Another big player of traditional Swiss watchmaking has gone connected. In creating its first connected chronograph, Breitling has designed a highly functional timepiece for aviation professionals.
Yet another heavyweight has entered the connect game. This time it’s Breitling with its new Exospace B55, a new chronograph that aims to use smart technology to enhance chronograph functionality and user-friendliness.
Enhanced performance was the name of the game in this case, and that was the core driver for the brand in developing its first ever connected chronograph. And just like all the other big player of Swiss mechanical watchmaking seem to emphasize when they go connected, this is also billed as a watch first and a smart device second. In this case, the chronograph remains the master, and connectivity is primarily designed to improve the functionality of the wristwatch.
Two way communications between the watch and a smartphone enables the two instruments to complement one another. Owners of the Exospace B55 can use their phone to perform certain adjustments – like time setting, time zones, alarms, display and operating parameters, night mode – helping improving overall efficiency. The multifunction electronic chronograph also receives notifications of the smartphone’s incoming emails, messages or phone calls, as well as reminders of upcoming appointments.
Going in the other direction – from watch to phone - users can upload from the chronograph directly to the smartphone various measurements, like flight times, recorded times with split times, lap times, etc.
The new watch is powered by the exclusive new multifunction Breitling Caliber B55, a SuperQuartz movement ten times more accurate than standard quartz. It is chronometer certified by COSC, ensuring precision, reliability and performance. It also includes an electronic tachymeter, a chronograph recording up to 50 split times and a countdown/countup system that is useful in enabling a sequence of countdown and timing operations.
As you might have already realized, the real added value of this connected watch is for aviators. The “chrono flight” device records “block times” – the time from the moment a plane begins to taxi towards take-off through to when it stops at the end of a mission. It also records flight times while memorizing departure dates and times, arrival times, as well as take-off and landing times.
Even the two ultra-legible LCD screens - which power the backlighting system - activate when the user tilts his wrist at a more than a 35° angle, meant for when the hand is gripping aircraft controls. While this function might also be useful while driving, it clearly has pilots in mind.
Aesthetically, the watch is easily distinguished by its highly technical design, featuring a sturdy and light titanium 46mm black titanium case equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel, complemented by an exclusive TwinPro strap in two tone rubber.
Overall, then, Breitling’s Exospace B55 remains a functional chronograph first and foremost. And while the brand claims that the B55 “reinvents the connected watch” in reality the B55 might just reinvent the aviator chronograph. Its prioritization of connected functionality having to do with aviation certainly make the new watch stand out among other high end connected watches. But at the same time, the average consumer might not agree that this is really a watch that reinvents the connected game.