In the 1960s, Zenith produced 2,500 units of a chronograph watch called the TIPO C-2 for the Italian air force, outfitted with the Zenith Caliber DP 146. With these rare and desirable pilots’ watches now fetching big sums on the vintage-watch market, Zenith has now launched a modern version, faithful to the look and spirit of the original and equipped with the famous El Primero chronograph movement.
The original TIPO CP-2 — also referred to by collectors as the “A. Cairelli” — contained one of Zenith’s most reliable and popular chronograph movement of the time, Caliber 146 DP. In the new model, this manual-winding workhorse has been replaced, and superseded, by the self-winding El Primero 4069, an up-to-date version of the legendary original introduced in 1969. Visible through a clear sapphire caseback, this column-wheel chronograph movement beats at a super-swift frequency of 36,600 vph and provides a power reserve, when fully wound, of 50 hours. It’s composed of no less than 254 components, including 35 jewels and an oscillating weight enhanced with côtes de Genève.
The Zenith Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2 comes with a black calfskin leather strap with protective rubber lining and a stainless steel folding clasp. Limited to 1,000 pieces, it has a retail price of $7,700.