Watches: Zenith Pilot Aeronef Type 20 Chronograph Annual Calendar Tribute to Russell Westbrook

By Thierry Ané on July 24, 2014

Since the two statement timepieces with a diameter of 57.50 mm in titanium or rose gold launched in 2012, I can safely say that I have liked every single model Zenith presented in the incredible “Pilot Aeronef Type 20” collection. Immediately recognisable with their thick Arabic numerals and onion-shaped crowns, these pilot’s watches have quickly become as iconic as IWC’s Big Pilot models and rank among the most sought-after aviation-inspired timepieces on the market. In my view, part of this amazing success is attributable to the launch of several stunning limited edition models to keep everybody interested. Each model in the collection admirably lends itself to customisation and in just two years Zenith has shown its expertise in this field.

The original oversized model has been interpreted in black for Zegg & Cerlati as well as in sapphire and hand-engraved white gold for the Grand Feu Enamel model. The high-end model in the line, namely the Pilot Aeronef Type 20 Chronograph Tourbillon has also been produced in exciting limited editions: the Tribute to Charles Kingsford Smith and the Pioneers of Aviation. So far, though, the Pilot Aeronef Type 20 GMT has clearly been the model of choice for limited series with the Baron Rouge, the Aviazione Navale, The Wright Brothers 1903 and the Tribute to Charles Kingsford Smith.

To celebrate the arrival of a new ambassador, the American basketball player Russell Westbrook, Zenith has just unveiled a customized version of another great model of the collection: the Pilot Aeronef Type 20 Chronograph Annual Calendar first presented last year in stainless steel or in red gold. This complex timepiece is powered by the self-winding El Primero 4054 calibre. This manufacture movement with Côtes de Genève decorations is equipped with an annual calendar as well as a chronograph function. As you may already know, the annual calendar is a very useful function that calculates odd and even months and also factors in the 31st day of August. Unlike perpetual calendars, though, it does not take into account the additional day in February in leap years. The watch will thus have to be adjusted once a year and the compensation for this minor nuisance is a price point well below that of a perpetual calendar.

The Tribute to Russell Westbrook presents a refined midnight blue dial with the silhouette and signature of the point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder just below the two rectangular apertures for the day of the week and the month located at 3 o’clock. The date can be read in a window at 6 o’clock. The watch features the usual white Arabic numerals painted in SuperLuminova and the central chronograph seconds hand is in the same bright orange as the Russell Westbrook logo. This colour is also used for the tip of the 60-minute chronograph hand in the counter at 6 o’clock and the small seconds hand in the counter at 9 o’clock.

The youthful colour theme of the dial is picked up for the strap of this 48 mm stainless steel watch. Made of midnight blue alligator with contrasting orange stitching, it presents an orange rubber lining and is secured by a large pin buckle in the same material as the case. The back of the watch offers another tribute to this talented basketball player. Indeed, it is engraved with a silhouette of Russell Westbrook in action surrounded by the inscription “Zenith Flying Instruments – Russell Westbrook”. Lastly the left-hand side of the case band is adorned by a stainless steel plaque held by two flame-blued screws baring the inscription “Limited Edition: RW-X/5”.

Indeed, the stunning Tribute to Russel Westbrook timepiece is limited to just 5 pieces making it even more desirable. The first piece of this exclusive edition was gifted to the player during an event held at the West Sunset Boulevard boutique of Westime in Los Angeles. The famous retailer will have the exclusivity of this unique timepiece so anyone interested should contact them very quickly before this timepiece sells out.

For more information please visit the Zenith or Westime web sites.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: