In case you didn’t get the memo, it appears that this is the unofficial limited edition collaborative chronograph week in the land of new watches from major Swiss brands. We covered TAG Heuer’s collaboration with Hodinkee yesterday, and our post had barely gone live when the watch sold out through Hodinkee’s shop. Today, it’s Breitling’s turn, as they’re featuring a new version of Top Time made in partnership with Deus Ex Machina, a much admired Australian lifestyle brand focusing on surfing and motorcycles. While at first blush that might not seem like a natural partner for a brand steeped in aviation history with the tagline “Instruments for Professionals,” the resulting watch is quite appealing and an interesting extension of the Top Time aesthetic that was reintroduced last year.
The original Top Time introduced in the 1960s was marketed to “young and active professionals” and was, at the time, emblematic of particularly contemporary, fashion forward style. The new Top Time Deus taps into that ethos a bit with its bright color palette and an association with a brand that has been genuinely embraced by a younger crowd. There’s a relaxed and casual vibe to this watch that’s enhanced by the pops of color in the handset and the unusual “squircle” (that’s square + circle) shaped subdials.
The key design element of this particular watch is certainly the tachymeter bezel circling the perimeter of the silver dial. It’s in a contrasting black, which looks great and is a nice complement to the aforementioned subdials, and features red and yellow blocks at around the 3:00 point on the tachymeter scale that directly follow the words “In Benzin Veritas,” which translated from Latin equates roughly to “In fuel we trust.” The blocks of color on the outside of the dial and the tints of red and yellow in the hands give the whole dial a fuel gauge feel, which seems appropriate given the nature of the collaboration. The chronograph seconds hand is also shaped like a lightning bolt, because why not? The whole package is quite a bit quirkier than what we usually see from Breitling, and it’s fun to see them give the reins over to another brand and seemingly let them run with the design.
On the technical side, the Top Time Deus runs on Breitling Caliber 23, a COSC certified chronometer movement based on a modified version of the ETA 7753 with 48 hours of power reserve. The case measures 41mm in diameter and is a little over 14mm thick. Like last year’s Top Time, the case is highly polished, which is consistent with the purpose of the original version of the watch, which was meant to be more fashionable, and less of a tool. While we’d normally like to see more reserved case finishing on a sports watch, in context the decision to polish it in this manner makes sense.
The Top Time Deus is available now through Breitling, and is limited to 1,500 examples. The retail price is set at $4,990. Breitling