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Breitling Aerospace: The Pilot's Tool Watch

The Breitling Aerospace is a practical tool for pilots. It offers all of the most important functions of a pilot's watch - a chronograph with a second time zone and a timer - while still remaining lightweight thanks to its robust titanium case.

Highlights

  • Very lightweight, titanium case
  • Incredibly precise SuperQuartz caliber
  • 1/100th second chronograph
  • Minute repeater
  • Second time zone (GMT)

Breitling Aerospace: The Multifunctional Watch for Pilots

The Swiss manufacturer Breitling first introduced their chronograph wristwatch Aerospace in 1985. At that time, it still belonged to the Navitimer collection, which the inscriptions on the dial and case back indicated. Today, the Aerospace Evo belongs to the Professional series. One characteristic feature of the original timepiece was a set of four grips on the bezel at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. These bezel rider tabs call to mind the automatic watches in the Chronomat and Avenger collections. Thanks to the rider tabs, it's easy to handle the bezel even with gloves on. The hybrid display was also a characteristic feature of the Aerospace (back then, the Navitimer). It displayed the time in both an analog (with hands) and digital fashion on two displays. The Aerospace was available in either titanium or as a bicolor model. The bicolor version was made of titanium and featured gold bracelet links and bezel rider tabs.
Breitling introduced the current Aerospace model in 2013. It is a chronograph which can measure 1/100th of a second and features an alarm, a GMT function, a calendar, and a countdown timer. One particular highlight is its minute repeater, which tells the time via auditory signals. You use the crown to control the watch, turning, pushing, and pulling it to use the individual functions. The quartz movement in the current models is a so-called SuperQuartz caliber. It's thermocompensated, COSC-certified, and up to ten times more precise than the average quartz movement. Over the course of one year, it only deviates from the official time by a few seconds.

Buying Advice

The Aerospace has long been Breitling's introductory watch. If you're looking for a pilot's chronograph from Breitling at a moderate price, then look for pre-owned Aerospace models, which are available for less than 1,000 euros. Very well-maintained or new watches cost around 3,000 euros. The current Aerospace Evo models are a bit larger with a diameter of 43 mm and cost around 2,300 euros with a rubber or textile strap. The three-link titanium bracelet increases the price to around 2,800 euros. The black-coated Aerospace Evo Night Mission costs around 3,000 euros. The special edition with a bright yellow dial is limited to a run of 300 and available for around 4,300 euros.

A Futuristic Design

When Breitling introduced the Aerospace for the first time in 1985, it was a modern interpretation of the Navitimer. It featured robust titanium for its case and bracelet, four grips on the bezel, and a hybrid display. During the 1980s, these weren't your typical Breitling characteristics. The trend then was quartz movements; they ran more precisely than mechanical movements and had more functions. This made the Aerospace perfect for professional use in airplane cockpits.

Precise Quartz Technology

The average quartz watch deviates about 15-30 seconds from the official time every month. Compared to a mechanical watch, it's incredibly accurate. A mechanical, COSC-certified movement can deviate up to -4 or +6 seconds a day, equal to -120 or +180 seconds every month.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, Breitling has used SuperQuartz movements in the Aerospace series. Breitling has the movements certified by the COSC, ensuring they run incredibly precisely. The COSC's criteria for a quartz caliber are much stricter than for a mechanical caliber. A quartz movement may only deviate up to -/+ 0.07 seconds a day. Altogether, that's a total of 2.1 seconds a month. Therefore, the Aerospace models are up to ten times more precise than the average quartz watch.
Furthermore, the SuperQuartz movement offers practical functions. Its chronograph function allows it to measure 1/100th of a second. A mechanical movement like the Valjoux 7750, one of the most successful automatic chronograph calibers in the world, "only" measures 1/8th of a second. The Aerospace can also time up to 48 hours. In addition, it has other functions such as a digital calendar, an alarm clock, a countdown timer, and a second time zone. The second time zone feature is useful for those who often travel between time zones. With this feature, you can keep an eye on the local time as well as the time back home. A more notable, rarer feature is the timepiece's minute repeater. The function repeats, as desired, the current time via auditory signals.

Function Overview

  • 1/100th second chronograph
  • Minute repeater
  • Alarm
  • Countdown timer
  • Second time zone (GMT)
  • Multilingual 4-year calendar

The Next Evolutionary Step: The Aerospace Evo

Breitling premiered the Aerospace Evo in 2013. Like its predecessors, the Evo is made of titanium and features four bezel rider tabs and four large Arabic numerals at three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock. It also still uses the multifunctional SuperQuartz caliber. However, the size of the watch has changed: It's gotten a millimeter larger, growing from 42 to 43 mm. The dial is available in black, blue, or gray, and you have the choice between a leather, textile, rubber, or titanium strap. There is also a special Co-Pilot version of the titanium bracelet available. It has an additional LCD display on the strap itself, which can display a second time zone as well as departure and landing times. It also has a chronograph function. The additional display is controlled via two push-pieces on the sides.
Since 2015, the Breitling Aerospace Evo Night Mission has been a part of the collection. It's a chronograph with a black-coated, brushed titanium case. The watch is made unique by its military look, which hinders light reflection. Likewise, the display background lighting, read using night vision, also contributes to the look, as do the brown or anthracite textile strap. The strap is especially robust and has a fold-over clasp. A rubber strap is also available.
In celebration of the Aerospace's 30th anniversary, Breitling introduced a limited special edition - the "30e anniversaire." The limited edition series was limited to a run of 300 and can be identified by its black-coated titanium case and bright yellow dial.

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