Pilot watches ? Do you think about Breitling ? Bell & Ross ? IWC ? Zenith ? These are all great pilot watches indeed, all old and respected (but Bell & Ross, 1996). However, when it comes to real pilot watches, that is to say compliant with military specifications, there aren’t some many brands left. Actually, two main ones : Breguet and Dodane 1857. These are the two brands that still produce Type timepieces – Type 20, 21 or 23.
Still, Breguet and Dodane can’t really be compared. Breguet is a full in-house manufacture, well known in the watch world for its tourbillons. And it belongs to the Swatch empire. Dodane is just the opposite : unknown but from pilots and soldiers, working upon blanks, and 100% familly owned – by the 5th generation of Dodane. And the brand, as a NATO referenced supplier, still produces a lot of dashboard chronometric instruments.
On the wristwatch side, over the years, the Type 23 has become a watchmaking touchstone in the world of aviation. The Type 23’s technical properties have fuelled its rise to the status of benchmark navigational instrument. The timepiece boasts a chronograph movement from Dubois Depraz, a hundred-year-old firm which has earned a worldwide reputation for the quality and reliability of its complications. But now the Type 23 is now embarking on a new chapter in its history.
Dodane 1857 Type 23 PVD – A brand new finishing
The PVD version of the Type 23 gives it a new look that is both intense and sober. The version’s thicker luminescent hour markers and hands offer enhanced readability, while the case and crown give it a new, discreetly elegant air of distinction.
The PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) treatment consists in vacuum spray application of a very high quality titanium nitride metal coating. PVD-treated parts have a different aspect, with a black/anthracite colour, as well as a marked improvement in scratch resistance compared to the original steel, thus confirming the Type 23’s vocation as the sturdiest of timepieces – capable of meeting most everyday and professional requirements without any risk of damage or premature wear.
The Type 23 is 42.5 mm in diameter. This format provides optimum readability, in line with the military specification requirements which have shaped Dodane’s destiny. It also allows the Type 23 to blend in with most urban and professional settings without being too showy.
Dodane 1857 Type 23 PVD – One piece, two movements
The movement also comes in a Flyback version. This option is similarly based on a Swiss Made Dubois Depraz mechanical movement: version 42030. This tried-and-tested caliber enables chronographic measurements in progress to be reset and restarted instantaneously by pressing just once on one of the buttons.
Dodane 1857 Type 23 PVD – The Dodane Spirit: fully customisable
For the new PVD version, the buttons, case, crown and lugs all feature the same black finish, giving the timepiece an overall aesthetic appearance that’s just perfect.
The Black PVD Type 23 is available immediately in chronograph and flyback chronograph versions. Faithful to its own tradition, Dodane also allows each buyer to customise a large number of elements, from etchings on the caseback (on models with a solid back) to the strap, as well as the option of chronometric certification by the Besançon Observatory. Prices for the black PVD Type 23 start at 2770 euros.