Used Breguet watches are the best value for the savvy watch collector who is determined to pay less money for his next luxury watch.
On name alone, Breguet should be the pinnacle of luxury watch design and engineering. Surprise: it is! But the luxury watch marketplace seems to treat every modern Breguet wristwatch like some kind of expensive Breitling. While the watchmaking skill, technology, and traditional fine finish are present in force, modern Breguet watches often sell for pennies on the dollar compared to their retail price. For that reason, Breguet watches are the greatest luxury watch bargain on the market in 2023 -- and likely 2024!
The Breguet Type XX is legendary. This pilot's watch, which was commissioned by the French Air Force via a contract of the same name in 1954, is the the heart and soul of the modern Breguet watch brand. The Breguet name has illustrious links to aircraft construction via the extended Breguet family, but the Type XX chronograph is the watchmaker's unique claim to fame in the aviation universe. This flyback chronograph, which was built initially by several watch brands, is best remembered for its Breguet iteration.
Since 1995, the modern Breguet Type XX Aeronavale (3800 no date) and Transatlantique (3820 with date) have been the core models of the collection. Bolstered by the larger Type XXI (3810) and the hugely complicated Type XXII (3880). Together, they form the backbone of Breguet's modern pilot's watch collection.
The Breguet Marine collection dates to 1990, but the company's historic role as supplier of chronometers to the French navy is the origin of the "Marine" nomenclature on Breguet sports watches. The 5817, which was launched in 2004, is the quintessential modern Breguet for luxury watch buyers who want to swim in style. Manufactured from 2004 to 2017, the Marine 5817 is a 39mm, 100-meter water resistant automatic watch offered on rubber straps or full bracelets. The dials are cut from 18-karate gold by means of traditional rose lathe guilloche. A "big date" with two digits graces the bottom of each dial. And a Breguet caliber 517 provides both fine finish and 65-hours of automatically wound power reserve.
Since 2018, the Breguet Marine 5517 has filled the gap left by the 5817. Although greeted with initial skepticism, the new Marine has become more endearing with time and experience. Its 40mm titanium case is ideally sized for a modern sports watch, the solid gold dial remains, and the appealing Breguet caliber 777A automatic offers a more robust architecture than the outgoing 517.
Breguet Marine and Breguet Type XX watches can be found used for substantially less money than they cost new. Almost all Breguet watches can be found preowned on the internet for less than the advertised retail prices. A combination of grey market (unworn watches from non-authorized dealers) and preowned watches (used, sold by secondhand dealers) means that any watch collector interested in buying a modern Breguet wristwatch will encounter a buyer's market.
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