The Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Shelby Cobra. Who doesn’t know these classic American machines? Breitling released three new stainless steel chronographs from its Top Time series to honor these automotive icons at Geneva Watch Days 2021. Marketed within its Classic Cars Capsule collection, these colorful timepieces also pay tribute to the legendary Top Time models Breitling originally introduced in the 1960s.
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These three watches feature tachymeter scales on their bezels and the respective carmaker’s insignia printed on the dial and engraved on the case back. The chronographs offer 100 meters (10 bar, 328 ft) of water resistance and come on a racing-style leather strap. You can call one your own for $5,500.
The Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection: Details and Legacies
The Top Time Chevrolet Corvette draws its inspiration from the Corvette C2 “Sting Ray.” It boasts a red dial, three black subdials, and a black tachymeter scale. Chevrolet produced the Sting Ray from 1963 to 1967. Fun fact: Chevrolet co-founder Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss race car driver born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, home to watch brands like TAG Heuer and Girard-Perregaux.
The COSC-certified Breitling caliber 25 ticks away inside this 42-mm automatic chronograph. It has a 42-hour power reserve and can measure time to within 1/8th of a second. The Chevrolet Corvette is the one timepiece in the collection featuring a black instead of brown leather strap – a sharp-looking match with its subdials and tachymeter scale.
The Top Time Homage to the Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang is probably the most famous of the three sports cars this collection pays tribute to. Its most legendary appearance was in the 10-minutes, 53-second pursuit in 1968’s neo-noir action thriller Bullitt starring Steve McQueen. McQueen did all of the driving for the close-up shots in this sequence, in which his dark-green 1968 Ford Mustang GT chases a Dodge Challenger through the streets and hills of San Francisco.
The Top Time Ford Mustang is technologically identical to the Corvette model. Its Mustang-green dial also has three black subdials and a black tachymeter scale. It comes on a brown calfskin leather strap.
Remembering Carroll Shelby: The Shelby Cobra
With the Top Time Shelby Cobra, Breitling pays tribute to American racing driver and automotive designer Carroll Shelby. Shelby created the Cobra exclusively for racing in the early 1960s, combining British chassis with American motorsport technology. The timepiece features a blue dial with a white tachymeter scale and subdials – the colors of the Shelby Cobra the watch honors. At 40 mm, this watch is the smallest in the collection, and unlike its counterparts, has a two-subdial layout, running on the automatic Breitling Caliber 41. This movement measures time to within 1/4th of a second and has a power reserve of 42 hours. Like the Top Time Ford Mustang, this watch also comes on a brown calfskin leather strap.
With its Top Time Classic Cars capsule collection, Breitling delivers a trilogy of chronographs with a retro design and feel. When Breitling released its original Top Time collection in the 1960s, it broadly described its target group as “young and active professionals.” In today’s overly-defined, target-group-segmented market, this description from way back when still seems to hit the mark. However, with their specific motorsport design, these watches will probably tend to catch the interest of older (albeit still active and professional) fans of the cars they are celebrating and who have $5,500 to spend on a timepiece.
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