Right from the very beginning Breitling has always focused on the design, development and production of chronographs. Over the years, under the leadership of Leon Breitling, the Breitling chronographs have earned quite a reputation for their precision and reliability which then translated into various collaborations with the aviation and automobile industry, the most prominent one being the Breitling Bentley’s. Breitling’s association with motoring has a long history. Did you know that its onboard chronograph, launched for aviation in 1931, was also designed for use on automobile dashboards?
Today, paying tribute to the classics from 1960 – the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, and the Shelby Cobra, Breitling has introduced three disruptive chronographs – the Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection. My first reaction to this launch was “wow” and I don’t just mean the watches. As I watched the launch, well virtually yet again, that was hosted by Breitling CEO Georges Kern at Geneva Watch Days 2021, I could almost smell the burning rubber of these three icons of the American car culture that just casually drove through the conference. No surprises there!
“It’s about the journey, not the tempo. And that’s true whether you’re tinkering under the hood or hitting the road for a Sunday ride celebrating these beautiful machines,”
Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
Let’s now get to the watches. Three new editions; the red and black Chevrolet Corvette, the green and brown Top Time Ford Mustang version and Shelby Cobra version in blue and brown. With these bright and bold dial colors with orange and yellow or red and blue touches, a racing-themed watch strap in calfskin leather, engraved stainless-steel casebacks that showcase each car’s logo in impressive detail and the chronograph pushers that punctuate the dial, the Top Time Classic Cars Capsule watches exude an extremely youthful and free-spirited vibe. Ofcourse all three watches are water-resistant up to 10 bar (100 meters).
The 42 mm cases of the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang versions house the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 25, a self-winding 1/8th of a second chronograph movement with a power reserve of about 42 hours. Both of which feature a tachymeter scale, three black contrasting subdials and the respective car logos at the 12 o’clock position.
Beating inside the slightly smaller 40 mm Top Time Shelby Cobra is the (COSC-certified) Breitling Caliber 41, a self-winding 1/4th of a second chronograph movement with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. With a white tachymeter scale and two white contrasting subdials, the Cobra logo here is displayed at 6 o’clock.
Renowned for its spirit of innovation, Breitling has already earned a place of privilege in the worlds of science, sport, and technology. However, in my opinion, these new young and modern-retro interpretations could most certainly attract both – the “new” and budding watch enthusiast who is currently transiting through the world of smart watches and the avid watch collectors who could appreciate the symbolism of this unconventional trio. While I’m leaning more towards the Shelby Cobra edition, have you decided your ride yet?