Breguet began making pilot’s chronographs in 1955, with the Type XX commissioned by the French air force and naval air arm. This was followed by the Types XXI and XXII, and they have been in production ever since. This year, Breguet presents the new Type XXI 3817 chronograph, an evocative piece with a vintage-look dial reminiscent of early pilot’s watches, that conceals a 21st-century movement. The dial is in slate grey, with luminescent Arabic numerals, hands and dots. The flyback chronograph unusually has central hands for both seconds and minutes, with a 12-hour chronograph hour totalizer at 6 o’clock, and small seconds at 9 o’clock. There is a date window a 6 o’clock, and a 24-hour subdial at 3 o’clock which also operates as a day/night indicator.
The case is in stainless steel, with fluted caseband and bi-directional rotating bezel, and for the first time in the history of Breguet’s pilot’s watches, the piece has a sapphire caseback revealing the movement. This is one of the most important differences with respect to the previous version of the Type XXI.
It has a screw-down crown, contributing to its excellent water resistance of 10 bar, 100 metres. It is mounted on a calfskin leather strap that is so supple that it feels as comfortable as a strap that you have worn for many months.
The self-winding movement is the Breguet Calibre 584Q/2, with 48 hours power reserve.
Price and availability
All considered, a beautiful piece, and a flyback chronograph with Breguet movement at a very interesting price compared to most Breguet watches, €13,700. It will be available in boutiques from September 2016. After the previous high-end pilot’s watches already launched by top brands, this piece, along with the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence, shows just how important the genre has become.