Born to Ride: Breitling’s Latest Watch Collab with Deus Ex Machina, the Top Time

Born to Ride: Breitling’s Latest Watch Collab with Deus Ex Machina, the Top Time Deus, Rocks

The esteemed watchmaker continues its tradition of intriguing vehicular-aligned watch projects, particularly of the two-wheeled variety.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

As someone equally fascinated with the refined world of watches and the rough-neck world of motorcycles, I didn’t think those realities could collide better than in Breitling’s recent GPHG-nominated Top Time Triumph collaboration with bike-maker Triumph.

However, the Top Time Deus chronograph, released in December, lends an even more rebellious air to the concept of watch/motorcycle collaborations. And this one really pops the collar on the leathers.

Let’s check it out.

God from the Machine

Deus Ex Machina, the Australian-based motorcycle/surfing-focused lifestyle brand, has almost single-handedly turned classic-cum-retro-cum-modern memes of two-wheeled and wave-riding freedom into a potent fashion-forward movement. And as a result, it is getting more and more rear-ends planted on bikes and feet planted in Sex Wax, or wishing they were.

Moreover, with a half-dozen flagship hybrid bike/surf shop/boutique operations from Venice, California, to Biarritz, France, to Sydney, Australia, the company has set the bar high for unexpected design with modern cool. And it is that same standard that can be said to apply to the new 41mm steel Top Time Deus created by Breitling in partnership with Deus Ex Machina.

Time to Roll

In a press release for the piece, Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, said, “The Top Time Deus is a watch that’s easygoing, rugged, and stylish at the same time, just like the person it’s made for. The modern-retro look beautifully complements the way Deus styles its boards and bikes.” In other words, with the Top Time Deus, you can expect many of the vintage design cues of the recent Breitling Top Time editions to be present. These include technical bar gauging, a flat crown, a lacquered dial with colorful accents, squared-off sub-dials, mushroom chronograph pushers, a race-inspired calfskin strap, and so on.

However, beyond including tried-and-true features of past Top Time models, the Top Time Deus chronograph really lets the spirit of true collaboration shine through. Take, for instance, its subtle lightning-bolt chronograph hand and tach gauge that goes from red to orange (like a motorcycle dash instrument). Or, for example, the Deus logo proudly riding at six o’clock and a bike-and-rider caseback engraving by Deus Creative Director Carby Tuckwell with a limited series statement.

Still, my favorite little flourish is the Deus Ex Machina tagline “In Benzin Veritas” (“In Fuel There is Truth”) inscribed on the dial from 12 o’clock on the blue outer tach ring into the red and orange line sections. It pulls the dial real estate together almost as well as the heavily sloped, nearly boxed crystal that tops it.

Heritage Made Modern

The original Breitling Top Time models were released in the raucous 1960s to address a growing population of younger professionals who still desired a bit of nomadic freedom. And that spirit fits perfectly into Deus Ex Machina’s own love affair with mid-century-made-modern motorcycle and surf outfitting. So, powered by a COSC-certified Breitling calibre 23 movement, the Breitling Top Time Deus brilliantly reflects a very apt match in shining exhaust pipe chrome, Jack.

A previous 2021 collaboration quickly sold out, so you can pretty much bet the same thing will happen here. The 2,000-piece-limited Top Time Deus chronograph sells for $5,500 and is available at Breitling retailers and via Breitling’s website as you read this.

(Images © Breitling)

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