There are two sides to Breguet, the incredibly elegant and traditional wristwatches that most modern collectors will associate the brand with, and the historically important Type 20 wristwatch that the vintage guys go crazy about. Today, we are looking at the latter.
Breguet has had a relationship with aviation for more than 100 years, supplying watches to both civilian, aviators and the military. At the centre of all of this, lies the iconic Type 20 model that the manufacture still produces today. For a long time, vintage Breguet Type 20s have been grossly undervalued and slowly but surely, collectors are realising the importance of this model along with the collectibility and rarity of it.
Around 2000 pieces were produced from 1953 to 1970, on average about 120 pieces a year, making this Type 20 an incredibly rare piece. The Bregeut Type 20 was produced for the French Air Force and while this one is a civilian example, it has all of the characteristics of a utilitarian aviation piece. Loved by many because of its distinctive good looks, the 38.5mm stainless steel case features short lugs with thickly cut bevels and a stainless steel rotatable hour bezel. The dial is perhaps the most beautiful, most recognisable by its ‘Big Eye’ minute counter subdial, syringe hands and Arabic numerals filled with lume, a propeller chronograph seconds hand and that classic Breguet script logo.
Right now, seasoned collectors consider the Breguet Type 20 to be one of the holy grails of vintage collecting and despite this, I still feel that they are somewhat under the radar, considering its brand heritage, historical military importance and overall rarity. With a Type 20 on the wrist, there is a certain air of rarefied taste- understated, but a vintage Breguet nevertheless. For those who know, this is something truly special.
This Breguet Type 20 comes with an extract from the archives confirming that it was sold on the 23rd of May 1966 to an individual by the name of Blondel La Rougerie.