At the launch of the new Navitimer Cosmonaute, Breitling presented the original “first Swiss space watch” for the first time since its mission in 1962
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the voyage aboard the Aurora 7 spacecraft, this mythical watch with a 24-hour dial will once again take to the skies in a new version, paying homage to its historic mission. To commemorate the occasion, Breitling unveiled the original Cosmonaute to the public for the first time since 1962 and uncovered the watch’s incredible story.
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In the 1960s, Breitling’s aviation chronograph was the undisputed pilot’s watch. But the world’s attention is rapidly shifting from air travel to space exploration, which means another space race is quietly underway. This time, watchmakers are vying to be the first on the wrist of astronauts.
Breitling’s expertise in aviation watches puts the brand at the top of the list. On May 24, 1962, after astronaut Scott Carpenter wore the Navitimer Cosmonaute three times around the Earth during the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, Breitling was officially awarded the “first Swiss space watch”. title. The watch was a personal request from Carpenter, a variation on the iconic pilot’s watch he encountered during his flight, but with a 24-hour dial that could distinguish day and night in space.
Today, on the 60th anniversary of that mission, Breitling not only unveils Carpenter’s original Navitimer Cosmonaute, but also pays homage to it. This special edition is limited to 362 pieces and is numbered 362 in recognition of the spacecraft’s voyage around Earth and the year the mission made history, marking a key step in human spaceflight. Breitling CEO Georges Kern said: “When we launched our redesigned aviation chronograph earlier this year, everyone was asking the question, ‘What about the Cosmonaute?’ Delighted to finally announce two Cosmonaute revelations: the first public debut of a watch worn by Scott Carpenter in space, and a limited-edition 60th anniversary watch that pays tribute to its history-making pioneer.”
First public viewing of a piece of space history
On May 24, 1962, five hours after launch, the Aurora 7 capsule carrying Carpenter landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean. Recovery operations lasted three hours, with prolonged exposure to seawater causing irreparable damage to Carpenter’s Cosmonaute. Breitling replaced Carpenter’s watch immediately, but that battered and corroded space history remains in the Breitling family archives – unrestored and well known. That is, until today. Now, exactly 60 years after its historic flight, this great space watch is on display for the first time at a space-themed event in Zurich for select collectors, journalists and watch enthusiasts.
It was a dynamic and interactive afternoon co-hosted by Georges Kern and former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly with an impressive lineup of speakers including Carpenter family member Gregory Breitling and historian and collector Fred Mandelbaum. Panelists reflected on the creation of Cosmonaute, the importance of the Carpenter mission, and how both fit into the wider space program context of the time. Also on display is the Cosmonaute, once owned by astronaut John Glenn and acquired at auction in 2019 by Gregory Breitling. high quality fake watches
24-hour watch, monumental, refreshed
The Cosmonaute is a true Navitimer, which means it has all the hallmarks of the Breitling Aviation logo: a circular slide rule for mathematical calculations, the “wing” logo of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and three chronograph subdials . What sets the Cosmonaute apart from the rest of its family is its ability to distinguish 24 hours. The Breitling in-house calibre B02 is designed for this task.
At first glance, the new Cosmonaute is a faithful replica of the original, with an all-black dial and black alligator leather strap or seven-row stainless steel bracelet for a timeless classic. On closer inspection, however, this elegantly proportioned 41mm watch is full of new features. One is its platinum bezel, a premium touch that makes this numbered edition even more of a collector’s piece. The other is its open sapphire crystal caseback, which provides a window for the B02 movement, and its special bridges engraved to commemorate the occasion: “Carpenter”, “Aurora 7” and “3 orbits around the Earth”, among others The words, as well as the brand name, were originally selected by a team of seven astronauts for NASA’s first manned spaceflight, Mercury 7.
While other watch brands claim space firsts, only Breitling can call itself “the first Swiss watch to go into space.” The only other Swiss timepiece to have made it to orbit before was a pocket watch stopwatch with a strap. Meanwhile, the Cosmonaute—a watch to be worn in space and designed to astronaut specifications—maintained those specifications when it went on sale in 1962. Not only did this 24-hour timepiece continue to be popular with collectors, it was regularly featured on the wrists of other astronauts. fake swiss watches
Today’s Cosmonaute takes us back to the origins of space travel, when the stakes are high and each mission is a triumph of human ingenuity. This new watch pays homage to the aesthetics of the original Cosmonaute, with subtle updates that are almost imperceptible, giving it a modern-vintage appeal. As a final tribute, the caseback is engraved with Carpenter’s mission date, the watch number (362 in total) and the words “first Swiss watch in space”.