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Back to The Roots: Breguet Type 20 Chronographe 2057 and Type XX Chronographe 2067

Back to The Roots: Breguet Type 20 Chronographe 2057 and Type XX Chronographe 2067


After four years of development, the time has come: Breguet presents two new pilot’s watches inspired by the Maison’s military (Type 20) as well as civilian (Type XX) models of the 1950s. The new Type 20 Chronographe 2057 and the Type XX Chronographe 2067 fully stand in the tradition of Breguet’s close relationship with aviation. This goes back to the aircraft manufacturer and inventor of the Gyroplanes (the forerunner of the helicopter) Louis Charles Breguet, in the early 20th century. He is no less than the great-great-grandson of Abraham-Louis Breguet.

Louis Charles Breguet was primarily an aircraft manufacturer. His grandfather, Louis-Clément Breguet ran the watchmaking workshop and Maison Breguet, though he sold it to his workshop director Edward Brown in 1870. Nevertheless, the two companies maintained very good relations. During the two world wars, Louis Charles Breguet produced military aircraft for the French Air Force – the timepieces for the cockpit and wristwatches for the pilots came from the Maison Breguet watch manufacture. Here, you can find an in-depth article about the history of pilot’s watches at Breguet.

Three generations

The newly presented models date back to Breguet’s post-World War II history and are inspired by the pilot watches from the 1950s. Back in the early 1950s, the French Air Force was looking for a watchmaker to produce a watch for them according to certain specifications. The required criteria included a black dial with luminous material, a bi-directional rotating bezel and a chronograph with a “flyback” function. Breguet secured the contract in 1954 and in 1955 released the first generation Type 20 watches with a 30-minute counter and Valjoux 222 calibre, which was delivered to the French Air Force until 1959. With a 15-minute and 12-hour totalizer slightly adapted to different needs, Breguet also supplied Navy fighter pilots and test pilots with this chronograph until 1970.

Breguet Type 20 from around 1955

This first generation was then followed by the second generation from 1971 until its discontinuation in 1985. With this edition of the Type 20, there were some changes in appearance and calibre. For example, the case diameter was larger and the bezel was only unidirectional rotatable. There was also a ‘big eye’ subdial counter and an integrated Valjoux 235 or 725 calibre.

Breguet Type XX from 1975

Finally, after almost 10 years, the Type XX celebrated its revival in 1995, marking the start of the third generation. For the first time, the Type XX Aeronaval 3800 ST featured an in-house automatic movement with calibre 582 for the Type 20 or Type XX. In the following years, the Type XX was further developed in the form of the Type XXI and Type XXII, with the appearance of these models moving further and further away from their origins.

In view of the great demand, Breguet introduced a civilian version with the designation Type XX as early as the 1950s. This allowed the military models to be distinguished from the civilian models by listing the military pilot watches under Type 20 and the civilian variants under Type XX.

Back to the roots

In the 2010s, limited editions and unique pieces were released to mark anniversaries, bringing back memories of the original pilot’s watch design. Through this year’s new models, the Type 20 is making a big comeback. While the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 harks back to the military model, the civilian watch served as the inspiration for the Type XX Chronographe 2067. In the following, we will take a closer look at how this is reflected in the design and how the two timepieces correspond or differ.

Type 20 Chronographe 2057

The design of the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 is heavily based on the military watches delivered between 1955 and 1959. However, it is adapted to today’s conditions through a modern look. This combination of tradition and modernity is particularly evident in the design of the case and dial. As with the original model, the 42 mm diameter case with a height of 14.1 mm of the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 is made of stainless steel.

Similar to its prototype, it is equipped with an unengraved, bi-directional rotating fluted bezel and a pear-shaped crown. The crown has three positions: neutral, correction of the date, and of course, adjusting the time. In addition, at 2 o’clock a pusher activates the chronograph. At 4 o’clock, there is a pusher that activates the ‘flyback’ function, thus restarting the chronograph and the minute subdial counter. In addition, the watch is water resistant up to 100 m.

The dial: modernity in mint green

When it comes to the dial, the contemporary appeal of the design is particularly noticeable. While the dial is traditionally coloured black, the Arabic numerals, hands and the triangle of the bezel are covered with a mint green luminous material.

Furthermore, the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock has been enlarged, making the sub-dial with the 60-second counter at 9 o’clock appear much smaller in contrast. Unlike the unsigned original, this model features the brand signature below 12 o’clock and an integrated date display between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Type XX Chronographe 2067

The design of the Type XX Chronographe 2067 differs from the Type 20 Chronographe 2057, as it takes its references from the civilian models of the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet, a modern twist is applied to this timepiece. As for the Type 20 Chronographe 2057, the stainless-steel case of this model has a diameter of 42 mm and a height of 14.1. mm, as well as a water resistance of 100 m. However, in comparison, the Type XX has a bi-directional rotating fluted bezel with engravings and a classic straight crown. Again, a pusher is positioned at 2 o’clock to activate the chronograph and at 4 o’clock for the ‘flyback’ function.

Ivory elegance

Instead of mint green colour accents, the Chronographe Type XX 2067 features an ivory-coloured luminous material covering the Arabic numerals, hands and the triangle on the bezel. The dial also features a different array of subdial counters. At 3 o’clock, there is an enlarged 15-minute counter without numerals and at 9 o’clock, there is a seconds indicator. Between the two subdial counters at 3 and 9 o’clock, there is an additional 12-hour subdial counter above 6 o’clock.

Four years of development: calibre 728 and 7281

It took four years to develop the sophisticated and fully integrated Chronograph movements for these two models. At the centre of the Type XX Chronographe 2067 is the calibre 728 and at the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 the calibre 7281 with a column wheel and vertical clutch, each beating with a frequency of 5 Hz. For greater corrosion resistance and more accurate timekeeping, the escape wheel and the pallet-lever horns are made of silicon, an antimagnetic material. In addition, mechanisms are incorporated to ensure a seamless performance.

For example, a zero-resetting system secures a smooth and instantaneous execution when setting the pushers, and a vertical disc clutch is responsible for setting the chronograph’s hands in gear. Meanwhile, a cross-through bridge serves to stabilize and guarantee the precision of the balance. In both models, a spring made of a high-energy-density material is located in the barrel, which sets the power reserve to 60 hours.

Guilloche and colour contrasts

In addition to the technical craftsmanship, Breguet’s artistry is also evident on the movement in the form of decorative elements. Individual parts of the movement are snailed, bevelled, circular-grained, or they are adorned with a sunray guilloche. In addition, blackened colour accents create more contrast between the individual components of the movement. For example, the column wheel has been treated with black DLC and the oscillating weight is also blackened. Moreover, the latter is shaped like an aircraft carrier and bears an engraved Breguet logo. The movements can be admired on both models through a sapphire crystal caseback.

Choice of bracelets and presentation box

According to their preference, wearers may switch between two bracelets on these new models. One can choose between a light brown calfskin strap and a black NATO strap. An easy change without tools is made possible by a RIS system (“Rapid Interchange System). In line with Breguet’s connection to aviation, both timepieces are presented in a havana-coloured leather box in the shape of an aircraft carrier.


BRAND Breguet
MODEL Type 20 Chronographe 2057
Type XX Chronographe 2067
CASE MATERIAL Stainless-steel
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 14.1 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 100 m (10 bar)
DIAL Black
STRAP/BRACELET Calfskin leather or NATO fabric
MOVEMENT Calibre 7281
Calibre 728
FUNCTIONS Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Flyback Chronograph, Date, 15-minute and 12-hour subdial counters
PRICE EUR 18,900