Breguet - WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century New York Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Breguet
    Year: 1967
    Case No: 2988
    Model Name: ‘Type XX’
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 225, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 38.5mm

  • Catalogue Essay

    Certain watch models begin their existence as a tool watch, and with the passage of time go beyond the utilitarian to become icons. Breguet’s “Type XX” is one example. 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” is an exceptional example, manufactured in 1967 and sold on January 26, 1968 to M. Pelletier for the price of 600 French Francs. Its ‘tropical’ dial has aged to a warm chocolate brown color, and the luminous Arabic numerals and hands have also aged to a pleasing, dark beige tone. The well proportioned, 38.5mm case will impress with its hardly worn state of preservation, retaining the extremely sharp facets and edges as delivered by the factory five decades ago. For the collector, this is an outstanding representation of a vintage Breguet “Type XX”, and an opportunity to own one of the finest examples to appear on the market in recent years.

  • 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 attractive and rare stainless steel flyback chronograph with tropical hands and numerals.

Dial signed

$12,000 - 24,000 

Sold for $60,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293

WINNING ICONS – Legendary Watches of the 20th Century

New York Auction 26 October 2017