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Zenith - Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black

With its aged stainless steel case, this column-wheel chronograph combines designer vintage allure with sporty demeanour.

Inspired by the café racer motorcycles, the Ton Up is a watch in which Zenith has taken a pilot’s watch design and combined it with vintage motorcycle racing heritage. Not a historic reissue, but a novel invention in 2016, the Ton Up not only appears to emulate a pilot’s watch that was released some 70 years ago, with its aged steel finish resembling that of a watch after decades of ownership, it actually looks the part!

Despite its biker undertones, the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up is nonetheless – by design – a true pilot’s watch. Sporting a manly 45 mm cunningly aged stainless-steel case, water-resistant to 100 metres, a trendy method of focusing on its vintage appeal and matching the overall design of the watch, the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black is large yet comfortable on the wrist, and stylistically in line with its other Type 20 siblings. Its lineage is also apparent in a number of other key features, including its massive onion-type crown and large pushpieces for easy activation of the chronograph, a useful feature whether or not you’re wearing gloves.

Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black

Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black © Zenith

Like the motorbikes whence comes its name, the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up Black is free of all clutter. Devoid of date or calendar information, the black dial sticks to the bare minimum – in this case the time. Outsize luminous minute and seconds hands (typical of pilot’s watches) offering clear as day legibility make a clean sweep of highly stylized, large as life SuperLumiNova® white Arabic hour-markers, complemented by a two-register chronograph lay-out with a small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and a chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock. All the functions are driven by the in-house El Primero automatic 4069 calibre, operating at 5Hz (36,000b VpH), with a 50-hour power reserve.

The timepiece is worn on a oily nubuck leather strap, exuding a resolutely stealth-biker attitude. For added comfort and longer life, the strap features a protective rubber lining and is finished with contrasting white hand stitching and a titanium buckle.

Similar to previous Pilot watch models with images of vintage biplanes, and in tribute to its name, the aged stainless steel case-back of the Piot Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up watch sports a deep etching of a café racer on his motorcycle. 

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