Zenith Pilot models are well known and loved. This new model has nothing to do with its aviation history. The Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer is inspired by the “Cafe Racer” bikers movement born in England in the 1960s.
Their are some different stories around about what a “Cafe Racer” really is. It were either guys just showing off their bikes at local pubs, bikers taking each other head on during a selected record on the pubs jukebox. The first one to hit the magic 100 mph being the king of the day. But most likely it were bikers riding from cafe to cafe on their heavily adjusted bikes. The goal was to reach the ton or 100 mph mark. The bike were almost stripped and upgraded technically to the fullest to achieve this goal. It all fits the rugged style of the bikers of that era.
Its this rugged look which inspired the designers of Zenith for the Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer.
The aged steel case is big with its 45 mm, but because of the large sapphire it looks smaller. The case has a rough finish with some nice patina on it. The big Crown situated on the 3 o’clock is iconic for the Pilot series of Zenith. It has a lot of depth to it because of its finish. The pushers for the Chronograph are well designed fitting the theme of the watch. Regular pushers wouldnt have done the job like these.
The lugs are in perfect harmony with the case. They fit the no nonsense case and keep the strap right their on the wrist during those rough rides.
The back case is fully decorated with brands hallmark and a “Cafe Racer” in action. Its made out of Titanium and is bolted down to the case body with six screws. Keeping the movement safe of dust and water up to 10 ATM, 100 m.
A dial that fits the case perfect in design, finish and material. The big Arabic numerals with SuperLuminova SLN GL beige fit the bigness of the watch. The almost medieval styled hands complement the numerals. The hands are brushed giving them the perfect finish to blend into the complete design.
The chronograph hands are a bit more subtle compared to the main hands. But by giving them a different design they almost seem to blend into the master dial. The background colour of the smaller dials is a touch darker giving the complete dial set up an extra layer. The small seconds are at 9 o’clock, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock and a central chronograph hand.
The worlds most accurate chronograph movement is the burning heart of this watch. The automatic El Primero Calibre 4069 is one that needs no further introduction. It is well known in the world of chronographs, ticking away at 5 HZ, 36000 VpH, making it very accurate. Together with a power reserve of over 50 hours its the perfect engine for this watch.
Well it shows time by some very impressive hands. Even at night it wont be a problem, because of the excessive presence of SuperLuminova. Besides being your timeguide it will also give you the exact timing between the two cafes you and your buddies will be racing between. Measuring this with one of the most accurate chronographs out their.
Strap and buckle
The strap is made of an oily nubuck rubber-lined. Its almost seems to be cut out of ones old motor jacket or boot. Completed with a titanium pin buckle. Perfect match!!
The thing with Pilot watches is, just like pickles, you either love them of hate them. We are fans of the Zenith Pilot watches. They are big, most of the time seem to big to even wear, but giving them some wrist time this first thought is gone. The finishing/patina of the watch looks great, although it is of course not one of a natural origin….we buy it.
The combination of case and strap is perfect. It will look good with an suit and also under that leather jacket when you go for that first ride after a long week of work……we can see it work!!
|Movement||Movement El Primero 4069, Automatic|
|Oscillator||36,000 VpH (5 Hz)|
|Power reserve||min. 50 hours|
|Functions||Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
– Central chronograph hand
– 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
|Finishes:||Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” motif|
|Movement dimensions||Diameter: 30 millimetres; height: 6.6 millimetres|
|Crystal||Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective
treatment on both sides
|Case||Aged stainless steel|
|Case Back||Titanium case-back with Café Racer
|Case dimensions||Diameter: 45 millimetres; height: 14,25 millimetres|
|Water resistance||10 ATM|
|Dial||Slate-grey toned with grained pattern|
|Hour Markers||Arabic numerals with SuperLuminova SLN GL beige|
|Hands||Black ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with
SuperLuminova SLN GL beige
|Strap||Green oily nubuck leather strap with protective rubber lining|
|Buckle||Titanium pin buckle|