2022 is a big year for milestone anniversaries. Whilst HRH The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations are the top of the headlines, other noteworthy landmarks are marked this year too. Breitling has released a refreshed take on its historic Cosmonaute timepiece, on the 60th anniversary of the Navitimer variant becoming the first Swiss watch to travel into space.
The very first Cosmonaute was created at the request of astronaut Scott Carpenter ahead of his 1962 mission aboard the Aurora 7 spacecraft. The story goes, a keen fan of watches, Carpenter approached then-Breitling owner Willy Breitling, asking for a Navitimer with a 24-hour dial to distinguish night from day while in space.
Carpenter’s own Navitimer Cosmonaute was irreparably damaged by exposure to seawater during the three-hour retrieval of the Aurora 7 space capsule and remained in the Breitling family archives in original, unrestored condition until today. As well as revealing a limited edition modern tribute, Breitling also revealed Carpenter’s space-worn Cosmonaute for the first time.
The new timepiece features a 41mm stainless steel case and seven-row bracelet with a platinum bezel. The watch’s B02 chronograph movement is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, revealing the words ‘Carpenter,’ ‘Aurora 7,’ ‘3 orbits around the Earth’ and the names of the seven Mercury 7 astronauts engraved on its bridges. It’s certainly capturing the epic endeavours of the famous crew.
The Navitimer Cosmonaute is out now as a 362-piece limited edition, one for each circumnavigation of the Earth performed during Carpenter’s mission via Breitling, RRP £8,400.