Dodane, “Type 21”, circa 1960s. stainless steel aviator’s wristwatch with “retour en vol” (flyback) round button chronograph and register.
Case: Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed down case back, bi-directional graduated revolving reeded bezel, lapidated lugs.
Dial: Black with luminous Arabic numerals, subsidiary dial for the seconds and 30 minute register, outer minute and 1/5th second track with radial Arabic numerals. Luminous steel baton hands.
Movement: Cal. Valjoux 231, rhodium-plated, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating flat balance-spring, shock absorber. Dial signed, case and movement numbered.
Diam. 37 mm and thickness 13.5 mm.
The Type 21 followed the Type 20 which was developed to provide pilots with a chronograph that was not only accurate, but readable and with an immediacy of change. The time between stopping, resetting, and re-starting a chronograph could mean the difference between life and death for pilots, who needed to be able to immediately start their chronograph after finishing timing an event. The Type 20 model was one of the first to have a fly-back movement, in which the chronograph is instantly reset just by pushing the lower chronograph button.
In the 1960's, Dodane was commissioned to produce the new generation mostly to be used by helicopter pilots as the Type 20 was still in use by the French Navy and Airforce. Dodane used the Valjoux 23 movement, and the watches were assembled by them and subcontractors.
The Dodane -produced watches for the French military were given to the Armée de l’air (French Air Force), mostly for the helicopter pilots, and their Alouette type Helicopter, a new type of aircraft used by the french military in the 1960's. These watches needed to be inspected for accuracy and after each inspection, the date of the next scheduled examination would be engraved on the back with the letters “FG” – Fin de Garantie, end of warranty. The Type 21 watches were used by the French military through the 1980’s, and were often replaced by quartz models.
The present example features a two-register dial and crisp case engravings and case facets. Sought after for their unique story told through its "F.G." engravings, the Type 21 is a classic example of a tool watch with a classic design.