Breguet Type 20 Civilian, Generation 1 , 2 and 3

INTRODUCTION

An earlier article looked at the development of the Type 20 watch specification and the development of the Breguet Type 20 model which you can read here.

At the same time as the military model was being developed, and produced, civilian pilots, and other professionals required similar watches, and these were produced and sold to the civilian market.

Breguet has had a long association with civilian aviation over more than 100 years.

Breguet Type 20 Poster

This article covers civilian Breguet Type 20 models, starting with Generation 1, moving to Generation 2 and then Type XX, the third Generation, which is still continuing.

The Generation 3 + models are not covered in detail, as these are currently available and can be easily found on the web.

CIVIL MARKET GENERATION 1 VERSIONS

2 REGISTER MODELS

Breguet started producing type 20 models for the civilian market at the same time as it was working on the Military version. Some 2000 pieces were sold between 1953 and 1970. [4]

Breguet Type 20 civilian models from the 1950s and 60s come in many variations: engraved or blank bezel, different calibres (such as Valjoux 22, 222, 225, 235 720 or Lemania 1377), and two or three sub-registers.

The model below was sold to Société d’Aviation Louis Breguet on February 3, 1953 for 27,000 old French Francs.   The dial is signed 1164 which is also engraved on the caseback.   The sub-registers have pie tin dials, and the hands were to become the characteristic syringe style, and an arrow sweep second hand.

Breguet type 20 1952 case 1164

 

Another of the earliest is this model sold on 23 February 1953, which also has many similar features to the Type 20,  5101/54 model produced for the Air Force. Since these models predate production of the Air Force model, they may well have been prototypes forming part of the discussions with the Military about the Type 20 specification.

Breguet Type XX Civilian 1953
This 1953 model above has an unsigned case back, and small pushers. Image by timezone forum user Dracha (@rene_jk on Instagram)

 

The civilian models came in a variety of styles, and a Breguet signed watch similar to the Type 20, 5101/54 is shown below, but with a large 30 minute sub-register with a propeller hand marked at 3,6,9 with thick, long lume indexes. Syringe hands with long thin pointers.  The nick name “Big eye” is sometimes applied to this model due to the larger 30 minute sub-register.  Case number 8114.  Unmarked bezel.

 

Breguet Type XX 5101/54

Below is Breguet Case number 1695, sold on February 4, 1955.  Big eye dial. The bezel is marked with 12 hours.  Arrow second hand and slightly different Big eye sub-register.
Breguet Type 20, case no. 1695
Below is a rare 18k gold type 20 civilian model, sold on June 8, 1956 for 115,000 old French Francs to Mr. Sambon  It is thought to be only one of 3 made.  Big eye dial with no numerals and lume indexes on the chapter ring, and 12 hour bezel.  Case number 1745.
Breguet type 20 Gold
Breguet Type 20 Flyback, no. 2085
Case number 2085 above.  This model is similar to the gold model above, but with longer pointers on the syringe hands, and an arrow sweep second hand. There are also no numerals on the chapter ring as for the gold model above.
Creme dials also existed.
Breguet Type 20, case no. 2452
Above, Breguet, Case No 2452, sold in 1957 for 27,000 old Francs. Cream dial and dauphine hands, with numerals only at 6 and 12. The 6 is an open 6. There are no numerals on the chapter ring. 30 minute Big eye subregister with numerals at every 5 minutes.  Reeded bezel. Possibly only six of these were made.

This model below has a rare small Breguet logo, and the graduated bezel of the CEV type 20 model, but has a 30-minute register with a propeller hand and with 3,6,9 marked with longer index markers and lume dots at every 3 minutes. A thin skeleton propeller sweep hand is used.

This model has case number 3558 and was sold to P Rolland for 44000 old French Francs in February 1958.

3 REGISTER MODELS

Three register civilian models also existed, all with an engraved bidirectional rotating bezel.  An early model is shown below.

Breguet Type 20 Civilian Stainless Steel

 

This model has a different type of face for the 4 and 7 numerals, seen in the early military models. A thirty-minute sub-dial is used.

The model below is similar to the CEV Type 20 model with no numerals on the 15 minute register, and thin subregister hands. There are no numerals on the chapter ring either.

Breguet Type 20 CEV
Case number 1074 Images from forumamontres user: christian06
Below is case number 2993, a rare model with a tachymeter scale on the chapter ring, sold on July 16, 1965 for 538 French Francs to  M. Ducharne.  Pie tin sub-registers.

