Mathey-Tissot Type XX flyback chronograph, £10,000 at Bonhams.

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The best known and most desirable of the Type XX 5101/54 flyback chronographs commissioned by the French Ministry from several watch marques in the 1960s is the Breguet. It has the most name recognition and proved a popular reissue when the watch was reproduced recently as a civilian model.

However, in truth, these are not Breguet watches at all. They were made for its more famous contemporary by Geneva firm Mathey-Tissot using 17-jewel Valjoux Cal.72 manual wind movements. Mathey-Tissot issued its own identical watch to the exact same specifications that is less well known but ultimately harder to find.

The example offered by Bonhams (28% buyer’s premium) on February 21 was guided at £6000-8000 and sold at £10,000.

Omega introduced the Flightmaster, a pilot’s watch with an adjustable second time-zone function, in 1969. Four different variations were made during a production run of around eight years.


Omega Flightmaster ref 145.026, £1300 at Lockdales.

The example pictured here, sold by Lockdales (19.5% buyer’s premium) on February 20, is the reference 145.026 issued in 1971.

Instead of an am-pm indicator, it has a running subsidiary register at nine o’clock and used a modified calibre 861 movement. A watch favoured by the Soviet space agency, today the Flightmaster is relatively affordable when compared with its close cousin, the Speedmaster that was worn by NASA astronauts.

This one, complete with Omega box, sold at £1300 (estimate £800-1000).