Aviation pioneer Louis Charles Breguet (1880 to 1955) was a French aircraft designer. Like his great-great grandfather, the famed horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747 to 1823), he was an inventor and developed the gyroplane, the forerunner of the helicopter.
In 1916, he developed the Breguet Type XIV plane. Around 8,000 of these planes were purchased by an estimated 15 countries between 1917 and 1926. What followed were models like the Breguet 19 and the Breguet Deux-Ponts (Double Deck).
The Breguet watch company even made chronograph mechanisms fitted into cockpit instrument panels and even pilot’s watches.
Though the Breguet watchmaking company first made chronograph wristwatches in 1935, only small quantities were produced. This changed in 1950 when official approval was awarded by the French technical services.
In 1954, the French government commissioned Breguet to supply chronograph wristwatches to the French Air Force, the state flight testing centre and Naval Air Arm.
The watches were the property of the state and issued to pilots only under exceptional circumstances. The Type XX was supplied to the military right up till the early 1980s.
When the Breguet Type XX chronograph wristwatch became a coveted status symbol, it led to the production of a civilian version. This chronograph wristwatches were subsequently equipped with the retour en vol – the flyback chronograph.
Thanks to its aviation history and the Type XX, Breguet’s 2016 Type XXI 3817 chronograph is likewise, equipped with the flyback chronograph.
Breguet’s Type XXI 3817 features silicon movement parts and what marks a first is its sapphire crystal case back. This is the first time the Type XX collection has an open display case back.