ZENITH: a vintage air

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback

CASE: bronze, transparent sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant to 100m, bidirectional rotating bezel in bronze with a black inlay

SIZE: 43 x 12.85mm

MOVEMENT: mechanical self-winding, El Primero Caliber 405B, column wheel, 254 components, 5Hz

FUNCTIONS: hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph

DIAL: finely grained chestnut brown

STRAP: chestnut brown oily leather with titanium pin buckle

Between the mid-1960s and 1970, Zenith supplied cronometri da polso to the Italian armed forces. These two-counter chronographs with rotating bezels were distributed by A. Cairelli of Rome. These various features have jointly given rise to the name of the latest re-edition of these military watches : the Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback models are nicknamed Cairelli by connoisseurs of vintage timepieces. The bronze version featured here is the third series re-issued by Zenith. The first was steel and black, the second is in aged steel, but the bronze variation is undoubtedly the one packed with the most retro design codes. First of all, it is made from a living material that evolves and acquires a distinctive patina. Secondly, its finely grained chestnut brown dial not only matches the case, but also recalls the kind of watch faces forged by sunshine and humidity much beloved by collectors, the so-called ‘tropical’ dials. Finally, it is very much a Zenith, with an El Primero chronograph movement appearing in its flyback version, a complication invariably reserved for pilot’s watches.

Journaliste expert en horlogerie et correspondant régulier de WorldTempus, David alimente notre rubrique technique.

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