Breitling announced the launch of Emergency II in March 2014, which surprised the world (Baselworld to be precise). This watch is not only the first ever watch with a SARSAT personal positioning beacon, but its price is more than twice that of the outgoing Emergency and customers, and the base diameter is reduced by 51mm. However, both the media and the public like it. There is no doubt that Emergency II is a beautifully-looking timepiece.
Fast forward one year, Breitling once again swept the world with the brand new Cockpit B50, adopting the same aesthetic design as the acclaimed Emergency II.
Grey and black dial versions are also available.
This is such an ingenious introduction because it allows customers who cannot wear the 51mm Emergency II and honestly cannot afford it to have the same gorgeous case and dial design. It also brought the greatest initial fanfare to their first in-house quartz movement, which is usually the most feature-rich movement Breitling has ever made.
Understandably, the B50 was an immediate success. No other product on the market can match the complexity of this ultimate professional tool watch.
I believe the super watch is finally here.
The functions and personalized instructions of the Cockpit B50 and B55 are described in detail in the 50-page manual. I will do my best to simply praise the highlights:
The time and the second time zone are simply set to hour increments and decrements from UTC. It also provides 15-minute and 30-minute time zone differences.
The 2 time zones can be exchanged with the main time and a button press. This will then be reflected in the alert and time recorded in the pilot log function.
The minute and hour hands can effectively “pause” at 9:15 to view the digital display without interruption, if the information depicted is particularly interesting or important.
Double-tap the crown to “lock” the watch to a function. This allows the current function to be undisturbed even if any button is pressed. The alarm clock can be arranged every week, weekend or any number of days of the week. The alarm has a vibration option, which can be used with or without an audible alarm. The analog time display can display digital time, date, day of the week, or week number of the year. B50 and B55 charge from the magnetic connector on the left side of the case. This takes a few hours and then lasts about three months, depending on usage. The display option highlights the battery level as a percentage.
Once the power reaches 10%, all functions of the watch will be removed and enter the time-only mode. This allows the watch to be used when the user is away from the charger. The 100 th /second flyback chronograph has a minute and second function. When the wrist is moved to a position that is 30 degrees from the horizontal (in other words, the usual position the watch dial is moved to so that it can be viewed), the backlight can be programmed to light up. The speedometer of the chronograph can be set to a variety of measurement types. Kilometers/hour, meters/second, knots/hour, etc. Pilot functions include 20 flight log logs, including take-off time and date, landing time, and date and duration. There is also a task elapsed time function that allows a countdown timer to be preset and then automatically switched to counting operation. The 100 th /second Lap Timer with 50 laps of memory can record a single event up to 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. The countdown timer can be set to an impressive 99 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
B55 Outer space:
Breitling is not a brand with a crown, now it has launched the authoritative multi-function watch with the above-mentioned B55 Exospace.
This cleverly takes advantage of everything the excellent B50 can do, and allows owners to use free Ios or Android apps to operate and personalize their watches for their smartphones.
The only negative aspect of the B50 is its most positive aspect: the absolute depth of functionality and personalization of the two buttons and the crown. Navigating through countless menus will never be a chore, but it can become time-consuming. Likewise, it is difficult to remember all the contents of the 50-page manual. (The manual is included in the B55 application).
Therefore, having all these interactions in a large screen format that is easy to use, easy to view, and easy to follow is a godsend.
The case aesthetics are slightly different, and the dial is almost the same as the B50. The buttons now have artificial screws on the safety collar, the flawless laser-etched bezel has a polished rider label, and the Breitling logo at 12 o’clock reflects the high-end status of this digital/analog watch. The overall appearance is more clinical and practical, but both designs are equally purposeful.
All titanium, rubber titanium and night mission versions
Due to its length and circumference, B55 is more comfortable on ordinary wrists than B50. Breitling’s new Diver Pro III rubber strap uses a patented synthetic material, which is comfortable to wear at all times, especially when paired with an incrementally adjustable button buckle unit.
The new rubber strap specifically designed for the B55 is the best Breitling rubber strap I have ever seen. The blue hue is well chosen, and I also want to reflect the Bluetooth connection, as is the newly designed hand.
Connecting Bluetooth to my smartphone is easy because I followed simple and easy-to-understand instructions. Once the iOS or Android application is downloaded to the phone and the Bluetooth connection is enabled for the two devices, a password will be displayed on the online shop for watch, and then the password must be entered on the phone.
The application is easy to use and controls all aspects of the B55. Personalization also proceeds to the nth level through the app. If necessary, you can store the lap timer, mission elapsed time, and flight log information on your phone. The application does not provide a paper manual, but each page has its own instruction panel.
Every time you enter the app on your phone, it will automatically turn on your Bluetooth (because it is well known that you should not keep it turned on unless you need it). Set B55 to always connect, and the two will synchronize automatically.
Therefore, after you read the above content, here is a quick challenge: if you want to design a multifunctional analog/digital watch, can you improve the Cockpit B50 and B55 Exospace? Unlike mechanical movements, we all know that with the continuous miniaturization of electronic devices, incredible functions can be performed in very small microprocessors. So, your limitation is almost your imagination.
Breitling’s developers and designers value this more than any other watch manufacturer to date.
Even when I give a passionate (some say a nerd) speech on escapement, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, etc., I can easily end it in a few minutes or so. With Cockpit B50 or B55 Exospace, I just try to introduce a lot of features and personalization to the audience. This may take more than ten minutes! For the lucky purchasers of these exquisite wrist instruments, it takes more than an hour to read and use the manual. Believe me, I have done it myself.
So, how long does it take to first conceive a wish list for the Cockpit B50 and then implement it? By the way, this is a rhetorical question, but it makes me feel incredible about the engineering and design thinking level of B50 and B55.
Breitling’s continuous improvement attitude has created the B55 Exospace. This is their clever answer to connected watches or smart watches as they are commonly called. Because Cockpit B50 is aimed at professionals, especially pilots, they need a multi-function timepiece and an easy-to-use interface, so there is no real need for a heart rate monitor or the number of steps performed in a day, etc. (By the way, it is well known that the latter function in smart watches is inaccurate and susceptible to interference). Instead, Breitling created Ios and Android applications that allow you to fully control your B55 from your smartphone.
Another benefit of this connection option is that unlike all other smart watches, the watch will never be out of date because there is no firmware update, and any software update is related to the phone itself.
Both watches are made of sapphire glass and titanium case and are water resistant to 100 meters. If you are not a professional deep-sea diver, this is what you need. Therefore, you can wear these smart watches anytime, anywhere without worry. They are indeed the only watch you need.
One negative factor I need to point out is that the range of the Bluetooth connection is only about 10m. Of course, this is usually not a problem, because your smartphone is usually placed in your pocket, backpack, jacket, etc. But I do feel that if this range is expanded, it will allow you to roam your house, office, etc. freely in a room, but you will still receive notifications.
In addition, the application is currently not available for some older smartphones. I have no problem running the application on a non-current Samsung 5 Neo.If there are any upgrades in the future, I hope to see the GPS function of every smartphone transfer to the B55. This can take the flight log to another level as one of many potential benefits.One benefit not mentioned in the marketing materials released by Breitling is that if you put the B55 at home by mistake, you can set the alarm on your phone to find the watch.So, all in all, if you want or even need the most accurate, feature-rich and easy-to-use watch, then the Cockpit B50 or B55 Exospace is designed for you.The B50 and B55 are the ultimate digital/analog watches, and they are likely to remain in this state for a long time.
In Breitling’s long and glorious history, their slogan “Professional Instruments” has never been more important.