Breitling’s Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection, comprising three racing chronograph models, pays homage to three of the most iconic American sports cars from the 1960s – the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, and the Shelby Cobra.
“It’s about the journey, not the tempo. And that’s true whether you’re tinkering under the hood or hitting the road for a Sunday ride celebrating these beautiful machines,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
The timepieces are themselves a nod to the original 1960s Breitling Top Time models, designed for the “young and active professionals” of those days. The modern-retro interpretations of those originals are perhaps even more youthful and free-spirited.
The three chronographs in the Classic Cars Capsule Collection are distinguished by their bold dial colours, racing-themed calfskin straps, and engraved stainless-steel casebacks that showcase each car’s logo in impressive detail. All three watches are water-resistant up to 10 bar (100 meters).
The Top Time Chevrolet Corvette has a red dial, with the sub-dials, the peripheral tachymeter scale, and the strap in contrasting black. This colour scheme is based on the promotional colour scheme of the Corvette C2 from the mid-1960s, often referred to as the “Sting Ray” by aficionados. Coincidentally, Louis Chevrolet, co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, was a Swiss racing driver born in the watchmaking city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The Mustang version was inspired by the car developed in record time in 1964, sparking a new genre of compact and affordable sports cars. It soon reached iconic status at the hands of rock stars and Hollywood actors. It even became a star in its own right on the silver screen. The watch honouring Ford’s Mustang contrasts a green dial with black subdials and a tachymeter scale. The strap on this watch is brown calfskin.
The Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang versions have 42 mm cases. Inside is the COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 25, a self-winding 1/8th of a second chronograph movement with a power reserve of about 42 hours. Both watches feature a tachymeter scale and three subdials. The cars’ respective logos are displayed at the 12 o’clock position.
The third watch in the capsule collection is the version honouring Shelby Cobra. This watch could only have been in blue and white. The inspiration for this watch was none other than the car created by the iconic American race-car driver and manufacturer Carroll Shelby for competition in the 1960s. It blended classic British chassis design with American performance. His racing colours? Blue with white stripes.
The Shelby Cobra version has a slightly smaller 40 mm case, housing Breitling’s COSC-certified Caliber 41. The self-winding 1/4th of a second chronograph movement has a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. It has a blue dial with a white tachymeter scale and two white subdials. Unlike the other two, the car’s Cobra logo is at the 6 o’clock position. Like the Mustang watch, the strap here is also brown.