February 23, 2022
Over the past few years, color has grown to become one of the most powerful trendsetting tools in the luxury watch industry’s arsenal. Navy blue and forest green have both seen recent waves of popularity, but the latest colorful wave to sweep across the industry is the luxurious pale robin’s egg hue better known as “Tiffany blue.” Although recently released designs have run the gamut from nearly gray ice-blue tones to true reproductions of Tiffany & Co.’s signature seafoam shade, the trend toward pale blue dials is undeniable, and the latest brand to join the fray is Breitling. As part of its newly announced partnership with renowned British motorcycle brand Triumph, the brand is releasing a pair of pale blue interpretations of its retro-modern Top Time chronograph, inspired by the classic 1951 Triumph Thunderbird 6T. The new Breitling Top Time Triumph series, including the Breitling Top Time Triumph and the Breitling Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition, combines clean vintage styling with intriguing dial finishing and a perfectly on-trend colorway to create two of the handsomest offerings in the brand’s current lineup.
Both the Breitling Top Time Triumph and the Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition share a 41mm stainless steel case design. This clean, ‘60s-style polished form follows the formula of the rest of the Top Time series, with a narrow smooth bezel, simple straight lugs, and elegantly tall piston pushers. The robust 14.27mm overall thickness should give this case a sizeable wrist presence, although much of this thickness comes courtesy of a domed sapphire crystal. Both models share a playful, sketch-style caseback engraving depicting Triumph’s straight-twin motorcycle engine, and offer a disappointing 30 meters of water resistance.
The dials of the Breitling Top Time Triumph and the Breitling Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition are where these two models come into their own. Right off the bat, although these releases do play off the current dial color trend, the color here is not strictly “Tiffany blue.” This is a paler, icier hue, with a more masculine feel in initial images. The Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition takes the more traditional approach of the pair with this color, with a richly grained sunburst finish for its main dial surface. Breitling keeps the rest of the dial starkly monochrome, with a black and white outer tachymeter ring accented by polished striped baton hands and a clean matte black treatment for the line’s signature recessed rounded square subdials. Even the dial hardware, including the printed line indices and the handsome Triumph Union Jack emblem at 6 o’clock, is kept in black for a more aggressive look in images. By contrast, the regular production Top Time Triumph delivers a more distinctive and dramatic look using the same elements by cleverly integrating one of the brand’s signature graphic dial treatments. The “Zorro” sector dial treatment is a fan favorite among Breitling collectors, so much so that when the brand revived the Top Time nameplate in 2020 its first release was an interpretation of this ‘60s reference. For the Top Time Triumph, Breitling creates a phantom “Zorro” dial effect on its ice blue surface with the use of sharp and precise brushing. By separating the dial surface into four wedges with alternating vertical and horizontal brushed finishes, the Top Time Triumph showcases both the brand’s finishing prowess and the dynamic highlights and shadows of its ice blue dial color. While it carries less of an immediate punch than the traditional black and white sector dial layout, this ghostly tone-on-tone treatment offers a handsome and truly unique look in images.
Breitling powers both the Top Time Triumph and the Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition with the Valjoux 7753-based Caliber 23 automatic chronograph movement. On top of COSC chronometer-certified accuracy, the Caliber 23 offers a solid 48 hours of power reserve with a 28,800 bph beat rate. Breitling pairs both models with black calfskin rally straps featuring white contrast stitching and deployant clasps.
By blending one of the hottest colors in the modern watch industry with a classic chronograph design and a motorcycle-inspired spirit, the Breitling Top Time Triumph and the Breitling Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition form two of the most striking and styling sports chronograph offerings in the brand’s current lineup. Only 270 examples of the Breitling Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition will be made, and the watch is available now exclusively to purchasers of the Triumph Speed Twin Breitling Limited Edition motorcycle. The standard production Top Time Triumph is available now through authorized dealers. MSRPs for the Breitling Top Time Triumph and the Breitling Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition stand at $5,500 and $5,700, respectively, as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.