 1988 in Hawthorne, California, Russell Westbrook played basketball for Leuzinger High School, followed by two seasons with the UCLA Bruins. He was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, who then relocated to Oklahoma City. Westbrook won gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Famed for his attacking abilities, the NBA All-Star player is currently point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The tribute to the player does not stop there, since the back of the case bears a medallion engraved with his silhouette and signature. The plate affixed to the side bears the inscription “Limited Edition: RW-X/5”. The steel of the large-size 48 mm case, the line signature, makes an elegant contrast with the blue shade of the dial and the alligator leather strap. A precious wood box has been specially created for each of the five watches in this limited edition, featuring a cover picking up the image of Russell Westbrook in action engraved on the back of the watch case and surrounded by the inscription “Zenith Flying Instruments - Russell Westbrook”.
Available exclusively from Westime, Zenith’s distributor in Los Angeles, this limited edition of only 5 pieces was launched at an exclusive event organized in the boutique with the inauguration of a corner specially designed for Westime in the spirit of the Zenith boutiques.
Hopefully this new limited edition piece along with the Rolling Stones El Primero, won't be the beginning of a long saga of limited edition watches that tend to devalue the essence and rich history of a brand like Zenith.