Last year Breitling re-launched a classic model from the 1960s, the Top Time and it was a truly landmark moment for the brand, seeing the return of a legend. With the return of a classic like the Top Time, you of course get limited edition collaborations and here we have the new Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition, ready to help you shred rubber on a motorbike or kill some waves on a surfboard.
The Top Time Deus was designed by Breitling in collaboration with Deus Ex Machina, the Australian lifestyle brand that specialises in motorcycles and surf gear. The limited edition piece has been created in order to celebrate Breitling becoming the official timekeeper of the Deus Swank Rally, an international motorbike championship that features vintage bikes from around the globe. That motorbike pedigree is born out on the Top Time’s caseback, which features Deus’ motorcyclist logo racing along at full tilt.
From a functionality point of view, the watch isn’t limited to the biker crowd and is suited to all outdoor activities. Based on the re-release of the original 1960s Top Time model, it has a sleek retro-vibe with a classy white dial and bold yellow and orange accents in a 41mm stainless steel case. It’s also a little bit funky with its ‘squircle’ chronograph subdials and lightning bolt shaped chronograph hand.
Additional Deus branding makes its way onto the dial with the logo front and centre and the Deus adage ‘In benzin veritas’ embedded on the tachymeter scale at the periphery of the dial, which means In Petrol We Trust – I get the feeling the Deus squad might be made up of some serious petrol-heads.
Presented on a racing themed calf leather strap, it’s definitely trying to be sporty and for the most part it works. The movement lives up to what you’d expect from a sports watch too, a COSC-certified Breitling Calibre 23 chronometer.
The major issue I have with the Top Time Deus is that for a watch that claims to be suitable for adventures of all kinds, it only has 3 bar water resistance. Sure, 30m depth protection should be enough while you’re surfing on the waves but really you’d like a bit more resilience – what if it were to come off when you wipe out over deeper water or head out on a boat?
When one of Breitling’s Deus ambassadors is Hawaiian competitive surfer Sierra Lerback you have to believe that the watch was designed with water sports in mind and the Top Time Deus just doesn’t fit the niche requirements of that kind of watch to the level that alternatives do. Breitling has done limited edition surfer watches right in the past, just look at the Superocean Heritage ’57, but this time they seem to have been too focussed on the motorbike side of Deus Ex Machina and the other aspect of the collaboration has fallen to the wayside in comparison.
At £4,100 and limited to 1,500 pieces I’d be tempted to keep this as a land-only watch: clipping along on a motorbike is what it was designed for and it looks great doing it with its bold vintage style. If you want to dip into the waters there are thousands of dedicated divers out there that would serve you better. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a Breitling Deus Diver to cover for the weakness of the Top Time – that’s a watch I’d like to see.
Price & Specs:
Model: Breitling Top Time Deus Limited Edition
Case/Dial: 41mm diameter x 14.27mm height, stainless steel, silver dial with sapphire convex double anti-reflective
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: In-house Breitling Calibre 23, automatic, COSC-certified
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 48h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 1/4th second and 30-minute counters chronograph
Strap: Brown racing-themed calfskin leather with pin buckle
Price/Availability: £4,100, limited to 1,500 pieces
More details at Breitling.