Breguet - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1959
    Case No: 3485
    Model Name: Type XX
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. Valjoux 225, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial signed, case numbered

  • Catalogue Essay

    Military-issued timepieces fully exemplify the appeal vintage watches have on collectors: utilitarian tools which over time transcended their intended nature to effectively become works of industrial art. Indeed, the demands various armies had for specific military features are what eventually brought to life timepieces which are set apart, both technically and aesthetically, from watches without military ties.

    Introduced in the 1950s, this 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 it was the military specification commissioned by the French government, which several brands provided. Breguet’s “Type XX” became the best known of these military chronograph watches. The model and specifications evolved over time, and when the timepieces became too expensive for the French Government, Breguet opted to sell them as commercial watches.

    The present civilian “Type XX” made in 1959 and sold in 1962, according to Breguet archives, is a very attractive example, its well proportioned, 38.5mm case retaining sharp facets and edges. The dark cream color of the numerals adding an extra pinch of excitement to the watch.

  • 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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An attractive and well preserved stainless steel flyback chronograph wristwatch

38.5mm Diameter
Dial signed, case numbered

CHF15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for CHF43,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019