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Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

In-house quartz watch movements at Breitling? Pretty much, “yes,” with the new Breitling Cockpit B50 timepiece in their Professional collection of watches. OK, so let’s start by talking about the whole “in-house quartz” part of the conversation, as it is perhaps the most interesting, outside of the design of the watch. For years, Breitling has been sourcing high-end thermocompensated quartz movements from Swiss ETA. These come in a few varieties, but are contained in all the quartz movement-based Breitling watches, from their totally analog dials (three-handers and chronographs) to their various ana-digi (analog-digital) watches that have both traditional hands as well as two LCD screens. Breitling now pushes forward to create their own evolved movements based on the foundation that ETA laid.

None of this means that Breilting is going to stop using ETA thermocompensated quartz movements in some of their watches (such as the famed Aerospace), but rather that they are adding a new flavor for those seeing something a bit more… ultimate. As I have said and will keep saying, I see more and more room for high-end quartz to be something collectors are interested in as well as mechanical watches. I promise you that the movement inside Breitling Cockpit B50 costs more than most basic mechanical movements Breitling uses in their standard collection of watches. In addition to having both in-house made and sourced mechanical movements, now Breitling will have similar options with their quartz movement based watches.

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

Breitling refers to the movement in the Breitling Cockpit B50 as “in-house made.” More correctly there are some parts produced in-house, and some that are sourced from specialized suppliers. Breitling is correct to say that the movements are “exclusive” to them, given that they don’t make everything. Oh, and in addition to the watch being called the Breitling Cockpit B50, the movement is the caliber B50. Breitling appends its “SuperQuartz” term to the movement, which means that it is thermocompensated. What is that? In addition to being eligible for the stringent COSC Chronometer certification for quartz watches, it uses a system that is able to adjust for how temperature can effect the accuracy of the quartz regulator, giving overall accuracy to the movement of just a few seconds per year.

In some ways, the Breitling Cockpit B50 is a scaled down version of the Breitling Emergency II watch that we debuted back in 2013. You could say that the watches are produced side-by-side, together in their Swiss factory. Both the Emergency II and the Breitling Cockpit B50 have similar case designs, ana-digi SuperQuartz movements, and rechargeable batteries. Rather than require a hefty base station for charging, the Breitling Cockpit B50 uses a magnetic connector that attaches to the left side of the case and can be charged via USB or an AC adapter.

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

Having said that, Breitling has not given us how long the battery life is. I would expect to get at least a year on normal usage, but it is nice that you can “top off the power” when you need. One of the reasons this might be necessary is that the B50 movement likely uses a lot more power than ETA movements. I believe this to be the case because it has a very strong backlight. Not only that, but the B50 movement is designed to be able and activate the backlight when you turn your watch toward your face as a 45 degree angle. Yes, many better Casio watches have been offering this for a long time, but at least you can now have this feature in a very high-end timepiece. Just one more thing Breitling can say it has in common with the Apple Watch.

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In addition to the crown that acts as pusher, the B50 movement has two other pushers that act as chronograph pushers and perhaps do other things as well. Breitling seems to have added a few new features to the watch that did not exist in SuperQuartz movements designed by ETA. Standard features include the time, perpetual calendar, 1/100 of a second chronograph, alarms, battery charge indicator, countdown timer, electronic tachometer, and a second timezone. New features that I believe do not exist in some of their other similar watches that are now available in the B50 movement are a special countdown or count-up mission elapsed time (MET) indicator, and a flight time chronograph.

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

Notice that the black LCD screens now have much more white-colored numerals, as opposed to the more greenish hued numerals on previous models. Breitling points out that the numerals are much easier to see, and that the backlight is very impressive. The Breitling Cockpit B50 dial design is very similar to that on the Breitling Emergency II. This dial design debuted in 2013 on the Breitling Aerospace EVO (hands-on here).

While this dial design is legible and has a lot going for it, I am not the biggest fan of the hands and the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock numerals are a bit glossy for my taste. For a “Professional” watch, Breitling seems to be trying to add a bit too much bling. At the least, I prefer the solid, longer, more matte-finished hands seen on some of the older models.

Breitling Cockpit B50 Watch With Exclusive New SuperQuartz Movement Watch Releases

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  • Jimxxx

    Will never buy Breitling again. They do not stock enough parts and run out of them quite often after 5 years or so, which is unthinkable for a high end Swiss watch company. Imagine Rolex or Patek being managed that way….

  • “The rotating bezel can be used for navigational purposes” How exactly? On a watch with a GMT hand, you can point tthe 24 hour hand at the sun and use a degree scaled bezel to orient yourself for navigation. But on this watch I don’t see how the bezel is useful. And in usual Breitling fashion, it is crass and busy looking. The could have done the with 2 digits numbers (which seem to be enough for runway numbers after all).
    I like the magnetic charging umbilical and tech features in general. But its still a lot of money for a quartz watch. Sure the movement may cost more than a low end Swiss mechanical movement, but this watch is priced up there is in-house caliber mechanicals, so it has it work cut out for itself in the price department. Thanks for the review. Interesting quartz watches are, well, interesting…

  • jnazor

    “Pretty much no” to proper sentence structure.

  • DG Cayse

    Jimxxx You can quite rightly imagine my frustration with this happening with a ’boutique’ watch.

  • I have absolutely no idea why I would own or wear a watch like this. 

    That said, I do like how some of the technical images used remind me of VR missions in Metal Gear.

  • LOVE it!!! The olive green especially is very nice! Although I would prefer a slide rule bezel and a non-skeletonized hour hand (what did the hour hand obscure anyway that they needed to make it skeletonized?)

