This Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph is a unique piece, but it gets to this rarefied status without gimmickry. Just as it has done since 2005, Montres Breguet supports Only Watch, and its organiser the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy in its mission to battle debilitating disease with amazing timepieces.
As we have reported before, the Only Watch auction is entirely for charity, and often results in very intriguing timepieces. Yes, these are all unique but sometimes they offer a taste of the future. With the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph, what you get is uncompromising attention to detail and a movement with a story.
For some context, everything you see in the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph is a fair reflection of both the contemporary Type XX line, and to the historical edition, which promulgated the legend of the Breguet pilot’s watch. This is not shorthand for recreation or reinterpretation — to be fair it is also not really a model for those who do not already know the Breguet Type XX wristwatch. This is a unique piece for charity so one might argue that the regular rules do not apply.
Perhaps we could call the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph a symbol of doing the right thing, at precisely the right time. It is a direct successor to the 2019 Breguet Only Watch model, also a Type 20 Chronograph, as it happens. Military-specced versions were designated Type 20 while civilian versions were called Type XX.
Collectors will want to take note that this is a manual-winder, which will give you some idea of what’s happening under that dial (which we will turn to momentarily). Just as in 2019, the Valjoux calibre 235 is in play here, having been restored and returned to active duty. Besides the calibre not being a regular production one, it also links the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph to the Type XX models of the 1950s and 1960s.
That bronze-coloured dial, the Breguet signature at 12 o’clock. And the straight crown are elements hinting at the civilian models of the Type XX; the bronze colour in historical models would have come as a natural consequence of aging, thanks to patination. On the contemporary side, the syringe hands, period appropriate as they are, and the markers both feature Superluminova. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock readily distinguishes this model from the 2019 model, as does the bidirectional bezel and the aforementioned crown.
Interestingly, there is a new reference in the 2021 contemporary Breguet Type XXI that was announced a little before the reveal of the Only Watch model. We will get to that online and in print, but there the case proportions are contemporary (42mm) while for Only Watch things are just as they were in the 1950s (38.3mm). Of course, it goes without saying that the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Chronograph is cased in steel, with a solid caseback (bearing the engraving Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021 Pièce Unique).
The biannual Only Watch auction this year takes place November 6 in Geneva, Switzerland.
For more information about the Breguet Type XX Only Watch 2021, head over to the brand’s website here.