‘Big Eye’ Breguet Type XX Civile
Breguet has a long and storied history which is far more involved than I will attempt to explain. In short, they are one of if not thee most established manufactures in watchmaking. A large section of that history is intertwined with French military watches. The ‘Type’ Breguets were a not really a model, but a designation given to watches that fit a certain military criteria for the French Aeronavale. Breguet marked only 500 military case backs with their own insignia. They aided the flyback chronograph design after Breitling and were one of six manufacturers to employ a similar Type 20 style piece for military contract. After those military runs, Breguet also made a much larger run of civilian versions for the market in period. Here is one example.
The 38mm case is a perfectly tasteful size, even today. Its dial is unfussy and elegant. At 35-hours, the power reserve from the Valjoux 222 is large enough to satisfy most modern users. Most of these era Type 20s have been timed to an accuracy of 8 seconds +/- per day, close enough for most vintage watch collectors. It’s a surprisingly versatile piece. The Plexiglass crystal and thick lume are extra charm points, nice reminders of times long past. In addition, this example has an oversized righthand subdial, a rare and very collected dial variation.
There is mildly controversy around these civilian Type XXs among hardcores. Many are only interested in those with a military past. It is known that some less honorable retailers will enscribe case backs of civilian versions with military markings, muddying the waters for the market. This private seller doesn’t include a case back photo, which I would be dead-set on getting if interesting.
Find this Type XX here on Chrono24 for 60000 USD.