We aren’t the first to notice, but Breitling have been at the top of their game these past few years with stunning renovations of core collections and some remarkable reiterations of historic classics. Just look at their recent Chronomat line or the Superocean Heritage 57’ if you need reminding. Continuing with their hot streak, Breitling have announced their latest limited edition, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues, a wonderfully retro piece with the appeal of 21st-century proportions designed in collaboration with Australian lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina.
Limited to 1,500 pieces, the latest release from Breitling also commemorates the Swiss watch manufacturer as the new Official Timekeeper for the Deus Swank Rally, an epic motorcycle championship which honours vintage bikes in diverse locations all around the world. Yet despite its associations with motorcyclists, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues is more than just a biker watch but a Breitling limited edition for adventurers of all kinds. This is embodied within Breitling’s new Dues Squad, a group of fearless explorers who have been involved with Deus Ex Machina for years. The squad includes Californian surfboarder and motorcyclist Forrest Minchinton, Hawaiian competitive surfer Sierra Lerback and French motorcycle engineer and designer Jeremy Tagand.
While modern in its proportions and mission, the new Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition watch still upholds its heritage with a handsome vintage-inspired aesthetic inspired by the original Top Time released in 1960. The collection was, and still is, characterised by its masculine-elegance and was deliberately introduced for fulfilling the needs of young and active professionals. While other Breitling watch collections like the flagship Navitimer or Chronomat delivered a higher price point, the Breitling Top Time was the perfect entry level chronograph for young gentlemen starting their journey in the luxury watch world.
The Breitling Top Time quickly became a classic amongst watch enthusiasts and it wasn’t long before the design found itself at the centre of pop culture. Most famously, a Breitling Top Time was worn by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball, a design so coveted it sold at auction in 2013 for a whopping £103,875. Sadly, production for the design ended nearly two decades after its original release. That was until last year, when Breitling revealed a reiteration of the Breitling Top Time model ref 2003 with a stunning steel case and ‘Zorro’ dial. It was another instant hit, speaking to fans of both vintage and contemporary watches alike, and if this previous release is anything to go by, we have high hopes for the new Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition.
A tribute to the nomad spirit of Deus Ex Machina and a nod to Breitling’s historic Top Time collection, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition delivers the perfect balance between retro and contemporary with an upsized 41mm stainless steel case resolutely faithful in form to the 60’s original. The unadorned narrow bezel sits beside slender, straight lugs and convex sapphire crystal treated with double anti-reflective coating. Also faithful to the original is its water resistance, which is rated to only 30 metres, assisted by a snapped stainless steel case back decorated with a piece of Deus artwork. The image of the retro-looking motorcyclist is designed by Deus creative director Carby Tuckwell.
The Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition watch continues its bold aesthetic with a racing-themed brown calfskin leather strap and a panda-style chronograph dial dressed in silver and black. Squircle-shaped chronograph counters for small seconds and 30 minutes counter sit parallel to each other while a matching black tachymeter scale adorns the edge detailed with the words “In benzin veritas” translating to “In petrol we trust”. The addition of bright orange accents found on the hands and tachymeter scale is a spectacular touch, especially the shape of the chronograph hand moulded into a lightening bolt. These accents alongside the inclusion of the Dues logo at 6 o’clock mark the new partnership between Breitling and Deus Ex Machina.
As with all Breitling watches, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues is powered by a COSC certified chronometer movement, this time the Breitling Calibre 23. The Swiss manufacture movement delivers central hands for hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, two subsidiary dials for small seconds and 30 minutes and a wholesome power reserve of 48 hours. Delivering optimal legibility of these functions is Super-LumiNova coating on the hour markers and hour and minute hands.
As a limited edition of only 1,500 pieces, it’s expected that like the Breitling Top Time before it, the new Breitling Dues Limited Edition won’t be around for long. For more information on the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues watch