Breitling has always stood out among Switzerland’s legions of luxury watchmakers as a particularly action-focused brand.
The brand is best known for its connection to aviation, its pilot’s watches worn by civilian and military fliers across the globe as well as even making it into space. But it’s not just the skies that Breitling has stamped their mark on. Breitling’s dive watches are the stuff of legends, and the brand has also had a long association with iconic British car marque Bentley.
Breitling’s latest collaboration ditches four wheels for two, however, with the storied Swiss brand teaming up with Australian motorbike brand and cultural tour de force Deus Ex Machina (better known simply as Deus) on a stunning new chronograph: the limited-edition Top Time Deus (ref. A233101A1A1X1).
Founded in 2006, Deus began life as a custom motorbike shop in Sydney’s bohemian Inner West and has since become a true-blue Aussie success story, branching out into apparel, sporting goods and opening other bike workshops across the globe, everywhere from Los Angeles’ Venice Beach to Tokyo and Bali. Iconoclastic and free-spirited, Deus is the perfect partner for Breitling, the brand’s uniquely sporty character a perfect match for Deus’ petrol-powered irreverence.
One of Breitling’s slightly more obscure models, the Top Time is a classically beautiful chronograph that’s been in and out of production in recent years. Deus’ take on the timepiece pays homage to the original incarnation of the watch from the 1960s while spicing up the watch with some unique Deus details that will delight motorcycle fans and desk jockeys alike.
Immediately obvious are unique details like its funky ‘squircle-shaped squircle-shaped chronograph counters; orange and yellow details with a unique lightning bolt-shaped chronograph hand; a racing-themed calfskin leather strap; plus the Deus logo and its tongue-in-cheek adage “in benzin veritas” – “in petrol we trust” – offset in white on its black tachymeter scale. Flipping the watch over reveals an iconic Deus artwork of a retro-looking motorcyclist in full flight designed by Deus creative director Carby Tuckwell adoring the caseback,
On a technical level, the 41mm stainless steel watch is powered by the Breitling Caliber 23, a COSC-certified chronometer with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. Its prominent chronograph pushers and double anti-reflective sapphire crystal make the watch a cinch to use whether you’re on your bike or at brunch (hot tip: the Deus Cafe’s potato rösti eggs benedict is amazing if you’re ever in Sydney). Water-resistant to 30m, it’s also tough enough to put up with all your blood, sweat and beers.
Brand collaborations are often quite a cynical exercise, but Breitling and Deus’ partnership seems incredibly natural. Breitling’s current trajectory under recently-appointed CEO Georges Kern has seen the brand revitalised: where other watchmakers often feel stuffy and constrained by their history, Breitling has chosen to take risks, seeking out interesting collaborations like this one with Deus, ultimately to their benefit.
Breitling’s watches are relevant, beautiful and most importantly, fun – and really, that’s what watches should be about: fun. And this Top Time is certainly all that, and more.
Limited to only 1500 examples, this Top Time currently only available online, with a roll-out to boutiques anticipated later in the year… If they don’t all sell out by then. Australia’s rumoured to only have an allocation of 20 or so watches, so if you want one, you’ll need to get onto the Breitling website quicker than a Suzuki Hayabusa.