An extremely rare and highly attractive yellow gold flyback chronograph wristwatch with 12-hour bezel

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  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1956
    Case No: 1745
    Model Name: Type XX
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 222, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case stamped, dial signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Breguet Certificate confirming sale of the present watch on June 8, 1956 for 115,000 French Francs to Mr. Sambon. The Certificate also confirms that only 3 Type XX models in gold were produced

  • Catalogue Essay

    Breguet’s Type XX flyback chronograph was introduced in the early 1950s based on military specifications provided by the French government. They sought a rugged multifunctional chronograph wristwatch with flyback function for use by both their Navy and Air Force. The ‘type’ designation was not a specific model name for a particular brand, but rather it was the military specification commissioned by the French government, which several brands provided. The chronograph needed a flyback mechanism in order for pilots to quickly reset their watches for dead reckoning navigation. Over the ensuring years, the Breguet model has become highly desirable within the vintage collector community, known for its large masculine case, easily readable luminous dial, and its flyback mechanism. As manufacturing costs rose, the French government discontinued its use, however Breguet decided to commercialize it and sell to the general public.

    While the military examples were manufactured in stainless steel, the present, extremely rare, yellow gold example is one of only three known made in 1955 as confirmed by the Breguet Certificate accompanying this watch. According to Breguet’s archives, the watch was sold on June 8, 1956 to M. Sambon for the extraordinary price of 115,000 French Francs. A second known example is exhibited in the Breguet Museum in Paris. While their exact use remains unknown, it is unlikely an 18k gold timepiece would have fared well in a harsh military environment. Considering the high price when originally sold it is was therefore likely a special and exclusive edition for a very select clientele.

    This watch retains a bold masculine feel. This early, rare and extraordinary example of the Breguet Type XX in yellow gold is sure to provide savvy collectors with many years of enjoyment.

  • Maker Bio

    Breguet

    Swiss • 1775

    Established in 1775 by Abraham Louis Breguet, widely considered the greatest watchmaker of all time, the storied brand continues to thrive in the modern era, creating exceptional high-end watches as the Swatch Group's premier prestige brand. Some of the most important and lasting inventions in watchmaking are attributed to Abraham Louis Breguet, including the tourbillon, shock resistance and the use of hammers and gongs employed in nearly all minute repeating watches made since.



    Eighteenth and nineteenth century Breguet pocketwatches are especially sought-after by collectors, and many of them were made for the elite of European society, including Napoléon and Marie Antoinette. Key wristwatches from the twentieth century include oversized dress watches, two-register chronographs, triple calendars and Type XX aviator's chronographs made for the French military and civilians.

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122

Breguet

An extremely rare and highly attractive yellow gold flyback chronograph wristwatch with 12-hour bezel

1956
38.5mm Diameter
Case stamped, dial signed

Estimate
CHF40,000 - 60,000 
€34,300-51,400
$42,300-63,500

sold for CHF200,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018