The year was 1962. The space race was well under way, and as a supplier to civilian and military aviation, Breitling took a keen interest in this new adventure. Using the Navitimer chronograph as a base, 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. This configuration prevented confusion between midday and midnight. On May 24, 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter tested this instrument under real-life conditions during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 capsule.
For its 125th anniversary, Breitling is issuing a limited series of the model that became the first wrist chronograph in space. Only 1,000 of these Cosmonaute watches will be produced, all equipped with an original version of the 24-hour dial. Reflecting its character as a 1960s design icon, the Cosmonaute Limited Edition is fitted exclusively with the rigid perforated Air Racer bracelet.
The Cosmonaute Limited Edition MSRP is $6575. Specifications appear below the images, which may be enlarged with a click.
Movement: Breitling Caliber 22, officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, selfwinding, high-frequency (28,800 vph), 38 jewels, 1/5th of a second chronograph, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. Flyback function. Calendar.
Case: 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. Diameter: 41.50 mm. Bracelet: steel Air Racer.