Sporty watches are probably not the first thing to come to mind when you think about the luxury timepiece brand Breguet, which is better known for its dressy, elegant designs. However, Breguet — which is named after the famed 18th watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet — also has a solid history in making military timepieces: In the 1950s, it began making the Type 20 aviation chronograph, which it supplied to the French armed forces.
Introduced in 2001, the first Type XXI model was an evolution of the Type XX, which was inspired by the early Type 20 military chronographs. The Type XXI was larger at 42mm and featured a flyback chronograph movement that had centrally mounted chronograph minutes and seconds hands.
In its latest iterations, the Type XXI 3815 gets a younger, fresher style, mostly thanks to its use of bright colours (bright orange or green) and a cleaner dial. Housed in a 42mm titanium case, the watch gets your attention with its large Arabic numerals in orange or green lume, which is also found on its markers and hands. These contrast strikingly with the black-lacquered 60-minute scale on the bidirectional rotating bezel.
While the new dial might look pretty busy with its two large subdials, it is actually more stripped down than other Type XXI dials, which have three. On the new model, the two counters are a 24-hour display (at 3 o’clock) and a small seconds (at 9 o’clock). Staying true to the Type XXI, the flyback chronograph features central chronograph hands that indicate both the elapsed minutes and seconds — a relatively uncommon feature for chronographs, which usually have a separate minutes subdial.
Powering this timepiece is the self-winding movement calibre 584Q/A, which features a silicon escapement and balance spring, which give it greater resistance to magnetism. Elsewhere, there are plenty of fine details that you’d expect from the brand, such as a finely fluted caseband that offers better grip, a screw-down crown that contributes to its 100m water resistance and a gold rotor with a specially created hand-guilloche finish — a hidden feature that is oh so very Breguet.
The Breguet Type XXI 3815 is produced in a limited edition of 250 pieces per colour.