Breitling has chosen a reincarnation of a collectable vintage chronograph as its first watch model to be offered with a state-of-the-art, blockchain-based digital passport, which enables its authenticity and rightful ownership to be verified with a single click using a computer or smartphone.
The newly launched Top Time (£4,100) harks back to the original Breitling sub-brand launched in the 1960s as a line of affordable models aimed at attracting younger buyers – although the range garnered unexpected attention when Sean Connery’s James Bond was equipped with a reference 2002 Top Time for his 1965 appearance in Thunderball.
The timepiece, supposedly modified with a built-in Geiger counter, subsequently turned up at a car-boot sale, where it was acquired by an eagle-eyed collector for £25 – before being consigned to a Christie’s auction at which it sold for more than £100,000.
The Top Time reissue is, however, based on a different model with a distinctive black-and-white dial known as the “Zorro” due to the pattern formed by its configuration.
The 41mm steel-cased watch uses Breitling’s self-winding, chronometer-certified Caliber 23 chronograph movement, and the back of each piece is engraved with its number from the edition of 2,000 being made available worldwide.
Each one will be offered with the blockchain-based digital passport. Owners are able to access the passport at any time, notably if they transfer ownership of the watch by selling or gifting it, something that can also be done with a simple blockchain transaction. The system has also been incorporated into Breitling’s digital warranty programme.