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1995 Breguet Type XX Aeronavale ref. 3800, Calibre 582
With its Calibre 582, 38mm stainless steel case, stark black dial, bold Arabic numerals, and a manually-wound Flyback Chronograph Movement, Breguet Type XX Aeronavale is the 1995 reissue of a classic of the 1950s, designed and manufactured by Louis Charles Breguet’s company to be the standard for the French Aeronautique Militaire pilot’s watches.
It was during the World War I that Breguet formed his aircraft company Societe Anonyme des Ateliers d’Aviation Louis Breguet provinding the French Air Force with some of its widest-used airplanes, including the Breguet 14, the first mass-produced aircraft to use mostly metal rather than wood.
With that relationship so firmly established, it seemed a natural progression for Breguet to outfit the pilots of the French Air Force with wristwatches.
The original Breguet Type XX model resembled other military watches of that 1950’s era. However, the unique requirements posed by the French military meant that the Type XX had to be a chronograph with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a seconds counter at 9 o’clock. These requirements were inspired by chronographs made by Tutima and Hanhart for the Luftwaffe during World War II.
Although Breguet was not the only manufacture to receive the contract, its Breguet version of the Type XX that has become an icon, the template from which all other military chronographs are struck.
Breguet would produce the Type XX until the 1980s, when the contract lapsed. Due to the low numbers produced, surviving examples emerge rarely on the collector market, and can often command a hefty sum. Fortunately, in 1995 Breguet would bring it back as the Breguet Type XX Aeronavale.
As far as military and aviation-inspired chronographs go, the Type XX is perfectly in keeping with its martial heritage, with the looks only slightly updated for the modern age. The main difference is the steel bezel, a feature found on Type XXs that were provided to the Centre dessays en Vol who were responsible for testing prototypes of airplanes destined for military use. Additionally, the case is slightly larger, at 39mm, more in keeping with modern standards.
Submitted by Analog Shift.