TAG Heuer might have been the first Swiss watchmaker to launch a smartwatch, but Breitling just announced they will have the first entirely Swiss-made smartwatch — produced, assembled, and tested in the country.
The Exospace B55 is basically a connected version of the brand’s existing $7,900 Caliber B55 that came out last year, and as such, it looks like an analog watch — until you notice the two ultra-legible LCD screens. With a backlighting system activated by pressing the crown or when the user tilts his wrist at a more than 35-degree angle, they’re a nod to Breitling’s hybrid offerings that function as the displays for extra chronograph timers and alarm functions.
The oversized, 46mm pilot-watch style is made out of lightweight titanium and features a water-resistant case, volcano black dial, and blue hands (alternate styles will be offered next year). On the wrist, it sits both comfortably and unassumingly despite its large size. Once paired, the Exospace offers three categories of digital functions: receive data from your phone on the watch; manipulate your watch using your phone; and pass data from the watch straight to your phone.
“Our concept is using technology to improve the functionality of our watches,” says Breitling Vice President Jean-Paul Girardin. Bluetooth connectivity via an iOS or Android allows the watch, along with a corresponding Exospace B55 app, to track time, set alarms, see how far one flies (or runs) via Block and Flight Times, and receive email, text, and calendar notifications. Users can log onto the app to easily change their time zone, which then automatically updates the timepiece. The watch’s battery needs to be charged every one to two months, depending on usage.
The Exospace B55 retails for $8,900 and is available now at Breitling boutiques and select Breitling retailers.
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