The new limited edition Breitling S3 ZeroG SuperQuartz Chronograph was recently introduced to celebrate partnership between the famous watchmaking brand and a young Swiss-based company S3 (Swiss Space Systems). The black-and-grey watch not only looks great for a luxury tactical timekeeper, but also serves as a boarding pass for those few wealthy customers around the world that are ready to pay a sizeable chunk of money for a pleasure of floating in zero gravity environment for just about 300 seconds more or less evenly spaced by 15 sections of 20 or even 25 seconds long.
Featuring design that is quite similar to that of the 2010 Breitling Avenger Seawolf Chrono Blacksteel model, the new Breitling S3 ZeroG comes in a slightly smaller, but still quite prominent, body 43 millimeters in diameter. While the timekeeper still features sparks of bright red on its otherwise black and white dial, its dial looks a lot less menacing: dark and cold, it looks like eyes of a dead man rather than infrared camera lenses of the Terminator.
To power the device, the watchmaker has again chosen the time-proven Caliber 73 SuperQuartz caliber, which is based on the well-known ETA Thermoline 251.232 COSC-certified quartz movement.
As the name suggests, the movement successfully compensates for variations in temperature around it being around 10 times more powerful than, perhaps, 9 out of 10 quartz chronographs available on the market. The mechanism is so accurate, it is even ridiculous, although people living in countries that have abolished Daylight Saving Time and don’t have to correct their timekeepers twice a year will greatly appreciate its accuracy and reliability.
As most timekeepers of such design, the watch is easily readable (at least, once you have gotten used to its slightly cluttered dial) and is also quite comfortable on a wrist of a normal-to-a-bit-overweight person. Fashioned out of titanium, the body is quite light and, if they used the same carbonization technique they employed to make the stately Breitling for Bentley Light Body Midnight Carbon Chronograph that was presented last year, must also be quite resistant to scratches (I will get back to this later when I manage to find some additional info regarding this gadget).
The only thing that visually differs the watch from other timepieces made by Breitling, is, of course, the bold logo of the Swiss project S3 (Swiss Space Systems) that the Swiss-based watchmaker partners with in order to give as many people that fantastic experience of total weightlessness available only to astronauts and pilots of dive-bombers.
Although, unlike companies like Virgin Galactic, S3 doesn’t plan to actually lift people above that symbolic “Space Boundary” line that lies at an altitude of 100 kilometers, they will still be able to put you into a zero-G environment, if only for just 20 seconds or so. To do that, the company will rent an Airbus passenger jet that will fly for about two hours climbing as high as possible and then diving for 20-25 seconds: just like a normal plane used by NASA or any other space agency around the globe to train their astronauts doing stuff in almost total weightlessness.
To get on board of such a plane, you will need two things: at least 2000 euro and this particular watch that will act as a kind of ultra-expensive boarding pass (they will let you to keep the gadget while the fun is over, how generous of them considering that a similarly styled Avenger Seawolf would set at some $3500 USD and you wouldn’t to experience a zero-gravity environment, too).
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3/5
Breitling S3 ZeroG SuperQuartz Chronograph watch specification
Movement: Quartz, Caliber 73, SuperQuartz, based on ETA Thermoline 251.232, quartz, COSC-certified, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Power reserve: 24-36 months
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Titanium, black
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap with embossed S3 logo
Case back: Solid, engraved