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  • Watch Review: Breitling Aerospace

    I’ve always dreamed of owning a Breitling when I was in junior college, seeing most of my counterparts wear Tag Heuers. I wanted to break apart from the masses, but alas, I could only afford Casios and Seikos then. I have admired this brand for quite some time, but I was distracted by Rolex and Panerai when I started working and subsequently got myself a decent pay package. As I got deeper and deeper into the world of luxury watches, I looked at my precious collection and realised that I no longer have a decent S$2k beater that I can trash around without guilt.

    I thought that a luxury quartz watch would do well to fill in this little void. However, since my foray into mechanical/automatic watches, I could no longer stand the sight of the ticking second hand of a quartz watch, so the Omega X33 and the Breitling B1 was out of the question. It didn't take much for me to settle my sights on a Breitling Aerospace Avantage. The size fit me well (redesigned with a larger 42mm diameter case from it's predecessors) since I'm used to big watches like Panerai. And a used piece fits my target price range and has all the features I wanted in a Breitling. And since I'm so used to the analogue face of a mechanical watch, the aerospace, having an ana-digi display was a breath of fresh air.

    Major features:
    • 42mm diameter case, 22 mm lug distance, about 11mm height, very nice and balanced design IMO.
    • Unidirection “minute scaled” bezel.
    • Flat sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating on both inside and outside.
    • 2nd timezone function.
    • Chronograph (stopwatch).
    • Countdown timer
    • Alarm
    • Backlight
    • Minute Repeater

    As a titanium watch, it's tough as a tank. I've never had to baby this watch (since I got it pre-owned also) and banged it around pretty much. It is a very comfortable watch to wear with its 42mm dimension and relatively thin case. It's almost weightless. Although even with utmost care, swirls and minor scratches are the norm for this great looking watch. So since its titanium, which is many times harder than steel, I did not bother with buffing out the scratches from the case - it's too much effort, and I kinda liked the rugged look.... allow me to be shallow for most... the scratches gave the watch character *shrugs*

    With the anti-glare finish on the crystal, the look of this watch changes dramatically depending on how the light reflects off the watch dial. This is more evident when trying to photograph it. Not only does it change the light reflection on the professional looking display, which affects the overall look of the watch, it also changes the color of the dial from black to gray to blue or purple or somewhere in between. The watch actually looks best in natural, low to medium light conditions and looks worst in a jewelry store (direct bright spotlight). But about the worst thing that Breitling did for this watch is the dual anti glare coating. Fingerprints on the outer surface of the crystal are obvious from any angle and stick out like a sore thumb. I was fed up with the need to wipe the face of the watch so often that I decided to remove the outer layer of anti-glare coating (thanks to a bit of polywatch and capecod). It looked MUCH better after the outer layer is removed. *don't worry if you're contemplating the same thing... a replacement crystal doesn't cost an arm nor leg*

    The Superquartz module in the watch itself is reputed to be extremely accurate. This I had to really see and test for myself. I synched it with the Singapore Standard Time SST and guess what? It only gained 1 second over 2 months. Impressive... the superquartz autocompensates for thermal changes it detects... sucha smart watch. It has been great in keeping time and I'm very pleased with it.

    The minute repeater is a nice touch to this watch, you can tell time in absolute darkness, by counting the beeps the repeater function emits. Everything about this watch exudes the characteristics of a first class product. From the box it came in, to every piece and part of this watch. Comparing bracelet links and clasps alone, it actually puts Rolex to shame, although they (Rolex) have been catching up with their new bracelet upgrades recently, albeit with ridiculous price increases.

    Now, there are 2 gripes I have with this watch. It varies from person to person but I believe any wearer of the Aerospace will agree with me on these 2 things:

    1. Changing Mode. As the watch comes without any chronograph buttons, the only way to change modes is to turn the crown at a certain speed. A slow turn of the crown activates the backlight of the watch and a faster turn (I feel its too fast for most to handle) switches the digital modes, from Digital Time -> Alarm -> 2nd Timezone -> Date -> Chronograph -> Countdown -> Off. If there ever is a major flaw in the Aerospace, I believe this is it! Can't the designers use a bit of brain and incorporate a bigger crown for ease of use? A crown the size of the Rolex triplock crown will fit the watch still, and aide the wearer to switch modes easily. This is evident in the Breitling Emergency. Duh!

    2. The negative LCD display. By far, I've remembered peering through the display window of hourglass when I was younger and admiring the bright gold/yellow digit display of the OLDER aerospace. The contrast of the digital display of the Avantage is really disappointing. The wearer needs to almost tilt the watch perpendicular to his line of sight in order to see the display clearly. So I certainly hope the next revision of the Aerospace takes this into consideration.

    Well, gripes aside, and coming to a conclusion, the Aerospace is still a great usable watch that I highly recommend to globe trotters. And if you can find a piece in mint condition with bracelet at about S$2k, it's certainly a BIG bang for the buck!

  • #2
    Re: Watch Review: Breitling Aerospace

    That's a very nice review. Thanks for posting.

    It is also the beauty of this fantastic hobby. Once you enter the zone, you will find yourself filled with many surprises and discoveries along the way, it is always a nice feeling to be able to move out of the 'cheap quartz brands' to timepieces with more style, sophistication and quality.

    Congratulations on this awesome piece, sounds like an all-rounded watch!

    Perhaps, post more pictures


    • #3
      Re: Watch Review: Breitling Aerospace

      That's a cool review dude... and thanks for the tip on removing the anti-reflective coating, at least now if i decide to remove the coating from my U1, i know how! Cheers


      • #4
        Re: Watch Review: Breitling Aerospace

        Thanks guys, u're welcome. However, I have recently sold my Aerospace. I thought I'd write this review to remember the joy of wearing the Aerospace before. You might be thinking why I sold it since I highly recommend this watch. Well, here's the thing... I'm thinking Breitling Emergency :D