In the late 1950s, the Italian Armed Forces wanted to update the Tipo CP1 chronograph, which is standard on the Air Force and Navy. The technical specifications require the watch to be perfectly legible, with a diameter of 43 mm, which meets the needs of pilots wearing flight suits. The buttons and bezel are safe and convenient to operate, and the timing function is accurate and reliable.
The Italian armed forces chose Zenith and its Calibre 146DP manual winding movement. Calibre146DP was one of the most famous and reliable movements at the time. The watch driven by it was named TIPOCP-2 by the Italian Air Force. Worn by the famous Lockheed F-104 Battlestar pilot, these timepieces became an important extension of the on-board instruments installed in the cockpit. Pilots love these watches so much that they wear them even if they are not performing official duties.
In recent years, Zenith’s 2,500 watches for the Italian Armed Forces have repeatedly hit high prices in the antique market. In commemoration of this legendary timepiece, Zenith has adhered to the original spirit and design and launched a modern version: HeritageCronometroTIPOCP-2 (No. 03.2240.4069 / 21.C774), limited to 1,000 pieces.
The case of the new chronograph is made of stainless steel and also has a diameter of 43 mm. It is equipped with an ElPrimero 4069 self-winding movement with a frequency of 36,000 times / hour (5 Hz). Chronograph seconds and 30-minute timekeeping (3 o’clock position) function. Fully respecting the spirit and characteristics of the predecessor, the new chronograph also provides a 50-hour power reserve for easy application. The oscillating weight is decorated with a ‘Geneva Ripple’ pattern.
The dial is black, and the faceted hands are rhodium-plated and coated with a SuperLuminova SLNC1 fluorescent layer to ensure perfect readability even under harsh conditions. Arabic numerals are also coated with SuperLuminovaSLNC1 fluorescent layer. The bezel and buttons are sensitive and convenient, ensuring precise and reliable operation, and impeccably follow a series of technical specifications proposed by the army.
The watch features a double-sided anti-glare arched sapphire crystal, a black calfskin strap (rubber-lined), and a stainless steel three-fold clasp. Photo / text watch home Xu Chaoyang)