Breguet Type XX / XXI

Par Florian Matrion, le 28 janvier 2011
Type XX / XXI
Type XX / XXI
Diaporama
Straight out of the 1950's, the Type XX/XXI collection has some of the most well-known Breguet models. Let's review this perfect link between the post-war period and 20th century.
Exclusive! review of the Type XX / XXI. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
L'avis de la rédaction
76.5/100
Note des internautes
78/100

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.

 

Foreward

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).

 

In order to maximize the readability, the dial, hands and markers rely on contrasts and proportions.

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.

 

Excellent Readability

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
30-minute totalizator.
This, with a dragging hand (instead of a minute-to-minute jumping one) greatly complicates the reading of the time measured.

 

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.

 

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!

 

Movement

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.

 

Conclusions

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.

 

Pros:

  • excellent legibility
  • its polyvalence
  • the Flyback function

 

Cons:

  • the totalizator's 15 graduations of the 30-minute chronograph
  • its thickness

 

Additional information:

  • tester's wrist size: 17.5 cm
Diaporama
12 Photos pour voir cette montre sous toutes les coutures
Cliquez sur une Photo pour ouvrir le diaporama.
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Données constructeur

Marque
Modèle
Référence constructeur
Boîtier (matière)
Diamètre boîtier (hors couronne)
Diamètre boîtier (avec couronne)
Mouvement
Calibre
Base calibre
Fonctions
Verre
Capacité de la réserve de marche
Fond transparent
Entre-cornes
Longueur corne à corne
Hauteur boîtier
Etanchéité
Bracelet (matière)
Boucle (type)
Boucle (matière)
Poids total

L'avis de la rédaction 76.5/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
détail Mouvement (/20)
Optimisation / Décoration du mouvement (/5) 0
Agrément de manipulation et de réglage (/5) 0
Contrôle du mouvement par la Manufacture / distinctions diverses (/3) 0
Capacité de la réserve de marche (/2) 0
Complications (/5) 0
détail Finitions (/20)
Finitions cadran (/6) 0
Finitions boîtier (/6) 0
Qualité du travail de déco° / gravure du fond de boîte (/2) 0
Qualité du verre (/4) 0
Finitions de la boucle (interne et externe) (/2) 0
détail Fonctionnalité (/20)
Lisibilité diurne (/5) 0
Lisibilité nocturne (/4) 0
Etanchéité (/3) 0
Facilité de réglage et de changement du bracelet (/4) 0
Sécurité / solidité de la boucle (/4) 0
détail Bonus (/10)
Série limitée (/3) 0
Montre fournie avec plusieurs bracelets (/2) 0
Qualité de la boîte et de la sur-boîte (/1) 0
Portabilité avec manches de chemise fermées (/2) 0
Présence de "goodies" (/1) 0
Intelligibilité du booklet (/1) 0
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
Pour quelles occasions ? Quand la porter ?

Note des internautes 78/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
Mouvement (/20)
Finitions (/20)
Fonctionnalité (/20)
Bonus (/10)
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
Noter cette montre