The Breguet Museum and its President, Marc A. Hayek, have recently acquired a vintage Type XX dating back to 1957. It was gifted to the winner of the 1959 Monte Carlo car rally by Esso, the oil company. This historic model was sold at an auction organized by Pescheteau-Badin in Paris.
Breguet began developing its first wrist chronographs in 1935. Twenty or so years later, it launched production of the Type XX as part of a commission from the French armed forces. The chronograph was used by the French Air Force and French Fleet Air Arm from the early 1980s onwards. The Type XX proved so successful that the Manufacture issued it in a civilian version equipped with a “flyback” function. Favored by pilots, this horological complication instantly resets to zero-reset the chronograph hand with a mere press on the lower pusher.
The Type XX chronograph recently acquired by Breguet belongs to the first generation of watches developed for the general public and is distinguished by a brushed steel case and slightly curved lugs. This model also features a 38 mm case fitted with a screw-in back, as well as a graduated rotating bezel. It is also designed with a so-called ‘tropical’ dial that has acquired a beautiful even patina. The originality of this model lies in the fact that it shares strong ties with motorsports.
Produced in 1957, it was sold on November 21st of that same year to the Esso company, which donated the watch to the 1959 winners of the 28th Monte Carlo Rally, engraved with their names. This engraving also reveals that the victorious vehicle was made by the French car manufacturer, Citroën.
This new acquisition further enriches the wide range of historical Breguet watches on show in its Paris and Zurich museums, as well as in their Shanghai counterpart.
The Type XX chronograph will be displayed during London’s City Concours event on the 7th and 8th June as part of the Breguet exhibition.