Accompanied by Breguet outer cardboard presentation box stamped "Breguet - Chaumet, 12, Pl. Vendôme, Paris" and a detached, associated 18K gold woven bracelet.
According to the Archives of Montres Breguet, the present watch featuring a special "retour en vol" or flyback chronograph function was manufactured in 1957 and sold to Monsieur Besse on 17 June 1958 for the amount of 148,500 French Francs. The watch has remained in the same family ever since and is in beautiful, well-preserved original condition.
The particularity of this watch is the addition of the "retour en vol" or "flyback" function, a highly unusual and rare feature to find in a gold watch. The flyback function, also called the "permanent zero setting", allows to instantly stop, reset, and restart the chronograph with a single press of the lower button, useful when only the completion of a certain event needs to be timed but not its duration.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Breguet and other manufacturers supplied chronograph wristwatches to the French military forces, originally designated Type 20, fitted with the "retour en vol" function. The primary recipients of these chronographs were the pilots and flying personnel of the French Air Force, French Navy (Marine Nationale), and the CEV (Centre D'Essai en Vol, the French flight test center). Such utter "tools watches" were cased in less delicate and cheaper metals such as stainless steel. For a Type 20 "flyback" chronograph wristwatch in stainless steel see lot 333 in this auction.