When we buy watches, we may ask “is it too big for my wrist?” or “Should I get IWC or Breitling?”. These questions tend to be cosmetically related, as watches are mainly considered accessories nowadays. However, there is an important element that is often overlooked, history. Today I want to thank @toiche on Instagram for some high-quality photos and insight for the Bréguet Type XX Marine Nationale 1960. @toiche is an avid Bréguet pocket watch and Type XX collector whose adoration for Type XX led him to reach out to former pilots that owned the watch, giving him unique insight into the evolution of this amazing timepiece.
Model: Type XX Marine Nationale pour Aéronautique Navale 1960
Diameter: 38 mm
Calibre: cal. 222
Material: Stainless steel
Words from the collector…
I was very lucky to be able to interview @toiche, an experienced Bréguet watch collector, about the Marine Nationale. I wanted to understand why this watch holds such significance for him. When asked, “What do you see when you look at the Type XX watches?”, he replied, “What I really like is to imagine these watches were worn for dozens of years by pilots. They went around the world and they have experienced stress, fear, joy, sad news, and good news…” Undoubtedly, watches such as the Type XX Marine Nationale have stood witness to countless historical moments. @toiche recalls, ‘I met one former pilote who still wears his type20…he is old, and (has been) retired for a long time. For him, this is just a tool watch, the watch he was using on a daily basis”. By humanizing timepieces such as these, we can imagine all the ups & downs the watch went through, alongside its loyal partner, painting a … “wynorrific” picture in our minds.
Back in the military era where armies would specifically order watches to be made for their soldiers, the Marine Nationale was crafted for the French Naval Army. Interestingly, Bréguet was not the only one to make “Type XX” watches but they popularized the model by making the highest quality products.
“Bréguet was not a military watch player…but they played the game and won it.@toiche
If you look at the dial and the overall design of this watch, there really isn’t much to talk about. Yes, it is one of the first watches to have a flyback chronograph function and yes, there is an antimagnetic field built within the watch. But there aren’t any jazzy features that make the watch stand out from the crowd and IT’S OKAY! This is not the kind of watch where you stop at its appearance, it is the kind that you dive deeper into the history and understand what it has been through.
“We really shouldn’t consider these as luxury watches … accepting these to be scratched a lot, banged against the wall without [a care for its impact]. It was just a regular pilot watch!”@toiche
What began as a humble watchmaker by Louis Abraham Bréguet has slowly turned into what we refer to as “luxury watches” nowadays. It is clear that the quality of Bréguet watches has not changed since day 1. The only thing that has increased the price (and value!) of their pieces is the historical and sentimental aspect in the name “Bréguet”. This really puts things into perspective, and it is collectors like @toiche that makes the watch community a better place.
Don’t forget to follow Gentleman Pursuits on social media to stay up-to-date:
Facebook: Gentleman Pursuits
Podcast: Gentleman Pursuits
Support the website on Patreon if you like it!
Click here to browse more of our articles!