May 26, 2011
by Ariel Adams
Among many other things I like about this Breguet watch are the applied hour indicators. These are most certainly ranked among the best hour markers I have ever seen. They are done in a brushed metal (likely titanium to match the case) and are applied to the dial. The finish on them is very smooth and they appear luxurious as well as being very clear to the eye. What exactly makes them look so good? The trick is that the surface isn’t flat. Each numeral is rounded, just a bit. Trust me, they look better in person than in pictures. It also helps that they are designed in that typical, beautiful, Breguet Transatlantique style. I love this font.
The hour numerals aren’t the only new thing here, either. For 2011 Breguet releases a titanium version of their Type XXI 3810 aviator watch (also a better designed and working version of the XXII!). Breguet has a wonderful eye for detail and when they make a mistake with something, they quickly fix it. The grade 5 titanium used for the case is well machined, offering the style of the steel model with the lightness and grayer color of titanium. The titanium Type XXI comes on either a leather strap or a titanium bracelet. Both look quite stunning. Leave it to Breguet to make a masculine watch that you can freely call “pretty.”
The original Type XXI watch came with a brown dial. Nice, but I wanted a black one. I loved the Type XX in gold with a black dial. That was the first watch I had seen in black and gold and said, “Now that is a good color combo.” With my taste today the Type XX is too small, and at 42.5mm wide, the Type XXI feels much better. Maybe there will be a gold and black Type XXI in the future. I don’t think Breguet has done that yet.
In addition to being offered in titanium, the watch also has a new dial design and bezel. The thin rotating bezel is engraved with applied black for a much more retro look than the others. I feel that it fits the “timeless aviator” theme rather well. Around the periphery of the dial is a thick, white minute ring which is complimented with a similar design around the sub seconds dial. These little touches really add to the attractive quality of the dial – which remains highly legible.
Inside the watch is the same automatic movement which has the time, date, 12 hour chronograph, and a 24 hour hand (AM/PM indicator. The chronograph is one of those neat ones that uses the central dial for the chronograph seconds and minutes, vastly improving your ability to read the chronograph counters. Not too sure about other details in the watch. This really is one of the most elegant military style pilot watches out there. You just can’t go wrong with it. Price is from 12,500 – 15,000 Swiss Francs (strap or bracelet price).