In recent years, the 2,500 units produced by Zenith in the 1960s for the Italian armed forces have been fetching sky-high prices on the vintage market. The iconic TIPO CP-2 is one of the historical treasures of the Manufacture in Le Locle. To celebrate this legendary timepiece, Zenith is launching a modern version entirely in tune with the spirit and design of the original: introducing the Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2, the latest addition to the Heritage collection.
The history of the Manufacture Zenith harbours priceless treasures composed of fabled models that have shaped the history of watchmaking. From the early 1960s onwards, the Italian military chose Zenith to equip the pilots of its Navy and Air Force. The Rome-based distributor “A. Cairelli” handled delivery of the 2,500 chronographs that were still being worn by pilots of the U.S. Lockheed F104 Starfighter aircraft in the late 1970s to the Marina Militare and the Aeronautica Militare Italiana.
The military chronograph code-named TIPO CP-2 featured two counters in its initial version and its 43 mm diameter ensured a degree of legibility that was essential for pilots. The Zenith Calibre DP 146 powering this top-flight instrument was a token of reliability that proved a determining factor in the precision of the missions on which it served. An eminently useful piece of back-up equipment complementing the onboard instruments installed in the cockpit, the Zenith chronograph rarely left pilots’ wrists, even when they were not on missions, thus exemplifying the powerful ties between each wearer and his timepiece.
The Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2 was universally appreciated by its users and once again demonstrated Zenith’s expertise in mastering time measurement. From the early 20th century onwards, a number of different armed forces entrusted Zenith with equipping their military with models meeting their demanding technical specifications in terms of reliability, indications, readability, as well as their robustness in every situation.
In light of aficionados’ tireless enthusiasm for this exceptional timepiece, the Manufacture Zenith is issuing a new 1,000-piece limited series of its historic chronograph. This time around it has the most iconic movement of them all: the famous Zenith El Primero, another history-maker beating to the rhythm of 36,000 vibrations per hour. Entirely respectful of its predecessor’s spirit and characteristics, this new version of the chronograph also brings the convenience of automatic winding with a 50-hour power reserve.
Its presence on the wrist confirms its military DNA and its perfect subtlety makes this a model that defies fleeting fashions and time itself. Nothing is missing from its impressive range of assets. Its hands designed to ensure perfect readability even in tough conditions; its bezel enabling reliable and accurate handling; along with its easily accessible and responsive pushers, all testify to impeccable compliance with the drastic set of technical specifications imposed by the military.
Few modern chronographs so fully respect the form and spirit of the models that inspired them. The Manufacture Zenith once again asserts itself by rising to a challenge on a par with its ambitions: transcending time!