A Gold-Filled Chronograph from Breitling
Model: Top Time
Movement: Cal. 188 manual-wind Venus chronograph movement
Case: 36mm; gold-plated with stainless steel case back; chronograph pushers at 2 and 5 o'clock; signed fluted push-down crown and snap-on case back
Dial: Silver dial with sunburst finish; sub-dials for constant seconds and 45 minute register with radial pattern; outer tachymeter ring in black
The Top Time first hit jewelry stores in 1964, as an entry level alternative to Breitling's other chronograph offerings. Overshadowed by its Breitling cousins, the Navitimer and Chronomat--and the Heuer Carrera and Omega Speedmaster, other chronographs with a storied past in both aviation and racing--the Top Time nevertheless enjoyed a racing heritage. Jim Clark, Formula One champion, wore a ref. 2002, a three register version of this model.
Perhaps even more famously, Sean Connery wore a Top Time as James Bond in Thunderball. Bond's watch, a reference 2002 with a handsome black and white dial, bore a specially-modified case made to look like a Geiger counter. While the present watch, a gold-plated ref. 2000 with a stainless steel case back, did not enjoy screen-time, it certainly deserves wrist-time with a collector who desires a vintage Breitling with a racing pedigree.