Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21
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  1. #1
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    Question Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Hello all,

    I've been reading about the vintage Type XX pilot's watches:

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    The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches

    I'm still a little confused regarding the branding. I've seen other brands marked as "type 20" or "type 21" that are commonly accepted and are worth a lot of money. (ie, I heard recently that a Mathey Tissot Type 20 sold for $30k). Does anyone know of all the watch brands that had a "type 20" or "type 21" in their lineup?

    The main 6, according to most watch scholars are:

    1) Breguet
    2) Airain
    3) Dodane
    4) J. Auricoste
    5) Vixa
    6) Boullier

    However, I've seen one by Mathey Tissot and heard of that one selling for $30k.

    7?) Mathey Tissot

    I'm using these two links as references:

    https://monochrome-watches.com/the-t...-chronographs/
    The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches

    What's interesting is that neither of those two links mention that there was a Tissot Type 20. Why is that? I can't imagine that one selling for $30k if it was a "fake" type 20.

    Additionally, I may have once seen an Election watch that was a type 20 but they're such a small brand, I don't know how they would get the "licensing" for something like that back in the day. Can anyone confirm?

    Thanks all! You've been great while I've been increasing my vintage watch IQ :D

    -Joe
    Last edited by joebro391; June 8th, 2017 at 23:42.
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  2. #2
    Member SilkeN's Avatar
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    Re: Brands that made the pilot's watch Type 20

    When I hear Type 20 I think about Zenith Les Type 20 de l'Armée de l'air française ..look here: https://sites.google.com/site/zenith...-et-l-aviation but its made for airplanes of the french army and not for the wrist. LIP build simular ones.

    Regards Silke

    Addition: For the wrist it looks this way just posted today by river rat : https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/som...s-4403410.html
    Last edited by SilkeN; June 8th, 2017 at 22:47.
    That's what I think about today:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlUGeY7MWVo

  3. #3
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    Re: Brands that made the pilot's watch Type 20

    That is gorgeous, but I purposefully left out the Zenith brand because they are not the Type 20 that I am learning about today

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  5. #4
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Apparently, it was Mathey-Tissot (you've mentioned a Tissot Type XX- there was no such thing; Mathey-Tissot and Tissot are completely unrelated!) who made both the Type XX chronographs signed with their own name, as well as they made the Type XX for Breguet.
    This article has it nicely explained:
    https://www.salonqp.com/features-2/takes-certain-type-story-breguets-legendary-aviation-chronograph/


    Now, unlike them, I wouldn't trust a Phillips lot, as Phillips are a lying bunch of blithering crooks. But the fact remains, that Breguet of the 20th century was merely a vestige of what they used to be, and it is no surprise, that they had watches made for them, rather than by them.

    That said, it seems like there were 7 brands, but 6 manufacturers...

    As to not believing, that a $30K fake wouldn't sell- verily, I'd like to be quite as optimistic as you in that respect. Here's the brutal truth: yes, it would sell, as there's no shortage of clueless buyers with deep pockets out there. As the old proverb goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Interesting....

  7. #6
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    @mkws, thank you so much for the detailed response. A very interesting lineage indeed. How would go about valuing all the different type 20's from all the different manufactures? Breguet seems to be the most sought after, however Mathey Tissot seems most desirable (in my mind, at least).

    Also, what is one to make of all the other "type 20's" on the market? Perhaps I've stumbled upon a few Frankenwatches. A Type 20 case with dial and movement from another chronograph with a Valjoux 22. Very interesting indeed...

    Any other thoughts on the subjects?

    Regards,

    Joe

  8. #7
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    I wouldn't go about valuing them- for one, because to me, that's the "madness" territory, which I don't like to venture into. Besides, the Type XX exists in quite a few versions from each manufacturer, with not necessarily the brand determining the value; just look up past sales of the "Big Eye" versions.

    Are you sure that the Valjoux 22 was in a Type XX case? It could have had a similar design, or the case was supplied by the same case maker, who made Type XX cases for the 6 manufacturers. Which would be likely, as the Valjoux 22 is one ligne wider than the flyback movements that the Type XX cases were designed for.
    georges zaslavsky and SilkeN like this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.
    Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  9. #8
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Good Point. According to this article, The Type 20: French Military Chronographs - Classicwatch Vintage Watches, they were initially made with the Valjoux 22 w/ an added flyback and later made with other Valjoux movements. Auricoste was the exception, always using Lemania movements.

    Many of the Election watches that I've seen in the past have come with the Valjoux 22, which added a slight weight of credibility. Perhaps I should ask the seller if it has a flyback function, which I don't believe was standard on all Valjoux 22's...could ruin the watch though if it doesn't...
    Last edited by joebro391; June 9th, 2017 at 17:41.

  10. #9
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Be careful when buying a type XX chronograph, there have been a lot of frankens and mariage watches.A nice and original condition type XX is very expensive nowadays. Normally the type XX watches should be equipped with a flyback function, if it isn't there then it is a franken.
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  11. #10
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    Re: Brands that made the French Pilot's Watch Type 20 & 21

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Apparently, it was Mathey-Tissot (you've mentioned a Tissot Type XX- there was no such thing; Mathey-Tissot and Tissot are completely unrelated!) who made both the Type XX chronographs signed with their own name, as well as they made the Type XX for Breguet.
    This article has it nicely explained:
    https://www.salonqp.com/features-2/takes-certain-type-story-breguets-legendary-aviation-chronograph/


    Now, unlike them, I wouldn't trust a Phillips lot, as Phillips are a lying bunch of blithering crooks. But the fact remains, that Breguet of the 20th century was merely a vestige of what they used to be, and it is no surprise, that they had watches made for them, rather than by them.

    That said, it seems like there were 7 brands, but 6 manufacturers...

    As to not believing, that a $30K fake wouldn't sell- verily, I'd like to be quite as optimistic as you in that respect. Here's the brutal truth: yes, it would sell, as there's no shortage of clueless buyers with deep pockets out there. As the old proverb goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
    Philips have killed the collector market for the average Rolex buyer, now they do the same with the type XX. Freaking unbelievable. Breguet was never really a manufacture to begin with but mostly an assembleur. 30k$ for a fake, that is definite crookery but as usual with Philips there is always a fool and his money ready to be parted quickly and for far more than what they have bargained for. Money doesn't buy common sense.
    nome93 likes this.
    Omega the sign of Excellence since 1848. Jaeger Le Coultre Horlogerie de Luxe depuis 1833
    22 times Olympic games timekeeper, Nasa watch supplier and holder of several world records of precision, Omega has the world's trust
    Omega and Rolex for ever
    Eterna Nothing but Watchmaking since 1856
    Zenith Swiss Watchmaking and Chronometry champion since 1865

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