Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback Review

Let’s review a vintage-spirited collection of Zenith’s military watches, a remake of a 1960s model with a famous Flyback chronograph movement powering it.

 Zenith is one of those brands that know how to do vintage-inspired watches, and just like the watch that we are reviewing today, many of these are found in their Pilot collection.

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback Review

Contrary to most of Zenith’s current Pilot watches which have large, very distinct-looking vintage-inspired winding crowns, this collection was a remake of a 1960s collection wherein thousands were used for the Italian military. They have a more modern crown which gives a twist to a typical vintage military watch.

This collection was designed to have that gritty distressed look that complements that rugged military lifestyle. This can be seen with the raw-hide nubuck leather strap and the hefty 43mm stainless steel case which has an aged finish. The case is 12.5mm thick and has a 51mm lug-to-lug distance. In addition to the aged look of the case, the chronograph pushers and winding crown are darkened to further simulate the aged appearance. In fact, the only indication that this is really a new watch would be on the clasp which is a brushed pin buckle-style clasp. 

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP 2 Flyback Dial

Just the thought of getting a new watch that intentionally looks like an older watch baffles me, but I can certainly see why it is so appealing. It really does have a lot of charm. The dial has excellent visibility in low light conditions with luminous material (Superluminova) filling the pencil-shaped hour and minutes hand, the arrow-shaped large central chronograph seconds hand, as well as the Arabic numerals. Like most pilot's watches do, the bezel rotates in both directions without any loud clicking sounds as diving bezels normally have.  Furthermore, the bezel is non-ceramic and made of aluminum material. 

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP 2 Flyback Luminescent Dial

The numerals are only found between the 10 to 2 o’clock and 4 to 8 o’clock positions. 3 and 9 o’clock are missing to accommodate the larger than average chronograph sub-register and small running seconds sub-dial. The chronograph has a Flyback function which allows you to instantly restart the chronograph without having to start, stop, and reset it.

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP 2 Flyback Pushers and Crown

This Zenith Pilot Chronograph is powered by the famous El Primero movement, a high-beat (5Hz) movement with 254 components that beats at 36,000 VPH. The Caliber 405 is a 31-jewel self-winding (automatic) movement with an approximate power reserve of 50 hours.

The weighted automatic winding rotor is finished with Geneva stripes and some special engraving that includes the words ‘Zenith El Primero’, ‘Manufacture Le Locle’, the Zenith Star, and the words ‘Swiss Made’. Other plate surfaces use Perlage which is a circular brushed pattern. Together, these make the movement stand out by looking brilliant while surrounded by good old vintage grit.

Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP 2 Flyback Caliber 405

This collection has 3 watches which include one limited and numbered. The one depicted in this review is model # 11.2240.405/21.c773 and comes on a green/grey strap with a slate grey dial and an aged stainless- steel case.

Another model is 29.2240.405/18.c801 which has a bronze case and pushers, rose gold-toned hands, bronze grained dial, and sub-dials and comes on a brown calfskin (nubuck) leather strap.

The USA Edition is limited to 50 pieces and has a blue dial, a blue nubuck leather strap with red and white stitching. The U.S. Edition has reference # 03.2241.405/51.c915 was created for the Wounded Warrior Project which is a veteran's Charity for wounded American veterans and active duty service members. Some of the proceeds go towards helping this charitable organization. This model doesn’t exactly scream “Captain America watch” unless you turn it over and look at the very American rotor. Even so, the Zenith Star does look like a patriotic American symbol. This model the one that costs a bit more than the rest in the collection but offers some serious exclusivity in return with only 50 units made.

For discounted pricing on any of the models in this collection, use the button below to browse the different available models.

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