The Breguet Museum and its President, Marc A. Hayek, are delighted to announce the acquisition of a superb 1967 Type XX chronograph. This remarkably well-preserved timepiece serves as a reminder of Breguet’s deep involvement in the field of aviation, a relationship that has given rise to the Type XX contemporary watch collection. It went under the hammer in New York on Thursday, October 26, at a Phillips auction dedicated to 50 iconic 20th century models.
The enduring success of the House of Breguet partly stems from its ability for perpetual reinvention. While purely watch-related activities are of course the heart and soul of the brand, the interests pursued by Abraham-Louis Breguet’s descendants have sometimes extended well beyond the field of horology, such as those of Louis Breguet. Perpetuating the genius of his great-great-grandfather, he ventured into the conquest of the skies in 1907. Louis Breguet soon made a name for himself in this domain thanks to several notable inventions including the gyroplane, the ancestor of the helicopter, and the famous two-seater Breguet XIV plane. In parallel with the aeronautical activities of the Louis Breguet aviation company, the Breguet watch firm developed chronograph mechanisms fitted on aircraft cockpits and began producing watches for aviators. In 1935, it introduced its first wrist chronographs. Twenty or so years later, Breguet launched production of the Type XX commissioned by the French armed forces: the famous chronograph was to equip the French Air Force and Naval Aviation until the early 1980s. These models were so highly sought-after that the House decided to issue a civilian version. With or without an hour totaliser, but always including the flyback function, these timepieces feature slight variations (relating to rotating bezels, winding crowns, dials) that continue to delight collectors.
The Type XX chronograph newly acquired by the House of Breguet belongs to the first generation of these timepieces. It is distinguished by a brushed steel case with slightly curving lugs. Its 38.5 mm case frames a dark brown dial bearing luminescent hands and Arabic numerals. This model produced in 1967 was initially sold on January 26, 1968.
This new acquisition is enriching the broad collection of historical Breguet watches presented in its Paris and Zurich museums, as well as their Shanghai counterpart.