Breitling's bestselling Top Time line revs up the retro vibes

  • Style
  • Saturday, 03 Jun 2023

Inspired by the 1960s and matched with classic cars, Breitling’s bestselling line is back to show who is on top. — Photos: IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

Breitling’s bestselling Top Time watch line with a new member in the family. The Top Time line features chronograph designs inspired by the 1960s and is matched with classic cars namely the Shelby Cobra, Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang – with the 2023 newest addition being the Ford Thunderbird and a matching watch to go with it.

One of the first chronographs that was equally sought after by both men and women, its bold graphic designs took over magazines and the silver screen (the world’s favorite spy, James Bond, even wore an iteration in the 1965 movie Thunderball).

That tradition continues with Breitling partnering with some of the well-known names in wheels to create its Top Time designs – brands like Deus Ex Machina and Triumph Motorcycles for bikes, Ford Thunderbird and Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Shelby Cobra for cars.

The newest Top Time Ford Thunderbird watch features a red strap and clean white dial that draws the eye to the teal Thunderbird logo and red chronograph hands.

The Top Time watches by Breitling.The Top Time watches by Breitling.

At the Top Time launch carnival in Petaling Jaya, Breitling Asia president Alvin Soon welcomed guests including brand ambassadors Jazeman Jaafar, Bella Kuan, Cindy Bishop and Byron Bishop to the denim-chic themed party.

The launch party featured classic arcade games, classic funfair games as well as surprise gifts from Breitling alongside a free flow of drinks and finger food.

Guests were numbered in the triple digits as music from the ’90s played in the background.

Rollerblading dancers reminiscient of the 1960s also graced the dance floor.

Soon (centre) with Breitling ambassadors (starting third from left) Cindy, Jazeman, Kuan and Byron, flanked by models at the Brietling Top Time event.Soon (centre) with Breitling ambassadors (starting third from left) Cindy, Jazeman, Kuan and Byron, flanked by models at the Brietling Top Time event.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern has said Top Time represents a break from traditional watch design for a generation that was breaking with convention in every way.

“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 four watches feature the colours and emblems of their 1950s and 1960s sports car counterparts, and under the hood of the timepiece is the new Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01.

This manufacture movement, which is visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback, provides an approximately 70-hour power reserve.

The Top Time watches by Breitling.The Top Time watches by Breitling.

First released in 2009, the Breitling 01 Caliber is designed for precision, reliability and functionality.

Each one has achieved the rigorous COSC certification. And as a manufacture movement, it must also pass a gruelling series of in-house shock, winding and pusher tests.

To house the caliber, the Top Time case has been enhanced and now provides an increased water resistance of 100m (10 bar).

Design elements include the perforated leather racing strap, speed-measuring tachymeter scale and contrasting “squircle” (not quite square, not quite circular) subdials that are evocative of vintage dashboard gauges.

And just like its style-driven 1960s predecessor, the Top Time’s 41mm stainless steel case is a comfortable size for car and watch lovers of all stripes.

The Top Time line was envisioned by third generation founder Willy Breitling and it has become a fast favourite among motor enthusiasts and the fashion set alike.

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