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Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

On May 24, 1962, Breitling officially claimed the title “first Swiss wristwatch in space” after astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times while wearing the Navitimer Cosmonaute during his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission. The watch had been Carpenter’s personal request, a variation on the iconic aviator’s watch he’d encountered in his flight days, but with a 24-hour dial to tell day from night in space.

On the 60th anniversary of that mission, Breitling not only unveiled Carpenter’s original Navitimer Cosmonaute, but also launched a modern tribute to it. This special release is limited to 362 pieces that recognize both the spacecraft’s circumnavigations of the Earth and the year the mission made history, marking a crucial step in manned spaceflight.

Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

Five hours after launch, the Aurora 7 space capsule with Carpenter aboard splashed down safely in the Atlantic. The recovery operation lasted three hours, with the long exposure to seawater resulting in irreparable damage to Carpenter’s Cosmonaute. Breitling immediately replaced Carpenter’s watch, but that battered and corroded piece of space history remained in the Breitling family archives.

The first Swiss wristwatch in space_Scott Carpenter’s original Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute worn during his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission in 1962

Now, exactly 60 years after its historic flight, that great space watch was exhibited for the first time to select collectors, journalists, and watch enthusiasts at a space-themed event in Zurich.

The event was co-hosted by Georges Kern and former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. The event had an impressive lineup of guest speakers that included members of the Carpenter family, Gregory Breitling, and historian and collector Fred Mandelbaum. The panelists reflected on the Cosmonaute’s creation, the significance of Carpenter’s mission, and how both fit into the wider context of the space program at the time.

Also exhibited was a Cosmonaute once owned by astronaut John Glenn and acquired at auction in 2019 by Gregory Breitling.

The new Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Limited Edition, the original Navitimer Cosmonaute/ the first Swiss wristwatch in space worn by Scott Carpenter during his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission and a historical Navitimer Cosmonaute from 1962 (left to right)

The Cosmonaute has all the hallmarks of Breitling’s aviation icon Navitimer: the circular slide rule for performing mathematical calculations, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association “wings” logo, and the trio of chronograph subdials. What separates the Cosmonaute from the rest of its family is its ability to tell 24-hour time. The Breitling Manufacture Caliber B02 was specifically designed for this task.

At first glance, the new Cosmonaute is a faithful reproduction of the original, made timeless with an all-black dial and black alligator strap or seven-row stainless-steel bracelet. On closer inspection, though, the elegantly proportioned 41 mm watch is packed with new features. One is its platinum bezel, a premium touch that makes this edition even more of a collector’s piece.

Another is its open sapphire crystal caseback that provides a window on the B02 movement with its special bridge engravings to mark the occasion: the words “Carpenter,” “Aurora 7,” and “3 orbits around the Earth,” along with the name of the original group of seven astronauts chosen for NASA’s first human-crewed spaceflights, Mercury 7.

This new watch honors the aesthetics of the original Cosmonaute, with subtle updates that work almost imperceptibly to give it its modern-retro appeal. As a final tribute, the caseback is engraved with the date of Carpenter’s mission, “ONE OF 362,” and the phrase “First Swiss wristwatch in space.”

Technical details

Model: Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition
Reference: PB02301A1B1A1 or PB02301A1B1P1

Movement
Caliber: Breitling Manufacture Caliber B02
Diameter: 30 millimeters
Depth: 6.83 millimeters
Winder: mechanical hand-wound
Power reserve: approximately 70 hours
Balance frequency: 28,800 a/h or 4 hertz
Chronograph: column-wheel, vertical clutch, 1/4th second, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers
Display: hour, minute, second, date-window
Certification: COSC-certified

Case
Material: stainless steel and platinum
Diameter: 41 millimeters
Thickness: 13 millimeters
Height (upper lug tip to lower lug tip): 47.09 millimeters
Water resistance: up to 3 bar (30 meters)
Glass: cambered sapphire, glare-proofed on both sides
Caseback: screwed steel, sapphire crystal
Crown: non-screw-locked, two gaskets
Bezel: platinum, bidirectional with circular slide rule

Dial
Black with tone-on-tone chronograph counters
Super-LumiNova® luminescent indexes and hour and minute hands

Strap
Black alligator leather strap (22/18 mm) with a folding buckle or stainless-steel seven-row Navitimer bracelet with a butterfly clasp

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