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Breguette Type XX 1950's

Breguette Type XX 1950's
Kseniya Burns

If you are a luxury watch enthusiast, enjoy military history, or simply love Breguet, than the Type XX is for you! Orginally Type XX (20) was designed for the French Ministry of Defense as a pilot’s wristwatch. This Breguet timepiece was directly inspired by the German pilot’s chronographs produced by Hanhart of Tutima which have been captured by the allies after World War II. In 1945, the French army occupied a territory known as the Black Forest where Hanhart factory was located. Breguet used many of the Hanhart manufactured parts to outfit their Type XX chronograph.

So, why is this Breguet watch so incredibly important to the horological history? Simple. This timepiece is seen as a connection between Breguet the watchmaker and Breguet the engineer and plane manufacturer. The Breguet family had a hand in two businesses at once and for a short period of time in the 1940’s the two sides overlapped. The civilian version of Type XX chronograph was a point of connection between two very distinct sides of the Breguet family business.

Although Breguet still produces the Type XX, the vintage 1940-1960’s watches are the most valuable. The 20 year production span of Type XX is marked by a number of manufacturers contributing to the internal mechanisms and overall look and design. The 20 years of production shaped all future Breguet Type XX timepieces to come and gave a distinct look and feel to this pilot’s chronograph.


Almost all of the Type XX watches share some unmistakable similarities: black dial with sub dials, luminous hands and markers, and often times a rotating bezel. The early versions of Type XX used radium as their luminescent compound, a radioactive material which can prove to be deadly after long exposure. It is worse mentioning that only Type XX and Type XXI are made to the military specification and feature the following common traits:

  • Black dial with two subdials

  • 37-39 mm stainless steel case

  • 35 hour power reserve

  • Equipped with a fly-back chronograph

There are a number of Type XX and Type XXI from that era that happen to have a larger or yellow gold case or both. Experts agree that these watches, if found to be authentic, were used as prototypes and as test watches for the French Military. These prototype Type XX and Type XXI timepiece are extremely rare and are highly collected. We encourage you to hire a Breguet expert to consult on these rare finds before you make an investment since the watch market is filled with fakes.


All Type XX watches were issued to the officers and military personnel as part of the uniform requirements. These watches were expected to be returned after the service was complete and were maintained and serviced in the same way any other piece of military equipment would be. After about a year in service, each Type XX received a complete overhaul, calibrating, and a good cleaning. The service periods were marked by stamps on the case back indicating the date of service and the next scheduled service date. Should you ever have a question about the authenticity of your vintage Breguet Type XX French Air Force timepiece, pay attention to the markings on the caseback.


At Ermitage Jewelers we appreciate a good piece of history such as a Breguet Type XX watch. It is not every day you can tell a Breguet enthusiast that there is a vintage plane that can go with his vintage Breguet watch!

We restore and repair all of our pre owned watches to their absolute best shape using only brand specific parts. This ensures that we preserve the resale value of the timepiece and, more often than not, increase it dramatically.

All of our vintage and modern Breguet timepieces come with a one year limited warranty and a ten day money back guarantee. When you buy a watch from us you are buying a true, authentic piece of history.

We invite you to browse our extensive collection of Breguet timepiece or to stop by our convenient Atlanta location for your very own Breguet Type XX watch!