Swiss manufacturer Breitling honors the 50th anniversary of one of its most iconic timepieces the Navitimer Cosmonaute, with a limited edition. On May 24th 1962, a Breitling Navitimer chronograph became the first wrist instrument to share in the conquest of space by accompanying the Aurora 7 flight. Limited to 1,962 pieces, the watch is distinguished by its 24-hour display, its manualwinding mode, two nods to the original 1962 chronograph, as well as the Aurora 7 mission insignia engraved on the caseback.
“The early 1960s were all about the space race. The Americans launched the Mercury program intended to develop manned flights. They were looking for a high-performance, accurate and reliable chronograph capable of withstanding exceptional conditions. With this in mind, they naturally turned to Breitling, the “official supplier to world aviation” and a privileged partner of the finest hours in aeronautical history. The Navitimer, the cult pilot’s watch created in 1952, with its famous circular slide rule serving to perform all operations relating to airborne navigation, naturally asserted itself as the ideal instrument in taking up this challenge. It successfully passed all the required tests, and on May 24th 1962, Lt Commander Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 capsule. On his wrist was a Navitimer equipped with a 24-hour graduated scale serving to distinguish day from night – an absolute necessity in space. Mission accomplished. This was a major new token of recognition for Breitling, and this space conquest pioneer soon entered the brand’s collections under the name of Cosmonaute.”
[ Source: Breitling ]