The Return of the Type XX

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The Return of the Type XX

Post by koimaster » August 6th 2022, 8:38pm

It’s an announcement whose importance will likely be lost on all but specialists: Mathey-Tissot is making a limited-edition reissue of the 1934 Type XX, as commissioned by Breguet for the French military

The Type XX is no ordinary watch. It is a reference, both literally and figuratively, that began life almost a century ago. It is also a trophy which the biggest brands have had in their sights and which several — the likes of Breguet, Breitling and IWC — have bagged. Competition was rife to supply pilots and the armed forces with the most attractive, most accurate Type XX, yet one detail went largely unnoticed: these chronographs were manufactured by the same company: Mathey-Tissot.

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Unofficial purveyor to watchmaking royalty
Known only to the most savvy collectors, the brand boasts an illustrious past in the service of the profession’s greatest names. In addition to the aforementioned Breguet, Breitling and IWC, Mathey-Tissot also supplied Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux. All came knocking on the door of the factory in Le Ponts-de-Martel in search of two well-attested competencies: complications and precision. Indeed, watches made by Mathey-Tissot regularly took part in Kew or Geneva observatory timing trials.

Mathey-Tissot x Alfred Rochat
No other watch captures these values of complication and precision better than the chronograph, and more especially its most emblematic incarnation, the Type XX, which is making a comeback in not one but two executions. The first is an automatic flyback while the second is manual-winding with a date display. Of the two, the flyback is the most noteworthy. Its base movement is by Arola, aka Alfred Rochat, an illustrious maker established in La Vallée de Joux since 1941 and a supplier to the profession’s leading names, thus creating an historical continuity with Mathey-Tissot which during these same years was also working behind the scenes, often for the same brands.


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