zenith heritage cronometro tipo cp2 closeup



Le Locle’s Zenith has revived a military chronograph designed in the 60s for the Italian army with a model similar to the original and limited to 1000 pieces.


The Italian army wanted to replace the TIPO CP1 that the Italian Air Force pilots wore in the late 1950s and called upon the watchmaking expertise of Zenith. Their mission was to design a reliable, accurate and easy to use watch that can withstand extreme conditions and be worn over a jumpsuit. The Le Locle brand made a 43mm military timepiece called the TIPO CP-2 with two counters fuelled by the manual-wind Zenith DP 146 calibre. Only a handful of pilots ended up wearing the 2500 pieces delivered in the 60s as most of them went into storage and were never worn.

zenith heritage cronometro tipo cp2 closeup

The TIPO CP-2, nicknamed “Cairelli” after Zenith’s Roman distributor, is now highly sought-after among collectors. Given its success, the Le Locle watchmaker has relaunched production of this famous chronograph. The Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2’s signature style may be almost identical to the original but it’s been given modern features and a cutting-edge movement. The famous self-winding El Primero 4069 calibre in the new chronograph brings the functions and 50-hour power reserve to life.

The 43mm steel case is topped by a graduated black bezel. The black dial has large luminescent Arabic numerals tracked by two rhodium-plated phosphorescent hour and minute hands in the centre. The seconds tick by in a counter at 9, the chronograph minute counter lies at 3 and a luminescent triangle-tipped central seconds hand tracks the seconds in the middle.

Price: 7,900 CHF/EUR zenith.com

 * “Virtute Siderum Tenus“, the Italian Air Force’s motto

By Sharmila Bertin