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Thread: Review: Breitling Exospace B55

  1. #1
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Review: Breitling Exospace B55

    Background

    When somebody says "Breitling" most of us think about glossy thick divers watches but to the "friends of Breitling", Breitling is more than that. Breitling has a long heritage of making instrument watches for pilots and for divers.


    I have always had an appreciation for the Breitling classics like Top Time and Navigator but since Baselworld 2016 my view of Breitling has changed. Breitling has long modified their movements but since 2009 they develop and make (some of) their own movement and they are even using new innovative materials. Breitling is also one of very few premium Swiss watch brands who still use and develop quality quartz watches.



    To name one, Breitling released Chronoworks 2016, a model using ceramics and silicon movement parts resulting in 100 hrs power reserve.




    Introduction Breitling Exospace B55



    Specifications
    Material: Black titanium
    Size: 46mm x 15,25mm
    Band width: 24mm
    Weight: 80 gram without strap
    WR: 100m
    Battery: Rechargeable 15-50 days.
    Glass: Sapphire with outer and inner AR.


    Exospace B55 was introduced during Baselworld 2015 but was widely presented as late as December 2015. Exospace is a natural evolution of the models Aerospace Evo and Cockpit B50. It looks like the Aerospace but is larger and has more functions thanks to a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth connectivity.


    The movement is HAQ, or Superquartz as Breitling calls it. COSC requires a timekeeping of +-25 seconds/year but Breitling specifies the movement to +-15 seconds/year.




    Case and bezel

    The 46mm titanium case has an all matte finish and is available in black or standard finish. The case is so finely brushed that it's impossible to see in which directions the case is brushed.
    This is a wise choice for a watch with only one type of finish and results in a tactical look without being boring. The reflections from the sun are soft and matches the material well.
    The case angles are distinct without being sharp.



    The bezel is made from one piece and is also "brushed" except for on top of the "rider tabs" which have a polished finish. The rider tabs at 12, 3, 6 and 9 offers great grip. There are screws along the side of the bezel to keep it secure. The Exospace has a count up bezel as opposed to the B50 model.



    The signed crown offers great grip for maneuvering between functions and does not need to be turned fast like on the Aerospace to switch between functions.


    The chronograph pushers are not screwed as you might think, the crown guards are fixed. The feel of the chronograph pushers are not perfect but the functions are logical.



    The magnetic connector for the charger is located on the left side of the case.




    Caseback

    The caseback has typical tool watch appearance with minimalistic finish and only the necessarily engravings. It is convex which is good for wearability.




    A closer look

    The dial is matte grey/black with polished applied numbers 12, 3, 6 and 9.


    The hands are as long as they should be (which is rare for a quartz watch) and the Exospace has a seconds hand. If that irritates you, then put the watch in chronograph mode and the seconds hand stays at 12. The displays are big and the legibility of the displays is great.




    Strap and clasp

    The textile strap tapers from 24mm to 20mm, a choice which more brands should take after since it lets the hand move freely without being hindered by the strap. The strap is both flexible and stable and the lining is very comfortable.


    The clasp has a very detailed logo but the clasp is made of polished steel which of course does not match the case. There is a folding clasp available but I prefer the regular clasp.


    There are two other alternatives available as well; 24mm/20mm rubber and a bracelet (standard titanium finish only).




    Backlight and lume

    Superluminova is applied to hands and dial. The amount on the dial is small and therefore the lume isn't something that would impress you. This is however no problem since the backlight of the displays is great. There is also a tilt function which activates the backlight when you angle the wrist towards you.




    Digital functions
    Digital time

    För digital tidgivning finns 4 alternativ.
    1: Digital time
    2: Weekdays + digital time
    3: Week + digital time
    4: DDMMYY + digital time
    It's also possible to turn off the display.




    Bluetooth


    With the help of Bluetooth and the Exospace app you can send settings to the watch and receive notifications and different types of chronograph results. It's also easy and fast to switch from one timezone to another or to adjust the local time.


    Battery time usually pose a problem to complicated connected watches but Breutling has solved this by a rechargeable battery. The life time is according to Breitling 15-50 days depending on how you use the watch and I've functions. I used the watch and all the features 24/7 for 7 days and only used up 20% of the battery so I have a very hard time to believe that the minimum is only 15 days.




    Functions

    1: AL1 ON: Alarm. 2 different daily alarms (vibration and/or sound) which can be set by the crown or the app.
    2: CHR ADD: Chronograph.
    3: LAP TMR: Laptimer chronograph.
    4: B01 ADD: Long time chronograph, flight timer.



    5: CDCUCLK: Count Down/Count Up clock. Timer, alarm and chronograph combined (Set a count down timer for when the chronograph should start).
    6: ALCUOFF: Alarm (off)
    7: Timer: Countdown.
    8: TIME2: Second timezone.



    9: UTC: Universal Time.
    10: Notifications: Message/Call, email, meeting (alarm and/or vibration).
    11: SETTING: Settings by the crown.
    12: BATT: Battery-%.


    The watch also has a "sport mode" which turns off some of the chronograph functions.




    On the wrist




    Some would dismiss any watch larger than 40mm which is a shame. I have worn the Exospace without pause for 7 days straight and the size never bothered me. It is large of course and it looks large but it wears great thanks to the case shape, the tapering of the strap and thanks to it being titanium.




    Comparison with Aerospace Evo Night Mission


    It would be impossible to review the Exospace without comparing it to the smaller and very popular Aerospace Evo.


