TYPE 20 CLASSIC
Among military watch enthusiasts, the Type 20 French Aéronavale chronographs are some of the most desirable with hardly a dip in value for a great military issued example. The watch was commissioned in the 1950s by the French government for the French Air Force, the CEV (Centre d’Essai en Vol) — the country’s state-sanctioned flight testing centre — and most famously for the Aéronautique navale, a.k.a. “Aéronavale”.
Although a post-war design, visually the Type 20 Flyback Chronograph owes much of its layout to Second World War chronographs made by Hanhart, Tutima, Glashütte and others for the Luftwaffe. Mainly with two registers and two pushers, these watches featured white numerals against black dials, a 60-second counter at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 3 and oversized hands on the latter sub dial. Most also featured fluted rotating bezels with a single marker to help indicate elapsed time. Several watch companies were contracted to produce the timepiece but Breguet’s Type XX remains the most recognised.
For those in the market looking to acquire a spec perfect vintage example with the highly sought after sterile dial (sans any branding), be prepared to pay a pretty penny, if you find one in good condition.
For everyone else looking to buy a modern production Type 20 with all of the necessary hallmarks, there is the Undone Type 20 Classic Flyback Chronograph at a price point that none could argue with.
Undone is a Hong Kong based watch company founded by Michael Young in 2014. Young initiated his first offering in 2016, via Kickstarter with his Urban Vintage collection. Starting at USD175, with a digital customisation tool in place from the get go, not to mention the quarter million US dollars raised (HK$ 1,960,430), Young clearly had something on hand that a brand could be built around.
Today, Undone stands as a watch company with four collections under its belt, a high level of approval from the tool watch collector community and several notable collaboration watches –including one with our friends from Fratello Watches.
Model Type 20 Classic Box/Papers Yes Dimension
Case Width - 41.5mm excl. crown
Case Thickness - 12.5mm incl. crystal
Materials Case 316L Stainless Steel Material Lens Hardened Domed K1 Crystal Movement Seiko Instruments Inc. VK64 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph Water Resistance: 30 Meters
This product will be dispatched in 3 working day(s).
Should you need to return an item, you have 7 days from receiving your order to request a return and send it back to us. The watch must be returned unworn with the protective cover on the face and in its original packaging including the warranty, presentation box and any outer packaging.
Find out more about our Terms and Conditions.
Homage to the Type 20
The Undone Type 20 Classic Flyback Chronograph is designed with close attention paid to the original timepiece commissioned in the 1950s by the French government for the French Air Force, the CEV (Centre d’Essai en Vol) — the country’s state-sanctioned flight testing centre — and most famously for the Aéronautique navale, a.k.a. “Aéronavale”.
The earliest of the military issued Type 20 watches had what are known as black sterile dials. Simply put, these had no branding on their dials. The Undone Type 20 does have a branding but it is discreetly integrated into the seconds track.
A crucial technical requirement of the Type 20 was that it must have a flyback chronograph function for pilots to use in flight.
Large Lume Numerals
Visibility is key in the heat of battle, no matter the time of day. This is why a key requirement for the Type 20 was for it to have large hour markers, which were filled with lume.