Vintage by name: Breitling Top Time Limited Edition
Breitling has just pulled the wraps off a new limited edition: the Top Time.
As the story goes, in the 1960s Willy Breitling – the son of the brand’s eponymous father – wanted to create a watch that was “particularly suited to the needs of the young and active professionals.”
The result was the Top Time, and it was a hit.
Men loved it because it could take a beating while on the go, while women liked it because of its bold dial. Today, original Top Time watches are a huge collector’s item, but Breitling has today made the range a tad more accessible to your everyday watch lover.
The original Breitling Top Time from the 1960s
The Top Time hit the horological big leagues in 1965. It was worn by Sean Connery’s James Bond in Thunderball – and apart from the low-key dial and chronograph, this particular model also featured a Geiger counter right on the watch face.
Today, Breitling launched an upgraded Top Time model for 2020. It takes design inspiration from the 1960s original, but has been improved with a brand new case size and movement.
What’s in a dial?
The original Top Time featured a dial referred to as ‘Zorro’ - for obvious reasons. It made the collection distinct, and is one of the chief reasons why the Top Time has remained relevant to collectors for more than half a century.
But don’t take our word for it:
"Breitling aficionados have always loved the Top Time’s dial,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
"When it was released more than 50 years ago, it was a watch that appealed to a younger audience committed to enjoying the freedom and the spirit of the 1960s, and, amazingly, after all this time, it continues to stand out."
"The Top Time is an important but often-overlooked part of our heritage, and we know it’s going to resonate with men and women who love this blend of history, design, and great performance.”
The new Top Time forgoes James Bond’s Geiger counter, but keeps the chronograph function, original colors and dial of the original.
Under the hood?
Inside the 41-millimetre stainless steel case lies a Breitling Caliber 23 chronograph, with a 48-hour power reserve. The chronometer is COSC-certified too, meaning it’s super accurate.
Each of the red hour and minute hands, as well as the dot markers every hour are coated in Super-LumiNova, making the face legible on darker evenings.
The Top Time is available this month via Breitling’s e-coomerch channel. Only 2,000 will be produced
Anything else interesting?
The Top Time Limited Edition will be Breitling’s first to employ a block-chain-esque digital passport, which confirms both the authenticity and previous ownership of the watch. Owners can access that passport at any time, and will have to transfer ownership. That protects it against the threat of theft and resale.
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