by | Sep 5, 2021 | Style, Watches

Breitling’s newest watch lineup will have horology enthusiasts flying off their seats and off to the races. The watchmaker’s eye-catching and edgy Top Time Capsule Collection draws its inspiration from coveted 1960s classic muscle cars – the Shelby Cobra, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette.

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These magnificent timepieces are a revitalized take of the brand’s original 1960s Breitling Top Time models. These were designed for the young and active professional.

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Fresh and edgy colour combos

Let us start by saying that this retro take has been marvellously executed. The three chronographs released just a few days ago at the Breitling Top Time Summit had the watch world turning heads. The color combinations are fresh and edgy. And the emblem of each vehicle has been tastefully positioned into each dial.

When placed next to one another, the three are pure eye candy. Each one has its own distinctive appeal, making it difficult to pick a favourite. The distinguished collector is going to want to own all three.

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Retro calfskin leather straps

Cars and racing have been a part of Breitling’s history since the production of its very first chronographs. The Top Time Classic Cars Squad does justice to vintage racing-inspired watches. From the dial colors (blue, red and green), to the car logos, to the straps, these three timepieces thrust the best of vintage memorabilia into the modern era.

The calfskin leather straps (black for the Corvette model, brown for the Cobra and Mustang) immediately remind the aficionado of vintage racing gloves (if you’re in the market for a pair of these, Modest Vintage Player is your source).

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It begins with the Shelby Cobra, the vehicle was the brainchild of American automotive designer and racing driver, Carroll Shelby. Shelby sought to build a car that brought together British chassis design with American racing engineering. The result was the now iconic Shelby Cobra.

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Stainless steel cases

The Top Time Shelby Cobra features a brilliant blue dial with a white trim for the tachymetre. The Shelby is the smallest in diameter of the three watches. The other timepieces have a 42 mm diameter and a thickness of 13.6 mm. The Shelby measures 0.3 mm thinner.

The Shelby houses a Breitling 41 Calibre movement. The Top Time Mustang and Corvette house the Breitling Calibre 25, likely being the result of the slight difference in size. If you have a smaller wrist, you may want to consider the Shelby.

28 Three Icons Of The American Car Culture Chevrolet Corvette Shelby Cobra Ford Mustang From Left To Right Rgb
32 Three Icons Of The American Car Culture Chevrolet Corvette Shelby Cobra Ford Mustang From Top To Bottom Rgb

The stainless steel cases of these watches have closed backs, each fashioning the respective emblem of the muscle car it pays homage to. The Shelby is also different from the other two watches in the collection in that it has only two subdials as opposed to three. The sub-dial to the left is the chronograph minute totalizer and the sub-dial to the right functions as the seconds hand.

The larger seconds hand serves as the chronographs hour totalizer. The pushpiece to the top right starts and stops the chronograph. And the one below serves as a reset button. The outer tachymeter scale measures KM/H. On top of that, the watch is fitted with a brown calfskin leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp.

Vibrant dial colours match nicely with the classic cars they represent

The Top Time Mustang and Corvette both feature similar dial features. The subdials at the 6 o’clock position serve as the hour totalizer, the 9 o’clock dial serving as the minute totalizer. And the 3 o’clock measures seconds.

Breitling opted for brown straps on green Mustang and the blue Shelby. But the red Corvette model has been suited with a black strap. All three models have a water resistance of 100 m. Given the contrast of the colors, I think Breitling has done well in making this decision as it allows for the dial to pop and radiate its ruby red finish.

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Two thumbs up

As a haute horology writer, I give my stamp of approval on this most recent release. Coming off of the back of the sharp-looking Top Time Deus, which was co-designed with Australian lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina, the custom motorcycle and surf outfitter, Breitling has really upped the ante when it comes to luxury chronographs.

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The careful selection of vibrant dial colors correspond exquisitely with the muscle cars they are modeled after. The well-designed dial layouts, strap options as well as Breitling’s partnership collaborations as of late have only served to boost the brand’s heritage and forge new coveted collectables for generations to come.

In considering the price of these beautiful watches (6,350 CAD), the history behind it, and the vibrance of the dials coupled with the suppleness of the leather strap, one could not go wrong in adding classic flex to one’s collection.

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