WOTY 2012: Zenith Pilot Montre D’Aeronef Type 20

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Zenith’s Pilot Montre D’Aeronef Type 20 was named as the Luxury Watch of the Year in WatchPro’s 2012 Watches of the Year. The 2013 Watches of the Year is now open for nominations.

Definitely not a watch to go a-miss on your bedside table, the 57.5mm Pilot Montre D’Aeronef by Zenith is a timepiece that the brand itself admits dabbles in excess. With such a sizeable case, naturally made of titanium to keep it lightweight, WatchPro adores this watch for its wow factor. Based on the aesthetic of pilots’ watches to make reading the time easier this watch has a black dial and quirky white Arabic numerals, while its transparent caseback reveals its mechanical hand-wound 5011K movement.

It is a COSC-certified chronometer that is said to have pedigree to match its beauty: the 5011 pocket calibre is the same that was successful for Zenith in the 1960s, and in 1967 was named the most accurate chronometer ever tested by the Neûchatel Observatory. It has 134 parts, 19 jewels and boasts a power reserve of 48-hours. Since it was created the 5011 calibre has been entered into many competitions, oscillating at 18,000 vibrations per hour all the while.

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It has a separate mechanism for stopping the seconds hand and syncing the hour and there is even room for shock-absorbers on the balance wheel. And beyond all those features there are details such as linear Côtes de Genève decoration on the rhodium-plated bridges, a notched crown that references antique aviator watches and an antiqued leather strap that is entirely sewn by hand. We adore this watch for breaking away from the norm. It might hark back to timepieces of the past but it does so with plenty of chutzpah, making it WatchPro’s Mechanical Watch of the Year 2012.

To find out more about Watches of the Year and nominate your favourite models of 2013 so far, click here.

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