Timeline Watch

Breitling Top Time Jim Clark

MIT biochemist Har Khorana finishes deciphering the DNA code

1966 Breitling Jim Clark Top Time 810-2, manual winding movement cal. Venus 178 TJ, big 38mm. case, tachymeter dial.

Much has been made lately in the vintage Heuer collecting community about the “Jo Siffert Autavia” and the “McQueen Monaco”. These particular models are climbing fast in value, but I think it’s funny how no one in the vintage Breitling community seems that obsessed with the fact that legendary Jim Clark not only wore a Breitling Top Time, but actually appeared in ads for it, sporting a handsome white leather racing strap, no less!

The Breitling Jim Clark Top Time 810-2 was conceived in the early 60s as a cheaper entry level range of Breitling chronographs; one of the highlights here is the stunning dials which make it a popular choice. Top-Time is very much the same as the early Carreras, at a fraction of the cost!

A Breitling Jim Clark Top Time 810-2 remains near the top of virtually every vintage watch collectors wish list.

Jerry Seinfeld, Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Miles Davis all wear (or wore) a vintage Breitling.

The Breitling chosen as the official timepiece of AOPA, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Something which Breitling has traded on ever since.

A 24-hour dial version, the Cosmonaute, was also produced in the early 60s.

The first generation Navitimer 806 came in the early 50s, they had Arabic numerals, black dials and sub-dials.

The second generation shows silver sub-dials and index instead of numbers.

Many early Navitimers didn’t have the Breitling logo, but the AOPA wing on the dial.

Some rare dials show the AOPA wings and the letter B instead of the Breitling logo.

Breitling has been a leading innovator in high quality stopwatches and chronographs and helped define how chronographs look and function until today.

Breitling launched the first wrist chronograph with a pusher at 2:00 in 1915.

Presented in 1933 as the first dual pusher wrist chronograph with pushers at 2:00 and 4:00 o’clock.

Breitling was one of the first manufacturers to recognize the need of early aviators for wrist watches incorporating such devices.

In 1942 Breitling introduced the Chronomat, the worlds first Smart Watch, a chronograph with a rotating logarithmic slide rule that allowed complex calculations with the turn of your fingers.

Throughout the 1930s to 50s, Breitling continued creating chronographs with different scales to suit different professions, such as tachometers for production engineers and drivers, and pulsometers for doctors.