In 1999, Breitling sponsored a unique event. Partnering with renowned balloonists Bertrand Piccord and Brian Jones, the brand facilitated a “Non-stop around-the-world” flight by hot air balloon. The journey was actually pretty fascinating, and has spawned a number of TV specials and documentaries (that I admittedly got lost in while writing this article). For anyone interested, check out the Breitling Orbiter 3’s 21 day trip from the Swiss Alps to Egypt. It’s compelling stuff. Twenty years later, Breitling fittingly releases the Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition to commemorate the event, and pay homage to the fact that Bertrand and Brian both wore a Breitling Emergency for their journey.
Model: Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition
Dimensions: 46mm x 16.45mm
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Case Material: Carbon-Coated Titanium
Movement: Breitling Manufacture Caliber B50 SuperQuartz
Power Reserve: 10 years of battery life
Strap/Bracelet: Orange Rubber with Folding Clasp
Price & Availability: Unspecified, but will post when we are provided. Limited to 213 pieces.
It’s no secret the Breitling Aerospace has been a favorite of the aBlogtoWatch team. A number of us even own one and are pretty vocal about its usefulness. The utility of the watch paired with relative affordability (especially on the secondary market) from a reputable brand makes the watch a common “entry” into Breitling. There have been a number of variations to Breitling’s Quartz watches over the years, but I would argue this is the boldest update yet.
Aesthetically, this iteration is striking. It is, quite frankly, incredibly bright. Orange is getting increasingly popular in the industry, and a noticeable portion of Breitling’s 70-something Baselworld novelties feature the color. At least it helps these watches stand out in a crowd. While not to everyone’s tastes, it is functional in low-light conditions. It is also rather attractive when set against the carbon coated Titanium.
From a technical perspective, the B50 SuperQuartz movement is a real achievement. Not only does it feature a chronograph with flyback and split-time function, it features a perpetual calendar, dual-alarms with either a vibration or beep setting, a lap-timer and countdown timer, tachymeter, flight time tracker, and date. That’s not including the numerous UTC time-telling functions. All of these functions are accessed and managed via a crown and just two pushers. Speaking from experience, the watch is surprisingly intuitive and easy-to-use considering the shear amount of functions.
With Kern at the helm, Breitling has been moving at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. I was just talking to Zach Pina the other day about rumors that this line would be discontinued, and yet here we are — a brand new Breitling Quartz model in the form of the Cockpit B50 Orbiter. It’s exciting to see that Breitling isn’t writing off some of it’s less popular models in-leu of releasing more models into their staple collections. While the Orange colorway isn’t for me, I’m excited about the possibility of seeing future releases of a lesser fan favorite. Read more at breitling.com