This is an EXTREMELY RARE and very beautiful Mathey-Tissot Type 20 Stainless Steel civilian chronograph in dead mint condition, manufacture date 1968.
The 38.5mm diameter case is equipped with a signed screw-in back, and an anti-magnetic dust cover. The original signed black dial is in mint untouched condition with white print and luminous Arabic numbers, two registers, constant seconds and a 15-minute recorder. The crown and acrylic crystal are both original and in great condition. The bidirectional turning bezel is without scratches.
The watch is powered by the manual wind Valjoux Caliber 222 fly back. The robust column wheel chronograph movement has 17 jewels, a 48-hour power reserve and oscillates at a rate of 18,000 vph. It is also antimagnetic and equipped with a shock absorber. The fly back complication allows the chronograph to be instantly reset without stopping and restarting the timer. The movement was just serviced and we supply an additional six-month warranty.
History of Type 20
Many watch collectors are familiar with the Breguet Type 20 (later it came to be reissued as Type XX) as one of the first and most desirable pilot chronographs of post WWII period. The original Type 20 was ordered in 1954 by the French Ministry of Defense (MOD) which gave it the “Type 20” designation: the MOD equipment code for a pilot’s wristwatch.
The French Ministry had a number of criteria that needed to be satisfied for a watch to be issued to pilots. For example, the watch had to have a fly back chronograph, a black and highly legible dial, must be fit to use 300 times without needing any service, accurate to within 8 seconds per day, and between 37-39mm in diameter. The Breguet Type 20 served In the French Air Force and Marine Nationale Aéronautique Navale (Aéronavale) in 1950s-1960s. Most of the 2,000 Type 20 military issue watches were collected and destroyed by the French MOD after they underwent their final scheduled service.
What is generally not known is that all 2,000 Type 20 chronographs were sold by Breguet to the French Ministry of Defense, but not a single one of the watches was actually manufactured by Breguet. In fact it was Mathey-Tissot that assembled the 5101/54 model for Breguet. This gorgeous civilian Mathey-Tissot Type 20 which happens to rarer in numbers than the Breguet model, is the same timepiece: with case, dial and the Valjoux 222 movement all made by the same manufacturers to the same specs as the Breguet.
We are pleased to offer this spectacular watch at a fraction of the cost of its Breguet cousin in similar condition.
Founded 1886 in Les Ponts-de-Martel by Edmond Mathey-Tissot, the firm began by specializing in complications, especially repeater pocket watches. They soon proceeded to make chronographs and won a number of prizes for excellence.
In the 1950s, along with Breguet and Girard Perregaux, Mathey-Tissot made a “Type 20” chronograph fitted with a fly-back complication.