When tasked with adapting a classic, there’s only so much you should tinker. As Benedict Cumberbatch recently learned, when you shift arguably the most iconic speech in theatre to Hamlet‘s opening scene, people will wonder whether you consider yourself to be or not to be a finer wordsmith than Bill Shakespeare himself. It doesn’t take Sherlock’s intellect to know who’s taking home that trophy.

Which is perhaps why, when handed Zenith’s iconic Pilot Extra Special watch and told to doll it up, The Watch Gallery pinned the mantra ‘Less is more’ to its moodboard. So instead of black the face now comes in TWG’s signature blue, a shade echoed in the strap stitching, with a caseback engraving that nods to the watch’s aviation heritage.

Not that this is a timepiece slathered in flyboy gizmos. It’s inspired by Zenith’s early pilot’s watches, when a big face and oversized crown (the better for operating in flying gloves) were more important than a chronograph.

And should you ever decide to take yours up for a jaunt in your Sopwith Camel, you can be confident you won’t misjudge your flying time, since you’ve got Zenith’s in-house elite-679 movement keeping tabs on how long you’re airborne. Should you earn your living on the ground, that accuracy is probably more important than a tachymetre, anyway.

The Zenith Pilot Extra Special is available at The Watch Gallery now, priced £4,950.

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch

Zenith Pilot Extra Special Watch