Breguet is mostly associated with classic, elegantly finished and decorated watches, as well as the countless innovations credited to the founder of the brand, Abraham-Louis Breguet. However, there is another sphere of influence associated with the Breguet family and its fundamental role in the world of aviation. Louis Charles Breguet, great-great-grandson of Abraham-Louis Breguet, was one of the great pioneers in the field and Breguet, the brand, established a name for itself with the Type XX aviation chronograph. Following a succession of aviation watches with an instrumental look, Breguet adds a touch of colour and sportiness to its flyback chronograph with new orange and green editions of the Breguet Type XXI 3815 in titanium.
Although the Type XX, the civilian and modernised edition of the military-issued flyback chronograph, is no longer in the collection, there are still several watches produced by Breguet to cover the needs of aviation enthusiasts. We are referring to the Type XXI and Type XXII watches, more contemporary and larger takes on the original concept. Specifically, the Type XXI, which is a beefed-up edition of the Type XX, with a bigger case, a slightly different display and a more refined movement.
The Breguet Type XXI has been around for several years, and even titanium isn’t entirely new to this collection. But today, the brand enhances the sporty look and feel of its chronograph by combining a titanium case with bold, colourful elements and a refreshed dial. This new reference 3815 in titanium is the contemporary counterpart to the vintage-style edition, the Type XXI 3817, unveiled in 2016. Still housed in a 42mm case – versus 38mm for the classic Type XX – it replaced stainless steel with a more resistant yet lighter titanium grade 5 alloy. The case retains all the emblematic elements of the collection, including the fluted caseband – executed in a more pronounced way here than on watches from the classic collection – for improved grip. Thanks to a screw-down crown and sealed caseback, the watch is water-resistant to 100 metres.
A classic element of the titanium editions of the Breguet Type XXI is the contrasting titanium bezel with a 60-minute scale in positive relief and filled with black lacquer. This black element not only makes the watch sportier but also makes it appear smaller on the wrist. Reinforcing the casual and modern style of these two new Type XXI 3815 titanium is the matte calfskin strap (black on the orange version, light brown on the green version) with contrasting stitching recalling the colour on the dial. It is closed by a new triple-folding buckle for added comfort. Despite the relatively large diameter and height of the case, the Type XXI is a comfortable watch thanks to its short rounded lugs and the reduced weight of titanium.
The main update on these new Breguet Type XXI 3815 titanium is the dial, which has been entirely remodelled for the occasion. First of all, the whole layout has been simplified and updated. Second, and most importantly, it now incorporates touches of colour on the hands and numerals, something rather unexpected for Breguet. Nevertheless, the result is compelling and blends well with the casual attire of these new editions.
The base of the dial is sunray-brushed with a deep black colour. In addition, the watch features a newly designed precision minute/seconds track on the periphery, and the applied indexes have been replaced by more tool-ish painted Arabic numerals and markers. These are filled with bright orange or green luminescent material, which can also be found on the hours and minutes hands. Another update concerns the display itself. Previously a tri-counter chronograph, Breguet has gone for a cleaner bi-compax layout, but not a standard one either… While a small seconds sits at 9 o’clock, the sub-counter at 3 o’clock is reserved for a 24-hour indicator and not chronograph minutes. Indeed, the Type XXI 3815 (like all other Type XXI) has a practical central minutes display, together with the central seconds. A date window is positioned at 6 o’clock.
Under the sapphire crystal is the well-known calibre 584Q/A with its signature “retour en vol” or flyback complication. The flyback allows the chronograph to be paused and reset with a single press on the pusher at 4 o’clock, thus enabling consecutive timing sessions. This automatic movement, based on a Lemania architecture, incorporates the latest technologies implemented by Breguet, such as the silicon escapement and balance spring. A cam-operated chronograph, it runs at a frequency of 4Hz and stores 48 hours of power reserve. The decoration is pleasant, with nicely finished bridges and a specific rotor specific for this titanium edition made of gold with a guilloché pattern.
Availability & Price
Each edition of the Breguet Type XXI 3815 Titanium, either with orange or green details, is a limited edition of 250 pieces, available now from Breguet boutiques and retailers. Price is set at EUR 14,500. For more details, please visit breguet.com.