Breitling Goes From Bentley to Muscle Cars with Corvette, Mustang and Shelby Watches


Some say that it’s mainly the mechanical and engineering behind both products that attract a similar type of individual, but we don’t fully agree.

Sure, there is definitely a pleasure in observing or owning a perfectly engineered and most of all intricate technological tour de force found in the mechanism of a luxury tourbillion chronograph. The same kind of pleasure can be experienced by observing or owning a car made of millions of parts working in unison to provide performance and/or comfort.

Both products can be more than the sum of their parts for their fans though, and watch lovers definitely have one thing in common with car aficionados – each group infuses these mechanical, inanimate objects, with a soul.

A car, by definition, is just a means of transportation, while a watch only tells time, right? Well, for a lot of people they do more than that, which is a difficult thing to explain for someone who simply doesn’t get it, and this is why cars and watches will always go well together.

Almost two decades have passed since Breitling, the luxury watchmaker, started its collaboration with Bentley, the luxury carmaker.

For an unexplained reason, the two companies recently closed their ties earlier this summer, albeit in a polite and respectful manner.

While for some that may sound like an unpleasant piece of news, they should probably look at the bigger picture, especially from Breitling’s point of view, who are now free to collaborate with any other carmaker.

They can continue to manufacture exquisite watches inspired by an unlimited number of different cars now, not just Bentley’s, as they are not into an exclusive contract with anyone.

And this is pretty much what they did, less than a month after the exclusive ties with Bentley were cut.

Part of Breitling’s Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection, the first three watches are supposed to pay homage to classic sports cars from the 1960s, and it shouldn’t be a coincidence that after the ‘world’s fastest lorries,’ the watchmaker has now switched to American muscle cars.

The three resulting timepieces are actually harking back to the original 1960s Breitling Top Time models, which were designed for “young and active professionals.”

“It’s about the journey, not the tempo. And that’s true whether you’re tinkering under the hood or hitting the road for a Sunday ride celebrating these beautiful machines,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern.

The three differently colored and styled watches are a nod to the Chevrolet Corvette C2, aka the original Sting Ray, the first-generation Ford Mustang and the Shelby Cobra.

The Top Time Chevrolet Corvette is presented in red and black, and is based on the mid-60s Corvette C2. Breitling doesn’t forget to mention that the godfather of Chevrolet, Louis Chevrolet, was a Swiss racing driver who was born in the watchmaking Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, pushing the cars and watches connection even further.

Up next is the green and brown Top Time Ford Mustang watch, which was obviously inspired by the original pony car, the model that started it all and is arguably the most famous and loved Ford of all time.

Finally, there is the Top Time Shelby Cobra timepiece in blue and brown, based on the iconic Shelby Cobra. Created thanks to the mind of Carroll Shelby and fusing a British, lightweight roadster body with an American monster of an engine, the Cobra is one of the best-known American sports cars of all time.

Since the first-generation Mustang and the Corvette C2 are about the same size, both watches inspired by the two cars have 42 mm cases, which house the Breitling Caliber 25, a self-winding 1/8th of a second chronograph movement that has a 42-hours power reserve.

The more compact Cobra roadster has inspired a smaller, 40 mm case for the Top Time Shelby Cobra, which houses a Breitling Caliber 41, a self-winding 1/4th of a second chronograph movement with an identical, 42-hours power reserve

All three timepieces sport bold dial colors with either orange and yellow or red and blue touches and racing-themed watch straps made from calfskin leather. Each car’s logo is engraved on the stainless-steel casebacks, with chronograph pushers punctuating the diesel.

Although not all car lovers are good divers, all three watches are water-resistant up to 10 bar, or 100 meters.

Each of the is currently available to buy for a little over $6,000, which is arguably a lot less than the equivalent cars they’ve been inspired by, especially when talking about the Cobra.