Tag: Breitling Premier Top Time B21 Chronograph Tourbillon
Since its introduction in mid-2021, the Breitling Top Time Classic Cars collection has changed the Top Time’s positioning in the brand hierarchy from an entry-level, youth-oriented chronograph series, to a more refined, lifestyle-inflected upscale collection. This revised line features frequent brand collaborations, exquisite finishing, and visual nods to some of the most beloved American automobiles of all time. The Top Time’s move upmarket shows no signs of slowing in 2023, and Breitling’s latest suite of releases brings the nameplate to new heights by introducing a tourbillon to the collection for the first time ever. Although their wild new complications may take top billing, the new Breitling Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon collection (which includes the Breitling Top Time B21 Ford Mustang, Breitling Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra, and Breitling Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette) brings the Top Time series to luxe new frontiers through unique materials, refined presentation, and more subdued branding than its predecessors.
Interestingly, the watches in the new Breitling Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon collection do not all share the same case dimensions. While the Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra and Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette both opt for 44mm wide cases in sleek black ceramic, the Breitling Top Time B21 Ford Mustang’s warm bronze case measures in slightly smaller at 43mm wide. With that said, there’s little that differentiates between the two case designs in images, other than their materials. Both case styles feature a broader, more imposing version of the Top Time’s familiar midcentury-sporty case silhouette in photos, with slightly tapering attached lugs, narrow smooth bezels, and richly brushed case sides. As one might expect, Breitling fits all three watches with sapphire display casebacks, offering an unimpeded view of the movements within. Although these may be more luxe variants of the base Top Time platform, Breitling maintains the line’s sporting edge, and all three models are rated for a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
Like their standard chronograph siblings, the Breitling Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon collection features dials inspired by the beloved cars that share their names. However, these models take a subtler approach, with more muted colors and no overt automotive branding in images. All three watches share the same dial layout, with an outer tachymeter ring in black, the line’s signature “squircle”-shaped 60-minute chronograph subdial at 6 o’clock, and a matching rounded-square cutout for the tourbillon escapement and its elegantly narrow skeleton bridge at 12 o’clock. From here, each model takes the layout in a different stylistic direction. With its surrounding bronze case and matching dial hardware, the Breitling Top Time B21 Ford Mustang’s vertically brushed Highland Green dial offers a deep, classically luxe colorway in images, harmonizing the tourbillon with the rest of the dial through matching and complementary hues. Conversely, the Breitling Top Time B21 Shelby Cobra takes a more serious, muted approach in initial photos, with its desaturated navy blue brushed dial and a blacked-out tourbillon bridge. Arguably the most striking of the trio, however, is the Breitling Top Time B21 Chevrolet Corvette. Rather than taking on an automotive paint-inspired dial hue like its counterparts, this model instead shifts its focus to the car’s dashboard. The dial surface is rendered from a single piece of walnut burl wood, featuring a rich blend of highlights, shadows, and textures in images. Wood dials are a real rarity in the modern luxury watch landscape, but the results in photos are dynamic, nuanced, and genuinely compelling.
All three models in the Breitling Top Time B21 Classic Cars Chronograph Tourbillon series utilize the Calibre B21 automatic tourbillon chronograph movement. First introduced in 2022’s Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon, Breitling developed the B21 in partnership with movement specialist La Joux-Perret. The end result is an impressively solid performer, with a 55 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate, as well as COSC certified chronometer accuracy. On the finishing side, the Calibre B21 is crisp and modern, if unspectacular in images. Broad perlage along the mainplate is accented by vertical brushing and anglage for the upper three-quarter plate, while the engraved skeleton rotor is dominated by a matching mix of vertical brushing and anglage. As one might expect though, the tourbillon is the visual centerpiece here, thanks to its use of contrasting metals and the arcing, narrow lower tourbillon bridge. Breitling completes all three models with a faux-perforated rally-style leather deployant strap in either midnight blue or cognac brown.