Monday, April 2, 2012

Top Gear Season 18 Ep. 5 Breitling Love-in

As the title suggests, we begin the episode with a Breitling love fest. The branding took up about 70% screen time for the first segment. How convenient that it just happens to form part of the story? In fact, it's received more screen time than the main protagonist. In this case, the Skoda rally car. (I say main because it is a car-based show).

All good natured sarcasm/ ribbing aside, we did get to see quite clearly the Breitling watch on Yves' wrist. However, it looks as if it was put on the wrist for the "shot"... Have a close look and see if you can figure out what was wrong with the way the watch was worn...

Yves Rossy wearing the Breitling Chronospace

So dear Breitling... Hope you're reading this. This is a heck of a lot of brownie PR value eh?

Now… to the watch. We'll concentrate on the special guest's watch, since, well, there is nothing much to report from the regular hosts. Clarkson is still stubbornly unwavering in his choice of wristwear, and we've already talked about May's Rado and vintage Omega (both of which we caught glimpses of again this episode) and Hammond appears to be wearing his Rolex (as mentioned here)

Richard Hammond wearing his Rolex- the paragraph on the dial gave it away...

The watch is the Breitling Chonospace, a quartz analogue digital watch. You will notice that ALL Breitlings are subjected to the chronometre certification process COSC (as mentioned on the dial) and I know what you're thinking - Of COURSE a quartz watch is going to pass the chronometre spec right? Well.. there is a separate test for quartz watches, with different parametres and tolerances. Obviously the accuracy tolerance isa little stricter than -4 to +6 seconds a day. It's actually +/- 0.07 seconds a day. See below table for the differences in the COSC standards between mechanical and quartz

COSC Standards
Average daily rate: -4/+6
Average daily rate at 23 °C: ± 0.07
Mean variation in rates: 2
Rate at 8 °C: ± 0.2
Greatest variation in rates: 5
Rate at 38 °C: ± 0.2
Difference between rates in H & V positions: -6/+8
Rate stability: 0.05
Largest variation in rates: 10
Dynamic rate: ± 0.05
Thermal variation: ± 0.6
Temporary effect of mechanical shocks: ± 0.05
Rate resumption: ± 5
Rate resumption: ± 0.05
Residual effect of mechanical shocks: ± 0.05;
200 shocks equivalent to 100 G (981 m/s², 3,217 ft/s²)

Although Breitling does put every single one of their watches through the certification process, at least they don't feel the need to write a paragraph on the dial about it. Unlike certain other brands we know.

Different people feel differently about the COSC process.

Some say it's a way for watch brands to jack up the prices, and that non-COSC watches are just as accurate. All we know is, it helps sell watches.


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