Among the greatest areas of the Breguet Type XXI is that the motion – that is a bit more than your regular triple register chronograph. What’s also extremely important to mention is that, unlike most (or all that I can remember) Breguet Type XXI watches, the movement – with its appealing machine-polished gold strand – is visible via a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window onto the rear of the watch. Within the watch is your very well-regarded in-house Breguet grade 584Q/2. This is the most recent version of the caliber 584Q, which now contains an “inverted in-line Swiss lever” silicon escapement in the 584Q/2, compared to the metal straight-line lever escapement from the 584Q. This, naturally, isn’t the very first Breguet watch to utilize silicon parts – and it’s good to see the brand continue to embrace this technology, as it assists the moves perform better over time.The caliber 584Q/2 operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of 48 hours. The automated movement offers the time, date, and flyback chronograph, along with a synchronized 24-hour hand that operates as an AM/PM index. The chronograph is also a central minutes and fundamental seconds chronograph, which means you will find just two centrally-mounted chronograph hands to measure these two segments of time. The subdials around the face are used for the running moments of the time, chronograph hour index, along with the synchronized 24-hour hand (which among other things makes putting the time simpler). The motion in performance and function is actually fine, and easily a highlight for possessing this or alternative Breguet Type XXI watches.
First published in 1997, Breguet, Watchmakers since 1775. The life and legacy of Abraham-Louis Breguet was written by Emmanuel Breguet, a seventh generation descendant of Abraham-Louis and now curator of the Breguet museum. With the original edition long out of print, the book has just been published in its second edition, and made available by Breguet for an affordable price.
Corporate vanity coffee table books are rarely worth attentive study, but Abraham-Louis Breguet is such a significant figure in watchmaking that the updated Breguet tome is definitely worth a read. Add to that the Breguet museum’s impressive collection and the book is hard to turn down.
Measuring 27cm by 29cm and weighing 2.6kg (or 5.7lbs), the second edition is a weighty piece of reading. At 452 pages, the second edition is over 60 pages longer than the first, to accommodate the new images, illustrations and historical timepieces acquired by the Breguet museum since 2000 (like the Bugatti Royale clock purchased last year).
Necessarily, the new edition also includes a chapter covering the Swatch era, after the Swiss watchmaking conglomerate took over Breguet in 1999. It details Swatch founder Nicolas Hayek’s leadership of the company until his passing in 2010, during which its turnover grew 10-fold.
Price and availability
Breguet, Watchmakers since 1775. The life and legacy of Abraham-Louis Breguet will be available at Breguet boutiques worldwide, priced at SFr130 or €120, equivalent to US$130.