Infused with the “Café Racer” spirit, this new model from Zenith’s Pilot collection boasts a 45 mm-diameter aged steel case that houses the legendary automatic El Primero 4069 chronograph movement and displays a vintage dial boasting perfect readability.
The Heritage Pilot Café Racer is inspired by the ‘Café Racer’ bikers movement born in England in the 1920s. Its young, rebellious fans wanted a motorcycle that was both fast (up to 160km/h) and customised, enabling them to ride from café to café on the British motorways. They therefore stripped their bikes of anything they deemed superfluous and prepared the engine to reach maximum power. Their one-seaters with their low-slung handlebars took on a rough and ready, pared-down and utilitarian appearance.
The new Zenith creation evokes these bikes and their strong character symbolising speed, originality and freedom. Its imposing aged steel case and its original pilot’s watch attributes – large oversized luminescent Arabic numerals and a wide fluted screw-lock crown – take on a vintage character. The slate grey dial with a grained motif is punctuated by two counters and topped by a domed sapphire crystal. The facetted hands and numerals with their beige luminescent coating stand out clearly against the dial background, while the solid titanium back of the case, water-resistant to 100 metres, is engraved with the inscription “Café Racer Spirit”.
Stemming from a legendary line of movements (the world’s most accurate chronograph calibre developed by Zenith in 1969), the automatic El Primero Calibre 4069 which beats at the impressive speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour, powers a tenth of a second chronograph display.
It drives central hours and minutes hands, small seconds at 9 o’clock alongside the chronograph functions, while delivering an over 50-hour power reserve. Setting the final touch, an oily nubuck rubber-lined wristband, fitted with a titanium pin buckle, accentuates the authentic nature of this watch intended for fans of fine mechanics and wide-open spaces.
Movement El Primero 4069, Automatic
Calibre 13¼“` (Diameter: 30 mm)
Thickness: 6.60 mm
Frequency: 36,000 VpH (5 Hz)
Power-reserve: min. 50 hours
Finishes: Oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” motif
Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
– Central chronograph hand
– 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
Aged stainless steel
Diameter: 45 mm
Opening diameter: 37.80 mm
Thickness: 14.25 mm
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Case-back: Titanium case-back with Café Racer
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
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
Green oily nubuck leather strap with protective rubber lining
Titanium pin buckle