If there is one field other than watchmaking in which the Breguet family also made a name for itself, that would definitely be aviation – a distinction owed to Louis Charles Breguet. The great-great-grandson of Abraham-Louis Breguet perpetuated the watchmaker’s spirit of innovation in a field previously unexplored by the dynasty. In addition to developing the gyroplane, the forerunner of the helicopter, Louis Charles Breguet also developed the Breguet XIV plane in 1916, a result of both his experience and the extensive thought he had given to this domain. Between 1917 and 1926, around 8,000 of these legendary aircrafts were acquired by an estimated fifteen countries. Other models followed, such as the Breguet 19, and later the Breguet Deux-Ponts (Double Deck). In parallel with the activities of Louis Charles Breguet and his aeronautical firm, the Breguet watch company developed chronograph mechanisms fitted on cockpit instrument panels and began producing pilot’s watches. In 1935, it developed its first wrist chronographs and about two decades later, Breguet launched production of the Type XX model commissioned by the French armed forces: the famous chronograph would go to equip the national air force and the naval air arm until the early 1980s.
Today, Breguet is enriching this historical collection with a new model, the Type XXI 3817 chronograph. Its vintage look reflects the history and origins of the Type XX line, while its technical characteristics place it firmly in the 21st century. Fitted with a calfskin strap, the Type XXI 3817 chronograph features a retro-style slate grey dial framed by a smoothly proportioned steel case. The latter has a finely fluted caseband and is water-resistant to 100 metres thanks to its screw-locked crown. The mechanical self-winding movement driving this timepiece is endowed with the flyback function characterising Type XX chronographs since 1954. It has been significantly readjusted and endowed with additional technical advantages made possible by the incorporation of silicon components. The chronograph minutes counter is located in the centre, along with its seconds counterpart. The functions of the Type XXI 3817 model also include a 12-hour counter and a date display at 6 o’clock. A day/night indicator and small seconds, respectively positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock, contribute to making this model a must-have in its category. Devotees of watchmaking mechanisms will be able to admire every last detail of its movement through a sapphire crystal caseback, a first in the history of the Type XX collection.