Breguet is a watchmaker that is closely associated with inspiring designs, intriguing complications, and the highest quality of materials and workmanship. The affinity of the brand’s bend toward military watches is commonly understood and it draws a clientele of those who are fond of the genre, yet discriminating in their preferences for high-end luxury with express functionality. To honor this reputation and history of the brand, we take a closer look at the Breguet Type XI 3815, an example that merits our full attention.
A closer look at the Breguet Type XXI 3815
This intriguing military watch is a more complicated evolution of its predecessor, the Type XX released in 1994. The Type 20 line of watches has been around for nearly 3 decades. An upgrade of the original was to maintain a forward-looking trajectory in the evolutionary process of the family, according to Watches by SXJ. The third variant for the model is a timepiece that embodies elements from several historical models to capture the beauty and essence of those that came before and made their impressions on military watch enthusiasts with perhaps, some of the best elements captured and combined in one exceptional timepiece. Not without its share of criticisms for a somewhat off appearance, some find the intriguing disarray and slight imbalance of the visual presentation to be unique and inspiring. Hodinkee experts and commentators find it to be a clean depiction of the family line. Critiques aside, we look at the details that comprise this unforgettable sibling of Breguet’s Type 20.
The Breguet Type XXI 3815 is housed in a titanium case that measures 42 mm in width and a generous 15.2 mm in depth. Although a bit thick, it is comfortable enough on the wrist. The case back is solid and the front is covered with a sapphire crystal that provides exceptional legibility of the markers beneath. The unique ridging design of the front and back edges of the case gives the watch a sandwich-like appearance when viewed from above.
The Breguet Type XXI 2815 is available in a choice of two unique dials. The background is matte black with applied Arabic numerals in a choice of green lume or orange lume with white bordering. The color scheme provides a magnificent contrast against the black background. The markers are also white with hands that are colored with the theme of the dial and white outlines for brilliant visibility.
Interestingly, the bezel is machined with the insertion of relief markings which are filled with lovely black lacquer in a process that results in markings rising above the smooth finish. This gives the watch a distinct personality and character with its rotating bezel The markers and indicators rise above the black finish in a silver finish which makes the visibility stand out against the darker background. This aspect of the design was well thought out in the planning to add convenience for obtaining information at a glance.
The movement is a caliber 582Q/A that beats at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour, or 4 Hz. This is an automatic/self-winding in-house movement, according to Breguet, with 26 jewels, a balance-wheel Breguet, Si horns, an inverted straight-line lever escapement, a flat silicon balance spring, featuring a total of 232 components. Functions include the time in hours, minutes, and seconds, with date, a flyback chronograph with a central minute register, and a 24-hour indicator. The power reserve is 48 hours. The central hands remain hidden until the chronograph is engaged with an elapsed minute and second hands mounted on the central axis. An additional complication called a “big eye” adds yet another interesting feature to this example with a designation in the form of a sub-dial located at the 3 o’clock position on the dial. This timepiece is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
The Breguet XXI 3815 features a unique watchband that is made of genuine calfskin leather. It attaches to the wrist via a folding clasp, also made of titanium to match the material of the case. It affixes firmly and comfortably with a rustic aesthetic and the appearance of slightly distressed leather with thoughtful stitching that is visible at first glance.
Price and value
The Breguet XXI 3815 is offered as a strictly limited edition of just 250 pieces each of the Green Lume and the Orange Lume dial versions. A total of only 500 pieces of the two-option collection are scheduled to be built. This model is only available t Breguet boutiques. The price of each example is set at $14,900 as a limited edition timepiece.
The Breguet XXI 3815 is a unique iteration of a three-decade-old line of Breguet military watches. When only the best in quality workmanship and materials will do, Breguet is a solid solution with limited-edition models that tend to not only hold their value but may increase in time, when given proper care. This model is considered to be a rarity and a highly collectible piece since just 250 of each variant in the collection will ever be produced. It is rare from the moment of its production because of the scarcity. Some have criticized the aesthetics of the Breguet XXI 3815 because of its somewhat oddness of shape. While it does seem to be a bit off visually, it is this uniqueness in appearance that sets it apart from more classically designed timepieces. It is distinct and stands out in a sea of watches on the market today. This is likely to be a timepiece that is hard to find once the limited run is sold from Breguet boutiques. Once the store shelves are depleted, the price is likely to go up dramatically through private sellers and auction sites. This is common when a small number of specialty watches in the collectibles line are offered.