Breitling hits the road with a new collection of Top Time Classic Cars Squad chronographs, inspired by three cult American cars from the 1960s: Shelby Cobra, Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang.
In a unique event, full of icons from the 60s – where there was no lack of mythical food trucks or classic bumper cars – and with a lot of gasoline and squealing tires in the mix, Breitling took the podium to present the new Classic Cars Squad capsule collection, made up of a trio of Top Time chronographs. And if, until today, the Top Time line was distinctly evocative of the 1960s, now Breitling takes it a step further by creating three new models with a clear connection to iconic classic cars, namely the 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 427, the 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 and the 1965 Shelby Cobra 427.
The new Breitling Top Time Classic Cars Squad capsule collection thus includes the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette, Top Time Ford Mustang and Top Time Shelby Cobra models, which represent a clear homage to American automobile icons with vintage charisma bold enough to spark attention from everyone, even the non-enthusiast.
All Classic Cars Squad models follow the 60s-inspired vintage case lines of the current Top Time line, but interpret it in slightly different ways. Thus, both the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette and the Top Time Ford Mustang are presented in a 42 mm steel case, while the Top Time Shelby Cobra is a little more compact at 40 mm in diameter. Aside from the difference in case size, all models present themselves as pure ’60s chronographs, with polished finishes, slender lugs at sharp angles, narrow, angled bezels, vertical sides and tall piston pushers. Both case sizes share similar thicknesses (13.3 mm for the 40 mm case and 13.65 mm for the 42 mm case), thanks in part to vintage-style dome-shaped sapphire crystals. Each of the three designs is crowned by a custom engraved solid caseback. In the case of the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette, the engraving takes the form of the cross-flag emblem found on the back of the Corvette Sting Ray, while the Top Time Ford Mustang displays the timeless galloping horse emblem of the Ford Mustang. Top Time Shelby Cobra features the distinctive Shelby Cobra snake head.
It’s on the dial that these models from the capsule collection really stand out from each other. All follow the same sports pattern from the 1960s, with recessed external tachymetric scales, printed single-line indices, striped baton pointers and rounded square counters. From here, each member of the trio develops their own visual personality, taking the basic design in markedly different directions. The Breitling Top Time Shelby Cobra is arguably the simplest of the three, with a classic two-counter layout. The dial surface is a vibrant American racing blue, offering a classic sporty look when combined with the white highlights of the counters and tachymeter scale. Red and blue accents on the central chronograph seconds hand, counter hands and tachymeter scale, as well as the Shelby Cobra emblem applied at 6 o’clock, complete the dial’s design.
Breitling Top Time Shelby Cobra
The Breitling Top Time Chevrolet Corvette stands out for its vertically brushed deep ruby red dial, complemented by the contrasting black outer ring and counters. In this model, the details of the chronograph records appear in orange and yellow, a chromatic combination to the image of the Corvette instrument panel. On the other hand, to better show the 1/8-second measurement capability, the chronograph’s central seconds hand moves at twice the normal speed, completing one round around the dial in 30 seconds.
The Breitling Top Time Ford Mustang completes the collection, striking a visual balance between the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette and the Shelby Cobra. Much of the layout is shared with the Corvette model, but unlike its fellow companions, this model evokes one Mustang in particular – the 1968 Mustang GT 390 fastback, driven by Steve McQueen in the classic movie “Bullitt”. The hue of the dial on the Top Time Ford Mustang is a perfect match for the Highland Green paintwork of McQueen’s automobile. The Mustang emblem beneath the Breitling logo at 12 o’clock completes the design.
Breitling Top Time Ford Mustang
Breitling equips the Top Time Classic Cars capsule collection with a pair of automatic chronograph movements, based on ETA 2892-A2. The Top Time Chevrolet Corvette and Top Time Ford Mustang receive the Caliber 25. In addition to the unique 30-second center hand, this movement features a standard small seconds counter and two 15-minute and six-hour chronograph counters. Like all Breitling movements, the Caliber 25 is COSC certified, offers a 42-hour power reserve and beats at a rate of 28,800 vibrations/hour. The Top Time Shelby Cobra is equipped with Caliber 41, which maintains the 42-hour power reserve, 28,800 vibrations/hour and Caliber 25 COSC certification, but uses a central 60-second chronograph standard seconds hand and 30-minute counter.
All models in the Breitling Top Time Classic Cars collection are paired with calfskin straps worn with rally-style perforations, brown for the Top Time Ford Mustang and Shelby Cobra, and black for the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette.