Zenith goes back to an era of spies and air raids for its latest interpretation.
THE STORY OF THE TIPO CP1 CHRONOGRAPH began in the 1950s, when it was standard equipment for pilots of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana and the Marina Militare: the 43mm case clasped over the pilots’ flight suits, providing immediate and secure access to the pushes and bezel; and of course, an unfaltering reliability and perfect legibility.
Fast forward a decade later, the more advanced TIPO CP-2 graced the wrists of the fighters in the Italian Navy and Air Force, and in 1970s, the pilots of the US Lockheed F104 Starfighter aircraft. Like the CP1, the newer version proved to be a determining factor in the precision of missions on which it served. The timepieces rarely left the pilots’ wrists, even when they were no longer on missions, and as such served as a milestone upon which many military models would soon be built.
To this day, these pieces – which are identified by the name of the distributor A. Cairelli – remain one of the most iconic watches in military history and continue to fetch sky-high prices on the vintage market. So to pay tribute to the historic timepiece, Zenith has issued a 1,000-piece limited series of this historic chronograph powered by the monumental Zenith El Primero, which beats to the rhythm of 36,000 vibrations per hour.
Dubbed the Zenith Heritage Chronometro TIPO CP-2, the newest model is loyal to its predecessors with characteristics like high readability even in tough conditions; a bezel that allows for reliable and accurate handling; and accessible and responsive pushers.
One impressive addition, however, was made: the current version brings the convenience of automatic winding with a 50-hour power reserve.
Measuring a daintier 30mm, the modern interpretation runs up to 50 hours and boasts hours and minutes in the centre, a small seconds at 9 o’clock, a central chronograph hand and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.