Hands-On Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up Review

Hands-On Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up Review

El Primero – Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up

Zenith is one of those brands you can scarcely turn out badly with. Regardless of whether it is vintage or a watch from their cutting edge assortment, there is a lot to browse. Why? Straightforward. The El Primero development. It was one of the primary programmed chronograph developments available in 1969. A solid competition was going on some time ago between Seiko, Zenith and a joint-adventure of Breitling, Büren and Heuer. Each of the three companies concocted another self-winding chronograph development. Over 50 years after the fact, the Zenith El Primero is the last one remaining from those three ‘firsts’. The Zenith El Primero development is as yet underway and furthermore being utilized in the new Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up watch.


That’s a bizarre name to be sure. You need to realize that the name of this watch was distinctive when it was presented in Basel, recently. Zenith presented it as the Pilot “Café Racer” however renamed it later on to Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up.

The “café racer” is essentially a stripped cruiser to drop all the pointless weight and parts to acquire speed. It depends on this culture by rockers, flaunting their quick bikes during social events and gatherings. The objective of these racers was to arrive at 100 miles each hour (160km/h). Beginning at a bistro, rush to a particular area and come back to the beginning spot. On the off chance that conceivable, before a solitary stone melody could play on the Wurlitzer. Ton-up basically alludes to the 100 miles 60 minutes, that a bistro racer must have the option to accomplish (at least).

A present day bistro racer dependent on a BMW fighter by Kevils Speedshop.

The Pilot

The Zenith Pilot Watch depends on a watch from their heritage. What’s more, maybe I ought not investigate these sort of things to an extreme, yet there is little relationship between a pilot’s watch and bistro racers or ‘ton-ups’. I should accept it as it is I surmise, and simply acknowledge the way that they took a pilot’s watch as a reason for a watch to commemorate this bike culture. Eventually, you could say that a portion of these ton-ups are pilots as well.

A Closer Look At The Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up

Enough with all the foundation data. We need to take a gander at the watch. The Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up is – by plan – a genuine pilot’s watch. Enormous case diameter of 45mm and an entirely lucid dial, with huge Arabic numerals. Another run of the mill pilot’s watch highlight are those enormous and brilliant hands. Quite possibly the main prerequisites for a pilot’s watch was the crown. It ought to be enormous, simple to get a handle on with your gloves on. Zenith figured out how to do every one of these things effectively. What’s more, in style. Beside the Ton-up reference, this watch is very much planned and all around constructed. Regardless of whether you like the connection Zenith makes with a specific way of life or not, this watch is hard to be negative about. Incredible plan, clear utilization of Zenith’s heritage and – obviously – the motor that never stops.

El Primero Chronograph Movement

As you can see this Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up has a two register chronograph spread out. A little seconds dial at 9 o’clock and a chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock. As you are most likely mindful, the ‘original’ El Primero development has a three register dial spread out, with sub dials at 3, 9 and 6 o’clock. The exemplary chronograph spread out that is adored by many. Anyway, is this a totally new evolved development? No, it is unquestionably founded on the first El Primero development and in the event that you take a gander at the blue prints that are appeared on the Zenith site for each model, they are very much like in plan and development. That is likewise the force of the El Primero, that Zenith was so enthusiastic about to advise us during our visit to the manufacture  in 2014.

As you can tell from the photographs we took of the watch, the Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up likewise does not have a date. This, and having two rather than three sub dials has an effect of around 72 sections in the development. This is, type 4069 of the Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up compared to the more exemplary plan Zenith El Primero type 400B development. The details of the development (measurements, high-beat 36000vph and a force save of 50 hours) stays as before. Activity on the pushers feels wonderful as consistently with these segment wheel El Primero movements.

Aged Casing

As Zenith calls it, the tempered steel case is ‘aged’. It gives the Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up this vintage look & feel to it. Like the bronze Oris Carl Brashear that I assessed yesterday, the material (treated steel for this situation) has this little layer on top of it. Call it patina, or whatever Zenith did to it, however it gives the watch this utilized and worn look. Positively, that is. You will likewise come across this appearance on the metal pieces of engines.

With a breadth of 45mm, the thickness of the case is ‘just’ 14.25mm. This used to be very thick, yet for current guidelines I would say it is very humble. Particularly for a major watch like this Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up with immense crown and huge pushers.

The crown and pushers are done pleasantly and have this ribbed construction to it. Again it helps me to remember motor parts, from a plane, vehicle or bike. These parts additionally went through this ‘aging’ so it coordinates impeccably with the case. The carries of the watch are twist downwards rather steeply, yet this will guarantee that you will pull off a 45mm case rather easy.


The caseback of the Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up is made of titanium. Light-weight and solid material, that will remove a portion of the greatness of a huge watch this way. The watch we have here has the first etching, as it was during the presentation of the watch bearing the old name. The excellent etching shows a bistro racer and the Zenith shield. In the bezel of the caseback a couple of numbers are engraved like the reference and the sequential number.

Would I rather have had the option to take a gander at the development? Its an obvious fact that I am not an enthusiast of showing all developments for it, without needing to seem like a watch big talker. I don’t care much about a norm off-the-rack ETA or Sellita development, I accept they are workhorses. However, this El Primero is something else. I generally love to investigate those. Maybe an engraved caseback with a pivot would be awesome, permitting me to appreciate the development at whatever point I need, without losing this excellent show-stopper on the back.

Dial and Hands

I previously referenced the dial and hands previously, however I can’t stress sufficient that it is truly progressed nicely. The shading plan just as the state of the gives, everything coordinates. The dial has this record dim tone with a grained design and the Arabic hour markers are printed with this Super-LumiNova material in a decent beige tone. It gives the watch this vintage look, without a doubt. Where I am very little for that commonplace orange-like shading that a few brands use to make fake patina, Zenith did it more unassuming (and fitting) with this beige color. A similar SL has been utilized for the hands of the watch. “Pilot” is imprinted in an orange tone directly over the 6 o’clock marker. Between cites as the name is ensured by another brand.

The minute track is imprinted in a shading that coordinates the remainder of the printing impeccably, with a touch of orange each ‘5 minutes’. The moment and second hand are sufficiently long, so they consummately utilize the outside track.


A vintage looking lash, with lines coordinating the dial tones, is conveyed with this Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up. Zenith utilized this green slick nubuck cowhide lash which has an elastic covering. This coating broadens the existence of the tie radically, as sweat and dampness will in the long run destruct your calfskin tie. The elastic covering will keep this from occurring. Appended to the tie is a titanium pin clasp, to keep your Zenith in place.

Availability and Price

This watch is definitely not a restricted version, however I keep thinking about whether you will see it frequently. It is a watch that you need to ‘dare’ wearing as I would see it. Surely not for everybody, but rather Zenith has enough different watches to keep you occupied. This Zenith Heritage Pilot Ton-up reference 11.2430.4069/21.C773 has a rundown cost of €7500 Euro, including taxes.

For this, you will get an all around planned and built chronograph watch with pilot watch attaches and a wink to the bistro racer culture. Despite the fact that Zenith hazards that a portion of the intended interest group rather put their cash in their bicycles, it is an extremely intriguing and cool recognition for this cruiser culture.

The picture of the BMW bistro racer was utilized from , they have a stunning choice of Cafe Racers, Scramblers, Trackers, Brats and Bobbers.

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