Military watches have always had a great appeal to collectors, especially when it concerns vintage examples. One of the most sought after pieces is the Breguet Type XX.
As is always the case with military watches, is their design greatly influenced by the requirements of the armed forces they are to serve. In this case it was the French government who in the 1950’s was looking for a multi-purpose chronograph wristwatch with a fly-back function for their air-force and their navy. Type XX was their designation for this watch, and can therefore also be found on watches by other brands, as they did not all commission them from Breguet.
Legibility was, of course, an important factor, and that is why the watch was fitted with a matt black dial and three easy to read subdials, although Breguet also made a variety with two sub-dials. Although the specifications for these watches was pre-defined, there was enough room for Breguet to make a few, slight variations, most commonly concerning the type of bezel. This particular version has a turnable bezel with a 12-hour index which could have been used to easily see the time in a different time-zone, or to track mission or flight-time.
The Breguet Type XX watches were all officially issued by the French government and also remained their property. This is why they are quite rare. Despite this, they are not that expensive. This watch sold earlier this year at Phillips for CHF 27.500,-. Given the fact that this model is still one of the pillars of Breguet’s current collection, and that it has the very wearable size of 38.5mm, it remains a very tempting watch to add to any collection of vintage watches.