    While the Evo is small, discreet and versatile, the Exispace is large, eye catching and with even more functions. At a fast glance they look very alike but when you put them on the wrist you will feel and see the difference.




    Summary

    If you pretend you are a fighter pilot then it would be logical to preset the watch with the data needed for the mission and then retrieve the data from the watch after the mission.


    For us who only pretend to be pilots the watch has all the functions you need for a sporty lifestyle and is definitely wearable enough for everyday wear. The notifications in combination with vibration are two handy features, as is the tilt backlight function. There are also many combinations to be chosen from and I bet the black version with blue hands on a blue strap will be the most popular.

  2. #2
    Nice review.

    I like it but have to be honest and say it's way too expensive!


    Perhaps when they hit the "used" market they may a better proposition?!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the review. As an HAQ watch can you sync the time to NTP/GPS via tha APP ? In this time and age it would certainly make sense to have that type of feature vs the cumbersome GPS.

  4. #4
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webvan View Post
    Thanks for the review. As an HAQ watch can you sync the time to NTP/GPS via tha APP ? In this time and age it would certainly make sense to have that type of feature vs the cumbersome GPS.
    You can select a city in the app and then sync the time of the watch to the time in the app. So no GPS but good enough.

  5. #5
    Ok, thanks, I wonder what the reference is though, NTP or your phone's clock ? If you have an Android device there is a nice little app called ClockSync that can force your phone to sync with NTP if it's rooted.

  6. #6
    Master Grandiloquence's Avatar
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    Great review of a stunning watch. Are you going to put it on a bracelet?

  7. #7
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Nice review and a really nice watch, probably a bit too large for me. How do you charge the battery, suppose the three contacts on the left side go into a docking station?

  8. #8
    I saw your pics on Instagram and swore it was the evo.. its just not seem to look as chunky as the B50 - I just wish it was cheaper..

    Love the crown/pushers effect!.

    Cheers

    Matt

  9. #9
    Very good in-depth review.

    Some interesting tech there.





    Mitch

  10. #10
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Thank you for the very detailed review! If only I could switch over the bezel from the B55 on my B50 I would be very happy.

    I would guess a lot of battery drain could be the bluetooth connectivity. If you don't need that I would think the battery life would be more like the B50 - up to 3 months without charging?

    I di like it but really can't see the general public buying at the £5.5K+ price wanted

    Considering the same functionality (and more) available back in 2013 from Casio with the GBX6900

  11. #11
    Master MFB Scotland's Avatar
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    Great review !

    Thanks for taking the time to post.

    I really like the watch but too big for me.

    It will be interesting to see down the line if Breitling take forward some of the features especially the connectivity to the next gen Aerospace.

  12. #12
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandiloquence View Post
    Great review of a stunning watch. Are you going to put it on a bracelet?
    I only borrowed it, so no, but it would be interesting to see. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    Nice review and a really nice watch, probably a bit too large for me. How do you charge the battery, suppose the three contacts on the left side go into a docking station?
    There is only one contact (the other two things are screws) and it's connected to the charger cord by a magnet, very convenient.


    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Thank you for the very detailed review! If only I could switch over the bezel from the B55 on my B50 I would be very happy.

    I would guess a lot of battery drain could be the bluetooth connectivity. If you don't need that I would think the battery life would be more like the B50 - up to 3 months without charging?

    I di like it but really can't see the general public buying at the £5.5K+ price wanted

    Considering the same functionality (and more) available back in 2013 from Casio with the GBX6900
    Two totally different watches I'd say. The Casio is no titanium watch with premium finish. That being said, I think there is a market for both watches.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFB Scotland View Post
    Great review !
    It will be interesting to see down the line if Breitling take forward some of the features especially the connectivity to the next gen Aerospace.
    I hope not. One of the great advantages with the Aerospace is the moderate size.

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Great review, thank you.

    Wonderful watch and I wanted it....right up until you said it was 44mm, too big but, then again....I must try one I think.

    Love the recharging feature and the connectivity. Looks good on the canvas and I wonder if on a bracelet it might look "too much".

    Problem is the best thing about my Aerospace is the size, not only diameter but they way it sits low on the wrist, that B55 is a chunky bu66er!

  14. #14
    Master
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    Great review, and stunning looking watch.

  15. #15
    Journeyman
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    Thanks for taking the time to do the write up. Really interesting read. I hadn't appreciated that there was a Breitling out there with Bluetooth capabilities. However, I still prefer the Aerospace Evo.

  16. #16
    Fantastic review
    Nice watch too.

  17. #17
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody, appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by boxbrownie View Post
    Great review, thank you.

    Wonderful watch and I wanted it....right up until you said it was 44mm, too big but, then again....I must try one I think.
    46mm. :)

  18. #18
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    Great review, been lusting after a breitling for some time now and reading this has spurned me on again. Now to try and save some cash.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    I popped into a watch shop today funnily enough in the hope of seeing the new Tudor BB 36mm- ended up disappointed on that front. Another couple of months away it seems at the moment.

    But they did have the B55 in stock- looked awesome, and even at the 46mm stated diameter, which is way oversized for my taste in watches, looked smaller than its dimensions suggest.

    Very nicely proportioned.

  20. #20
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    Thanks everybody, appreciate it!


    46mm. :)
    Oh! So smitten with the design I must have subconsciously reduced the size hoping I might like it ;)

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