The ‘Exospace B55’ represents a coming together of different worlds; the electro-mechanic and the digital. So who better to assist the watch’s take-off, than a man who’s dedicated his life to exploring the Universe? A former US Navy captain, and avid Breitling collector, Mark Kelly is one of America’s most decorated astronauts. He’s made it to the International Space Station four times. Appropriately, when GQ spoke to him, Mr Kelly was boarding a plane.
When might a modern-day pilot rely on his watch? “Time is an integral part of flying. When you learn how to fly an airplane, you often time turns, climbs and descents to learn the skills necessary for flying under challenging conditions. In the military, the ability to deliver a weapon on target and on time is critical to the success of a strike. An accurate, reliable watch that can handle the stresses of combat aviation is critical to delivering ordinance.” Your life revolves around cutting-edge technology. What’s the appeal of a watch? “As an engineer, I have an appreciation for a watch made of hundreds of tiny parts which can be accurate to just a second or two in a day. I also appreciate good software and modern technology. Watches like the ‘Emergency II’ or the ‘Exospace’ sit at the intersection between modern technology and sophisticated, intricately designed, mechanical hardware.” Why Breitling? “Quality, reliability and a design that is suited for pilots and astronauts. Breitling is by far the watch of choice for military pilots. There isn’t a close second.” How has your experience in space changed the way you think about time? “When you think about space, you think about speed. The faster you travel the slower time passes. My twin brother is just finishing a year in space as the commander of the International Space Station. During his year in space, he will age slower than I will here on Earth. So he and I certainly think about time differently.” Your finest words of wisdom please… “Believe in yourself and show appreciation for others. Yes, I know that’s two. Sorry.”