Breguet’s Type XX Chronographs Make a Resounding Comeback

Breguet has recently made significant advancements in chronograph technology with the launch of the Type 20 Chronographe 2057 and Type XX Chronographe 2067 in Paris. You might wonder why there are two different chronographs and the use of both Arabic and Roman numerals. The explanation is twofold: the Type 20 and Type XX are powered by distinct movements, and their nomenclature has historical significance. The Type 20 represents Breguet’s military heritage, while the Type XX is a civilian iteration derived from it. This naming convention reflects Breguet’s roots as a watchmaker and aviation pioneer, capturing the brand’s Swiss and French identity. Understanding the history behind this distinction requires delving into the past.

Before diving into the historical context, it’s important to note that these two watches are genuinely distinct, and Breguet enthusiasts should take note of the absence of a no-date version in either the 2057 or 2067 references. A quick visit to the Breguet website reveals that these two references are the only remaining options in the collection. Moreover, considering the price is crucial, as it significantly contributes to the narrative. Breguet states that both references have a retail price of US$18,000 or S$26,000, positioning them as one of the best-value propositions for Swiss Made chronographs in steel within the prestigious in-house segment.

Breguet’s chronograph offerings are limited, and the new Type XX models stand out favorably against the Marine 5527 (priced at S$36,000 in titanium), which utilizes a different movement. It could be considered one of the most accessible Breguet models, aligning with the Type XX’s recent history within the collection. Both the 2057 and 2067 references share the same case specifications, measuring 42mm in diameter and 14.1mm in thickness. While the size might raise some eyebrows, the redesigned lugs, exuding elegance, ensure wearability across various wrist sizes. As observed by other commentators, the Type XX watches belong to the pilot’s watch category, often characterized by larger dimensions. Notably, both watches display the date between 4 and 5 o’clock, a date position that might not be popular among collectors.

Beyond size and ergonomics, the 2057 and 2067 references differ extensively, ranging from the type of luminescent material used to the style of hands. Reference 2057 features syringe hands and vibrant green lume, while reference 2067 showcases lance hands and aged lume. The former is a bi-compax chronograph with a small seconds subdial positioned at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute totalizer located at 3 o’clock. The latter is a tri compax chronograph, featuring small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 15-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock, and a 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock. The arrangement of subdials reflects the variations in movements: calibre 7281 for the 2057 reference and calibre 728 for the 2067 reference. In terms of substance, both calibres share many similarities, including the high-frequency (5 Hz) fast-beat movement and the use of advanced silicon components in the escapement (hairspring, anchor, and escape wheel). Additionally, they offer a power reserve of 60 hours.

These two chronograph calibres are new and seem to be integrated rather than modular (this is our assumption, not an explicit statement from the brand). Column wheels and vertical clutches distinguish both calibres, with the added flyback function in this chronograph. Regarding finishing, Breguet demonstrated the meticulous craftsmanship, showcasing the bevelling and other fine details during the Paris launch. Notably, the finishing is on par with the highest level of fine watchmaking, including the aforementioned bevelling on the chronograph levers. Although the finishing in these new calibres appears simpler compared to the Tradition and Classique collections, it still stands admirably against the Marine collection.

This brief overview of the new Type XX references 2057 and 2067 provides a glimpse into their intricacies. However, a comprehensive exploration of these watches, delving into the history of the Type XX and its associations with various brands, will be covered in greater detail, potentially in the upcoming WOW Legacy issue later this year. The wealth of information surrounding these timepieces might even make it the cover story of the issue.