For the 60th anniversary of the first deliveries of the famed Type XX watches designed by Breguet in the 1950s for the French naval air arm, which this year is celebrating its first century of service, Breguet is introducing a contemporary, technically updated reinterpretation of that legendary chronograph, the Type XXII design.
Its stainless steel case, 44 mm across, houses a Breguet chronograph movement with silicon escapement and flat balance spring whose frequency has been raised to 10 Hertz (i.e. 72,000 vibrations per hour), endowing the movement with exceptional regulating power, its chronograph seconds hand effecting a complete rotation in 30 seconds.
The timepiece’s start function and readout are thus twice as precise. At the heart of this technical exploit is the use of silicon, resulting in more lightweight mobile components and the avoidance of the lubrication problems generated by high frequencies. An extra hand at centre counts the minutes by adding together the 30-second spans. At 12 o’clock, a rectangular aperture in the dial displays a retrograding pointer that indicates whether the chronograph seconds hand is completing its first or its second 30-second revolution. The Breguet Type XXII chronograph naturally features a flyback function, allowing the totaliser to be returned to zero and instantly restarted in one and the same operation.
Furthermore, the dial includes a second time-zone indicator along with an aperture for a date calendar. A two-position crown resets the second time-zone indicator by moving the hour hand at centre without affecting the minute hand. With the crown in that position, the date calendar obeys the time of the main time-zone displayed at centre. A 24-hour night-and-day indicator at 3 o’clock tells the wearer whether it is daytime or nighttime in the area covered by the second time-zone. At nine o’clock, a subdial showing the running seconds making full rotations in 30 seconds completes this truly exceptional timepiece.
The chronograph’s black dial contrasts crisply with the flyback indications in red. The model comes fitted with an integrated alligator strap.