Breitling Exospace B55

Wear Weekly: Breitling go It Alone with $9,000 Smartwatch

December 18, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Regardless of whether or not you’re a smartwatch-only kind of watch wearer, it’s hard not to respect big Swiss names like Breitling, TAG Heuer, Panerai and co. Not too long ago, TAG Heuer jumped onboard the smartwatch train with the TAG Heuer Connected, which is a $1,500 smartwatch which runs the same software as a $300 LG or Huawei. Needless to say the TAG Heuer is an expensive smartwatch, for people with money and well, good taste in watches, or their names at least. Well, Breitling has introduced a reeaaaallllyyyyy expensive smartwatch with the new Exospace B55, which costs $8,900, and it doesn’t even run Android Wear.

So, what’s so special about the Exospace B55, aside from the fact that it’s a Breitling? Well, first and foremost this is a watch that is designed for serious Aviators, and not the kind of people that want a watch that’s ‘an Aviator’ but the kind of people that actually fly stuff. The smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android, essentially allows for very precise timings of flights, runs and more. There is a little notification stuff going on here, but that’s not what the B55 is about, and is instead more of a Swiss movement married with a little extra thinking, applied to the sort of thing Breitling customers are known to do.

While the Exospace B55 and TAG Heuer Connected look alike, they couldn’t be more dissimilar on the inside, where the Connected is Swiss-designed, the Breitling is a Swiss watch in the truest sense. There’s a SuperQuartz Swiss movement inside, which can be changed via the smartphone app to different time zones, rather than an LCD panel like the Connected. This is also designed to be a watch, full-stop. There is little to no gadgetry that has gone into the B55’s design, aside from the application of remote timing and special modes controlled from a smartphone. What the B55 represents is a nod to the future, rather than the full leap that the Connected made for TAG Heuer. For $8,900 there’s not a whole lot of value here when compared with say, an LG Watch Urbane, but the craftsmanship is what this is all about, and it’s interesting to see what these Swiss names are coming up with in order to appease those looking for a little more tech in their watches.