Describing the collection, Breitling CEO Georges Kern says, “The Top Time represented a break from traditional watch design for a generation that was breaking with convention in every way.” He continues, “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 Breitling Top Time Classic Cars line debuted in 2021 to great fanfare. A tribute to classic American sports automobiles from the 1950s and ’60s, Top Time takes a special place in our hearts for those having grown up dreaming about vintage muscle cars. The Top Time ref. 810 with Venus 178 column-wheel chronograph calibre is not only one of the best chronographs in Breitling’s history but so happens to be one of the most handsome chronographs of that era.
The modern Breitling Top Time collection, like the original Top Time chronograph, represents a spirited break from tradition, and the Classic Cars series extends this joie de vivre with vibrant colours and automotive-inspired design features, reflecting the classic look of both chronographs and cars from that era.
This year, Breitling unveils the new Top Time Classic Cars Editions. Three of them are upgraded versions of vehicles we saw in 2021, but there is one standout new model in the roster. It’s time to learn more about the 2023 Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Editions.
Speed & Motion
The Top Time was all about action from the outset, and it quickly became a favourite among motor enthusiasts and the fashion set. One of the first chronographs to be desired equally by men and women, its bright, graphic designs dominated magazines and the silver screen (the world’s favourite spy, James Bond, even wore one in the 1965 film Thunderball).
Today, Breitling collaborates with some of the trendiest names in wheels to develop its Top Time designs, including Deus Ex Machina and Triumph Motorcycles for bikes, as well as Ford Thunderbird and Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Shelby Cobra for cars.
The Ford Thunderbird model now has a red strap, a clean white dial that draws the focus to the teal Thunderbird emblem, and red chronograph hands in the new Classic Cars line. The four timepieces have the colours and insignia of their 1950s and ’60s sports car counterparts, and they now all have a new engine beneath the hood that is worth bragging about: the Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01.
While the chronograph registers retain the collection’s trademark “squircle” shape (a cross between a square and a circle), the sequence of the registers has changed due to the adoption of B01 instead of the original Venus 178, and so, the running seconds sub-dial has been relocated to nine o’clock.
First released in 2009, the Breitling 01 Calibre is one of the industry’s most highly regarded chronograph movements, designed for maximum precision, reliability and functionality. As with all of Breitling’s mechanical calibres, each one has achieved the rigorous COSC certification. It is also used, albeit in modified form, in Tudor chronographs.
BREITLING TOP TIME CLASSIC CARS PRICE + SPECS
Case 41mm stainless steel with 100 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic B01 with 70 hours power reserve