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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I've been reading about the vintage Type XX pilot's watches:

Type_20_Breguet.jpg

Type_20_Airain.jpg

The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches

I'm still a little confused regarding the branding. I've seen other brands marked as "type 20" or "type 21" that are commonly accepted and are worth a lot of money. (ie, I heard recently that a Mathey Tissot Type 20 sold for $30k). Does anyone know of all the watch brands that had a "type 20" or "type 21" in their lineup?

The main 6, according to most watch scholars are:

1) Breguet
2) Airain
3) Dodane
4) J. Auricoste
5) Vixa
6) Boullier

However, I've seen one by Mathey Tissot and heard of that one selling for $30k.

7?) Mathey Tissot

I'm using these two links as references:

https://monochrome-watches.com/the-type-20-and-type-21-chronographs/
The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches

What's interesting is that neither of those two links mention that there was a Tissot Type 20. Why is that? I can't imagine that one selling for $30k if it was a "fake" type 20.

Additionally, I may have once seen an Election watch that was a type 20 but they're such a small brand, I don't know how they would get the "licensing" for something like that back in the day. Can anyone confirm?

Thanks all! You've been great while I've been increasing my vintage watch IQ :D

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Brands that made the pilot's watch Type 20

That is gorgeous, but I purposefully left out the Zenith brand because they are not the Type 20 that I am learning about today
 

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Apparently, it was Mathey-Tissot (you've mentioned a Tissot Type XX- there was no such thing; Mathey-Tissot and Tissot are completely unrelated!) who made both the Type XX chronographs signed with their own name, as well as they made the Type XX for Breguet.
This article has it nicely explained:
https://www.salonqp.com/features-2/takes-certain-type-story-breguets-legendary-aviation-chronograph/


Now, unlike them, I wouldn't trust a Phillips lot, as Phillips are a lying bunch of blithering crooks. But the fact remains, that Breguet of the 20th century was merely a vestige of what they used to be, and it is no surprise, that they had watches made for them, rather than by them.

That said, it seems like there were 7 brands, but 6 manufacturers...

As to not believing, that a $30K fake wouldn't sell- verily, I'd like to be quite as optimistic as you in that respect. Here's the brutal truth: yes, it would sell, as there's no shortage of clueless buyers with deep pockets out there. As the old proverb goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@mkws, thank you so much for the detailed response. A very interesting lineage indeed. How would go about valuing all the different type 20's from all the different manufactures? Breguet seems to be the most sought after, however Mathey Tissot seems most desirable (in my mind, at least).

Also, what is one to make of all the other "type 20's" on the market? Perhaps I've stumbled upon a few Frankenwatches. A Type 20 case with dial and movement from another chronograph with a Valjoux 22. Very interesting indeed...

Any other thoughts on the subjects?

Regards,

Joe
 

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I wouldn't go about valuing them- for one, because to me, that's the "madness" territory, which I don't like to venture into. Besides, the Type XX exists in quite a few versions from each manufacturer, with not necessarily the brand determining the value; just look up past sales of the "Big Eye" versions.

Are you sure that the Valjoux 22 was in a Type XX case? It could have had a similar design, or the case was supplied by the same case maker, who made Type XX cases for the 6 manufacturers. Which would be likely, as the Valjoux 22 is one ligne wider than the flyback movements that the Type XX cases were designed for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Good Point. According to this article, The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches, they were initially made with the Valjoux 22 w/ an added flyback and later made with other Valjoux movements. Auricoste was the exception, always using Lemania movements.

Many of the Election watches that I've seen in the past have come with the Valjoux 22, which added a slight weight of credibility. Perhaps I should ask the seller if it has a flyback function, which I don't believe was standard on all Valjoux 22's...could ruin the watch though if it doesn't...
 

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Be careful when buying a type XX chronograph, there have been a lot of frankens and mariage watches.A nice and original condition type XX is very expensive nowadays. Normally the type XX watches should be equipped with a flyback function, if it isn't there then it is a franken.
 
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Apparently, it was Mathey-Tissot (you've mentioned a Tissot Type XX- there was no such thing; Mathey-Tissot and Tissot are completely unrelated!) who made both the Type XX chronographs signed with their own name, as well as they made the Type XX for Breguet.
This article has it nicely explained:
https://www.salonqp.com/features-2/takes-certain-type-story-breguets-legendary-aviation-chronograph/


Now, unlike them, I wouldn't trust a Phillips lot, as Phillips are a lying bunch of blithering crooks. But the fact remains, that Breguet of the 20th century was merely a vestige of what they used to be, and it is no surprise, that they had watches made for them, rather than by them.

That said, it seems like there were 7 brands, but 6 manufacturers...

As to not believing, that a $30K fake wouldn't sell- verily, I'd like to be quite as optimistic as you in that respect. Here's the brutal truth: yes, it would sell, as there's no shortage of clueless buyers with deep pockets out there. As the old proverb goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
Philips have killed the collector market for the average Rolex buyer, now they do the same with the type XX. Freaking unbelievable. Breguet was never really a manufacture to begin with but mostly an assembleur. 30k$ for a fake, that is definite crookery but as usual with Philips there is always a fool and his money ready to be parted quickly and for far more than what they have bargained for. Money doesn't buy common sense.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, negotiations have broken down, so I'll just post the watch I came across:

It's an Election, which often use the Valjoux 22. Seller says no flyback, but I believe that's because he doesn't think the Cal. 22 ever came with one, not because he tried it.

