From the moment they came on the scene with a series of beach ready custom motorcycles in 2006, we’ve been huge fans of the brand Deus Ex Machina. No matter what it is they have their hands in. Whether it’s bikes or surfboards or clothes or cafes, Deus imbues it with that almost obnoxious level of salt-in-your-sun-bleached-hair Australian cool that most of us will never manage to possess. So when we heard that they were partnering with Breitling on a limited-edition version of one of our favorite chronographs of all time, we were stoked to see the final product. Suffice to say, it did not disappoint.
For those unfamiliar with Breitling’s legendary Top Time, it was introduced by the brand in 1964 and targeted directly at the burgeoning “hip” market of free-spirited young people. “We are sweeping into the youth and we are going to speak their language” announced industry icon Willy Breitling at the time. “Young people won’t buy the kind of watch Dad wears,” he posited while announcing the Top Time.
With its rugged yet understated case and symmetrical dual subdial chronograph layout, the Top Time did indeed appeal to the adventurous, nomadic young men of the ‘60s, and has remained one of Breitling’s most collectible pieces, with some examples fetching well into the six figures on the vintage market today.
The Breitling X Deus Ex Machina Top Time Deus Limited edition captures all of the vintage vibes of the original Top Time while adding Deus’ signature flair. The dial of the 41mm chronograph is in an off white, and the traditional subdials have been rendered in a black “squircle” shape that harkens back to an alternate case shape of the original Top Time line. The Deus logo appears above the 6 o’clock marker while their motto In Benzin Veritas “In Petrol There Is Truth” is etched into the surrounding tachymeter scale. Retro orange and red detailing on the dials and hands culminate in a lightning-bolt shaped second hand that carries more attitude than those found on the old Rolex Milgauss. The spirit of speed is captured in the perforated brown calfskin rallye strap, as well as the engraving of a motorcyclist in full racing tuck by aptly named Deus creative director Carby Tuckwell on the caseback.
“Our first contact with Deus Ex Machina was through Wheels & Waves, the motorcycle and surfing festival that takes place in Biarritz each year,” Breitling CEO Georges Kern tells InsideHook. “We’ve partnered with the festival since 2019, and when we got to know Deus, it was clear that our brands would also be natural partners based on our similar values and overlapping brand universes. It has been truly serendipitous in that we can engage at a product level but also share events and our ambassador squad. From both a heritage and design perspective, Breitling’s tool watches are a perfect complement to Deus, their products and their philosophy.
Breitling has also signed on to be the official timekeeper of the Deus Swank Rally, an “epic motorcycle championship celebrating vintage bikes in diverse locations around the world, including Italy, France, Australia and Bali.” When asked if we would see further collaborations between the two brands, Kern said, “Deus, like Breitling, has a passionate global following, so we will be bringing those two communities together for events at Deus Temples around the world once Covid allows, and also at Wheels & Waves. The informal spirit of our brands is also very closely aligned. You will notice a Deus touch brought into our boutiques and retail spaces through photo exhibitions and racing memorabilia. In terms of products, you will have to wait and see…”
The Breitling X Deus Ex Machina Top Time Limited Edition numbers just 1,500 pieces, and is available now online and at select Breitling retailers at a listed price of $4,990.
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