By Harlan Chapman-Green
We’re back with more Baselworld coverage and, this time, we’re with my favourite company of them all: Breguet. They’ve been around since 1775 and have been innovating for all this time, giving us such unique inventions as the gong spring, the first perpetual winding mechanism and, of course, the tourbillon. This time, however, they’re focusing on one of their more affordable lineups.
They Type XXI evolved from the Type XX. That watch takes inspiration from the design of wristwatch that was required by the French Air Force at the time. Breguet and three other companies were given the task of making this watch to match the specification required, called Type 20. Although I know at least one of the other manufactures is still around today, Breguet’s Type 20 descendent the Type XX has taken the centre stage, and what a marvellous job it’s done.
The new Type XXI 3187 has some subtle differences from the older Type XXI 3180 watches, the chief among which being that it’s gotten a lot more vintage, while the look hasn’t really changed much, the dial is now slate grey with enlarged faux patina Arabic numerals on it. I’m also sad to report that it appears that the dial no longer features the lovely contra-rotating polishing, whereby the outer part reflected light more in one direction and the inner the other, although for some this isn’t a big issue.
Continuing the tradition of the 3180 lineup of watches the Type XXI 3187 also features a chronograph that’s laid out in a slightly different way to the usual. Normally a chronograph is laid out so that information is split between the central seconds hand and two subdials. However with the Type XXI range, it works a little bit differently. Both the chronograph second and minutes hands are centrally mounted, the chronograph hours are displayed at 6 O’clock. The 9 O’clock subdial displays the running seconds and the 3 O’clock subdial is a 24 hour subdial with a day and night indicator as well.
The power reserve in this watch is 48 hours thanks to the new Calibre 584Q/2 movement inside, the movement now has a silicon balance spring and, like the 3180, is also a flyback chronograph movement. There’s now words yet as to whether this movement is also made for Lemania by Breguet or whether this is a Breguet made movement, this time, around, for some that was a real issue, but given that Lemania is owned by Breguet and the movement in the 3180 could only be used in that watch it didn’t make a difference at all to me. What does make a difference is the fact that the gorgeous movement is now on display for the world. That might be a turn-off for those who are really into their pilots watches as it’s not a feature usually needed. However for those who are just into mechanical watches, it shouldn’t be an issue.
This steel cased watch on a leather calfskin strap will be available to buy for $12,000. For more info, please visit breguet.com
HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN – MANAGING EDITOR
A keen bass guitar player, Harlan enjoys all the perks modern watchmaking technologies the industry has to offer. Although you might catch him sampling Omegas or the “odd” Rolex, Harlan loves all things Haute Horology, with his three favourite brands being Breguet, A.Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin. He hopes to study timekeeping more in depth someday and will never be able to thank his father enough for introducing him to the industry. You can follow him on Instagram Read his articles here