Merging the alure of classical cars and contemporary watchmaking, Breitling’s Top Time Classic Cars timepieces is in a class of its own
The Swinging Sixties was one of the most tumultuous periods in history—and also one of the most fun-filled and energized. This was especially true in the realm of sports cars. And in the realm of haute horlogerie, this energy inspired none other than Willy Breitling to design a line of chronographs, called the Top Time, that would embody the verve of the era. Unsurprisingly, it became an instant classic, even making a movie appearance on the wrist of James Bond in 1965’s “Thunderball.”
Fast forward to today and, after becoming a best-seller in 2021, the Top Time revs on in 2023.
“The Top Time represented a break from traditional watch design for a generation that was breaking with convention in every way,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “We are going after that sense of freedom and fun with the 1960s-inspired Top Time Classic Cars collection, and are thrilled to once again partner with Ford to introduce the new Thunderbird model, along with updated versions of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Shelby Cobra chronographs.”
The aforementioned Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird comes in a 41mm stainless-steel case framing a white dial with tone-on-tone chronograph counters. It further comes with a red calfskin leather strap or a stainless-steel mesh bracelet for a dressier look.
The Top Time B01 Ford Mustang, meanwhile, boasts a green dial with black contrasting chronograph counters. It also comes with an optional stainless-steel mesh bracelet, but arguably looks best with its brown calfskin leather strap that really complements the verdant dial.
Also making great use of contrasting colors is the Top Time B01 Chevrolet Corvette, which has a red dial with black contrasting chronograph counters, further complemented by a black calfskin leather strap. Swapping in the stainless-steel mesh bracelet, however, gives the watch a strong modern vibe.
Last but not least and definitely a crowd favorite is the Top Time B01 Shelby Cobra, notable for featuring only two white chronograph counters instead of three, with the 6 o’clock position being reserved for the legendary manufacturer’s iconic serpent logo.
As befits a watch collection embodying classic cars blessed with plenty of horsepower under the hood, these new Top Time watches are powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. One of the most highly-regarded chronograph movements in the watchmaking industry, the COSC-certified Breitling 01 Caliber provides maximum precision, reliability and functionality, along with an impressive 70-hour power reserve. And to underline level of confidence that Breitling has for the movement, it comes with a five-year warranty.
This union of mechanical excellence and iconic design certainly gives the Top Time top marks for collectability. In short, for gearheads and watch afficionados, or just about anyone with an eye for modern-retro timepieces rich in historical references, this is the watch collection to go for.
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