Today, we dive into the world of horological excellence with the Breguet Military Type 20 and Civilian Type XX watches. These timepieces pay homage to their historical counterparts, showcasing exceptional craftsmanship and design. In this review, we will explore the distinct features and characteristics of both models, examining their cases, dials and movements.
Breguet Military Type 20 and Civilian Type XX
Both models are priced at US$18,000 before taxes.
The Case and Dial
The Breguet Military Type 20 and Civilian Type XX share a common DNA in their case and dial design. Both watches feature a robust 42mm steel case, exuding strength and durability. The cases are accompanied by a non-engraved fluted bidirectional bezel in the Military Type 20, reminiscent of the models delivered to military air forces in the past. On the other hand, the Civilian Type XX boasts a fluted bidirectional graduated bezel, adding a touch of sophistication to its adventurous look.
In terms of dial design, the Military Type 20 sports a black galvanic-treated dial with Arabic numerals and a mint green luminescent coating. The triangle on the bezel and the hands also share this luminescent shade. The dial has been modernized while still staying true to the Type 20 identity. It incorporates a larger 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock and a 60-second totalizer at 9 o’clock, accompanied by a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The Civilian Type XX features a dial with the same galvanic treatment as the Military Type 20, adorned with ivory-colored luminescent Arabic numerals, hands, and triangle on the bezel. The dial layout includes a 15-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock, and running seconds at 9 o’clock. A date window is positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock, adding practicality to this timepiece.
Both the Military Type 20 and the Civilian Type XX are powered by the new self-winding Calibre 728 and Calibre 7281, respectively. These movements have been developed over four years at the Manufacture Breguet and represent a perfect blend of robustness and innovation. Protected by several patents, they incorporate modern chronograph designs such as a column wheel, vertical clutch, and operate at a frequency of 5 Hz, ensuring precise timekeeping.
Notably, the movements boast silicon components, including the balance-spring, escape-wheel, and pallet-lever horns. Silicon provides resistance against corrosion and wear while being unaffected by magnetic fields, thereby enhancing the accuracy of the timepieces. With a remarkable 60-hour power reserve, these self-winding chronographs deliver reliable performance.
The “Flyback” function, a hallmark of Breguet Type XX chronographs, is present in both models. It allows instant resetting of the chronograph to zero and the start of a new count. The pusher at 2 o’clock activates the timer, while the pusher at 4 o’clock resets the chronograph and ensures an immediate restart, following the famous “flyback” principle. These intuitive and precise activation and zero-resetting systems have been meticulously designed for smooth operation.
When it comes to choosing between the Breguet Military Type 20 and the Civilian Type XX, personal preference plays a significant role. Both watches offer exceptional quality, historical inspiration, and advanced features. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding which model suits your taste and requirements.
The Military Type 20 exudes a rugged and utilitarian charm, staying true to its origins as a timepiece for the French Air Force. Its black galvanic-treated dial, larger 30-minute totalizer, and military-style design elements give it a robust and no-nonsense appeal. If you appreciate a watch with a strong military heritage, a bolder presence, and a touch of vintage allure, the Military Type 20 is likely to be your preferred choice.
On the other hand, the Civilian Type XX combines adventure and sophistication, taking cues from the finest civilian Type XX models from the past. Its galvanic-treated dial, ivory-colored luminescent accents, and distinctive totalizer placements offer a refined and distinctive aesthetic. If you seek a watch that balances elegance with a sporty flair, with a versatile design suitable for both casual and formal occasions, the Civilian Type XX may align more with your preferences.
Concerning the date window, some purists may have reservations, considering it a departure from the original design of the historical models. While the inclusion of a date window adds practicality for daily wear, it may be seen as a compromise for those seeking a more faithful homage to the iconic timepieces of the past. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge that Breguet has made thoughtful updates while remaining respectful of the Type 20 and Type XX heritage.
Ultimately, the choice between the Military Type 20 and the Civilian Type XX boils down to your personal style, intended use, and appreciation of their respective historical contexts. Both watches exemplify Breguet’s commitment to craftsmanship, horological innovation, and paying homage to their storied past. Regardless of your choice, you can be confident that you’ll own a timepiece of exceptional quality and heritage.
Pricing and Availability
The Breguet Military Type 20 and Civilian Type XX watches are available through authorized dealers and select retailers. Prospective buyers can explore the two interchangeable straps that accompany each watch, including one in calfskin leather and another in NATO fabric. Both models are priced at US$18,000 before taxes.