Breitling has been souping up its precision chronographs with high complications since the 1940s, and now it builds on that tradition by adding a tourbillon to the Top Time Classic Cars Collection, the series that celebrates the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Shelby Cobra. The Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon is now both a symbol of speed and a celebration of Breitling’s legacy as a pioneer in the genre of luxury sport chronographs.
The Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon is equipped with the same Breitling Caliber B21 that made its debut last year in the Premier Tourbillon. Breitling worked hand in hand with the specialty movement maker Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the movement, which takes the uncommon step of combining a tourbillon with a chronograph to make the watches so distinctly Breitling. It’s the first time the Swiss watchmaker has introduced a tourbillon in the Top Time Collection, and it will be combined with some exotic materials: combinations of bronze, ceramic, and titanium for the cases, and walnut burl on one of the dials.
STYLE AND SPEED
The Top Time Collection was introduced in the 1960s to meet the demands of people with active lifestyles. Third-generation founder Willy Breitling wanted to create an unconventional chronograph that was more style driven than the traditional tool watches Breitling was known for. He called it the Top Time, and it was as much about having a good time as it was about telling the time, becoming a fast favorite among car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Over the years, Breitling has partnered with American classic sports car makers to capture the sense of verve and energy that characterized the 1960s. Today’s Top Time Classic Cars Collection consists of updated collaborations with Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Shelby Cobra.
The design is modern retro, with mushroom chronograph pushers and an up/down dial design with the tourbillon carriage at 12 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, the chronograph minute counter occupies a “squircle” (part circle, part square) register that’s a nod to vintage dashboard gauges. A tachymeter scale circles the outer dial.
MEET THE CLASSIC CARS
The Top Time B21 Ford Mustang has a 43-mm bronze case with a titanium back, and a green dial to match the colors of the first-generation Ford Mustang, produced from 1964 to 1974. It was a car that truly captured the freewheeling spirit of the ’60s.
The Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra has a 44-mm black ceramic case with a titanium back, crown, pushers, and buckle. The blue dial matches the livery of the car, created in 1962 by Le Mans winner Carroll Shelby, who combined a small, light, British-style chassis with a strong, reliable American small-block engine.
The Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette has a 44-mm black ceramic case with a titanium back, crown, pushers, and buckle. The walnut burl dial and perforated leather racing strap are a homage to the steering wheel and dashboard inlays of the legendary 1960s “Sting Ray” Chevy Corvette.
Breitling worked with the specialty movement maker Manufacture La Joux-Perret to develop the B21. Running at a frequency of 28,800 a/h (4 hertz), with a power reserve of 55 hours, the Breitling Caliber B21 has a column-wheel-controlled design with a horizontal clutch. It is a COSC-certified chronometer with a skeletonized oscillating weight that allows a view of the column wheel through the caseback. The tourbillon houses the balance wheel, balance spring, and escapement in a rotating cage, setting the entire assembly in perpetual motion—and effectively cancels— the pull of gravity, which affects the watch’s accuracy in different positions. The Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon is water-resistant to 100 meters, and comes with Breitling’s 5-year warranty. In other words, all the style, power, and performance you would expect from a classic.
Founded in 1884, Breitling is a leading Swiss watchmaker. The innovative company invented the modern chronograph and pioneered the navigational tool watch. Today, it is still breaking new ground as a casual, inclusive, and sustainable luxury brand with more than 240 industrial- loft-inspired retail locations around the world. Breitling’s collections center around air, land, and sea pursuits, all captured in the brand’s unmistakable modern-retro style. The exceptional quality of every watch movement is confirmed by its status as a COSC-certified chronometer, and the brand remains one of only a handful of independent watchmakers to produce its own manufacture calibers. Today, Breitling is on a mission to do better, by creating beautiful products and experiences with better materials, better manufacturing, better packaging, and end-to-end traceability. Combining classic watchmaking with the latest and most sustainable innovations, Breitling is both a company with history and one that is ahead of its time.