Of course, it’s logical that you have been thinking about a ‘Speedmaster’, a ‘Navitimer’, a Panerai or maybe even a ‘Submariner’; these are all great sports watches, no question about it, but the decision to wear one, would that be yours?
As a Troisanneaux reader, you’re probably wearing a Tank, Calatrava or other high-end gents watch. So when you’re looking for a steel sports watch, the one that should accompany you on your Saturday morning stroll to your first espresso, it should at least be of that same level. Something stylish that matches your ‘Boggi’ sports trousers and collectible sneakers.
These watches are another class than that of the one you’re used to wear to work. And that’s exactly, why we, for a more self-assured guy, think the ultimate sports watch or Flyer whatever you wanna call it is a Breguet Type XX Aeronavale in steel and preferable on a leather strap. The Breguet Type XX is often called a Flieger by its owners, but don’t forget that Breguet itself, never screamed that quote of the roof. Nor were they intend to make a real pilot watch this time. The Breguet Type XX is from a style point of view, based on the vintage Breguet Type 20, but for our lifestyle, that doesn’t matter too much. None of us is actually flying a Cessna at the weekend and let’s be fair, nobody is even diving with his cool ‘Panerai Luminor Marina’. We like a sports watch for its appeal, for its contrast with the one we’re wearing to work during the week and to match our casual weekend outfit. Therefore the Breguet Type XX Aeronavale is the exact piece that fits that lifestyle, and let me explain why precise thát one XX.
Most people that follow me on Instagram and browse the Troisanneaux website, are folks that like style, beauty, perfect design and they don’t settle for anything that looks like it.
When Rolex is not for you, because of its crowd and a Speedmaster pass you by, because there are 79 different versions and another 9 in the planning, then you will understand why we think the exclusive Breguet Type XX is so suitable. At 39.5 mm, the watch has a perfect size, the convex glass has that beautiful vintage look and its black dial can be combined very well with any color leather strap. From a tan calf- to a brown alligator strap. The prominent serif Arabic numerals, and the absence of a date window, give the watch a well-balanced look.
And in case you live in a warm country and prefer an all-steel watch, the XX’s bracelet is very comfortable, perfectly made, and, like many sports watches, doesn’t have these ugly large clasps to close the strap or unnecessary pushers to close it. The bracelet of an XX has a smart-looking blind closure, just like the king of jewelry design, Cartier, used to make in the past. Beautiful and very comfortable!
The one drawback of the bracelet is the way it attaches to the case. It is very hard to remove or attach it and when I tried I had to go to a watchmaker, to have it done. So you better decide in advance what you prefer, bracelet or strap, before you bite.
As soon as you start looking for an occasion Breguet Type XX, because the watch is currently not available from the brand, there are only a few possibilities. We are only talking about the new models from after 1994. Then actually only two versions remain who qualify. The first model the 3800 with a black dial and the 3807, a limited version, with a blue dial. Let’s disregard the yellow and rose gold models for now. Oh yes, there was of course also the Breguet XX Transatlantique, even made in titanium, but that’s basically a regular XX, with an adjusted caliber to have a date window, instead of the number 6, so for most of us, that for sure is not an option.
It is not that hard to find a good XX with a black dial for a reasonable price. The early models with T-SWISS-T on the dial are more pricy than the newer ones with a Luminova dial, but there are still good looking pieces to be found. There is however an earlier version, from around 1994, that does have a tritium dial, but with just a SWISS indication and that’s the only piece that comes with a crown that has a gold cap.
These early pieces are pretty rare and when you look close, you’ll notice another difference; the T in the Breguet logo is slightly different too. These watches often have a great patina. All cases of the 3800 series have a closed back and have a good-looking engraving.
The alternative, when you’re in for a more special and rare version of the XX, the 3807 with its flashy blue dial, might be an option. The watch was produced in 1998 in a limited edition of 2000 pieces for the Japanese market and was launched on the steel bracelet. The dial is not solid blue but varies constantly, depending on the light. Of course, this version of the watch has not much to do anymore with a pilot watch, but it is very eye-catching and a great conversation piece. The back is changed and has an inspection window that gives a nice view of the 582 calibers by Lemania, a caliber that was specially produced for the XX models. The movement features a very useful flyback feature. As you probably know, a flyback chronograph is one where the owner can push the reset button, while the chronograph is running, which will make the chronograph, instantly jump back to zero, and then keeps on running immediately, without the use of a second push.
Coming back to the fact to whether the Breguet Type XX is a pilot watch or not; if Breguet really would like to make a professional Fliegerchronograph and I hope they will do that one day again, it probably will be a satin finish steel version or even a mat polished titanium one. Breguet certainly knows how to do that. But don’t expect such a professional watch to be affordable, just to wear during your Saturday morning stroll, to your first espresso.
Be yourself, don’t follow the crowd!