alexa Zenith | Heritage | Pilot | Café Racer | Baselworld 2016 | HOROBOX

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Hands On: Zenith Heritage Pilot Café Racer


Before we get to our review let’s have some idea about the Café Racer concept which gave the name.

‘’ The Café Racer ‘’ is a streamlined bike with no excessive aspects. It sports a lower rise handlebar, a exquisite body with being set on a high output and durable engine. The Café Racer was created in the mid-20th century, and was seen for the initially on the fresh built motorways of England at the time. Its name comes from the races which the bikers pointed each other when racing from one café to another or making a circle from one of these very cafés while passing the limit of the symbolic 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

Café Racers are born in British alternative culture. They are the symbols of simple style, freedom and power. Zenith managed to put together all those values in its Heritage Pilot Café Racer successfully instead of taking the name only.

Café Racer sports a rather big case with a diameter of 45mm. The case is made of stainless steel but it’s finished with an aging treatment which suits the retro styling perfectly. The case features large and curved pushers for the chronograph which provide the perfect grip at any occasion. The Pilot”s classic onion shaped and oversized crown is present as well.


The crystal is made of sapphire and is slightly domed. It is also AR coated for better visibility.


The titanium solid caseback features an impressive engraving of a classic Café Racer bike and an award in retro appearance.

Café Racer sports a grained, greenish dial with a retro styling. Big Arabic numerals are applied on the dial in a vintage patina lume tone.

The grained and slate gray colored dial sports large luminescent  Arabic numerals and a set of faceted beige SuperLuminova-coated hands, which provide overall perfect readability. The dial features small seconds at 9 o’clock opposite the minute chronograph timer at 3 o’clock in Bi-Compax lay out which complements the retro style nicely. The lack of a date window is also a good choice for a more simple and pure dial design.


The final touch to this classic design is the word "Pilot" inscribed at 6 o’clock and the orange-hued seconds’ numbers, which are discreetly affixed on the small track that runs outside the dial.

The watch is offered on a nubuck strap which fits the sporty and the vintage character of the watch brilliantly. The pin buckle of the strap is also made of titanium.

Similar to the bikes it’s named after, the Heritage Pilot Café Racer is powered with an stunning engine, namely the legendary automatic chronograph Caliber El Primero 4069 with an impressive 50h power reserve. The movement was inspired by the iconic 36000vph El Primero movement from 1969.


Zenith Heritage Pilot Café Racer is surely an interesting timepiece. It combines the classic Pilot Watch concept details in a very nicely finished case with an un-matched biker theme. Instead of a Pilot Watch, I would like to call this beautiful timepiece ‘’a classic biker’s watch’’ as I would rather picture it on a wrist of a Café Racer riding biker than a A-2 bomber jacket wearing pilot.


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