Clash Of The Chronos: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Watch vs Breguet Chronograph Type XXI Watch

The same cannot be said about Breguet. This is because, unlike Rolex, Breguet also builds haute horlogerie pieces too, which are the polar opposite of your standard run of the mill watch. In fact, even though the type XXI doesn’t have a tourbillon it’s still considered to be high horology.


The Breguet Type XXI had perhaps a more useful reason for being created than the Daytona. It was created back in the 50s for the French Air Force, and as per their specification, features a central minutes hand.

What does that mean? A flyback chronograph works in just the same way as a normal chronograph, except you don’t need to stop the chronograph before you reset it. You can reset it while it’s running, the hands will jump back to zero and begin timing again. The chronograph minutes hand is placed underneath the chronograph seconds hand on this watch, making reading the recorded time much easier because you’re not squinting at a subdial. Another advantage of a central chronograph minutes hand is that it frees up a subdial which in this case has been utilised as a 24 hour timer for the chronograph.

It also has a bi-directional timing bezel instead of a tachometer like the Rolex. There’s also a date window hiding there at 6 O’Clock. Also, if you can catch the light correctly you’ll see just how Breguet’s finished the dial which has been cleverly split into a small circle inside a big circle. There’s a brushed finish on the black dial (brown with the gold pieces) and the inner circle is brushed in one direction and the outer circle is brushed in the other which gives this watch an amazing aura that you really have to see to see.

Under the 12 marker there’s the Breguet logo that’s been hand painted on there and under is are the words “retour en vol” which refers to the flyback function. Like the Daytona there’s lume applied to the markers and hands on the Type XXI, but because the hands are larger than on the Rolex legibility will be in the Breguet’s favour. And then theres the coin edging on the side, let’s not get too distracted by that because as wonderful as it is it’s a Breguet hallmark.

Rolex used to use a Zenith movement in their Daytona, and you could easily tell as the seconds hand was at 9 O’Clock and with the in-house made movement it’s moved to 6. The Type XXI doesn’t use a movement made in-house at the Breguet facility. It’s made by a small company called Lemania. Before all the accusations fly and whatnot we should consider that Lemania has not only made movements before for the likes of all the big three (AP, VC & PP) but is also owned by Breguet anyway so while it’s not truly in-house in-house like the Rolex, the movement isn’t outsourced from a completely different company. Also, this movement is made by Lemania and is only allowed to be used in the Type XXI, not in anything else.


The Breguet’s water resistant to 100m, just like the Daytona. However, I wouldn’t want to take either of them down to that depth ever, in fact, I wouldn’t even want to get them wet if I could help it. Just like the Speedmaster and the Breitling we had last time, both of these watches are water resistant but under no circumstances should you ever test that water resistance and especially never ever ever operate the chronograph under water. Only with a diving watch should you operate the chronograph under water if it’s stated that you can. Although given that Breguet’s recently withdrawn the Type XXI on their wonderful bracelet, I wouldn’t even want to get the leather straps damp if I could help it.

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