Jensen heritage for the next generation


A dizzy combination of film and celebrity make the so-called ‘James Bond’ Top-Time the new trend-setting piece of vintage watch cool.


Item description: The so-called Breitling James Bond Top-Time. How many vintage watches have ‘James Bond’ ancestory. The Breitling Top Time 2002 has that accolade, being worn by Sean Connery in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. This stunning example dates from 1965-6. Typical stainless steel case with polished surfaces. The dial in black, and with twin silvered sub-registers, along with the Breitling logo and name. The dial has fine silver applied hour battons, and silver hands, along with a snazzy orange second hand. Case-back stamped with the Breitling name, along with the model number ‘2002’. Breitling fitted a 17 jewel Valjoux 7733 manual movement. The watch complete with a black leather strap with non-branded buckle.


Case size: 43mm x 35mm


Condition report: Excellent overall condition. Case with good original polsh. Some small scratches present. Beautiful original dial with light aging only. The movement recently serviced. The timepiece may have been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked by a qualified watchmaker.


Background to the Breitling Top Time 2002: Hitting the market in 1964, the Breitling Top Time was assured of good sales when Sean Connery wore the watch in the 1965 film, Thunderball. This was just the start of a stream of celebrity Top Time wearers.


Background to Breitling: Breitling SA was founded in Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura by Léon Breitling in 1884. By the 1940s, Breitling, similar to Heuer, were well known for their range of chronograph, special function watches. It was during the 1940s that Breitling first added a circular slide rule to the bezel of one of their chronograph models for use by aircraft pilots. This was to become the famous Navitimer model.


In 1961, Scott Carpenter, one of the original astronauts in the Mercury space program, approached Breitling with idea of incorporating a 24 hour dial instead of the normal 12 hour dial. This was needed because of the lack of day and night during space travel. Breitling agreed to produce a 24 hour dial, which became known as the 24-hour Navitimer. Carpenter wore one of these on his 1962 space flight.


Breitling later went on to produce the 24-hour version as the so-called Cosmonaut Navitimer. During the 1970s, and as the quartz revolution was hitting many tradition mechanical lead watch producers, Breitling were totally unprepared. This led to the company being sold off in 1978 to Ernst Schneider, the owner of the Sicura brand of watches. Schneider decided that there was more long term potential in the Breitling name, as opposed to his Sicura name, and as such dissolved the Sicura name to the benefit of Breitling.


Special notes: n/a


Provenance: n/a


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