Breguet Unveils a New Type XXI Model in Titanium
The Rake inspects the new limited edition Breguet Type XXI 3815.
Architects of trailblazing mechanisms, the House of Breguet are best-known for their haute horology watchmaking, which includes the first ever tourbillion. French-Swiss watchmaking genius, Abraham-Louis Breguet, patented his mechanical coup in 1801, twenty-six years after founding the firm. The family’s contributions to telecommunications and aviation have been life-changing inventions for citizens around the world. Precision, clarity, irresistible elegance, with an infinitely baroque style have always been celebrated characteristics of Breguet timepieces. This week, the firm have made a rare modernist move with a stripped-down, and sporty chronograph that lies within their Type XX1 collection. The 3815 timepiece marks a new chapter in the history of this iconic aviation chronograph. With a titanium case and vividly coloured lume, the new limited edition Breguet Type XXI 3815 deftly blends vintage and modern aesthetics.
With the launch of this timepiece, the House of Breguet has reminded us that they were also a significant player in the development of watches for aviation throughout the last century. Louis Charles Breguet, the great-great-grandson of Abraham-Louis became one of the pioneers of French aviation. As early as 1918, Breguet delivered timepieces to several military and civil organizations, and by 1935, the company began developing its first wrist chronographs. A couple of decades later, in response to an order from the French armed forces, Breguet launched the production of a legendary watch, the Type XX chronograph, which would equip the French air and naval forces until the early 1980s. After the well-known and celebrated Type XX, XXI, and even XXII wrist chronographs from the past couple of decades, today, Breguet completes its collection with this new Type XXI 3815.
This year, the Type XXI 3815 chronograph becomes the contemporary counterpart to the previous vintage-style edition, the Type XXI 3817, which was unveiled in 2016. The new 3815 has a 42mm case featuring the classic fluted side, water resistance up to 100 meters, a screw-down crown, and polished and satin-finished surfaces. The bi-directional bezel, also made of titanium, is fitted with a contrasting black lacquered 60-minute scale. Available with green or orange numerals, markers and hands, all luminescent, this new dial also features a display with only two counters, with a 24-hour indicator and small seconds, placed at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively. The minutes totaliser of the chronograph is positioned in the center, as is the seconds totaliser. A new precision minute track and a date at 6 o’clock complete this contemporary display.
An essential element of this collection, the mechanical self-winding movement, comes equipped with a flyback function, incorporating the latest technologies implemented by the House of Breguet, such as the silicon escapement and balance spring. The sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the movement in all its details, as well as a gold rotor with a specific finish for this edition. Featuring a calfskin-leather strap with stitching that echoes the colour of the markers and hands on the dial, rounded off with a new triple folding buckle for comfort and security on the wrist, the Type XXI 3815 chronograph is produced in a limited edition of 250 pieces per colour. With a new layout, new materials, and strikingly contemporary flourishes, the limited edition Breguet Type XXI 3815 stands apart from the rest of the brand’s offerings to deliver a unique amalgam of classic and modern aesthetics, that is arguably better looking and a lot closer to the intention of the original military spec. Tech Specs Movement: Mechanical self-winding; cal. 584Q/2; hours, minutes, and small seconds (at 9 o’clock); flyback chronograph with central minutes and seconds hands; date at 6 o’clock; 28,800 bph; 48-hour power reserve Case: Titanium, 42mm; with fluted side, screw-down crown, and sapphire case back; 100-meter water-resistance Strap: Calf leather strap with three-part folding buckle