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The 2012 Big Pilot Special vs. 2011 Pilot

Greetings from Baselworld! Yesterday was Topper's Zenith apointment, and the good news from a collector perspective is that the press release was much more comprehensive than in previous years. Rather than consisting of a few CAD drawings with specs, the pieces shown were almost all production pieces and the press kits feature high resolution shots from multiple angles. Over the next few days, I will do a series of posts featuring press release photos and booth shots and impressions.

Below are some of Zenith's press photos of the watch.











This piece replaces last year's sucessful Pilot watch and can either be purchased on bracelet or a strap option. The big Pilot Special is similar to last year's style with a few key differences. The first and most obvious is that the stick markers have been replaced with Arabic, a grand date complication has been introduced, and while the watch retains the 42mm diameter the watch is considerably thicker to accommodate the grand date complication. Below are some booth photos of the watch from my appointment.


One can see the 2012 pilot is a few mm thicker than the 2011 version. (though the perspective of the photo makes it look a little more dramatic than the difference really is)


The Big Pilot Special's leather strap (left) has a more of a vintage texture than the 2011 model's strap (right)




A close-up of the vintage brown leather strap.



Another view of the case back.





The tang buckle is high polish and appears to be the same buckle as appeared on last year's strap.



The watch on my 7 inch wrist with the Milanese bracelet





Another view of the Milanese bracelet.


Though Zenith's press kit has made dial shots less relevant than previous years, here are booth shots of the dial for comparison, and to see if any details are different than the press photos.









Here is the full Zenith PDF on all of the 2012 pilot watches. There are more posts like this in the works!
http://dev2.topperjewelers.com/pilotspecial/captainnd.pdf
 

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Thank you for the excellent Baselworld update Rob! Look forward to similar posts for the other new models.
 

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Thanks Rob. This is one of the more pleasing JFD watches so far- thanks to the movement- no chance of overlap, no date at 6, no other odd design quirks.
 

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Excellent photos Rob, this is the best presentation of the watch I have seen to date. I am eager to see the rest of your pix.
 

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I much prefer that one to the older version - the arabic numerals make it look a little more "authentic" as a Pilot's watch and the large date is nice. I don't think that the milanaise band works well with it, though, I would prefer a leather strap.....

Hartmut Richter
 

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Question: What do all the numbers on the outside of the dial represent? The Telemeter area? Are these more for show?

It's a very nice looking watch.
 

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The Telemeter allows a calculation of distance based on the speed of sound. For example, how far a thunderstorm can be determined by the time lapse between seeing lightning and hearing thunder.

Does anyone else here have this watch yet? I want some company. :)
 
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