Type_20_Election1.jpg

Type_20_Election2.jpg

Type_20_Election4.jpg

Type_20_Election3.jpg

Someone that thinks it's real will buy it for an absurd price, I'm sure.
 

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Philips have killed the collector market for the average Rolex buyer, now they do the same with the type XX. Freaking unbelievable. Breguet was never really a manufacture to begin with but mostly an assembleur. 30k$ for a fake, that is definite crookery but as usual with Philips there is always a fool and his money ready to be parted quickly and for far more than what they have bargained for. Money doesn't buy common sense.
Well, the 20th century Breguet had little to do with the Breguet company from the 18th and 19th century.

My point about Phillips wasn't that the watch sold by them was fake- it was that they have a record of doing research badly or not doing it at all, or getting creative with their assessment. I laughed hard, when they called a few watches by Cyma and Doxa "exceptionally rare", while there is nothing to confirm that claim, since Doxa archives were turned into papier-mache by a flood, and the Cyma archives were destroyed - IIRC - in a fire. That said, the descriptions of their lots are to be taken with a substantial grain of salt, and it's unwise to consider them a good reference.



As to the Valjoux 22, it generally had no flyback function- I'd hazard a guess, that a flyback version would indeed have a different calibre number. Generally, my point is, that the same cases as the ones made for some of the Type XX and XXI watches could have been supplied by an external supplier, and could have been used in perfectly civilian watches (not even the civilian market versions of the XX/XXI). That said, if the case of that Valjoux 22-powered possible frankenwatch didn't have military markings, it's likely, that the watch wasn't a franken, but simply it used the same cases as the Type XX (of course, not as in the Vixa, which was built by Hanhart).

Returning to flyback Valjoux movements, I'm mostly familiar with the 720 (flyback version of the smaller 13''' cal. 72) used in the Type XXI. It seems like there's very little to be found, about the flyback 22 as such (i.e. any details on the ebauche itself). I had mostly the 720 (I made a bit of a mistake there- a normal 22 would fit a non-Vixa/non-Auricoste Type XX case alright, it wouldn't fit the XXI case for the 720) in mind when mentioning the size difference.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What do you think the Election watch above might be worth? At the very least, it's a nice, vintage chronograph with a slick bezel
 

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Well, negotiations have broken down, so I'll just post the watch I came across:

It's an Election, which often use the Valjoux 22. Seller says no flyback, but I believe that's because he doesn't think the Cal. 22 ever came with one, not because he tried it.

View attachment 12079050

View attachment 12079058

View attachment 12079194

View attachment 12079210

Someone that thinks it's real will buy it for an absurd price, I'm sure.
It should have luminous hands and the movement looks dirty too,the regulator is also way off
 

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I may be mistaken, but I think the Vixa was a Hanhart product. Something to do with war reparations.

Cal. 41 Hanhart? Whoops, I see someone has already posted this......nevermind....
 

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Didn't notice the Election posted before... The case resembles some of the Type XX, so it could have been made by the same supplier. It is marked Election, so I don't think it was ever a part of a Type XX. That said, I think it is a genuine Election...with issues. As Georges said, a dirty movement in a rather bad condition, the hands are most certainly replacement ones- the minute and hour hand are of an incorrect length. And they should be lumed.
 
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I don't personally recall seeing a type 20 or 21 with flat chronograph pushers and would quickly dismiss it as an authentic issued watch just on that basis.

Then the dial looks to have reasonably fresh lume. If there is lume on the dial you expect lume on the hands. Chronosweep is too long. So, hands are wrong. Dial is wrong too - no tachy scale on a type XX.

I think its a made made up fantasy watch worth nothing in particular other than for parts.
 

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I don't personally recall seeing a type 20 or 21 with flat chronograph pushers and would quickh dismiss it as an authentic issued watch just on that basis.

Then the dial looks to have reasonably fresh lume. If there is lume on the dial you expect lume on the hands. Chronosweep is too long. So, hands are wrong.

I think its a made made up fantasy watch worth nothing in particular other than for parts.
nice example
 

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Don has written a nice summary of the watches manufactured for the France Airforce Type 20 & Type 21 tenders; this should cover most questions:
The Breguet Type XX Aéronavale and Transatlantique

Mathey Tissot designed and manufactured both the Breguet Type XX and the XXI, but did never deliver these to the French Military, so there are no "military issue" Mathey Tissot.

Dodane marketed their watches under several brand names: Airin, Airan, Chronofixe and, of course, Dodane.

I have personally never seen a "Boullier Type 20 or XX" in the metal, not even a picture ...

note the "...interesting flyback chronograph made by Auricoste in the 1950s for the French army" in Stephen Sugiyama's classicwatch.com article is a non-flyblack Breitling ref. 765 AVI w/ the digital minute counter that, so the claims go, was first presented to the France Air Force in 1952.



So, trying to sum it up:


Breguet, manufactured by Mathey Tissot
Auricoste
Vixa, based on Hanhart components received as WWII reparations
Dodane, acting under several brands

Boullier (for me unconfirmed, would love to learn more and hunt one)
 
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