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Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

Over the decades, Breitling has burned a wide variety of evocative names into the minds of watch enthusiasts everywhere. The Navitimer, the Superocean, the Aerospace, Breitling for Bentley, and more have all left marks on the industry, but one of Breitling’s most famous mid-century product lines has been absent from its current lineup for far too long. The Top Time was one of Breitling’s sportiest, most youth-oriented models in the 1960s, helping to shape the sports watch landscape during a time of monumental design shifts. After years of dormancy Breitling has now revived one of the Top Time’s most iconic references, the Ref. 2003, for the new Breitling Top Time Limited Edition.

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

While upsized to a more modern 41 mm, the stainless steel case is solidly faithful in form to the ‘60s original. The unadorned narrow bezel, simple straight lugs and tall piston pushers are all here, keeping the ethos of the Top Time Limited Edition firmly rooted to the original. While the case is true to the ‘60s in form, one drawback is that it’s also extremely faithful to the time period in terms of water resistance. Breitling rates this case at only 30 meters, ensuring this sports watch should be dry weather only.

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

Where Breitling’s classic style is really allowed to run free is the dial. The Top Time Limited Edition revives the classic Ref. 2003, known among collectors as the “Zorro dial” for the mask-like appearance, or the “bow tie” for obvious reasons. This stark, dramatic splash of black on white is a refreshing alternative to the traditional panda dial format and serves to make the subdials stand out immediately at first glance. Another ‘60s throwback is the use of an outer decimal scale, rather than the more typical tachymeter or pulsations scale. While not as dramatic or situationally useful as some of those others, the decision to keep with a decimal track maintains the handsome visual symmetry of an already well balanced dial. One way this new revival sets itself apart from the original, however, is the vibrant use of red as an accent color. While the Ref. 2003 also shares the red accents on the central chronograph seconds and the 30-minute chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock, the Top Time Limited Edition takes things a step further with vibrant red on the central hours and minutes. It’s an intense color, but in just the right quantity to make the dial pop on the wrist without becoming overwhelming.

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

Breitling powers the Top Time Limited Edition with the Valjoux 7753-based Caliber 23 automatic chronograph movement. In addition to a small seconds and 30 minute chronograph, this movement offers COSC certified chronometer accuracy along with 48 hours of power reserve and a smooth 28,800 bph sweep.

The Breitling Top Time Limited Edition comes paired with a textured brown nubuck strap in cocoa brown. The softness and textured finish play well off the vintage feel of the case and dial, but a black rally strap would also be an ideal combination.

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

While the Top Time Limited Edition is an impressive sporty revival for Breitling, this watch also serves as a test for Breitling’s new blockchain-based digital verification system. Each Top Time Limited Edition will be paired with a unique blockchain “digital passport,” which can be used for everything from scheduling warranty service online to digitally authenticating each watch. Owners can even sell their Top Time Limited Editions through a one-click blockchain transaction system. It’s an interesting concept, and time will tell if Breitling chooses to roll it out on a larger scale.

Breitling Revives A 1960s Classic With New Top Time Limited Edition Watch Releases

Only 2,000 examples of the Breitling Top Time Limited Edition will be made, currently available exclusively online through Breitling’s e-commerce platform with availability from authorized dealers upon request later this year. MSRP for the Top Time Limited Edition stands at $4,990. For more information, visit the Breitling website.

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  • Gorgeous.

  • PR

    I like that it’s 41mm and under 5k but at the same time, something about the color scheme doesn’t work for me.

    Also the whole blockchain digital passport with a watch? Sounds like a fancy way to say register your watch with them, but with the transfer capability are they suggesting that they will not provide warranty unless it’s registered and sent in by the person on file? Needs more details

  • SuperStrapper

    Meh. The dial is cool but the case is fairly boring and i just wouldn’t consider a contemporary Breitling chronograph without a b-series movement.

  • cluedog12

    Seems we’re getting back to more reasonable pricing in the recession. This one is quite sharp, a little more daring than the average retro re-release. I’d say Breitling had a hit on its hands, but it may take a lot longer than usual to sell these through. Hope we get through the worst of this soon, so everyone can get back to business, whatever that business may be.

  • Chaz

    Though this would have been nice if Breitling used its own B01 engine, I can understand the desire to keep prices lower and accessible. Nice one.

  • Philip Beresford

    Very nice, good to see them going back to some of the old Top Time designs

  • Pete L

    Good all round package and pretty decent value. Dial really striking.

  • Love it.

  • Russell DeJulio

    Nice chronograph however Hamilton offer a very similar panda design at half the cost in a black or blue dial . I would of purchased the Hamilton but I wanted a 12 hour sub dial so I purchased a Sinn about a month ago A wonderful watch with the 7750 movement day and date again at less than half the cost of the Top Time

    • NaJo

      Good thinking and options mate.. the breitling execution goes above those two brands easily but still not a bad choice

  • hatster

    Very nice work, except all this blockchain stuff. If you could do all of that activity before, why introduce blockchain to the process?

    • Lode_Runner

      It’s a gimmick, nothing more, a way for Breitling to try to pass itself off as cool and sophisticated.

  • mtnsicl

    You guys forgot the caseback picture again! ??

  • NaJo

    Do not understand brands business strategy in releasing new products during an ongoing pandemic!

    • Lode_Runner

      I disagree, it actually makes perfect sense. During times of unrest, a watchmaker is much more likely to succeed at selling things it can pass off as “limited edition” models, because people who like the design will feel pressure to buy now for fear that they’ll run out, and there won’t be any available in a couple of months. That pressure would not exist for a regular production model, because customers know they can just defer purchasing decisions and the model will still be available when the pandemic clears.

  • ray h.

    Saw the pic,went yep I like, thought instantly it would be around $4900 for a watch that used to cost in the low hundreds and yep it is, then I instantly thought no damn way am paying that and that ends that. With today’s production methods these things should only be a few hundred more than they cost back in the day but, never going to happen it seems . I guess the watch world will be there for the rich and or crazy people and the rest can just buy quartz.
    It looks kinda big on the guy wearing it, even if he bought it , it would never look “right” on him or those like him. 5k and you look worse then before, but watch without you attached to it would look sharp. That’s even a bigger bummer! lol

  • leftnomore

    VeRy striking.

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