Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone Watch Releases

Feast your eyes on the 2015 Breitling B55 Connected Watch that connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone... in a way you want it to. This is pretty interesting news and a very clever (in my opinion) way for an established Swiss watch maker like Breitling to assert itself as a modern brand but also respect the functionality of a standalone timepiece. To understand the Breitling B55 Connected watch you first need to understand the Breitling Cockpit B50 watch (here) that is also relatively new.

The Breitling Cockpit B50 had Breitling produce a new Superquartz movement that was exclusive to them and featured a rechargeable battery and some extra functionality compared to their existing Superquartz-based timepiece with an ETA movement. It was so close to a smartwatch... but just shy of having real connectivity. Now just a few months later, in advance of Baselworld 2015, Breitling more-or-less updates the same watch to the Breitling B55 Connected, and unless the pricing is very different, I'd probably say that the B50 might not be as attractive, depending on what you want to do with it.

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone Watch Releases

So the most important question you should have is, "is this a smartwatch?" Sort of... I tend to think of a smartwatch as a timepiece that connects with your phone in order to display information from your phone such as notifications, etc... For the Breitling B55 Connected, your phone and watch do communicate with one another, and do share some pieces of data, but the Breitling B55 Connected is not about giving you missed call notifications or tracking your daily steps. Think of your smartphone with the Breitling B55 Connected app to serve as a sort of remote control for the watch, allowing you to quickly update the time and calendar, and more-or-less adjust all the settings such as alarms, time zones indicators, and the various time measurement functions the Breitling B55 Connected has (like measuring flight times). This is a pilot watch, after all, so most of the functions revolve around flight.

So why is it a good thing to have your phone control your watch? Basically, it is about making the watch settings and functions easier to use. We all agree that a watch is not only attractive to wear, but a very convenient place to look at information. It is also a very precise instrument. Having said that, when it comes to complex analog-digital watches with hands and two LCD screens, adjusting all the settings and using the functions to their fullest extent certainly requires a bit of a learning curve. With the Breitling B55 Connected watch, Breitling has taken a major and very practical step in allowing your phone to simplify the user experience of a complicated watch.... now, if only Breliting had one of these for their Navitimer so I might actually use that slide rule.

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone Watch Releases

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone Watch Releases

The Breitling B55 Connected comes in a 46mm wide black-coated titanium case. The dial is almost identical to that of the Cockpit B50 but there is a blue "connected" symbol on the dial that looks like a wifi symbol. This element will no doubt be among the more controversial elements of the design. I'm pretty sure there could have been a slicker way to do that, but maybe in person, it will look really cool. Otherwise, you have a rather standard modern Breitling look that is very functional-looking and masculine.

Breitling also refers to the movement inside of the watch as the caliber B55 - and it is claimed as a "manufacture caliber." I am sure it is exclusive to Breitling, and I believe that some of the electronics are in fact produced in-house at Breitling in Switzerland. Here is the list of movement functions from Breitling: "officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, thermocompensated SuperQuartzTM, analog and digital 12/24-hour LCD backlit display. 1/100th of a second chronograph, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Countdown/Countup (or MET Mission Elapsed Time), flight time chronograph, lap timer chronograph, electronic tachometer, countdown, 2nd timezone, 2 daily alarms, perpetual calendar with week display, battery charge indicator."

Breitling B55 Connected Watch Makes Perfect Pair With Phone Watch Releases

If you are interested in the Breitling B55 Connected, I strongly encourage you to read my previous article (linked to above) on the Cockpit B50 to understand more about the watch, such as how you can tilt your wrist to activate the backlight. Not a new function in the scheme of watches, but we do all applaud when the Swiss catch up (and often do it better... and for more money). I more-or-less see the Breitling B55 Connected as the ultimate G-Shock, and in a sense, it is.

I look forward to playing with the Breitling B55 Connected myself, since I am excited to consider the possibilities. I have a feeling that with an app controlling the timepiece's functions via Bluetooth, and a battery that last months (as opposed to hours) this is going to be a very interesting merger of the smartwatch world and the traditional Swiss sports watch world. If there is a high-end quartz watch to own in 2015, it just might be the Breitling B55 Connected. No price yet, but I have a feeling it will be similar to that of the B50. So figure a price in the $8,000 range for the Breitling B55 Connected in the black titanium case on a strap. breitling.com

Keep up with our pre-, post-, and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.

