The countdown to Watches and Wonders has already begun and timepiece makers have started rolling out their latest novelties. Take Breitling. The celebrated watch brand has just launched its ‘sports car’ tribute models in the Top Time collection, wherein the Ford Thunderbird watch makes its debut. There are revamped versions of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and Shelby Cobra models. The Premier collection has also been unveiled with six new additions, including an 18 ct red gold variant.
Top Time: Riders on the Storm
There was a time when full-blown posters of vintage cars, such as Ferrari F40s, Lamborghini Countachs and McLarens, would take pride of place in our rooms. And we all know that cars and watches are simply made for each other.
Few timepiece makers have managed to respect and bring out the soul in their creations and Breitling is one of them. It has pushed its boundaries when it comes to releasing such timepieces. Let us look at what binds the latest Top Time watches together. All four models are dedicated to a specific car: Ref. AB01766A1A1X1 or AB01766A1A1A1 is dedicated to a Ford Thunderbird (1955-1957), Ref. AB01762A1L1X1 or AB01762A1L1A1 pays homage to a Ford Mustang (1964-present), AB01762A1L1X1 or AB01762A1L1A1 is dedicated to a Chevrolet Corvette and AB01763A1C1X1 or AB01763A1C1A1 is a tribute to Shelby Cobra.
Three of the four 41 mm stainless steel models come with a trio chronograph layout — 9 o’clock has the 60-second subdial, 3 o’clock has the 30-minute subdial and 6 o’clock gets the 12-hour subdial. The Shelby Cobra still features a two-register layout — at 6 o’clock it gets the Cobra logo. There are two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function. Common to all variants is the in-house B01 self-winding movement with a 70-hour power reserve.
The Top Time Ford Thunderbird is a new addition with a white dial, a black Breitling logo and a teal Thunderbird logo at 12 o’clock. The dial sports red and orange accents on the tachymeter scale. We can spot the orange, red and light blue accents for the hands of the three sub-registers and a red central chronograph hand.
The bar-shaped hour markers and the hour, minute hands get white Super-LumiNova. Turning the watch over showcases the sapphire skeleton caseback with a stainless steel oscillating weight, engraved with the teal Thunderbird logo and the words, ‘Breitling x Ford’. The watch comes with the choice of a red leather strap or a mesh stainless steel bracelet.
Based on the previous generation, the new Ford Mustang model has a green dial, featuring orange and yellow accents on the tachymeter scale. This model has all three black subdials with white numerals and an orange central chronograph hand.
Turning the watch over reveals the sapphire skeleton caseback with a stainless steel oscillating weight engraved with the red, white and blue flag, the famous Mustang horse and the words, ‘Breitling x Ford’. The watch comes with the choice of a brown leather strap or a mesh stainless steel bracelet.
This model also features the same red dial with black subdials as seen in the previous model. The tachymeter gets orange and yellow accents with an orange central chronograph hand. The 30-minute and 12-hour counters feature orange and yellow hands respectively — in fact, they stand out against the black background of the registers.
This model gets the famous Corvette logo at 12 o’clock. Turning the watch over showcases the trio flag engraving on the oscillating weight. This trio refers to the famous Chevrolet flag that carries the ‘bow-tie’, alluding to America and its strong brands, the French flag, lying in between, and the chequered flag. The red-dialled Corvette model comes with the choice of a black leather racing strap or the previously mentioned mesh bracelet.
The last watch in the collection, Shelby Cobra, has two subdials and the Cobra logo rests at 6 o’clock. The Top Time Shelby Cobra features a blue dial with a white tachymeter scale that features red and orange accents. The central chronograph hand is executed in red and the hands of the subdials mirror the blue-and-red theme.
Turning the watch over reveals the sapphire skeleton caseback with the stainless steel oscillating weight engraved with the red Cobra logo and the words, ‘Breitling x Shelby’. The watch comes on a brown leather strap or the same mesh bracelet as mentioned above.
Premier: On Stranger Tides
Breitling has introduced six new Premier models, updated with a heritage-inspired design and powered with the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. Reintroduced by the luxury watch manufacturer in 2021, the Premier Heritage chronograph collection revived Willy Breitling’s dream of seeing the functional chronograph made undeniably elegant and infinitely wearable — in his words, “the unmistakable stamp of impeccable taste”.
Five models in the collection are in stainless steel and one in 18 ct red gold, all six models come with the 42mm cases. Rather than opting for a trio layout for the subdials, the collection uses a dual subdial layout. Ref. AB0145221B1P1 has a black dial, Ref. AB0145171C1P1 uses a blue dial, Ref. AB0145331K1P1 sports a salmon dial, Ref. AB0145371L1P1 features a green dial, Ref. AB0145211G1P1 has a cream dial and Ref. RB0145371G1P1 is the only model that has the 18 ct rose gold case with a salmon dial.
The chronograph counters of all watches correspond to the colour of the respective dial. The stainless steel models have white backgrounds and black numeral date windows at 6 o’clock. The model with the black dial has a black background and a white numeral date window.
The stainless steel models come with steel and golden Arabic hour markers and Super-LumiNova® coating for syringe-shaped hour and minute hands. The more luxurious red gold-cased model has golden Arabic hour markers, golden chronograph pushers, a golden crown and golden syringe-shaped hour and minute hands.
Powering the watches is the in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, a self-winding movement with 70 hours of power reserve. The five stainless steel models come with stainless steel casebacks and stainless steel oscillating weights while the red gold model has a red gold caseback and a red gold oscillating weight.
Finishing the watches are black, gold-brown or brown alligator leather straps with folding buckles or stainless steel seven-row bracelets with butterfly clasps.