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


The Type XXI isn’t offered in a several different materials like the Daytona is, this is partly due to the difference between the amount of watches the two companies make a year. You can get it in steel on a leather strap, solid 18k rose gold with a leather strap or a beautiful solid gold.

Now for the big topic, pricing. It definitely makes a massive difference as if these watches are priced wrong then they can be knocked out completely. Before the final bell rings let’s remind ourselves of the strengths and weaknesses of these watches.


The Rolex Daytona is an iconic piece offered in many many more material choices, it’s also got a completely in house made movement by Rolex and is much more resilient to the bumps and scuffs of daily life. However, there are some negatives too. First I feel there’s too much writing on the dial, it’s got a wall of text under the Rolex crown and even though it’s nothing new for Rolex, I’m not a fan, also, there are polished parts of the watch and there are brushed parts so some would get scratches and some wouldn’t, that imbalance would annoy me as well. Most importantly though, the chronograph pushers are screw down to be kept watertight. The only thing with that system is I’d end up forgetting that they’re unscrewed and then there’d be an enormous bill.


The Breguet Type XXI immediately got off to a much better start than the Daytona simply because it’s a Breguet and has an enormous history. There’s also a date window, some may like it and some won’t but for me the more the merrier. Both of which are very complex in their own right but both have been brought together seamlessly in the Type XXI. On the downside, because it’s a Breguet, you won’t benefit from an enormous customer service chain so if anything goes wrong with it it’ll be harder to fix and honestly better if it were sent back to Breguet. If impressing your friends with your belongings is your sort of thing then you can be guaranteed that they’ll probably never have heard of Breguet before. Also, this watch is much much more delicate than the Daytona and is more suited to a weekend plan or a rotation with the other pieces in the bank safe if you have an established collection.

Back to pricing. In steel (the one we’ll be looking at most) the Daytona would cost about £8800 in either a white or black dial and for those who want to know, platinum is roughly £40,000. The Breguet Type XXI in steel costs about £8500, less than the Daytona. Only a fool would say that it’s poorly made compared to the Rolex and you can be sure that the Daytona’s price was put up by the crowns that are all over it.

So the winner (by what’s become a country mile I might add) is the Breguet Type XXI. The Rolex is fantastic and any owners who seriously love their piece would be scoffing right about now. But the Breguet’s a 42mm flyback chronograph date that’s made by Breguet, all for £8500. That could well be the deal of the century.

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Stay tuned as there’s a load more watches still floating around out there just waiting to compete.


Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Editor

First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father two years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.