Breguet - START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs Geneva Friday, May 13, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1957
    Case No: 7608
    Model Name: Type XX “Ministère de l’Air”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 222, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case signed. Caseback further engraved with multiple fin de garantie markings.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present Breguet Type XX is a coveted, military-issued example, as evidenced by its engraved caseback. Specified by the French Ministry of Defense, the Type XX chronographs were made by a variety of manufacturers for multiple branches of the French military over the course of two decades. This particular example, with its correct, unsigned dial, was made in 1957 for the Ministère de l’Air, or Air Ministry, and belongs to the first generation of Breguet’s production, part of an original batch of 2,000 watches procured beginning in the early 1950s.

    Very interesting testimonies are the ‘FG’ engravings on the case back narrating some of the watches history. ‘FG’ was a reminder of when the watch should ideally come back to the worksops, but we assume they actually only came back when they were in need of a servicing.

    The most noteworthy function of all Type XX chronographs is their “fly-back” complication. Important for navigation, a pilot could quickly reset the chronograph seconds hand to zero while it’s running, without needing to first stop then reset. The present lot is fitted with its original, oversized “onion crown”, enhancing the watches appeal and presence. The large luminous Arabic hour markers and hands were easily legible against the wonderful, black lacquer dial. This well-preserved Breguet Type XX offers rarity, originality, and a military history, which is sure to elevate the next collection it ultimately joins.

  • Artist Biography


    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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A very rare, attractive and historically interesting stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with black lacquer dial.

38.5mm diameter
Case signed. Caseback further engraved with multiple fin de garantie markings.

CHF10,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF26,250

Contact Specialist
Livia Russo
+41 22 317 81 86

START-STOP-RESET: 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronographs

Geneva Auction 14 May 2016