Reflecting how blueprints detail careful calculations of a project, the watch dial is meticulously developed to highlight the “unseen” aspects that go into its creation.
Over a century ago in July 1909, French airplane manufacturer and aviator Louis Bleriot flew the across the English Channel in his Type XI aircraft – making history as one of the pioneers of flight. It was the blueprints of this iconic Aeronef that inspired Zenith, the Swiss watchmaker that has accompanied some of the earliest aviators, in the making of its latest pilot watch.
Dubbed the Pilot Type 20 Blueprint, the idea for the watch came about when the team of Zenith Manufacture came across a blueprint of its historical building. It was reminiscent of that of Bleriot’s Aeronef, which sparked the birth of a watch paying homage to both schemes.
Reflecting how blueprints detail careful calculations and precisely drawn out plans of a project, the watch dial is meticulously developed to highlight the “unseen” aspects that go into its creation. To demonstrate this, the production plans are incorporated onto the dial, taking into consideration the colours, the finish, the shape of the hands and markers, right down to the typography of the numerals.
A matte blue dial with all technical plans and notes used by the dial-maker forms the base, whilst an additional sapphire crystal dial and sapphire crystal layer with the usual markers and logo hover above it. The latter serves to add a deep visual effect, casting a shadow on the base to underscore the unique design.
Staying true to the legacy of the watchmaker’s Pilot line, the Blueprint watch comes with a 45mm oversized steel case finished with a mix of polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The side of the case showcases a screwed plaque bearing the limited edition number of the watch, out of 250 pieces available. It also features a signature oversized “onion” shaped crown that allows the time to be adjusted even while wearing flight gloves.
The Elite manufacture automatic movement powers this wearable pilot instrument, providing a minimum power reserve of 50 hours. Completing the watch is a blue calfskin leather strap that recalls the classic shearling leather flight jacket, with rivets, a titanium pin buckle and a distinctive tab not unlike what one may find on a vintage pilot’s helmet.
For more information, log on to the official Zenith website here.