AIRAIN Type 20

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koimaster (Online)
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AIRAIN Type 20

Post by koimaster » December 23rd 2020, 10:05pm

What collector has never been interested in military watches, and more specifically, in aviation chronographs? The Airain Type 20 is not the most famous, nor the most sought-after. But it is not the least interesting. Moreover, the model that I am going to present to you has a short history of restoration which makes it one of the watches to which I am the most attached.

The appellation Type 20 characterises watches designed in accordance with specifications drawn up in the 50’s by the Ministry of Defence in order to provide reliable watches adapted to the missions of French pilots.

The main characteristic of this chronograph is its Flyback function, that allows to reset and relaunch the tachymetric hand without any stop or interruption. Air navigation is indeed carried out by a combination of headings and the length of time these headings are held. For air missions, the army needed to equip its pilots with chronographs capable of being reset in the blink of an eye when passing over the radio beacons, while taking he next heading. In 1956, a more demanding set of specifications was drawn up, leading to the conception of the Type 21. It’s quite easy to find on the web the above extracts. On the other hand I was’nt able to find any picture or extract of the original type 20 specifications.

I’m not going to tell the complete history of Type 20, on which there are many reference articles. You will find some links at the end of the article. The most famous Type 20 is probably the Breguet, despite the fact it doesn’t really respect the whole specifications of the French ministry. I’ll come back to this point a little later. In this article context, you just have to keep in mind that Dodane has been one of the companies selected by the Defence Ministry. From 1960 to 1980, Dodane delivered watches under three brands: Dodane, Chronofixe, and Airain.

Unlike Dodane and Chronofixe chronographs, dedicated to French Air Force pilots, as far as I know, Airain watches have been (exclusively ?) attributed to the pilots of another French army corps, the ALAT (Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre), the army light aviation. ... ronograph/


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