The History of Montres Airain
Montres Airain was originally conceived by the illustrious Dodane family in 1934 and rose to fame for its trustworthy, high-quality timepieces. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Airain was one of the selected suppliers (along with Breguet and Dodane) of the Type 20 model for the French Army. Type 20 refers to a specification for pilot’s chronographs issued by the French Ministry of Defense. These specifications include:
- A case diameter of approximately 38mm wide and no more than 14mm high
- Screw-in caseback
- Black dial, with two registers at 3 and 9 o’clock that can count to 30 minutes
- Arabic numbers
- Luminescent material on both hands and numbers
- Flyback function (retour en vol)
- Bi-directional 12-hour rotating bezel
- Movement accuracy of within eights seconds a day
- Power reserve of at least 35 hours
- Ability to operate the chronograph function reliably for at least 300 times
The Type 20 chronograph is not the only Airain timepiece that is still known today. Airain dive models like the ‘Sous-Marine’ and the 1950’s model Airain ’77’ are still in demand among watch collectors.
After reviving Airain’s original sister brand Lebois & Co in 2014 we had our sights set on Airain, which was owned by a French entrepreneur and watch aficionado. After explaining our plans we convinced him and he allowed us to acquire the brand from him, making Airain once again the sister brand of Lebois & Co, just as it was in 1934.
Today we want to give Airain a new life. Starting with a new version of the higly sought after ‘Type 20’ Flyback Chronograph. I hope you are as excited as I am! Follow us to stay informed on all developments. See you soon!
Tom van Wijlick
Founder / CEO