Breitling makes some of the industry’s most iconic sports watches, like the Navitimer, which is essentially what the Datejust is to Rolex in terms of classic offerings. If someone were to ask me what I’d recommend from the Breitling lineup, I’d probably point them towards any one variation of the Navitimer or perhaps the Superocean.

Unlike other well-storied brands, this watchmaker, dating back to 1884, isn’t shy about experimenting with new designs, materials, and even quartz movements, which have become rather taboo for many watch brands since the crisis in the 1970s and early 1980s. Breitling, however, has just released a new version of its Quartz Aerospace, with this one taking the name B70 Orbiter.

This watch was released to commemorate the first nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon covering an astounding 45,633 km of distance in 19 days, 21 hours, and 47 minutes. The journey was accomplished by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones on March 21, 1999, in a siren orange balloon capsule, and you’ll see here in the images that the new B70 Orbiter has the same matching color on the dial.

This is indeed quite an oddball offering from Breitling. At 4,900 USD, it’s easy for the watch enthusiast’s mind to wander into comparable sports watches with in-house mechanical movements. As enthusiasts, we do need to remind ourselves that, at times, some watches are actually still purpose-built and not merely nostalgic feats of engineering from the past, which is the case here with the B70 Orbiter.

Case back with a small piece of the balloon from Orbiter 3

This watch sports some very high-end and modern tech, namely the COSC-certified Caliber B70 SuperQuartz movement, which is not simply a generic quartz. This movement is actually ten times more accurate than standard quartz, which, as many of us already know, is quite accurate to begin with. The movement allows the display of a 1/100 th of a second chronograph function, including split-time and flyback functions, and many more regular functions you’d expect from a quartz LCD display sports watch.

Breitling Aerospace B70 Orbiter Specifications

Case Size43mm (diameter) × 52.25mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.95mm (thickness)
Water Resistance100m
MovementBreitling Manufacture Caliber B70 COSC-certified
Case MaterialGrade 2 titanium
Bracelet & StrapTitanium bracelet with push-button clasp or black rubber strap with folding clasp

The watch design retains the same size specs as the rest of the Aerospace line, coming in at a 43mm case size. This particular new release is constructed in full titanium, providing a very lightweight fit on the wrist that you’d expect from this metal, even despite the rather chunky diver appearance of the case. One neat aspect to the B70 Orbiter that differentiates it from the previous Aerospace models is the addition of the mission logo near the 3’oclock position on the dial.

This is a cool niche offering from Breitling. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly fulfills its intended purpose as a commemorative modernized watch.


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