3 register breguet type 20 tachymetre

The model below is a 3 register version with a very rare count down bezel and an internal tachymeter scale. It has a 15 minute, unmarked sub-register.

Breguet Type 20, no. 3012
This is case number 3012, and is extremely rare.
Another rare Dauphine hand model is shown below, as seen earlier above in the 2 register model. There are no numerals on the chapter ring, but applied lume at the 5 minute markers.  Arrow head sweep second hand and unmarked 15 minute sub-register.
Breguet steel man type xx A36620 1600
Courtesy of kronos.freeforums.org, special thanks to forum mod klaus
A similar watch with Dauphine hands, case number 2988, is shown below but with a thin propeller sweep second hand.
breguet dauphine hands type 20
Courtesy Phillip’s Watches

 

Breguet Type 20, case no. 2970

This model above has a numbered chapter ring, and the use of broad lume on the 15 minute sub-register is another feature in this model, and small radially placed 3, 6, 9 and 12 minute markers, together with a large and rarely seen Breguet logo. Case number 2970.

Below is another model, case number 3375, with a 0 to 12 bezel, and with a dial very similar to the dauphine hand model above, with applied lume at the 5 minute markers.

breguet type xx

The model below has a case number 3385, 10 more than the case number above. This has a propeller second hand,  a 30 minute sub-register, and a numbered chapter ring.  The bezel is marked 0 to 60.

Breguet Type 20, case no. 3385

The 0 to 60 bezel is a feature of this model. This model has the most austere markings on all the dials, and looks extremely modern.  Case number 3385.
Breguet Type 20 Civilian 24xx
Image courtesy of www.carsandwatches.com
Above is case number 24xx. This has applied lume at the 5 minute markers, and at the 3 minute markers on the 15 minute sub-register.  No numerals on the chapter ring.
breguet 20 civilian
This model has thinner lumes on the 30 minute sub-register, and a long arrow in the sweep second hand.  The other sub-registers have dials as below.
Breguet Type 20 CEV Type 20 Brown
Above is a brown Civilian version of the CEV Type 20, with unmarked case number 1002
Breguet Type 20, case no. 1080
Image from www.donindiano.net
Breguet Type 20, case no. 10xx
1960’s case number 1080 Sold recently at Sotheby’s for CHF27500 (Nov 10 2015)
Breguet Type 20 Civilian, case no. 3077
Case number 10xx Sold 9 July 1962 for 525 new francs. Case number 3077
Case number 3479 is shown above with shorter pointers on the baton hands.
Case number 1473.  Image courtesy : Exoticwatches
Below is case number 3531, manufactured in 1960, with a tropicalized dial.
This was originally sold on February 23, 1960, for 490 francs.
Breguet 3591 type 20
This model below was sold in 2016 for CHF 68,000 with caseback engraved “Esso J.B. Champion Du Monde 1959”
Case number 4962
Breguet 4962 Type XX
4295 caseback
J Brabham poster

GOLD VERSION

Only 3 of this 2 register Type 20 are known, this is production number 1780. These were produced in 1955.    Case number 1745 is shown in the earlier 2 register section.   This has a propeller sweep second hand and a different sub-register.

Breguet Type 20, 1780 in gold

BAKELITE BEZEL VERSIONS

Breguet Type 20 Bakelite Bezel

Above is an uncommon version with curved lugs, possibly a transition model to the 1970’s models below.

Breguet Type 20 1963 model
1963 model. Sold on April 28, 2009 for USD 6563

1970s SECOND GENERATION BREGUET TYPE 20

The  release of the second generation Model 20 to the public was in the 1970‘s after Chaumet had took control of the brand in 1970. This model had a black anodised bezel which rotated in one direction,  and the case was changed and had squarer lugs.

This version existed in both two and three-register layouts, with, respectively, the caliber Valjoux 235 and 725 (and maybe Valjoux 726 in some cases), both offering the flyback function that the original military contract stipulated.

The 1970s Breguet Type 20 has a screw-in case-back, a diameter of 40.7 mm, a thickness of 13.8 mm, and comes with 2 or 3 registers on a matt black dial.

Hands were syringe with long thin pointers, and the minute sub-register at 3 o’clock totals 15 minutes with broad divisions every 3 minutes, and an oversized sage leaf pointer.

