There’s room for more than an hour in space, right? Of course you know about the Omega lunar watch – everyone knows it. But there are more than a handful of other watches with great stories about space. Breitling invited us to Zurich to meet someone.
In 1962, NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter wore a Breitling Navitimer watch as he orbited Earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 spacecraft. That was 60 years ago, and Breitling is celebrating the anniversary with a limited edition Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute watch. .
Carpenter considered watches to be not only a stylish accessory, but also a tool, especially for traveling through the stratosphere and seeing the world from the great unknown. Before NASA designated the Omega Speedmaster as the space program’s favorite watch since 1964, Carpenter was able to choose his own space watch, focusing on Breitling’s famous Navitimer.
Carpenter thought the Navitimer would be ideal for space travel, but he asked the Swiss watchmaker to make three specific adjustments: a 24-hour dial so he could see the time in space, a simplified slide base for quick navigation calculations, and a wider bezel for ease of use while wearing his thick gloves. Breitling did, and Carpenter wore the new Navitimer watch, dubbed Cosmonaute, throughout its entire journey, from launch to triple orbit to landing in the Atlantic Ocean, making it the first Swiss watch to go to the “final frontier.”
As for the original Carpenter wristwatch he wore on that historic day, Breitling has just unveiled it for the first time since 1962. After the watch has been recovered from its landing site, it shows understandable signs of water damage and corrosion. We saw it with our own eyes in Switzerland, next to the new astronaut. Embarrassed.
What’s so cool about this particular watch, other than that it was in space and is just a copy of the already famous Navitimer? different things.
The first is that it has a 24-hour dial—that is, it displays time in a 24-hour format instead of the regular 12. Understandably, astronauts can lose their perspective in time when separated from the Earth’s known rotation relative to the Sun.
Then, of course, there is the turn of the clock in history. This was early in the space race, Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space (with a Sturmanskie on his wrist) until the previous year, and Carpenter was one of the first humans to orbit the Earth.
Not the first watch, but the first Swiss wristwatch. The Heuer (Swiss) stopwatch (without timekeeping) had taken off from the atmosphere a few months ago. So this is very technical firstbut the story of the hour and its meaning stand alone easily.
Aside from the 24-hour dial function and commemorative branding on the case back, this new Navitimer has a number of other special features. The bezel featured here is shown in platinum and the case back has a sapphire crystal window to display the Breitling B02 hand-wound interior watch inside.
The watch is also engraved with “Mercury 7,” the name of the first seven Americans selected by NASA to go into space. “Aurora 7”, the name of the Carpenter spacecraft, and the name of Carpenter himself.
However, in most other respects this is an exact copy of the original watch and is easily identifiable as a Navitimer. Size 41mm executable. The Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 CosmonautThe watch is limited to 362 pieces and can be pre-ordered now at €10,550.
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