Breguet Launch Historically Inspired Aviation Duo
The Type XX made its introduction in the early 1950s when the French military sought flyback chronographs for it’s pilots. French watchmakers like Breguet were then selected to supply such chronographs, which were known as Type 20 after the military specification outlined for the watch. These new Type XX models come in two versions: the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 modelled on the military Type 20, and the Type XX Chronograph 2067 that takes its cues from civilian variants. Both are identical on a foundational level as they share the same 42 mm case containing an almost-identical movement. But they look different as result of the variations in bezel, crown, and lume on the dial. Make no mistake, at 42 mm, the new Type XX are large but with short lugs, do hug the wrist. but sized correctly for a pilot’s chronograph. The lugs are also relatively short so the watch sits well on the wrist. And even better, on the case back, the movement is appropriated sized for the case.
If you already know the Type XX you will be pleased to see the upgrades in this generation which include more sophisticated case finishing and newly developed flyback chronograph movement with an extended power reserve and high-frequency, 5 Hz escapement. The blackened oscillating rotor modelled on the wing of an aircraft is monochromatic to match the functional aesthetic of the Type XX according to Breguet. Dial side, the ref. 2067 boasts lance-shaped hands inspired by vintage Type 20s with similar hands. The ref. 2057, on the other hand, has green lume. No doubt modelled on the vintage Type 20 with radium paint on the dial – radium was greenish when fresh and new – the ref. While not for everyone – I liked the green hue. The most divisive design aspect is without doubt the date window. Both versions have one in-between four and five o’clock, with “Swiss made” underlining the date. Social media has been a frenzy since launch with opinions on this – it’s the first time I’ve seen it deployed. The ref. 2057 is fitted with a 120-click, bidirectional bezel that serves as a countdown timer – it is engraved with a single triangle to mark a specific time. Also unique to the ref. 2057 is the “onion” crown found on the earlier variants of the vintage Type 20.
The ref. 2067 is based on civilian models and has three registers, including an oversized 15-minute counter at three, while the bezel is a 12-hour bidirectional to measure elapsed hours. And instead of the “onion” crown, it has a flat crown. Because the dial uses ivory-hued lume, the ref. 2067 has a vintage feel. Both models also feature the rapid interchange system (RIS), a quick-release mechanism that allows easy removal of the strap which I celebrate. Nothing changes the feel of a watch quite like a fresh strap. I’d love to see how the watch would look with a smaller case size, perhaps 39mm, just for my own particular fondness for that size. However less fussy folk than I will be content with this new duo, and I have no doubt there will be more to come in terms of model variations down the line.