Breguet recently released a couple of new Type XXI models with some unusual features for the company. The difference with these new offerings is that both modes are made out of titanium rather than stainless steel. In addition, Breguet has opted for dials that are a little more colourful than their usual pilot’s watch offerings.
The case for this new watch comes in at 42mm in diameter, and with titanium being the case material used, this watch will feel even lighter than its older brother, the 3817. The bidirectional bezel is also made from titanium and features a black-lacquered 60-minute scale. A big change for the new models is the sunburst black dial as opposed to the somewhat brownish-grey dial of the 3817. At least for me, the new dial is a very welcome change. The screw-down crown on this watch help its water resistance reach 100m
Breguet is known for a lot of things: heritage, tradition, and craftsmanship being among them, but brighter colour isn’t one of them. In 2021, where seemingly every watchmaker is coming out with watches featuring highly prominent green colouring, Breguet has mostly bucked year after year of stylistic trends in order to stick to what they’ve been doing well since 1775. That changes a bit now with their foray into Type XXI models with orange and green accents. I will say I do much prefer this new 3815 to the older 3817. I remember trying on the 3817 a few years back and just feeling that the whole watch felt strange. It felt too rugged to be a more dressy Breguet, but not tactical enough in its styling and functionality to truly represent its historical ties to a number of the world’s air forces. I also wouldn’t give it high marks in the “looks” department. It just felt very busy and the colour scheme didn’t do anything for me.
Luckily, a lot of that has changed with the 3815. The green and orange on the dials make everything stand out a lot more and make the watch instantly more legible. This is further added to by the fact that instead of trying to cram another chronograph register in between a date window and large numerals, as they had done in the 3817, Breguet opted for the smarter choice and went with only two registers rather than three. I’m not entirely sure yet whether I like this bezel better than the one on the previous model or not. I liked the boldness of the steel bezel and its larger numerals, but the fact that this new one matches the black dial awards it some points as well. I may have a more decisive stance once I see it in person, but it would have been nice if Breguet were to have somehow made a bezel that retained the material and colour choices of the 3815’s bezel, but with more of the styling and size of the bezel fitted on the 3817. Either way, this is a pretty decent release for Breguet and is a model that should do well for them.
The Breguet Type XXI 3815 in Titanium is limited to 250 pieces per color and is priced at 14,900 USD.