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Breitling Top Time

In Stock Unavailable

Regular price $3,700.00 Sale

Product Details

When it comes to collecting vintage chronographs, Breitling can be somewhat polarizing. While best known for their Navitimer line of aviation computer watches, some collectors can find their dials to be hectic and too difficult to read for daily wear. As a result, Breitling’s chronographs might not get the same appreciation as some of their contemporary counterparts.

We'd like to change that, and this watch, the Top Time, is the best way we know how.

In the 1960s, a few years after the Navitimer Reference 806 "Cosmonaute" orbited the planet on the wrist of Scott Carpenter, Breitling launched a line of simpler, more subdued chronographs: the Top Time. Unlike the Navitimer, the Top Time was meant for more basic tasks than timing an orbital burn. Therefore, its designs were less complex than the Navitimer, but no less appealing.

Its clean lines and splashes of color (and lower price tag) were meant to attract the eye of its intended audience: youth.

As Willy Breitling said upon the Top Time’s release in 1964, “Our special models [like the Top Time] are particularly suited to the needs of young and active professionals…”

The case of the Top Time was 36mm, large for the day, and was cast in a variety of materials, from gold to the stainless steel seen here.

Although the dials came in a variety of colors, the “panda” variants are the most desirable. This particular Top Time is a Reference 2002-33, a cousin of which was famously featured on James Bond’s wrist in Thunderball (with a Geiger counter). The thick indices and hands suggest that this watch dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Breitling meant the Top Time to break the brand into a new era, and high sales ensured its popularity. In aesthetics it’s a visual snapshot of the 1960s, but remains fresh and clean. With sharp looks and an appealing style, the Top Time has become a classic, and it's not hard to see why.

Breitling Top Time