What do you think?
  • I want it! (27)
  • I love it! (15)
  • Thumbs up (2)
  • Classy (1)
  • Interesting (0)
  • mark maftei

    Man, this is a disappointing review! Basically the main ‘problem’ this new design solves is allowing fakers to set and control a watch they are too stupid to adjust based on the manual? “Breitling has taken a major and very practical step in allowing your phone to simplify the user experience of a complicated watch…. now, if only Breliting had one of these for their Navitimer so I might actually use that slide rule.” I suppose this could be cause for reflection on just how practical these complications are, and more importantly, on what drives people to buy them. I, for one, would assume that the joy in purchasing a complicated watch comes from the pleasure of learning its intricacies and interacting with it….I guess I am in the minority.

  • iamcalledryan

    Not sure about the functionality but this is quite nice looking for someone like me who is not particularly into their standard models. Could do without the giant wifi symbol on it though…

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a good-looking watch except for that stinking great blue symbol on the dial.  Being able to set certain functions via a smartphone might be useful for a novice, but I don’t think the target market would struggle too much with complicated procedures if indeed this is aimed at pilots.  Add a couple of extra pushers if you really need to, but the functionality implemented by this wireless connection seems superfluous  to using the watch.

  • ScubaPro

    I have a problem with the dial, in that I used to fly and even back then when my eyes worked far better the most important thing you need in an instrument is legibility. This thing looks waaay too busy for me. I’ll be interested to see if others feel this way too, or if it’s not an issue. All the functions are irrelevant if’ it’s not easy to read quickly.  Or maybe I’m becoming a warped, frustrated Old Man.

  • SwissMatic

    “officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, thermocompensated SuperQuartzTM, analog and digital 12/24-hour LCD backlit display. 1/100th of a second chronograph, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Countdown/Countup (or MET Mission Elapsed Time), flight time chronograph, lap timer chronograph, electronic tachometer, countdown, 2nd timezone, 2 daily alarms, perpetual calendar with week display, battery charge indicator.”

    If this was made by Ball that would be the name of the watch.

  • GaryK30

    mark maftei I agree with you for the most part, Mark, and I also enjoy learning how to use complicated watches. On the other hand, a lot of people are technologically challenged, and might find this smartphone control feature useful. Time will tell, I guess.

  • Fraser Petrick

    Think I’m going to crawl back under the rock where life is much less complicated. We wee creatures of the dark are easily discombobulated by too much information, too much function, too much connectivity, whatever that is. I just want a nice watch that tells the time. Now I can double-whammy modern life’s complicators by linking my complicated phone with my complicated watch. Why not an unholy trinity of computer, phone and watch?
    I remember the days of 12″ black and white television where you had to get up and walk across the rec room to change one channel to…the other one. Them days was rough.

  • DangerussArt

    Besides the “impressive” price point keeping me away, the aesthetic is ruined by the huge honking “WiFi” symbol.  Should have, could have been more like this:

  • SwissMatic

    DangerussArt Looks so much better.

  • SantiagoT

    Did they hire Michael Bay to direct the video? It sure sounds epic!

  • iamcalledryan

    Fixed!

  • Marcus CB Soori

    Most of the functions are within a narrow category. Also, this technology is not only already outdated, but will dilute the prestige Breitling has worked so hard to build over time. Swiss watchmakers should only pursue smart watches with mechanical + electronic movements, analog dials, and see-through crystals that double as screens when accessing the “smart features”. That way, when the technology is obsolete, you still have a useful mechanical automatic watch with a nice dial design.

  • AK74

    8,000 for quartz? Even Apple can’t do this.

  • echo7

    How long will Breitling maintain the phone software? Will there be a version for the iPhone 12? Will owners have to keep old, otherwise dead phones around to use the software? Will the resale value be determined on Chrono24.com by the phone bundled with it?

  • naah70

    Two problems with watch, the price and the oversized WiFi symbol.  The symbol could have been more discreet, also not sure why WiFi symbol when the watch actually uses Bluetooth to connect to mobile phone!

