Breitling puts the pedal to the metal with three new additions to the the Top Time collection. Re-introduced in 2021, this collection celebrates American classic cars from the 1960s, such as the Ford Mustang and the Shelby Cobra. The Top Time Collection was first introduced in the 1960s to meet the demands of people with active lifestyles. Third-generation founder Willy Breitling wanted to create an unconventional chronograph that was more stylish than the stop watches Breitling was famous for. He called it the “Top Time,” and it was as much about having a good time as it was about telling the time, becoming a favorite among car and motorcycle enthusiasts. The latest Top Time Classic Cars Collection comprises of updated collaborations with Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Shelby Cobra.
As implied by its name, the motor-inspired trio seamlessly integrates two haute horlogerie complications: the chronograph, designed for measuring elapsed times, and the tourbillon, renowned as the most elegant method to enhance precision in timekeeping. The “whirlwind” marks a first in this line, while the chronograph is the signature complication of the Top Time Collection.
Breitling worked with the specialist movement maker Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the B21 movement. Running at a frequency of 28,800 a/h (4 hertz), with a power reserve of 55 hours, the Breitling Caliber B21 is distinguished by a column-wheel-controlled design with a horizontal clutch. As is typical for the Swiss manufacture, we talk about a COSC-certified chronometer with a skeletonized oscillating weight that allows a view of the column wheel through the caseback. The tourbillon houses the balance wheel, balance spring, and escapement in a rotating cage, setting the entire assembly in perpetual motion— and effectively cancels— the pull of gravity, which affects the watch’s accuracy in different positions.
True to the signature Top Time style, the design embraces a modern retro aesthetic characterized by mushroom chronograph pushers and vibrant colors. The focal point is the tourbillon cage positioned prominently at 12 o’clock, creating a visually balanced layout, complemented by the chronograph minute counter at 6 o’clock. Drawing inspiration from vintage dashboard gauges, the minute counter adopts a distinctive “squircle” shape, seamlessly blending circular and square elements. Additionally, a tachymeter scale encircles the dial, providing functionality for distance measurement.
Top Time B21 Ford Mustang
The Top Time B21 Ford Mustang features a 43-mm bronze case with a titanium back, complemented by a green dial reminiscent of the vibrant colors associated with the first-generation Ford Mustang (1964-1974).
Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra
The Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra is equipped with a 44-mm black ceramic case with a titanium back, crown, pushers, and buckle. The blue dial matches the livery of the car, created in 1962 by Le Mans winner Carroll Shelby, who combined a small, light, British-style chassis with a strong, reliable American small-block engine.
Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette
Similarly, the Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette sports a 44-mm black ceramic case with titanium elements. The walnut burl dial and perforated leather racing strap pay tribute to the steering wheel and dashboard inlays of the legendary 1960s “Sting Ray” Chevy Corvette, celebrating the era’s iconic sports car with style and sophistication.
The Breitling Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon models are water-resistant to 100 meters, and come with the brand’s 5-year warranty. Pricing is marked at $47,000.
To learn more, visit Breitling, here.