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. This isn’t a smart watch per se so I’m calling it a “notification” watch or notiwatch. Go ahead and laugh.
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.
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. Quoth Breitling:
￼This compendium of innovations houses an exclusive Caliber B55 with analog and digital display, equipped with a range of original functions tailor-made for pilots. 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. An eminently aviation-oriented “chrono flight” device serves to record “block times” (times elapsed from the moment the plane begins to taxi towards takeoff through to when it comes to a halt at the end of a mission) and flight times, while memorizing departure dates and times, arrival times, as well as takeoff and landing times (Block and Flight Times functions). 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. 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). A surefire means of charting a course towards precision, reliability and performance.
Why would you want this over, say, a FitBit? Maybe you fly a plane or maybe you want to pretend to fly planes. 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. Everyone is trying their hand at the notiwatch and I doubt anyone will win much market share with these but heck, they’ve got to try.