In 1962, the space race was well under way. Already a supplier to civilian and military aviation, Breitling naturally took a keen interest in this new human adventure. Based on the Navitimer chronograph, the brand’s technicians developed the Cosmonaute, a space-going version of this instrument indicating the daily 24 hours in a single sweep of the dial.
Given the extremely relative nature of day and night in space, this configuration prevents possible confusion between midday and midnight. On May 24th 1962, the astronaut Scott Carpenter tested this instrument under real-life conditions during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 capsule.
For its 125th anniversary, Breitling has chosen to issue a limited series of the model that became the first wrist chronograph to experience space travel. Only 1,000 of these Cosmonaute watches will be produced, all equipped for the occasion with an original version of the intriguing 24-hour dial. Further accentuating its distinctive character and in tribute to a modern design icon from the 1960s, the Cosmonaute Limited Edition is fitted exclusively with the rigid perforated Air Racer bracelet.
The Cosmonaute features a Breitling Caliber 22 movement, officially chronometer-certified by the COSC (like all Breitlings), selfwinding, high-frequency (28,800 vph), 38 jewels, 1/5th of a second chronograph, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. Flyback function. Calendar. Case 41.5 mm diameter in stainless steel. Limited series of 1,000; black dial. Resistant to 3 bars. Rotating bezel with circular slide rule. Cambered sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides. The bracelet is a steel Air Racer. Retail price is $6,575.