Regatta-Zilla

Breitling gives us the mother of yachting watches

Back in Baselworld 2015, Calibre sat down with Breitling VP Jean-Paul Girardin who presented the (then) independent brand’s proposal to the smartphone/watch conundrum: the B55 Connected, a former concept watch, which took Breitling’s outstanding Cockpit B50 and connected it to a smartphone via Bluetooth technology.

“We did not want a less effective smartphone for the wrist,” said Girardin, “really, we did that the other way around (with) the user-friendliness of the smartphone to enhance the functionality of the watch.” The result, to say the least was phenomenal with a smartphone as a “slave” to the watch’s “master.”

Officially christened the Exospace B55 a year later, Breitling’s first connected chronograph has a range of functions that could assist any pilot in the cockpit, including an electronic tachymeter, a flight time recorder, a departure and arrival time calculator, and countless other features, all made infinitely more accessible by the smartphone’s much larger and readable display.

Soon after, Breitling introduced an Exospace made especially for racecar drivers and motorsports enthusiasts. It offered the same level of connectivity as the pilot’s model while repurposing many of the Cockpit B50’s original functions to help motorists master even the most demanding roads and circuits.

Thus, already having conquered the skies and the roads, Breitling is closing the loop by conquering the seven seas as well. This year’s Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting makes good on the brand’s commitment of “making great timepieces for use in the air, on the ground, and at sea” and takes the Exospace B55’s combination of analog and digital time-telling functions and modifies them, once again, (this time) with the help of yachting professionals and regatta competitors.

This means, aside from the usual 12- and 24-hour digital displays, two time zones, countdowns, alarms, and calendars of the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Calibre B55 SuperQuartz, the electronic thermocompensated quartz movement has been customized to include updated functions specific to yachting and regatta racing such as an ingenious easy-to-re-synch countdown timer in the event a judge halts the countdown sequence, a chronograph that times up to 99 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds with an accuracy to the nearest 10 milliseconds, and a rattrapante function that records split times, all of which can also be read on a smartphone’s much larger and clearer display.

Aside from the ability to digitally record all time-related information, the Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting is also equipped with a notched bidirectional rotating bezel that can be adjusted to perform critical wind direction and sailing angle calculations, and can be used to determine the optimal starting position in a regatta.

Being a watch from the Professional collection, the Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting sports a titanium case measuring a generous 46mm x 15.25mm and is water resistant to 100 meters. The minute track, hands, indices, and small details on the updated carbon dial are all in a different color to bring enhanced legibility for when things get wet (and it will).

Last but not least, the Breitling Exospace B55 Yachting is matched to a blue TwinPro rubber strap with “Breitling” molded on its entire length and a case-matching folding clasp.