The Type 20 wrist watch refers to a certain specification of pilot’s chronographs issued by the French Ministry of Defense in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Airain was among several brands during that time period supplying these robust and highly legible chronographs for in-the-field, or rather in-the-air use. Airain returned onto the watch scene in 2020 releasing a reissue of the Type 20 in two dial color variations; a classic black and a chocolatey-patinated brown. Based on the success of the Type 20 reissue, Airain has decided to add another dial color into the mix with their recent release of the Type 20 Vert Militaire.
If you’re new to the brand (like me), here’s a bit of background. Airain was originally founded in 1934 and was conceived by the Dodane family. Dodane was an institution in the watch industry at the time and known for their watchmaking prowess dating back to 1857. Despite the success of the military-issued Airain Type 20 and several other watches in their catalog available to the public (Sous-Marine diver and the Airain ‘77’ dress watch), Airain found themselves closing up shop a few years after the war. It wasn’t until 2020, when the brand was revived by Dutch based entrepreneur and watch enthusiast Tom van Wijlick. It was only right that the reintroduction of the Airain brand led with their most distinctive design in the Type 20 pilots chronograph.