Model below is 2 register version, which had a bezel marked 0 to 60, and either a thin second hand or an arrow second hand.

 

Breguet Type 20
Case number 20765 sold June 1972 with an arrow sweep second hand.

 

Breguet Type 20, case no. 21122
Case number 21122 with thin second hand.
Model with second hand having a lollipop dot pointer, sold on 12 June 1972.  Smaller pointers on hour and minute hands.
Breguet Type 20 Circa 1973
Circa 1973 with arrow second hand. Image courtesy of www.horlogerie-exquise-paris.com
Breguet Type 20, case no. 21122, 1970's
Case number 21563 2 register version sold to M Sutti on 26 November 1986 for 3340 French Francs.  On the right it is known that case 21747 sold in 1982.

3 REGISTER VERSION

The three register version had either of 2 bezels.  Below is a bezel marked 0 to 12.   The hour sub-register at 6 is marked 0 to 12, but otherwise the dial is unchanged from the two register version, with arrow head sweep second hand.

Breguet Type 20 Case no 20710
Case number 20710 from about 1971.
Case number 21297
Case number 21297.
Breguet Type 20 Second generation, case no. 21663
Case number 21663
Breguet Type 20 case no. 20772, 1975
1975 case number 20772 sold at Sotheby’s for CHF10000.
21620 Breguet type 20 civilian
Case number 21620 above.
This model sold February 1980 for 1400 Francs is case number 21630 and has a bezel marked 1 to 12.

GENERATION 3

The generation 3 series of models is continually expanding as  XX, XXI, XXII, and as these are modern variants, they can be easily found on the internet, and will not be dealt with here in great detail.

The XX models are covered below, and design features relate to the Type 20 models.

3800 

The Type XX (not the Type 20) was launched in 1994, just before the Swatch Group acquired Breguet. The Breguet caliber 582 movement is used, which started its life as the Lemania caliber 1350 but with the addition of a flyback function. The case is 39mm.

3800 Aéronavale without date – polished bezel, multi-layered matt black dial, polished bracelet or leather bracelet. Gold plated and pink gold plated on leather bracelet as well. Platinum model of 100 units.

The hands and the 15 minute sub-register are reminiscent of those in the Type 20. The sweep second hand is a dot lollipop.

Breguet Type 20 3800ST/92/SW9
3800ST/92/SW9
Breguet Type 20 3800ST/92/9W6
3800ST/92/9W6

3800BA is a solid yellow gold Aéronavale, a rare model with black or dark blue dial.

3800BR is a solid rose gold Aéronavale, a rare model with a dark blue dial.

3800PT platinum Aéronavale with black dial, as a limited edition of 100 pieces (made in 1994).

3803

Celebrating 100 years of Aeronavale as a military branch. Breguet created this new limited edition of 1000 pieces Type XX Aéronavale Ref. 3803ST watch for the 2010 Anniversary.

Inside the watch is a Breuget Caliber 582 automatic flyback chronograph movement.

The piece has unique features for a Type XX model such as a black lacquered rotating bezel with figures in relief, and slightly bigger than the one of the 3800. An exclusive winding-crown and a special marking with the official emblem of Centenary of the Naval Aeronautics at the back of the case. Finally, this watch will be delivered with a special box and a limited edition certificate.

Breguet Type 20 3803ST/92/3W6
3803ST/92/3W6

 

3807

3807ST Aéronavale without date – Special Issue, exhibition caseback, polished bezel, glossy dark Cobalt blue dial, polished bracelet, made in 1998–1999 (approximately 2,000 pieces).

Breguet Type 20 3807ST Aéronavale

3820

3820 Transatlantique (3800 with date at 6 o’clock) – circular brushed dial released later than the Aéronavale. The date window is at 6 o’clock.

This model came in numerous versions : White gold, pink gold , stainless steel, platinum, and titanium with various dials including carbon fibre. Only a couple are shown below.

3820TI titanium Transatlantique with a black carbon fiber dial. (Carbon fiber and titanium are high-tech materials widely used in the aviation industry.)

3820BA/BB/BR solid gold Transatlantique (in yellow gold, white gold and rose gold) with deep blue, black or white dial.

3820PT platinum Transatlantique with blue dial.

3827PT platinum Transatlantique édition limitée with a salmon dial and display back (limited edition of 90 pieces).

