Slideshow: 11 photos to see that watch from every angle
The readers' attention is drawn to the fact that the photographed model corresponds to the old reference of the Breguet Type XX.
The actual model in the brand's catalogue has a steel-colored crown instead of a gold one.
Special thanks to Tempoinverso.com who lent us the watch tested for this review.
During the 50's, the French air force drafted a list of specifications for a reliable and readable chronograph with a "flyback" function, the Type XX.
Several manufacturers, including Breguet, submitted a model.
A few years later, the specifications are modified, primarily for the purpose of improving the liability of the models but also to space out the maintenance periods.
The Type XXI is born.
Breguet who was already manufacturing aircraft reading instruments for the air force, thus created as early as the 50's several versions of chronographs meeting these specifications for the French navy and the CEV ("Centre d'Essai en Vol" - or Flight Test Center - the department of the air force that handles the testing and rating of military planes; you can find the "CEV" engraving at the bottom of the cases of certain vintage watches).
After its military career, the model is made obsolete and retired in the 70'.
It is then relaunched in 1995, shortly before the acquisition of the brand by the Swatch Group, staying faithful to the original models.
The current model retains the best elements of its predecessor.
In order to maximize the readability, the dial, hands and markers rely on contrasts and proportions.
Indeed, the size of the hands are designed relative to their function. Thus, all four main hands are quite readable (three of them being thicker than the others), while the small seconds hand and the chronograph's are thinner.
Likewise, the subdials follow the same logic, with a larger minutes dial for the chronograph, located at 3 o'clock.
Even with this emphasis on readability, the result is quite balanced.
One drawback: the gorgeous minutes subdial for the chronograph has 15 markings with a
This, with a dragging hand (instead of a minute-to-minute jumping one) greatly complicates the reading of the time measured.
An Elegant Case
The rest of the watch has a more opulent look.
The steel casing is polished and fluted.
The bezel is also polished, and the graduations are sunken.
Some will find this watch a little too shiny, even with the mitigating effect of the flutes.
The style, contained size and quality of this watch make it very elegant and sporty at the same time, thanks to its waterproofness and military origins.
In other words, it's up to you to decide how to wear it!
The movement of this model is the Breguet 582 automatic chronograph movement, with a "flyback" function.
This function was very useful to pilots before the advent of modern electronics, allowing the resetting of the chronograph while in use, without having to stop it.
The pilots could thus calculate two or more times one after the other.
The Breguet 582 movement is built on the very reliable Lemania 1350, modified primarily to accommodate the flyback function.
The Breguet Type XX is a timeless watch.
Its style and effective esthetic, along with its prestigious origins and high-quality production, make it a very interesting time-keeper - indeed a must in one's pilot watch collection.
- excellent legibility
- its polyvalence
- the Flyback function
- the totalizator's 15 graduations of the 30-minute chronograph
- its thickness
- tester's wrist size: 17.5 cm