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They say that there is no shame that a hundred years lasts, as Breitling followers well know. The firm has launched limited editions of its Top Time chronograph in recent years. The first dedicated to the clothing firm Deus Ex Machina (2021, although later there was another run with a different finish) and the second to the legendary motorcycle firm Triumph (2022). Both were of a limited nature and many were the fans who were left without the opportunity to enjoy these watches. For them, the wait is over. Breitling is now bringing back these two models, with the important addition of being accompanied by the Caliber 01 manufacturing movement.
The result is the same as if Breitling had added a turbo to the engines of these two watches. Little introduction needs today the Calibre 01. Launched in 2009, this movement marked Breitling’s return to manufacturing its own mechanisms after decades. How could it be otherwise, Breitling’s first own movement was a chronograph, with a very resistant design, and chronograph equipped with a column wheel and vertical clutch. The Caliber 01 drew attention at the time for its high power reserve (70 hours). A magnificent measure that we have later seen incorporated into other new mechanisms that have reached the market.
The arrival of Caliber 01 confirms the strength of Top Time within the Breitling catalogue. This chronograph was created by Willy Breitling in the 60s with the aim of finding a market among a younger clientele, beyond its aviation clients. Georges Kern recovered this collection and, in a very intelligent way, made it the automotive link with Breitling Much better if we talk about old vehicles.
Top Time has emerged with great success. This has been the case thanks to successive collaborations and special editions. A success that has motivated the company to raise the technical level of the collection and equip its watches with the movements manufactured by the house. First there were the members of the capsule collection Classic Cars and now these two Deus Ex Machina and Triumph arrive. A manufacturing spirit of the new Top Time, well symbolized in the replacement of the previous solid casebacks by sapphire windows.
In addition to incorporating the Breitling manufacture caliber, the new Top Time Deus Ex Machina and Triumph show small cosmetic changes compared to previous versions. In the case of Top Time Deus Ex Machina, the most obvious novelty is the incorporation of the third quadrant for the indication of the chronograph hours. It is a decision that can be controversial for some followers of the brand. The first edition of Deus Ex Machina had a bicompax format, very much in keeping with the vintage character of the piece.
Other relevant changes is the change from a cream-colored cover to a black one. A commitment to monochrome style which has also been reflected in the disappearance of certain touches of color. The red finish of the chronograph hand and the tachymeter scale are maintained, as well as the legend In Benzin Veritas, the motto of the firm Deus Ex Machina. On the other hand, all the chronograph scales offer a more technical and easy-to-read finish. The Top Time Deus Ex Machina is supposed to be a watch for motorcyclists to time their races, and this new design allows for that.
The edition Triumph does maintain a greater aesthetic similarity with the already known version. Sky blue once again takes center stage on the dial, accompanied for the occasion by a bow-tie-shaped finish, dubbed the fox dial by Breitling fans. The provision is also maintained bicompax, very elegant thanks to the black finish of the counters. Only the most detailed will discover the minimal aesthetic changes between one edition and another. Very small, as we say: the square indicators of the minute scale (before white and now black) and the adjustment of the tachymeter scale, where the arrow of the previous version disappears.
A versatile chronograph
The technical characteristics of both watches remain practically the same, although with an important improvement that we will mention later. Both the Top Time Deus Ex Machina and the Triumph are made of steelwith a case diameter of 41 millimeters. They are also almost a millimeter thinner than the previous ones, although they still have a generous thickness that makes them stand out on the wrists. As we have said before, the arrival of the B01 caliber has led Breitling designers to open the bottom of the box and show the benefits of its machinery. The incorporation of the sapphire caseback could lead us to think that the Top Time has lost hermetic qualities. Quite the contrary: these two new references reach a 100 meter waterproof which far exceeds the 30 meters of previous versions.
The two watches are accompanied by a perforated calfskin strap. There is the option of a stainless steel bracelet milanese mesh with folding clasp.