Author Topic: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"  (Read 4887 times)

Offline hanz079

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Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« on: September 24, 2014, 11:33:17 AM »
Well, this one came really quick after the Rainbow acquisition.
But really... What makes me think that I stand a chance?



It's the Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 "Extra Special"
Some might remember the 1st Montre D'Aeronef Type 20 watch released by Zenith in year 2012 is housed in a monstrous 57.5mm case powered by a vintage pocketwatch movement caliber 5011 which is equally big at 50mm.
It's of course a very impressive watch aimed at collectors and purists.

A year later, a full fledge of Type 20 pilots were released ranging from 40mm to 48mm.
I was initially interested in the 40mm Type 20 powered by Zenith's in-house Elite movement but it fits just a tad small.
The 48mm Type 20 GMT's on the other hand... fits just slightly too big...

This year, Zenith release another bigger Type 20 in a 60mm sapphire case. A truly haute horology piece called the "Grand Feu"

The type 20 I was interested in is the Type 20 "Extra Special" which was released a little too quietly. And after some digging.
I found out the watch was powered by a common but reliable 2892 clone Sellita SW300.

Well well well... Zenith... A true blue manufacture choosing to go the route of using outsourced movements.
Much of the online community and Zenith purists cried foul.

Me on the other hand, reserved judgement until seeing a piece in the flesh.
And after seeing one at my local AD, you guys can guess by now how it went.



There is now way I could resist something like this.
Clean dial. Huge numerals. Central sweeping seconds hands.
No numerals are cut off. No messy subdials.
Big visible hands with plenty of lume.
Just pure and unadultered. Just the way a pilot watch should be.
Designed is of course inspired by the Zenith Pilot watches of old.



The solid caseback is no less yummy.
Beautifully executed.
The other models powered by the in-house elite calibers are also fitted with solid casebacks with similar engravings.
So, do I mind that a non in-house movement makes this watch tick?
Absolutely not... provided it is reliable, easily serviceable, ample parts availability and provides good timekeeping.



The side profile of the case measuring 45mm.
To me, this is the perfect size for this watch.
A plaque with the "HB-0607" engravings is just a random number.
Do not mistaken this piece as a limited edition piece.
"HB" is the Swiss Civil Aviation Registration Code.
The four numbers could be the serial number though I have heard that it's completely random.



An oversized screwed down onion crown.
This really completes the overall vintage look of the watch.
Smooth, easy to handle and operate.



Another area that is vintage inspired is the lugs.
The screws I believe is to unscrew to remove the lugs.
The lugs extended only for the fitting of a springbar.
I would have preferred if they follow the 48mm brother which lugs is extended all the way into the strap holes.
No big deal but I just think it's a worthy mention.



The case itself is beautifully made.
Brushed sides.
The inherent Zenith quality is presented in oodles.



One thing I really like about the numerals is they are not painted on the dial, it's applied.
The numerals are fabricated from solid blocks of luminova and enclosed by black accents.
The rainbow also features such numerals.
Based on my limited knowledge, the only other watch that uses such fabricated numerals is the Peter Speake Marin Spirit MkII... correct me if I am wrong.



Also the applied Zenith star on the dial with the relevant printing.
All crisp and clear.



Another worthy mention is that Zenith actually trademarked the term "Pilot" on watch dials and that is the reason why other manufacturers' so called pilot watches does not have the word "Pilot" on the dial.
Zenith on the other hand are allowed to display it proudly on their dial.
I am sure in the coming years, the moniker of "Extra Special" will be made fun of and criticized to no end.
So I am not going into it.



Although the size is only shy of 0.5mm compared to the Rainbow, it feels worlds apart. It feels instantly at home on my wrist.

Regarding the criticism of Zenith using outsource movements, yes it's abit disheartening to hear that a true "Manufacture" suddenly resorts to using outsourced movements.
The purists and romantics are appalled at the decision.
As for me, I do understand why they are doing it.
They are running a business after all.
I sometimes wonder, do those who criticize actually owned an elite powered Zenith or any Zenith at all for that matter?
Because if the elite is such a huge seller moving tons of watches I year, I doubt the decision to use outsource movements will be made.