Breguet Type 20 3820 Transatlantique

Breguet Type 20 3820 Transatlantique Rose Gold
Rose gold
Breguet Type 20 3827PT
3827PT

3860

With alarm , but no chronograph functions. Steel or gold.

Limited series of 500 pieces which used the same movement as the Classique Ref.3600 from 1992–1993, namely the Breguet 579 (based on the Lemania 2980 / Lemania SL 980), although its alarm indicator only shows the hours while that of the Classique has the minutes and the hours. This caliber has automatic winding for both the time and the alarm.

Breguet Type 20 3860

3810

The 3810 model is larger in diameter at 42mm. It was introduced in 2004 and features  the 584Q movement with central chronograph minute’s hand (like the Lemania 1340and the Lemania 5100) and has a 24-hour indicator. The words Retour en vol are written on its dial. Despite what its name suggests, the Breguet Type xxi has no special relation to the French Type 21 military specification.

Various case types exist, titanium, red gold, pink gold steel.

Breguet Type 20 3810

OTHER BREGUET TYPE 20 MODELS

While there were several official manufacturers of the military Type 20 model, there were also some who made civilian versions.

Since Mathey Tissot assembled the Type 20 for Breguet, it is no surprise that several versions of their Type 20 model exist, with both two and three sub-registers.  One is shown below.  These are not discussed in detail in this article.

Mathey Tissot type 20

Dodane manufactured Chronofixe models which were not supplied to the military.  One such model is shown below with a count down bezel and dial almost identical to the Dodane Type 20, which did not have Type 20 on the dial.  The minutes sub-register is uniquely 6, 12, 18, 24, 30.

chronofixe

What is surprising that there are a handful of Girard-Perregaux three dial versions as well, with a  Valjoux PG 720 movement.

girard peregeaux Type 20

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BREGUET TYPE 20

THE STARTER

The starting point would be the model which started the watch series, the Breguet signed civilian version of the model 5101/54 for the French Airforce, with reeded dial.

Breguet No 8114, Type 20 5101 54

THE KEEPER

A classic model is the Breguet second generation model, with 3 sub-registers.

Breguet Type 20 Second generation, case no. 21663

THE GRAIL

The grail would be a brown faced 3 register civilian version of the CEV Type 20 model. A price approaching $30,000 could be expected for a good model.  

Breguet Type 20 CEV

From The Spring Bar Store:

 

References:

1       http://www.classicwatch.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=43
2       http://www.calibremagazine.com/node/479
3       http://www.donindiano.net/watches/breguet/type_xx/#type_20
http://www.thewatchobserver.fr/dossiers-montres/dossiers-thematiques/breguet-type-xx-histoire-dune-montre-daviateur-legendaire-71#.VsxozPl9600
5       http://kronos.freeforums.org/type-20-i-leggendari-cronografi-dell-armee-de-l-air-t256-15.html
6       http://www.db1983.com/our-archive/breguet-type-xx-marine-nationale-1950s
7       http://www.svetsatova.com/forum/content/423-satovi-francuskih-oružanih-snaga-pilotski-satovi-type-20-i-type-21.html
8       http://www.watchalyzer.com/magazine/news-events/breguet-watchmaker-aviator-innovator-exhibition/
9       http://luxwatch.ua/position-details/breguet/type-xx–type-xxi/3810-type-xxi-flyback-chronograph/print
10     http://www.ablogtowatch.com/vintage-breguet-type-xx-watches-hands-on/
11     http://www.mensup.fr/montres/news/a,84768,l-ecriture-etamp-le-temps-s-invitent-a-l-hotel-drouot-le-26-avril-2010.html
12     http://www.mensup.fr/montres/news/a,84823,chronographes-type-20-et-type-21-un-peu-d-histoire.html
13     http://archives.chronomania.net/messages/04/49537.htm
14     http://forumamontres.forumactif.com/t17-types-20-les-porter-ou-pas
15     http://yabuuchi1872.blog95.fc2.com/blog-entry-247.html
16     https://monochrome-watches.com/weekly-watch-photo-breguet-type-20/
17     https://monochrome-watches.com/breguet-type-xx-5-years-wrist/
18     http://www.breguet.com/en/timepieces/type-xx-xxi-xxii/3800
19    http://dondellinger.com/mipiace/index.php?post/2009/10/24/Type-20-22

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