Breitling’s automotive racing team welcomes its newest member: the Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird. It is the fourth model to join the 1960s-inspired Top Time Classic Cars collection. With its prominent tail fin, rock-solid construction, and luxury features, the Ford Thunderbird, first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 1954, made automotive history. The convertible promised fun driving for extended joyrides that fitted the new feeling of freedom that blossomed in that era. Today, the two first generations, “Classic Bird” (1955-1957) and “Square Bird” (1958-1960) are particularly sought after.
The new Breitling Replica Top Time B01 Classic Cars Collection from left to right: Top Time B01 Ford Mustang, Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird, Top Time B01 Shelby Cobra, Top Time B01 Chevrolet Corvette
The Thunderbirds served as a template for the new addition to the Top Time Classic Car line, which Breitling introduced as a Capsule Collection in 2021. It pays homage to the 1960s Top Time Chronograph, a child of Willy Breitling, and consists of three motorsport chronographs inspired respectively by the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, and Shelby Cobra. While the first generation sported colorful dials in red, blue, and green, the Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird is more subdued with a white, naturally luminescent dial.
The red racing-style leather strap and the color-coordinated chronograph hands, as well as a partial section on the tachymeter scale, add a radiant splash. Also on board are the square, slightly rounded sub dials in tricompax layout, reminiscent of dashboard instruments. They are slightly recessed and emphasize the expressive retro look. Below the twelve, the Thunderbird logo is applied in petrol green. The lettering above the twelve-hour counter refers to the Top Time origin. As with its predecessors, the design of the dial is balanced and is highly recognizable.
This also applies to the Top Time-style stainless steel case, which is now pressure-tested to ten bar with a narrow bezel that surrounds the wide dial and is essential for a true motorsport replica watches. The chronograph pushers, too, are stylishly mushroom-shaped and underscore the vintage charm. However, in line with current trends, Breitling introduces a new diameter to the collection with the Thunderbird, measuring 41 mm.
Breitling Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird case back
Whereas the previously available chronographs were powered by Breitling’s caliber 41 and 25, both Sellita-based, Breitling’s prestige movement, the B01, now runs as a powerful engine under the hood. Introduced in 2009, the manufacture caliber scores with a COSC chronometer certificate and a power autonomy of 70 hours. This self-winding movement features a column wheel control and a vertical clutch. Thanks to all these features, Breitling can provide a five-year warranty on its prestige caliber. It goes without saying that the B01 is revealed in all its beauty through the sapphire crystal case back, including the Ford Tunderbird logo, emblematic of the enthusiasm for history and timekeeping.