To most, Elite is just "another" Zenith movement.
Forever shadowed by the El Primero.
So, it does make sense to lower costs and use outsource movements and being able to offer Zenith watches at a lower price point... with the hope that these customers would one day upgrade.

But, after having spoke to Mr.Hugo Escude (Brand Director SEA), according to him, the new CEO Mr. Aldo Magada have decided to make 180 degree turn to stop production of Zenith watches using sellita movements.

A "New" Type 20 Pilot "might" be announced at Baselworld 2015 probably using the same case at 45mm with some tweaks particularly with the movement.
Surely powered by the Elite Caliber.
And of course, the prices would reflect that.

So I wait... to those who criticize... will they jump in and buy when this watch is using an Elite movement?
Or do they just criticize for the sake of it?

Either way, I don't really care... Because I have made my choice.
Terrenceterrence "seriously, i think buying a watch for it's secondhand value is like getting married and thinking about divorce at the back of your mind."


watchionable.blogspot.com

Offline CKL1213

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 11:49:33 AM »
VIP list hahaha

Offline davidtth

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 12:20:36 PM »
great review hanz the Zenith king

been eyeing on this for quite sometime ! really affordable big pilot watch from famous pilot watch maker company, i was told that not every single watch can have the wording of PILOT on the dial but only Zenith by far, not sure how true but surely something unique compare to most of pilot watch out there

45mm is perfect size for today trendy look, one thing i love is build-in "easy maintain" movement which i like it best for long run :p Extra special is another nice wording to empower the whole watch looks

but hack i end up with something else...   :/

Offline rainbowfix

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »
Excellent looking Piece! Has a good "vintage" look... Looks like Zenith is heading to the right direction again...

Offline hanz079

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 03:27:29 PM »
great review hanz the Zenith king

been eyeing on this for quite sometime ! really affordable big pilot watch from famous pilot watch maker company, i was told that not every single watch can have the wording of PILOT on the dial but only Zenith by far, not sure how true but surely something unique compare to most of pilot watch out there

45mm is perfect size for today trendy look, one thing i love is build-in "easy maintain" movement which i like it best for long run :p Extra special is another nice wording to empower the whole watch looks

but hack i end up with something else...   :/

Yes it's correct.
Only Zenith is allowed to use the word "Pilot" on the dial.
Terrenceterrence "seriously, i think buying a watch for it's secondhand value is like getting married and thinking about divorce at the back of your mind."


watchionable.blogspot.com

Offline swleong

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 08:39:41 PM »
Nice watch and good review bro Hanz  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I actually think sub dial will look fantastic with this size and also more true to the original (sub dial at 6 o'clock if not mistaken)

nevertheless, this series will be a modern classic and  welcome to the Pilot family!

Offline chrisyen

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 10:31:25 PM »
Congrats ! Zenith loyalist

Why a Extra Special?


Offline Yikkie

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 07:17:24 AM »
This watch will indeed be "extra special" as it is the only Zenith watch with a Sellita movement.  Could be a collectors item now that it has been discontinued.  :). 45mm is indeed the perfect size for the Montre.  It doesn't wear as big as the size suggests due to the very short and curved in lugs.  Wear in good health bro! 

Offline watzisname

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 09:00:50 AM »
Awesome purchase and awesome Zenith collection hanz. Really serves as a benchmark collection for us wannabe Zenith collectors :Dancing_banana:

Offline banqk2

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 10:05:58 AM »
This also another stunning Pilot watch from Zenith - nice looking watch at an affordable price point!

Offline MY1

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 03:28:20 PM »
I like the bronze case more.

Offline RichGoD

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Re: Zenith Montre D'Aeronef Type-20 "Extra Special"
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 11:14:32 PM »
my next target watch :Startled: