Mixing military roots with proper elegance is something that seems to be nearly impossible, as the main goal of a field watch is not to be nice but only to be practical. However, Breguet, with its collection of pilot chronograph inspired by vintage 1950s and 1960s watches, proved us that this blend is possible – and to be true, the result is one of our favorite watches, the Breguet Type XX. For Only Watch 2015, the brand introduces a one-of-a-kind edition of their more modern iteration of the retro pilot-inspired watch, the Breguet Type XXI, here manufactured in precious platinum.
Compared to the Type XX that we deeply reviewed, the Breguet Type XXI differs in nearly all the aspects, expect for its overall look that remains close to the its little sister – and thus close to the vintage military Type 20 watches (Breguet or not). The XXI comes in a larger case (42mm vs. 39mm) and with a slightly more complex movement – that however keeps its iconic flyback function, meaning that the chronograph can be restarted by just pressing the pusher at 4 once, instead of stopping the chronograph, reseting it and re-lauching it with a combination of the two pushers. The Calibre 584Q/1, an integrated automatic chronograph movement, features extra functions compared to the one cased in the Type XX: a day and night indicator at 3 and a date at 6. The display is also slightly different, with the chronograph second and minute hands located on the central axis, making the reading of timings extremely fast and precise. The rest is classical for a tri-compax chronograph, with a small second at 9 and a 12-hour counter at 6.
For the first time and especially for this unique Only Watch 2015 edition, Breguet is introducing the Type XXI in a precious (and heavy) platinum case, creating a sort of understated luxury that only the wearer will be aware of. The dial of this edition is also specific – and actually superb. It shows a matt slate grey colour and unique cream-coated (faux-patina) Arabic numerals and hands, for a more vintage / military feeling. This one-of-a-kind design is complemented by an aged calfskin leather strap. As usual with the timepieces from the collection, the result is an assumed retro pilot-inspired design combined here with a touch of modernity (the larger 42mm case) and the right dosage of elegance and luxury (the fluted case made of 950 platinum).
This Breguet Type XXI Ref. 3813 in platinum for Only Watch 2015 will be part of the 43 watches to be auctioned on 7 November in Geneva by Bacs / Russo / Phillips Watches, to help raise funds to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. More details can be found on Breguet.com.