    Look, breitling is the only swiss company that takes quartz seriously…and there is no real quartz competition in the big leagues–at least not with the look that breitling offers. The Seiko Astron, 3k$ Mr-G, Spring Drive Ananta, T-touch to a lesser extent,..I like them all and I plan to buy them all (in due time) but I feel they lack a certain “class” that breitling offers. Even with its crass/in-your-face designs/cluttered-dials/loud polished cases etc. they look and feel the money that you pay for them IMO.

    This is not about value, it’s about emotion. When people praise the mechanical over the quartz for the “connection” they feel to their watch, I bet you anything, that quartzies feel the same connection to high-end quartz watches. Again, not about value, but about emotion. In the same way that a Seiko 5 diver “looks” but does not “feel” like a rolex, a 500$ citizen nighthawk “looks” but does not “feel” like a $4000 aerospace.

    Ultimately, for the look/style/feel that breitling offers, i see no real HEQ alternative. So in that sense, their pricing is justified.

  • Jimxxx I think that they are obliged to carry spare parts for 20 years after the watch has stopped being produced. They advertise that a lot so I guess they should be held accountable if it’s false advertising!

  • thornwood36

    If i want to wear a watch with a battery, £100 max . sadly i dont have my wings to put this watch through its paces, And for somethings that $5280 its too much

  • BIGCHRONO

    I’m not a paid spokesman for any watch concerns. Breitling still offers good price/value ratio, but if you want a thermocompensated, COSC quartz chronometer @ reduced rates, Sinn offers them. I don’t know the overall dynamics, or caveats, but you know the brand, the quality, good rep, & may be worth investigating if you need these sorts of watches for flight or other purposes. When proven as legitimate needs for any jobs, then business wise they’re tax deductible.

  • bichondaddy

    I keep waiting for them to bring out an Inspector Gadget watch….you know….the one that has a portable helicopter built into the watch….an Uzi that materializes in case your attacked by a gang of marauders….and certainly you need a remote control device for your Ferrari to make quick get getaways!  That would certain replace my $350 G-Shock that does everything this does!!

  • henryus

    Why doesn’t Casio produce thermocompensated quartz? It would fill the gap between their regular quartz and radio/gps quartz, and it would put to rest who really has the toughest and most practical quartz.

  • Fraser Petrick

    God is good.
    Quartz is good.
    …………….to be read with the same reverential tone.

  • Fraser Petrick

    bichondaddy  If it gives me my horoscope and today’s entry from Samuel Pepys diary, I want one!

  • Fraser Petrick

    thornwood36  I hope Scotland stays in the Union.

  • jdm025

    I have mixed feelings about super high-end quartz watches.  I feel like the new pro-level Tissot T-Touch (my knockaround is one of the older T-Touch watches) splits the difference nicely between a G-Shock and this Breitling.  $6-7K seems way out of the seemingly correct pricing for this watch.  $2-3K would be expected, especially with the in-house movement being quartz.  I just don’t see it unless you are a Breitling enthusiast.  Even then I would choose the Emergency II because of its quirk factor that is similar to an Omega Ploprof or the Alaska Project.

  • BigMike213

    Oh Breitling(sigh)…. In their defense it does look awesomely rugged and manly. I’m also pretty sure Michael Bay directed the advertisement, if only it had a gunfight or two.

  • Fraser Petrick Under $1000 is good. (said in the same reverential tone)

  • Panagiotis Th hour hand is skeletonized so you can always more or less read that all important “CHRONOMETRE CERTIFIFIE”. Imagine your panic if that was obscured.

  • MarkCarson Indubitably!

  • Gabechambers

    Agree – was just imagining a fighter pilot navigating his F-18 at Mach 2 with the rotating bezel on his watch lol

  • Gabechambers “Crap, lost my directional gyro. Good think I have this navigational bezel on my watch. Now what do I turn it to and how will that help me?”

  • Fraser Petrick

    MarkCarson Fraser Petrick  Amen.

  • bichondaddy

    Fraser Petrick  Man…Why didn’t I didn’t think about that!!  How about adding a feature that could give us the correct numbers for the Lotto…which ever one is in your state…or country!!  That would make everyone happy!!!  LOL

  • firehat

    When I spend that kind of money it’s going to be for something I can wear 40 years and then give to my grandkids. Something I have to plug in will never fit that category.

  • emoonshot

    I’ll say this as a pilot that used to purchase breitling…where are their current prices coming from?!
    Does the B50 have great ‘tool watch’ features and aesthetics? Yes, it does (though I agree about the 3,6,9 criticism).
    But a little perspective; A person’s actual wrist, which is integral to the fine control of an aircraft, is less expensive to insure and replace than this wristwatch.
    …But it can act as a reliable fifth-layer, all-is-already-lost backup… So there’s that.

  • Ulysses31

    The fonts Breitling uses on their otherwise impressive watches isn’t just borderline unreadable, it’s almost offensive.  I’m just sick of that dated wannabe-futuristic look.  Whenever the Swiss have a go at quartz tech, it just looks like they’re trying too hard.  Feels embarrassing.  There’s no justifiable reason for it to cost that much considering the most crucial components are cheap to make in huge quantities.

  • KaiZi

    When worn it has a battery life of 1 month of usage and 1 month of standby. When not worn and alarms are turned off, the battery lasts for 5 months with 1 month of standby.

  • francoisvisser

    Hello, first sorry for my bad English.im from Holland and English is not my thing but i Will try. I bought in februari à new B50 and i am very happy with tha watch. I was à little scared About the battery life but 6 februari i chargéd de battery for the first time and until now it is for 69 % full. I use it everything day. I think i dan yens my watch a lot more than 5 month. I had no. issues with the crown or with the software.
    So if you are not sure to buy the watch because the battery is not good than maybe it is a big misstake. I use the backlight maybe ten times a day.

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