BY ERIK SLAVEN
Swiss watchmaker Breitling and British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph have collaborated to bring two Top Time chronographs and a limited edition Speed Twin to vintage-inspired enthusiasts. The watches and motorcycle are certainly contemporary, but also have a retro vibe that goes back to the 1960s with café racers and sport chronos. The bike is limited to 270 units and buyers have the option to purchase an “owner’s edition” of the Breitling Top Time Triumph with an engraving of the bike’s specific number on the case back. Talk about a cool set!
The watch pair are differentiated by a subtle difference in the dial design. Both are sunray ice-blue with twin sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock, but one has the classic “Zorro” shade that frames the sub-dials in the lighter portion. The color has two relevant references – a 1951 blue Triumph Thunderbird 6T and a 1970s ice-blue Breitling Top Time (Ref. 815). The sub-dials are a contrasting black with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock, and the applied indices and outer tachymeter are also black. The dial shares branding between the two companies with Breitling at the top and Triumph’s logo at the bottom. A domed sapphire crystal with multiple anti-reflective coatings protects the dial, creating retro distortions at sharp angles like acrylic.
Top Time Triumph ref. A233111A1C1X1
The stainless steel case is well sized at 41mm in diameter with a thickness of 14.2mm, which matches classic models. It’s fitted with a black calf leather strap with white stitching, reinforcing the vintage racing theme both brands are going for. The case back features an engraving of a 1200cc Triumph parallel twin engine that has a classic design with “air cooled” fins and a faux carburetor housing (it’s fuel injected). Mushroom pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock start, stop and reset the chronograph, while the rather flat push/pull crown limits water resistance to 30 meters. I guess the collaboration is with a motorcycle, not a boat.
Top Time Triumph ref. A23311121C1X1
Powering both watches is Breitling’s Caliber 23, based on the Valjoux 7753. It’s COSC certified (-4/+6 seconds per day), beats at 4Hz with a 48-hour power reserve. The classic Breitling Top Time series has already been used in connection with famous cars, such as the Shelby Cobra, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette, but this collaboration with Triumph is rather special. The watches and motorcycle have clear roots in the 1960s and 1970s, and the color has a history with both.
The limited edition Triumph’s gas tank is also ice blue, matching the dials. Both watches retail for USD 5,500 or EUR 5,290, which isn’t bad for a themed COSC chronograph from a luxury brand like Breitling.
Visit Breitling here.