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Up close with the luxury, titanium Breitling B55 Connected watch (pictures)

We get our hands on a luxury titanium watch from Breitling, which connects to an iPhone to record pilot's flight times.

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Andrew Lanxon

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1 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Baselword watch fair is where the world's luxury watch and fashion brands unveil their latest timepieces. This year however, alongside the traditional switch analogue models, were a few watches with some connected smart skills.

Breitling's heritage may strictly lie in the high-end watches for pilots world, but even it was getting in on the connected game with the launch of the B55 Connected.

Combining analogue dials with digital displays, the B55 Connected gets the latter part of its name from its ability to sync with a Breitling app on your iPhone, for a variety of reasons.

We managed to go hands-on with the watch at the show, so click through to find out more.

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2 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Stainless steel just wouldn't cut it on a luxury Breitling watch. Instead, the B55 is made entirely from titanium, which is both very light and very strong.

Although it's a chunky watch, it didn't feel too heavy to hold and wouldn't weigh you down too much when it's on your wrist.

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3 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As its name suggests, the watch connects to your smartphone. Currently iOS is supported, by Breitling suggested an Android version will arrive as well.

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4 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It doesn't provide the sort of health tracking or notification displays we've seen on proper smartwatches, but the app does do a few handy things.

For one, you can check on the battery of the watch to make sure it's not about to conk out. The watch also uses the phone's radio to instantly swap between time zones when you're on the move -- no more fiddling with the crown to move the hands around.

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5 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Its main function, though, is to record the flight times of pilots. Breitling explained that all pilots are legally obliged to keep a record of all their flight times, so by having the watch track this and automatically store it on the phone, pilots may be able to simply email these records, rather than have to submit them on complicated paper forms.

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6 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The watch still has the crown and other buttons as part of the watch, so you can switch between modes and start the timer using the watch itself, if you don't want to get your phone out.

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7 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

For the moment, the B55 is still a prototype and isn't due to hit stores until the end of the year -- and will likely see some design and functionality tweaks before then.

Although Breitling didn't want to talk final prices, it did say it hopes the final model will come in under $10,000 (that's £6,686 or AU$12,686, converted at current rates).

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