Breguet confirms its presence at Only Watch 2021, a key charity event organized by the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy that is also a highly anticipated occasion in the international watchmaking calendar. An exceptional Only Watch auction sale led by Christie’s will be organized to support medical research on muscular dystrophy on Saturday, November 6, 2021 in Geneva. Ever since its inception in 2005, this biannual event has benefited from the support of Breguet and the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Marc A. Hayek, President of Montres Breguet, will once again donate a one-of-a-kind timepiece – the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021, sensitive as he is to the seriousness of muscular dystrophy and eager to renew his commitment to fighting children’s diseases.
The Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph
The House of Breguet will present a faithful re edition of its renowned pilot’s watch, produced as a one of a kind piece for Only Wat ch 2021. Following on from the Type 20 military chronograph put up for sale at the 2019 auction, this new model pays tribute to the civilian editions of the Type XX chronograph from the 1950s and 1960s. It meticulously reproduces the visual and mechanical codes of this emblematic Breguet timepiece.
The case for this Type XX chronograph remains loyal to its past, with its contained diameter of 38.30 mm as per the original, as well as a typical curvature of the horns embellished by a lateral bevel along with some generously sized pushbuttons. Unlike its military versions, this unique piece comes equipped with a straight crown, as seen in the Breguet Type XX civilian use models. The bidirectional steel bezel has been given the same attention to precision on this piece, which comes fitted with a 12 hour scale, along with a luminous triangular marker that is strongly inspired by the first generation of civilian Type XX pieces.
This model is also notable for its rather specific dial the bronze colour is a nod to the extremely rare civilian and military models with dials coloured in this way that were sold at the time. Following sustained exposure to sunlight or moonlight, black dials may acquire a bronze hue a patina effect which is highly sought after by collectors today The Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 chronograph is also notable for its specific architecture, featuring a small seconds subdial at nine o’clock and a 30-minute totalizer at three o’clock with an increased diameter, luminous markers and the teardrop-shaped hand that differ from the original military versions. This watch offers excellent readability in all conditions, while the shape of the hands leads them to be colloquially referred to as “syringes”. Both the hands and the large Arabic numerals are treated with Super-LumiNova®. The Breguet signature is visible at 12 o’clock, as one would expect on a civilian version.
The historical coherence does not stop at the casing detail. Indeed, the Type XX Only Watch 2021 comes equipped with a Valjoux 235 13-line movement, directly derived from the Valjoux 222 14 lines used by Breguet in the 1950s and early 1960s. This hand-wound column-wheel chronograph movement has been restored and returned to service by the House of Breguet. In doing so, the Type XX Only Watch 2021 respects the historical functions and proportions of the pieces upon which it is based. Of course, this movement is fitted with the flyback function, without which it could never be a true Type XX pilot chronograph.
As with the original, the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 is fitted with a screwed steel caseback providing water resistance to 30 meters. The eventual owner of this piece will also notice the “Only Watch 2021 Pièce Unique” wording engraved on the caseback. This unique model features a calfskin leather strap with a steel pin buckle, and is presented in an airplane wing-shaped case.
Breguet, a history of watchmaking and aviation
The House of Breguet showed an early interest in watches designed for aviation, highlighting how watchmaking should contribute to progress in air navigation just as it had done previously for marine navigation. From 1918 onwards, the House of Breguet provided several timepieces for the American Air Force and in 1922 for the Société d’Aviation Louis Breguet, a company founded by a descendant of Abraham-Louis Breguet. These instruments gradually became chronographs with counters and tachometers, which could either be worn by the pilots or affixed to the plane’s dashboard. Breguet continued to provide increasingly sophisticated chronographs to various aviation and aircraft companies. However, the most important chapter in the history of the Breguet pilot watch began with the Type XX.
In the early fifties, the French Ministry of Defense drew up specifications with a view to purchasing chronograph wristwatches for its Air Force, to be known as Type 20. Drawing on its experience in this area, Breguet expressed its interest and designed a model that was quickly approved by the authorities. The year was 1954 and the legend of the Type XX had just begun.
The Type 20 was introduced as a pilot watch equipped with a flyback chronograph, the emblematic function of this watch. The flyback function allows for the chronograph function to be reset to zero by simply pressing the lower pushbutton, simplifying the pilot or team members’ operations and offering the possibility of recording several consecutive times.
It is worth noting that in the house’s books, the military models are referred to as Type 20 and the civilian models as Type XX. The Breguet Type XX chronograph evolved through three successive generations, each with several varieties that today arouse a growing desire among collectors.
Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Technical Specifications
- round steel case. Solid caseback with engraving “Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Pièce Unique”.
- Diameter 38.30 mm.
- Thickness 13.90 mm.
- Bidirectional graduated rotating bezel with triangular markings for flight calculations.
- Rounded lugs.
- Flat crown.
- Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 meters).
- bronze-coloured, signed Breguet.
- Hours chapter with luminescent Arabic numerals.
- 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
- Small seconds at 9 o’clock.
- Central chronograph counter.
- Luminescent “syringe”-type hands.
- mechanical manually wound movement, column-wheel chronograph with flyback function.
- Numbered and signed Breguet. Cal. Valjoux 235.
- 13 lignes.
- 17 jewels.
- 45-hour power reserve.
- 183 components.
- In-line Swiss lever escapement.
- Annular balance wheel.
- Flat balance spring.
- Frequency 3 hertz.
- calfskin leather.
Unique piece for Only Watch 2021.