Put the pedal to the metal
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. Third-generation founder Willy Breitling felt this change of pace and set out to design an unconventional chronograph that captured the verve of era. He called it the Top Time.
Speed ahead to today. Breitling partners with some of the coolest names in wheels to create its Top Time designs. The Top Time Classic Cars watches feature the colors and emblems of their 1950s and ’60s sportscar influences—and all now come with a brag-worthy new engine under the hood: the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01.
Meet the cars behind the collection
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.
The Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01
Breitling’s exceptional manufacture movement, whose refined mechanics are visible through the Top Time Classic Cars' open sapphire-crystal caseback, provides an approximate 70-hour power reserve and a 5-year warranty. First released in 2009, the Breitling Caliber 01 is one of the most highly regarded chronograph movements in the industry, designed for maximum precision, reliability and functionality. As with all of Breitling’s mechanical calibers, every 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).