Breguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1955
    Case No: 7373
    Model Name: Type XX
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Valjoux 222, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case signed. Caseback further engraved with multiple "Fin de Garantie" markings

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Breguet Type XX, more than any other Type XX has entered our collective consciousness as the epitome of the aviator’s watch.

    Type XX was the project code used by the French Ministry of Defense to define the specifications of a military watch that would equip the pilots of their naval forces. At the beginning of the Cold War, the French government decided that they needed to have their own military watch. In the mid-50s they presented the specifications to different watch brands including Breguet. The watch had to be very legible at night and fitted with a black dial and large Arabic luminous numerals. Movement wise, the watch needed to be accurate within eight seconds a day and have a power reserve of more than 35 hours. But the most important feature was a flyback chronograph to allow pilots to reset and restart the chronograph instantly. It would also feature a rotating bezel to remind the wearer of a specific event such as its fuel reserve!

    Over the course of its history, the Breguet Type XX was produced either in a military or a civilian version. Military examples like the present watch did not display any information such as the brand or the model name on the dial as to maintain legibility. Only the caseback was engraved with Breguet, Type 20, 5101/54 and then further engraved with FG which stands for “Fin de Garantie”: end of guarantee in French and a date.

    These engravings were made by the watchmaker that would have serviced the watch to inform the pilot when he should have his watch serviced next. This watch bears inscriptions from 8.56 to 29.7.81.

    According to Breguet's archives, the present watch, delivered to the Airforce on June 1955 is part of the exceptionally rare issued watches to survive in such good condition rendered especially appealing thanks to the degradé chocolate tropical hue of the top part of the dial that slowly morphs into black in the lower section.

    We sincerely thank Montres Breguet and especially M. Emmanuel Breguet, for kindly supplying us with information from the archives.

  • 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.

    View More Works


A very rare and attractive stainless steel military issued chronograph wristwatch with degradé brown tropical dial

38mm Diameter
Case signed. Caseback further engraved with multiple "Fin de Garantie" markings

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF27,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019