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Zenith Turns Transparent with Its New Pilot Type 20 Watch

The new skeleton timepiece will be limited to only three examples…

Zenith Global CEO Aldo Magada and Westime President Greg Simonian hosted an exclusive dinner in Beverly Hills to reveal a 3-piece limited edition: the Pilot Type 20 Skeleton – Westime Limited Edition.

The transparent watch—housed in a sapphire case—is available exclusively at Westime’s boutiques. Its price is $238,000.

VIP clients who attended the unveiling enjoyed a sapphire-themed night complete with an ice sculpture of the timepiece, dinner underneath a sapphire-lit glass dome, and music performed on a transparent grand piano.

Embodying top-flight craftsmanship and watchmaking techniques, the new Pilot Type 20 Skeleton – Westime Limited Edition raises the legendary Calibre 5011K to the rank of a true masterpiece of ethereal architecture.

This famous pocket-watch movement has been entirely skeletonised in order to reveal the exceptional mechanism, while avoiding any compromise in terms of its resistance and reliability. This construction is ‘airy’ in two key respects. On the one hand, its skeleton-working stems from a particularly demanding and meticulous art performed using the historical bocfil (tiny hacksaw) technique that stems from a tradition of more than 200 years of workmanship. This extremely delicate task consists of engraving and hollowing out the movement by hand with a constant concern for perfect aesthetic and functionality. This is a dizzyingly complex operation, especially given the imposing size of the balance wheel and barrel which exert considerable tensile and traction forces.

On the other hand, the nimble hands of skilled and experienced artisans create an aviation-inspired architectural motif featuring sleek lines evoking aircraft turbines or wings. Its finely curved lines are enhanced by fine sandblasting and hand-finished angles, all revealed through the transparency of the sapphire crystal dial and case-back. Topped by a full sapphire bezel, the 63 mm-diameter case also carved in sapphire provides plenty of scope for an exceptional finish. Its white gold lugs are hand-brushed.


The new Pilot Type 20 Skeleton – Westime Limited Edition watch – displaying all the distinctive identity codes of Zenith aviator watches including a broad ratcheted crown enabling easy adjustment with pilot’s gloves, as well as stylized hours and minutes hands tipped with Superlumivova for night visibility and sweeping over large impeccably legible numerals – is entirely in tune with the DNA of the collection.

At the heart of this breathtakingly ethereal composition, the gold hands as well as the hollowed and solid (at 6 and 12 o’clock) blue numerals display the intricacies and essential functions of the entirely skeleton-worked manual-winding Calibre 5011K. This movement embodies the glorious origins of the 5011 pocket-watch calibre that distinguished itself by its remarkable precision from the 1960s onwards and equipped marine chronometers and pocket watches.

The inherently exclusive Pilot Type 20 Skeleton – Westime Limited Edition is issued in a strictly limited three-piece edition.

Technical Details:


5011K, manual

Calibre: 22“` (Diameter : 50 mm)

Thickness: 10.00 mm

Components: 134

Jewels: 19

Frequency: 18,000 Vph (2.5 Hz)

Power-reserve: min. 48 Hours


Hours and minutes in the centre

Small seconds at 9 o’clock

Power-reserve indication at 3 o’clock

Case, Dial & Hands

Material: Sapphire with sapphire bezel

Hand brushed white gold lugs and crown

Diameter: 63 mm

Opening diameter: 47.00 mm

Thickness: 18.50 mm

Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective

treatment on both sides

Case-back: Transparent sapphire crystal

Water-resistance: 3 ATM

Dial: Sapphire

Hour-markers: Blue transferred Arabic numerals

Hands: Blue gold tipped with SuperLuminova

Strap & Buckle

Black alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining

White gold pin buckle

Reference: 04.2423.5011/78.C714

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