The Breitling Exospace B55 Is The Latest Luxury Smartwatch

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Breitling Exospace B55 Smartwatch Unveiled.

Breitling, maker of fine watches for people who fly airplanes (or would like to fly airplanes), has just released the Exospace B55, a smartwatch that can relay messages from your phone and includes a high-end quartz movement with advanced timing features. Girardin said it was a bit painful to remember to log all of that time, so the engineer researched and developed a smart watch that does most of the log-keeping for pilots and is also capable of sending logbook time entry via email that ultimately minimizes pilot distractions and helps keep an uncluttered, nearly paper-free cockpit. “I’m not a fixed-wing pilot, I’m a helicopter pilot.Rounding out a year in which we’ve seen several traditional Swiss watch brands release decidedly nontraditional “connected” watches — most recently TAG Heuer and Movado — Breitling enters the arena this week with the launch of the Breitling Exospace B55. So flying helicopters, what we have is called ‘block time’ and ‘flight time,’” he explained. “As a pilot you can log the time as soon as the rotor is turning and that is called block time. Anyway, the B55 is a “multifunction electronic chronograph also receives notifications of the smartphone’s incoming emails, messages (SMS, WhatsApp) or phone calls (with caller’s name or number) as well as reminders of upcoming appointments.” This means the small LCD screen will display names and info when you get a message.

Breitling says that the watch stands out in terms of its new connection philosophy placing the smartphone in the service of the watch in order to enhance its functionality. For example, a smarwatch’s biggest assets, its relatively large screen and ergonomic interface, can be used to perform operations such as setting the time, time zone, alarms, display and operating parameters and night mode — tasks that would be more cumbersome on the small screen of a wristwatch.

The case is made of titanium and it uses the Caliber B55 with a “SuperQuartz” movement meaning the quartz crystal has been tested at a range of temperatures and situations. At the same time, the watch, which boasts a multi-function, two-LCD-screen analog-digital display, performs an array of chronograph operations that can then be uploaded to a smartphone for review, storage, or sharing.

The B55 looks enough like an analog watch to begin with—it sports the usual three hands, bezel markings, etc.—that is, until you spy the pair of embedded LCD screens. These include 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. Breitling fans will recognize them from the dials of the brand’s hybrid offerings, such as the Aerospace chronos, where they function as the displays for extra chronograph timers and alarm functions. Actually Breitling started by building clocks for airplanes, on the instrument panel, and moved on to building watches for the Royal Air Force,” Kelly said. “You know I flew a Breitling watch on three space flights. Conversely, the user can upload from the chronograph to the smartphone the results of various measurements (flight times, recorded times with split times, lap times, etc.) so as to be able to read them more easily, store them or pass them on.

The interface between phone and watch also enables the latter to receive notifications of incoming emails, SMS and WhatsApp messages, phone calls with caller name and number, and appointment reminders. For me it’s not only a watch for a pilot, it’s a watch for an astronaut.” “Flying doesn’t sustain mediocrity because consequences can be very important.

The new connected watch system devised by Breitling thus facilitates the use of the chronograph functions, in keeping with the spirit of authentic instruments for professionals. User-friendliness is enhanced by a particularly simple and logical control mode, involving function selection by rotating the crown, and activation/deactivation by means of two pushpieces.

The two ultra-legible LCD (liquid crystal display) screens feature a backlighting system that may be activated merely by pressing the crown – or when the user tilts his wrist at a more than 35° angle (Tilt function) – that proves particularly effective when the hand is gripping aircraft controls or a steering wheel. We developed it with technology, capacity, and innovation and we are really looking forward to the response.” Girardin said the idea began about 18 months ago after the company brought its B50, Breitling’s first in-house quartz multifunction analog movement timepiece, to fruition. “What was very important for us, as you know when you are flying, is legibility.

Powered by a rechargeable battery system, the exclusive new multifunction Breitling Caliber B55, a SuperQuartzTM movement ten times more accurate than standard quartz, is chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute). This next-generation chronograph is distinguished by its resolutely technical design featuring a sturdy and light titanium case equipped with a rotating bezel complete with rider tabs, and an exclusive TwinPro strap in two-tone rubber.

The 2nd type of functionality lets you use the watch’s pushers to activate the chronograph as you normally would, only the data are then passed to an app so you can store, share, and track events over longer periods of time. To have this kind of highly contrasting display, we needed rechargeable batteries.” One thing led to another as the new B55 was born. “We had a cable to recharge the watches every one or two months. Note: they are too small to show you more than caller ID info or to let you know to check your inbox, but this is way better than Breitling trying to show full scrolling e-Mails on those tiny panels. Having that USB plug into the computer, we thought, ‘OK, this is a kind of connectivity and we have a link, a cable, so maybe we could also exchange data using the cable.’ We started to think about what we could do with having an exchange between a computer and a smartphone and a watch.” Breitling has brought engineering and elegance to its aviation timepieces for decades, and the company’s earlier innovations proudly dot the second floor of the watchmaker’s retail boutique. “For us it was very obvious we couldn’t have a phone on our wrist because it was such a big interface.” Playing to the strengths of myriad devices in modern aviators’ toolbelts was the goal, Girardin said. The hardware: Breitling: a large 46 mm, pilot-style watch, rendered in all-black titanium, with a bright blue, thick rubber strap and sturdy, deployant-style buckle.

The Swiss company had already proved it could make a user-friendly timepiece but the hurdle was to integrate the watch into the smartphone and not the other way around. Breitling makes some beautiful mechanical pieces – all high shine and gloss – and their electronic pieces are also well known, especially their Emergency series with built in rescue radio that sends a signal when you crash. The whole package is lighter than it looks, even if the 46 mm watch is still way too big for most people (forget trying to wear it with a sportcoat or a sweater). This so-called “Tilt” function is especially useful when the wearer’s hand is at the controls in an airplane cockpit (or, for those more land-bound, gripping the steering wheel of a car).

The watch is on sale now, and while it seems to be a sound concept, only time will tell whether this is the luxury Swiss smartwatch customers have been waiting for or another curiosity for the dresser drawer. The watch automatically saves all your data and pushes them to the app the next time you connect the two, so no need to make sure you’re using them in tandem at all times.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. To contact the author of this story: Stephen Pulvirent inNew York at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Justin Ocean at

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