Breguet’s Legendary Type XX Chronographs Have Never Been More Wearable

Breguet’s Legendary Type XX Chronographs Have Never Been More Wearable

Nick Kenyon
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Nick Kenyon

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As one of the oldest watchmaking names in the world — founder Abraham-Louis Breguet famously made watches for Marie-Antoinette herselfBreguet’s sportiest watches are also some of its youngest. Among the most celebrated of these watches is the Breguet Type XX chronograph, born in the middle of the last century and retaining the same vigorous robustness today.

The Breguet Type XX chronograph has enjoyed more than 70 years of adoration since it was first produced. Breguet had built a solid reputation for its high-quality aviation chronographs, leading the brand to work directly with the French Air Forces to create the Type 20, which met the technical specifications for armed forces pilot’s watches. Not long after the Type XX was released – an adjacent design for civilians.

Breguet Type XX Chronograph

Beyond its ties to the French Air Force in the 1950s, Breguet as a watchmaker has one of the most interesting links to the world of aviation. The great-great-grandson of the brand’s founder, Louis-Charles Breguet, was a successful aircraft designer and builder (as well as a medalist for sailing in the 1924 Summer Olympics).

It was in the early 50s that the first batch of Breguet Type 20 chronographs appeared in the record books, with 1,100 units destined for French Air Force wrists (featuring a 30-minute totaliser and unsigned dials) and another 80 watches ordered by the Centre d’Essais en Vol (featuring an engraving with the letters CEV and numbers 1 to 80).

Due to such a small number being made, original examples of these chronograph watches rarely come to market today, making the historically faithful modern examples all the more appealing to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Breguet Type XX Chronograph

The Breguet Type 20 ref. 2057 (based on the original French Air Force design) and the Breguet Type XX ref. 2067 (based on the later civilian design) were originally launched last year. In 2024, Breguet took the collection to another level again by introducing two bracelet-equipped references, emphasising their sportiness and everyday wearability.

Breguet Type XX ref. 2067

Breguet Type XX Chronograph

Taking a closer look at the Breguet Type XX ref. 2067, we have a three-register chronograph with an unmistakably oversized subdial at 3 o’clock.

While the original cases from the 1960s measured 38mm in diameter, these modern references feature a more contemporary 42mm case that measures 14.1mm thick. Despite the slight shift in size, the proportions have been maintained nicely, as have details such as the sculpted face on the side of the lugs, the shape of the classic straight crown, and the pump-style pushers.

The Breguet Type XX ref. 2067 also enjoys a polished rotating steel bezel with a 12-hour scale around its circumference, while the dial stands out as slightly warmer than its sibling, thanks to the beige luminous material used to coat the hands and Arabic numeral hour markers. The elegant script of the Breguet logo takes pride of place at 12 o’clock, while the only other text on the dial is “SWISS MADE” at 4:30 below the date window.

With three chronograph registers and the date, the movement powering the Breguet Type XX ref. 2067 is the automatic flyback chronograph calibre 728, which features column-wheel actuation and 60 hours of power reserve. It is a similar movement to the watch we’ll get into next, bar the 12-hour subdial at 3 o’clock.

Breguet Type 20 ref. 2057

Breguet Type XX Chronograph

Turning our attention to the true military-spec-inspired Breguet Type 20 ref. 2057, we have a cleaner, leaner, and quite possibly meaner pilot’s chronograph, with an obvious emphasis on functionality and legibility. It features the same 42mm case as the “civilian” Type XX above but has a dial directly inspired by the original French Air Force chronographs.

The most obvious difference is the two subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock (while the date remains at 4:30), which declutters the dial thanks to the negative space left at 6 o’clock. Likewise, the more heavily knurled turning bezel has been left bare apart from a luminescent triangle, allowing pilots to easily mark the time with a twist of the bezel, before getting back to flying the plane.

Breguet Type XX Chronograph

Against the black dial, the minty green luminescent material used on the hands and hour markers look much brighter and easier to read than the aforementioned “civilian” reference, while the hands are also slightly different, boasting a thicker sword shape.

Visible through the exhibition caseback of the Breguet Type 20 ref. 2057 is the calibre 7281, the sibling movement to that of the Type XX ref. 2067. It boasts automatic winding, a flyback column-wheel chronograph, and ticks away at 5Hz while delivering a solid 60 hours of power reserve.

While the black leather strap of the Type 20 ref. 2057 and the brown leather strap of the Type XX ref. 2067 works effortlessly with their respective designs, it’s the steel bracelet and textile NATO options that add a contemporary edge to this historic collection.

Sure, French military pilots from the middle of last century wouldn’t have enjoyed the meticulously machined and comfortably articulate Breguet bracelets of 2024. However, for the modern watch lover hunting for an everyday watch that’s as robust as it is comfortable, the luxuriously brushed and polished bracelets offered with these Breguet chronographs are an absolute no-brainer.

Not only do the bracelets look great, thanks to what must have been a painstaking design process to ensure visual consistency with the designs of the watches themselves, but they’re also practically crafted for everyday use. There’s a total of 3.2mm of micro-adjustment to expand the bracelet, with 1.6mm of room to play with on each side of the sleekly hidden butterfly clasp.

All considered, the Breguet Type 20/XX chronograph collection is as strong as ever, offering a well-proportioned and robustly constructed case, impressive calibres, and a pair of dials that are both compelling for different reasons. If you consider the addition of the bracelet to the offering, you’ve arguably got a perfect daily timepiece for the aviation or chronograph enthusiast.

Both references are available from Breguet boutiques and selected authorised retailers, with an RRP of $35,800 for both the Breguet Type 20 ref. 2057 and Type XX ref. 2067 on the bracelet.


This article is sponsored by Breguet. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Boss Hunting.

Nick Kenyon
WORDS by
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at) luxity.com.au

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