The relationship between Zenith and aviation is long-standing. In fact, it stretches back longer than many watch brands have been in existence. It finds its genesis in 1909. The year French aviator Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel. Strapped to his wrist was a Zenith watch.
Simple in its design, the watch was distinctive nonetheless. It featured a chrome-plated case with fixed lugs. A black enamel dial with Arabic numerals. Cathedral-style hands. And a large onion-shaped crown. The word “Special” appeared above the seconds sub-dial at six o’clock.
A later a more rare centre seconds version appeared in the 1930s and was used by the German military air division.