Love classic cars? Then the Breitling Top Time Classic Cars collection is the perfect watch companion. Boasting style and speed, it has a powerful manufacture calibre under the hood.
The 1960s was a decade of experimentation, fun, freedom and energy. Whether cruising on a motorcycle or revving up a sportscar, living life at full speed was the order of the day. Willy Breitling felt this change of pace and set out to design an unconventional chronograph that would capture the verve of era. He called it the Top Time.
Iconic Cars, Reinterpreted for the Wrist
That spirited tradition continues today with Breitling partnering with some of the coolest names in wheels to create its Top Time designs. Four iconic cars from the 1950s and 1960s have their design signatures reinterpreted in the form of a Breitling Top Time. Each chronograph watch, cased in sleek polished and brushed stainless steel, features a dial design that is based on the car’s iconic colours and emblazoned with its emblem. Common to the collection is the speed-measuring tachymeter scale on the perimeter of the dial, and the “squircle” (not quite square, not quite round) subdial design, evocative of vintage dashboard gauges. The 41mm stainless steel case is comfortably matched with a perforated leather racing strap.
The Ford Thunderbird was unveiled in 1954 at the first post-war Detroit auto show. It was touted as a fun-to-drive cabriolet that made its presence felt through its luxurious design, solid build and dramatic tailfin. The Thunderbird wasn’t so much about living life in the fast lane, as it was about cruising in comfort and style. The two first generations remain the most collectable models, nicknamed the “Classic Bird” (1955-57) for early two-seaters and the “Square Bird” (1958-60) for the later four-seat iterations.
The first-generation Ford Mustang, produced from 1964 to 1974, was compact and sleek. With some models suited to families and others ideal for speed-loving sportsters, it became the car of choice for hitting the road in hip 1960s America. It also featured in some of the era’s most popular movies. This living legend is still in production, but car buffs know that the coolest of all were those very first models that captured the freewheeling spirit of the Sixties.
The second-generation Chevrolet Corvette, from the 1963 to 1967 model years, is the most sought-after version of the American legend. The “Sting Ray,” as it was known, took inspiration from a 1959 racing-model prototype. For 60 years, it has captured the imaginations of car lovers around the world with its perfect combination of a low-profile body and a powerful engine that delivers performance whether on the road or the track. It’s a classic to this day.
In the early 1960s, the Le Mans winner Carrol Shelby imagined a car that combined British design with American racing engineering. He created the Shelby Cobra, a sportscar that ingeniously matched a small, light chassis to a strong, reliable big-block engine. When it was introduced in 1962, the Cobra met with instant success and became the only American sportscar to win the European FIA World Manufacturers’ Championship race series. The original Shelby Cobra remains blisteringly fast and cherished by collectors.
A Powerful Engine
Powering the Top Time Classic Cars collection is the Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01 movement, which is fully visible through the open sapphire-crystal caseback. Launched in 2009, the Breitling 01 Calibre is designed for maximum precision, reliability, and functionality. As with all Breitling’s mechanical movements, it is COSC certified, and passed the series of in-house shock, winding, and pusher tests. The robust case is enhanced to provide an increased water resistance of 100m.