Proving once again that what was once old can be new, Breitling unveil the Breitling Premier Top Time watch which takes inspiration from a historic collection first released in 1964. The limited edition chronograph comes after several other re-editions by the Swiss brand including the Navitimer 806 and AVI Ref. 75 1953, both of which have been praised for their vintage aesthetics that accurately depict their predecessors. The Breitling Premier Top Time Limited Edition beautifully commemorates an entire historic collection with a focus on two models: model ref 2003 and a legendary Top Time Bond watch.
Founder of Breitling, Willy Breitling, first announced the release of the Top Time collection in 1960 describing it as “particularly suited to the needs of the young and active professionals. We are designing a superb range of ultramodern chronographs, led by a completely new model, the Top Time.” The collection’s bold and elegant aesthetics were an instant hit while the entry level price point, lower than their flagship Navitimer and Chronomat range, targeted the perfect audience. However, it didn’t take long before the Top Time became prevalent in pop culture, most famously worn by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball. To give you an idea how coveted these watches can be, the Bond watch sold for a whopping £103,875 in 2013.
Looking at the new Breitling Premier Top Time Limited Edition watch, it is easy to see where much of its inspiration came from. The Top Time ref 2003 was one of the more unique models in the collection and featured a stunning gold plated case and a ‘Zorro’ dial. The name of the dial comes from the distinctive triangular shaped bands framing the chronograph counter that evoke the silhouette of Zorro’s half-face mask. In comparison, the dial of ref 2003 has changed very little on the new re-edition with the same silver finish and decimal scale around the circumference. To pair better with the upgraded stainless steel case, the dial now has red Superluminova coated hands rather than gold and is completed by the iconic rose gold Breitling logo at 12 o clock.
“Breitling aficionados have always loved the Top Time’s dial. 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.” – Georges Kern, Breitling CEO