James Bond. 007. A secret agent every man secretly wants to be.
He drives beautiful cars, wears exquisite watches, fights in a sharp tux and always gets the girl.
Want a piece of his style?
What if I told you that you can now get a Bond watch?
Not just any Bond watch, but the Bond watch?
The Breitling Top Time ref. 2002, the first timepiece modified by Q Branch for agent 007, equipped with a Geiger counter (in the film Thunderball), makes a return in 2020 known as the Breitling Top Time Limited Edition.
The Top Time that appeared in Thunderball(credit: https://duncanquinn.com/)
The bold yet tasteful ‘Zorro’ dial gives the Top Time an unmistakable look that appeared modern back then on the Ref. 2003. This classy design of the dial is now equipped with an applied logo, red hands, and updated dimensions to compliment it in this reedition.
Collectors refer to the black accents surrounding the white subdials on the Top Time as the ‘Zorro’ dial as it resembles the domino-mask worn by the popular novel character Zorro.
007 does not care to fit in
The white subdials highlighted by the black accents on the Top Time stands out in the chronograph world, in which ‘panda’ dials were, and still are, ubiquitous.
With panda dials on watches still in production to this day, the Top Time offers a breath of fresh air from the increasingly pedestrian design.
Elements of the Top Time Ref. 2003 from the 1960s can be seen on the new Top Time Limited Edition (credit: gmtpost.com)
A crowd favourite
When the original Breitling Top Time was launched in the 1960s, Willy Breitling himself announced that those new watches were ‘particularly suited to the needs of young and active professionals.’ Not only did the sports watch rise to its calling, but it also appealed to young women at the time, who found its game-changing design attractive, and appreciated the bold new timepiece that radiated elegance.
The reedition is sure to do the same with its elevated design that stayed true to its iconic roots – aside from the applied logo and red hour and minute hands, the only substantial change on the dial is the addition of the word ‘chronometer’ under the ‘Top Time’ text; fitting, as the Top Time Limited Edition is powered by a COSC-certified chronometer movement.
A close look at the ‘Zoro’ dial on the Top Time Limited Edition (copyright tenpiecesofeight.com)
A heavy hitter on land
Water-resistant up to 30 meters, the Top Time is a dependable sport watch in dry weather conditions. This is, after all, a reedition of a watch designed to be used by racing drivers on dry land and not out at sea.
The modernised classic now stands at 14.27mm in height, which may be a tad thick for a dress watch, but makes total sense as this a sports watch with a chronograph function. The 41mm diameter is a sensible increase from the original 38mm, as the 40mm ballpark is considered standard nowadays.
We’ve all seen the success of the Top Time with both men and women in the 1960s, and now that it has come back a modernised classic, the design of this 41mm reedition should win the approval of any man’s companion.
The Top Time Limited Edition is not simply a facelifted version of the ref. 2003, either. Instead, the design for the case and the chronograph pushers of the reedition draws on the features of other references of the 1960s, and the dial features a decimal scale rather than a tachymeter ring, thereby complimenting the symmetry of the dial.
The ‘Zorro’ dial is inspired by Top Time ref.2003.4, while the case shape and chronograph pushers draw on other models of the Top Time (credit: hodinkee.com)
Many welcome updated features are brought to this limited-edition timepiece, including an automatic Breitling Caliber 23 chronograph movement – COSC-certified chronometer, Super-LumiNova coated hour markers, hour and minute hands, and Convex sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides.
The Valjoux 7753 based movement offers 48 hours of power reserve and a smooth sweep of the second’s hand at 28,800 BPH. This means that instead of the conventional 6 beats per second, the high-beat movement of the Top Time provides better accuracy at 8 beats per second.
The best Bond watch?
It is easy to name the big brands that make frequent appearances in Bond films, but the Top Time truly stands out from the selection of Bond watches as the only Breitling 007 has worn so far.
The iconic timepiece will always be remembered as the gadget James Bond used to track down stolen nuclear bombs underwater.
No need for confusion as to which model of Rolex was actually a gadget in a Bond film (the Submariners in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and the GMT Master in Casino Royale, all lacked gadgets functions while the Submariner in Live and Let Die functioned as a saw and a magnet), we all know that the Breitling Top Time was the awesome tool agent 007 used in that bond film –Thunderball.
The reedition of the Top Time gives us the best of all worlds by offering us the iconic ‘Zorro’ dial and a connection to our favourite secret agent in this revival of the Top Time name.
Technology fit for a secret agent
Understandably, the Top Time Limited Edition doesn’t come with a Geiger counter like the one Sean Connery wore in Thunderball. This reedition, however, will be Breitling’s first ever watch offered with a blockchain-based digital passport. Now, the ownership and authenticity of the timepiece can be confirmed at any time; ownership may also be transferred via a blockchain transaction. This also means that Breitling’s digital warranty program will be secure with the superior safety of blockchain technology.
A luxurious timepiece armed with blockchain technology? Sounds straight out of a Bond film!
The Top Time Limited Edition is a beautiful re-edition that marks the revival of the Top Time watches from the 1960s. Limited to 2000 pieces, the Breitling Top Time Limited Edition is available as an online exclusive, while stocks last.