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B55 - is it really that bad?
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Author:  jbwm [ Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:00 am ]
Post subject:  B55 - is it really that bad?

Hi all - apologies for the long post!

So I've had my blackbird for 16 years and, with the exception of an Aeropsace Avantage I ultimately sold as it didn't get the wear it deserved, have never really seen a Breitling since I'd rather have, or could justify (which has been handy!).

Until, that is, I saw the B55 Night Mission at LHR T5. I'm through there a great deal at the moment and I got so close to buying it last time but sort of got carried away and needed to cut away to my gate, which I thought was fate intervening to ensure I thought this through!!

While I am not a pilot I do work with charter aircraft and project main deck freighters. So I am away a great deal and all of my charters/missions are quoted and run in UTC. Home, T2 and UTC on the watch with both analogue and digital readout? Perfect!

I also loved that I could log flight times, count down to and up from either a pushback time, or the point of delayed departure/loading.

I liked that I could capture all this and time my fitness activities such as running and rowing crew then download everything to a computer to store.

I loved that all of the time swaps could be done easily off my phone and not via the crown only.

I'm not one for smart watches but the notifications and alarms functions would be genuinely useful. Phone on silent and no vibrate but a pinger on the watch and I'd be more likely to utilise the alarms properly if set off the app, too.

And styling? Love the rider tabs (I'm a traditionalist) and find the compass graduations on the B50 too busy. Style wise it's the natural successor to the Aerospace Evo, which I love to look at.

But I started to look into it and it seems to be an absolute dog riddled with comms issues, transmitter problems, persistent and poor firmware updates and I've had serious second thoughts.

It also reminded me why I never wanted a smart watch. I like a watch to be a watch and not dependant on updates and software versions to retain it's core functions. I thought the B55 might be the perfect blend of pure Breitling, useful features and a connectivity to the level I'd actually find useful but no more than that. I liked the 'watch first' approach over say a Tag Connected.

However reading posts here, it seems that this is not the case. All of the enhanced connective functions work barely, if at all for some, and there are serious question marks about whether this is a flash in the pan and will be obsolete in a few years beyond being solely a watch, rendering all of its differentiators redundant.

I'm seriously considering saving thousands and going for a (surely last iteration?!) EVO Night Mission on rubber. Not connected and fewer functions but a Breitling classic, and it will only ever need batteries.

I'm back through LHR on Wednesday (20/03) so it will no doubt be calling to me. I'm now really in two minds having mentally already written off the cash for it.

Would really appreciate your thoughts on the subject - to B55 or not to B55.


Author:  Arcam [ Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: B55 - is it really that bad?

Great post!

I love the B55, but like you say (as have I in numerous other posts) it has comms issues. If the reason you love it is for the comms then stay away. The B50 is a better bet but I guess you prefer the styling of the 55.

Hope that helps.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

Author:  jbwm [ Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: B55 - is it really that bad?

Thanks Arcam!

I don't just like it for the comms - I see it as a genuinely useful enhancement to a great looking practical watch. But I have a massive problem with things not working to their full specification, especially for £5k!

I view it as a whole package - on a daily basis the watch is king but it would annoy me so much knowing that the enhanced tech wasn't working. Even more so if it suffered the failures to reset, flyback not returning to the 12:00 and block outs people seem to suffer with.

I guess it's a question on whether in 2019 they've strengthened the package to mitigate this.

And the B50? If they did a disconnect B55 I'd be all over that (but even disconnected and not used with the app, I'm seeing still problems with the mechanicals and the functions in the forum or have I over analysed that) but I just don't like the styling on the B50 quite enough to justify the cost.

We'll see, but thanks for the response!

Author:  superpop [ Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: B55 - is it really that bad?

I had the same questions and ended up with the B50. Going on 2 years and it has been rock solid. I have a gen 4 apple watch that is amazing and serves the purpose of a connected watch far better than anything else on the market.

Author:  tony500 [ Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: B55 - is it really that bad?

I’m a big fan of the professional collection as well and i'm in the same situation as you with the B55. Owned a aerospace Evo but sold it one year ago with some regrets.
Concerning the aerospace Evo it is not produced anymore (had confirmation from the Breitling factory). It is still on their website as there is still stock in the AD I guess.
This week, starting Thursday will be the Basel world fair in Switzerland so I’m hoping they will announce there at least one new professional watch at least. (Maybe the redesign of the Evo)

Concerning the B55 and B50 which interested me:
B50: I ended giving up on that one as it is really too big for me. For information on Instagram M. Kern gave an indication some weeks ago that this one will also be ultimately refreshed( no timeframe given though)
B55: Wears smaller than the B50 and had my interest but also on the hold with the negative comments I heard. The B55 watch, which I think is the newest from the current professional line is still produced.

I’d certainly wait at least the end of this week to see the announcements from the Basel fair before doing anything. If they announce a new Aeropace I might consider that instead of the B55 because it will be newer and also certainly smaller in size to the current B55 (and cheaper).

Difficult times ;)

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