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Why We Love It
Amongst collectors of military watches, the Type 20 is perhaps the most sought after. And of all those out there on the market, those made by Breguet command the most respect.
With a spartan, function-first design including a highly legible sterile black dial with luminous Arabic indices, rotating bezel with coin edge grip, and an oversized onion-style crown for easy winding, its hard to beat in the minimalist department. Barrel pushers operate the Valjoux 222 column-wheel chronograph movement with 60-minute counter and subsidiary seconds. Large luminous hands - including a lovely chronograph seconds hand - tie the package together just right.
This particular example was originally issued to the French Military for use in aviation units in a batch of 2000 unites in 1954, and saw continuous service through 1982, as evidenced by the numerous FG (Fin de Garantie) engravings etched onto the case back with each contract servicing.
Provenance incroyable à coup sûr!
The Type 20 was designed according to a standard—Type 20—that the Aéronautique Militaire issued in the 1950s. Aesthetically, the Type 20—with its stark black dial, bold Arabic numerals, and 38mm stainless steel case—resembled other military chronographs of the era. But the Type 20 had to have a flyback function—or, in French, retour en vol—that enabled the pilot to stop, reset and start the chronograph again by depressing the bottom pusher just once.
Several manufactures produced the Type 20, including Dodane, Vixa, Auricoste, and Airain.
But the Breguet versions are without a question the most desirable amongst collectors, if for no other reason than the maison responsible for many of the greatest innovations in haute horology dipped their toes into the world of spartan, robust field watches destined for military use.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown). Valjoux 222 Manually-Wound Chronograph Calibre.
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing normal signs of use and wear in keeping with its military heritage. Bezel is in very good condition, missing paint in the triangular depression. Dial is in very good condition with minimal spotting, no edge wear, and patina to the Arabic luminous indices. Unsigned, oversized onion crown. Case back has numerous military markings, indicating continuous service from 1954-1982 .
Includes one 20mm suede strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options