  • I wish there was a button press that would make the hands fly to 3 and 9 so they would clear the digital displays on demand. If there is such a feature I did not see it in the video.

  • mark maftei I agree that interacting with watches is part of the fun in owning them. However as a software developer, the goal of designing user interfaces is to make the operation of a system easier, not harder for people. Especially for functions that are not used daily. Cheers.

  • Looks like a watch that will be worn by the protagonist in an upcoming video game.

  • Willem Kamerman

    Very true Marcus !

  • bnabod

    I have to admit I am not a fan of quartz. I know there is fancy super duper quartz out there but just not my thing. Having said this I quite like this one minus the really ugly connected signal at 9. A shame really without it I think the watch would be quite decent looking. the control by phone I suppose it also kind of neat yet.

  • coreyng

    That video told people that all theyI need is a phone but not a watch………….

  • shinytoys

    How’s THAT for a smart phone? How do you like me NOW! A.A. You’re a rebel!

  • nickyb66

    A great watch Ariel and ltd of useful features for pilots etc. However the huge wireless symbol on the face is a big mistake by brietling imho, and should be removed.

  • ZL

    You’re right! I couldn’t quite put my finger on it before, but I think that’s what I like about these Breitlings: they are kind of like the ultimate G-Shock!

  • ZL

    SwissMatic Could’ve taken that jab at a number of companies, but Ball was a nice choice 🙂

  • rosskale2

    nickyb66 I agree,the symbol should be removed…

  • rosskale2

    That, in my opinion is better smart tech than smartwatches…I mean,I still haven’t got in to the whole smartwatch trend I can look at my phone to see if someone e-mailed me. Now,when it comes to be able to control my watch’ functions with my phone that is a great idea,rather than having to remember what buttons to push on my watch etc…Plus this Breitling is a good looking watch except for that ugly blue symbol on the face.  If I could I would but I can’t right now someday I will get myself one. I would right now if I could…

  • rosskale2

    After reading some of these posts I do agree with most of them. While the technology is helpful people still need to know how to do things manually. Younger generation isn’t taught that way now days,go ask a kid to read a map or a compass or even how to change a tire on a car. As far as this watch or any flight watch or dive watches (I don’t dive or fly) do I need them? No. Do I like them? Sure. That being said, as an example, why would (I) want to set an alarm on my watch using my phone when I can just set the alarm on my phone? I know the people like aviators-divers etc…would use the functions on these type of watches but not me. I would buy this watch just because I like gadgets and watches. I know Breitling makes outstanding timepieces yet if price is going to be as estimated probably not this kid.Get the price around $1,000-$1,500 then maybe I would treat myself.

  • SwissMatic

    ZL I see what you mean:

    “officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, thermocompensated SuperQuartzTM, analog and digital 12/24-hour LCD backlit display. 1/100th of a second chronograph, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Countdown/Countup (or MET Mission Elapsed Time), flight time chronograph, lap timer chronograph, electronic tachometer, countdown, 2nd timezone, 2 daily alarms, perpetual calendar with week display, battery charge indicator.”

    If this was made by Rolex they would have printed that on the dial.

  • dagbert

    The Aerospace (and Breitling as a whole, really) is one of my guilty pleasures, and while I can agree that the pricing is pretty outrageous, and the functionality defeats the purpose of an enjoyable interaction with my watches and the blue wifi mark on the dial is a positively baffling design choice and… ah hell, I agree with it all.

  • marbstiu

    DangerussArt i may be asking too much, but do something about that Facebook-Blue dial haha

  • marbstiu

    SwissMatic ZL I somehow read those specs with John Travolta’s voice….

  • I_G

    That humongous wi-fi symbol makes me puke like a fire hose.

  • 2mWingspan

    The french have a phrase for it – “jolie laide”. Agree with all the negative comments – still want one, though.

  • I thought you couldn’t use bluetooth/wireless on the plane

  • chrstphd

    David_Pnl c’est innovant, pas mal mais je suis un rien déçu quand même :-/

  • MarcTime2watch

    aBlogtoWatch Watch is COOL, but I want me a BreitlingNews case like that one for my iPhone!

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  • Tripit15

    Anyone know where to buy the b50 charger that I lost ?

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