Zenith unveils new Pilot watches & fans are going to love them

Zenith refreshes popular Pilot collection with the Pilot Automatic & Pilot Big Date Playback

Zenith Pilot launch at Watches and Wonders 2023
(Image credit: Zenith)

Zenith has updated and expanded its popular Pilot collection with four new models added to the range. This new generation of Zenith’s Pilot collection has given the brand's long-standing line a refresh and we think fans are going to love the new Pilot models.

It’s only day one of Watches and Wonders, and there have been so many new novelties unveiled already, including TAG Heuer’s Carrera collection, new additions to the Tudor Black Bay family and a new Rolex Daytona. Not one to be left out, Zenith has debuted its new additions to its ever growing Pilot line: the Pilot Automatic and the Pilot Big Date Playback.

The new Pilot Automatic and the Pilot Big Date Playback move away from the vintage aesthetic that the Zenith Pilot collection has become known for over the years. Instead, the new Pilot novelties draw inspiration from “the entire span of aviation – past and present”, and have been refreshed with a more contemporary design but still keeping the essential features of previous Pilot watches.

The Zenith Pilot Automatic is the “template for the new generation of Zenith Pilot watches”, with its new silhouette and case design. The 40mm case has a distinct flat-top round bezel fixed on top of the round case, and the oversized crown which is synonymous with Pilot watches, has taken on a more modern and angular form.

Zenith Pilot Automatic

(Image credit: Zenith)

The Pilot Automatic is powered by the El Primero 3620 high-frequency manufacture movement which can be seen through the sapphire display back. This winding mechanism delivers 60 hours of power reserve when fully wound.

The black opaline dial of the Pilot Automatic mimics the look of metal sheets and features oversized Arabic numerals that are filled with white Super-LumiNova, the same as the watch hands. This gives a stark contrast to the darkness of the watch face and brings out the bold font of the numbers.

At 6 o’clock, the Pilot Automatic has a date window that sits underneath a thick white line or a luminescent hour marker. This design recalls the artificial horizon instrument in planes and is designed to help the wearer understand the orientation of the watch better, even when on the go.

The Pilot Automatic is available in steel and black ceramic versions. The steel version is complete with satin-brushed surfaces and polished chamfers, whereas the black ceramic version has been microblasted for a matte finish. Both designs are striking and have multiple strap options available to them, including rubber and leather straps in black, brown and khaki colours.

Zenith Pilot Automatic

(Image credit: Zenith)

Moving on to the Zenith Pilot Big Date Playback, the new chronograph option in the Pilot collection. The 42.5mm Pilot Big Date Playback is powered by the new El Primero 3652 automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre movement. The new mechanism features the big date and flyback functions and comes with 60 hours of power reserve. The El Primero chronograph calibre can also be seen through the display back on the watch.

Similar to the Pilot Automatic, the Pilot Big Date Playback has an easy-to-read modern face with its black and white contrasting elements, including the hands and numerals. The chronograph’s minutes totalizer has alternating colours to help distinguish between the five-minute marks and these accents make the Pilot Big Date Playback so exciting to look at.

The Pilot Big Date Playback is available in steel or black ceramic finishes and with black, brown or khaki straps to choose from.

Zenith Pilot Big Date Playback

(Image credit: Zenith)

These modern updates to the Pilot collection are sure to have fans of the original Pilots excited. The overall design and finish of the watches are modern, contemporary and striking, but they still hark back to the essential style and features that made this line from Zenith so popular in the first place.

Depending on the colourway or finish that you choose, the Pilot Automatic starts at £6,700 (steel) and the Big Date Playback starts at £10,100 (steel) on the Zenith website.

Want to stay up-to-date with Watches and Wonders 2023? Take a look at our Watches and Wonders live blog.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations!


Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!