December 6, 2022

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Breitling Top Time Triumph Captures Spirit of Vintage Motorcycles

Breitling Top Time Triumph

Breitling Top Time Triumph

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Love motorcycles? Than you won’t want to miss this watch. Launched at the end of last month, the new Breitling Top Time Triumph is a collaboration between the renowned watch brand and British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph. It pays homage to the iconic cafe racer bikes of the 1960s. With its polished case, speed-focused dial layout, and head-turning color, the watch evokes the classic bikes of yesteryear—and stylish new models on sale today (Triumph created a special edition of its Speed Twin motorcycle as part of the collaboration).

“Triumph’s heritage and modern-retro aesthetic are just two of the many things we have in common,” Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, said in a statement. “Their blending of tradition with technology is completely in sync with what we do.”

The watch references a unique period in motorcycle history. Cafe racers came about in the 1960s—a whole genre of bikes that placed a strong emphasis on speed and style in equal measure (the term developed in reference to riders zipping between cafés). Sensing an opportunity for a new kind of watch, Breitling introduced the first Top Time during this era, marketing it as an unconventional chronograph watch built for “young and active professionals.” That’s the ancestor of today’s Top Time Triumph.

Several design elements make this watch a standout. Most notably, it features a polished 41mm stainless steel case and a striking ice blue dial. The dial color references both a motorcycle—a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird 6T in blue—and a watch: Breitling Top Time Ref. 815 from the 1970s, which also featured a blue dial. In addition, the Top Time Triumph’s dial has bow-tie shading, nicknamed “the Zorro dial” by Top Time fans and collectors.

Flip it over, and there’s one more moto reference: an engraving of Triumph’s famed parallel twin engine on the case back. These details not only give the watch a distinct look, they directly reference key design themes in motorcycle and horological history.

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The dial also features the Breitling and Triumph logos at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively, which clearly indicates its special-edition status. But like a good motorcycle, it packs style and substance, and it’s designed to be highly functional. A set of oversized pushers make it easy to operate the watch’s chronograph functions, and the dial features a tachymeter scale around the edge for measuring speed. The watches are paired with a black calfskin leather strap for a comfy fit and an understated look that really lets the color and details of the dial take center stage.

The Top Time Triumph is powered by a self-winding Breitling Caliber 23 movement. The movement is COSC-certified for exceptional reliability, and the watch’s 48-hour power reserve should make it a dependable companion for everyday wear.

There’s even a package deal on offer: Triumph is creating 270 Speed Twin Breitling Limited Edition motorcycles, and if you pick one up, you’ll get a special owner’s version of the Top Time Triumph with your bike’s serial number engraved on the case back.

Something for your wrist and something for your garage—that’s a collab we can get excited about.

[$5,500; breitling.com]

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This story was originally published March 7, 2022 8:37 PM.