Introducing the Airain Type 20 Vert Militaire

Introducing the Airain Type 20 Vert Militaire

Regular readers will be familiar with the Airain name, as the brand was one of or partners in the 2021 Pink Dial Project. Donating the Type 20 Pink Ribbon Pièce Unique our friend Tom van Wijlick, founder of Airain and sister brand Lebois & Co, produced a very interesting and eye-catching riff on the classic pilots watch. Following the success of the black and brown Type 20 editions, the brand is offering a military green iteration and it’ll be sure to fly as fast as the pilots and planes for which these watches were initially designed.

Montres Airain was originally conceived by the illustrious Dodane family in 1934. It rose to fame for its trustworthy, high quality timepieces. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Airain was one of the selected suppliers of the Type 20 model for the French army. Tom van Wijlick and his wife’s company CDMLEC own both Airan and Lebois & Co, another brand under the Dodane family, and they have been busy reviving both brands for a modern audience. Things have been going swimmingly.

Airain Type 20 Vert Militaire

“Quite frankly, we didn’t expect the black and brown limited editions to run out of stock as soon as they did. Their success made us reconsider the option of introducing one final colour,” explains van Wijlick. “The Type 20 became famous as the preferred tool watch for the French army’s aviation service. As a nod to that highlight in its history, we decided on this army green. Besides, green is currently very much on-trend. It’s a natural choice,” says Van Wijlick.

The watches are in a 39.5mm stainless steel case that are very faithful to the original Type 20s that Airain made in the ‘50s. Housing a Swiss-made column wheel chronograph movement, the flyback feature is there, a very important element of the French Air Force’s specification for these military watches. Calibre AM1, developed and made by La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, is hand-wound and boasts 60 hours of power reserve.

Airain Type 20 Vert Militaire

The dial will be finished in the aforementioned green and has hand-applied luminous Arabic hours, another key aesthetic element of Type 20 watches. The dials have a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute recorder at 3 o’clock that sits beneath a domed Hesalite crystal.

Airain will only produce 134 of this special edition, a specific number that pays homage to the brand’s heritage. Tom explains, “Airain was founded in 1934. To celebrate its heritage, we decided to use that number as a guide for production numbers. The fact that there will only be a handful of this beautiful special edition adds further value to its status as a collectors’ item.”

Airain Type 20 Vert Militaire

Tech Specs

Type 20 Vert Militaire

Movement: Manual-winding caliber AM1; 60 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Case: 39.5mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 50m
Strap: Green and cream nylon fabric NATO strap with stainless steel buckle
Price and availability: £2,360 from Airain.com in a limited edition of 134 pieces

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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