Breguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1971
    Case No: 20'678
    Model Name: Type XX
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 725, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial signed, case numbered

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced in the 1950s, the Type XX chronograph was commissioned by the French government seeking a more accurate timekeeper for both their Navy and Air Force. They sought a multipurpose chronograph wristwatch with flyback function, which allowed the user to quickly reset and restart the chronograph from a single push of a button on the case. Because pilots flew by dead reckoning, they needed instantaneous timekeeping in order not to fly off course.

    The ‘type’ designation was not a specific model name for a particular brand, but rather a specification commissioned by the French government, which several brands provided. Breguet’s “Type XX” became the best known of these military chronograph watches.

    In the early 1970s Breguet submitted a proposal for a new generation of military chronographs, keeping with the original Type XX’s large Arabic numerals and flyback function but with a different case design with larger diameter and thicker lugs and a black rotating bezel for greater legibility. It is believed that only a very low number of watches were delivered the French forces, the vast majority being in sold by Breguet to civilians.

    The present second generation Type XX is one of the earlier examples made in 1971 but according to Breguet archives, it remained within the workshops where it was gifted to Mr. Delage on December 12, 1973. It is unclear if the recipient was related to the famous luxury and race car automobile firm of Delage.

    However, the racing lineage could be more than just a theory, as the watch comes with a very rare and seldom seen tachymeter bezel, giving the watch an even greater appeal.

  • 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 fine stainless steel flyback chronograph wristwatch with rare tachymeter scale bezel

40mm Diameter
Dial signed, case numbered

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF27,720

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021