The first watch made in Switzerland “flew” into space and were long considered lost to history, were found. Breitling also introduced a new model
The legendary space clock Navitimer Cosmonaute returned to “life” / Photo: Breitling, www.spacepage.be
Breitling on Tuesday (May 24)introduced the watch used legendary Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter (the astronaut died at the age of 88 in 2013) during the second US orbital spaceflight. The event was held in Zurich with the participation of the Carpenter and Breitling family members, as well as the Breitlin brand ambassador.
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Today, I am thrilled to finally announce two presentations of Cosmonaute: the first ever public display of a watch worn by Scott Carpenter in space, and a limited edition 60th Anniversary watch that pays homage to its historic predecessor. Breitling CEO Kern.
Carpenter’s Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, launched on May 24, 1962, the fourth manned spaceflight in America and the sixth in the world, preceded NASA’s efforts to select watches for astronauts to use in space.
Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaut “surfaced” on public display on May 24, 2022, 60 years after spaceflight / Photo: www.space.com
Carpenter had to turn to Breitling, which had a reputation for making aviator chronographs, and ask them to modify a version of their Navitimer to use their favorite watch in Earth orbit.
Carpenter knew he would read the time from space in 24-hour format, but the Navitimer only had a 12-hour display. But Breitling really wanted their watches to go into space, and so developed the Caliber B02 movement for this task. The Navitimer Cosmonaute is born, featuring new 24-hour markers.
At the same time, the watch retained a circular slide rule for performing mathematical calculations and three additional chronograph dials, which were characteristic of the original. The watch worked well in spacebut after an off-target splashdown, the less-than-waterproof watch sank into sea water.
New limited-edition Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute reproduces the look of the original with a new platinum bezel / Photo: www.space.com
Carpenter waited three hours for them to be pulled out of the Atlantic Ocean. Hoping to repair them, Carpenter returned the Cosmonaute to Breitling, but was said to the rusted clock was no longer salvageable. Instead, the watchmaker sent the astronaut a replacement from production models inspired by him and his space flight.
As for the space clock, its fate was almost unknown. In 2012, on the 50th anniversary of Carpenter’s flight, Breitling claimed they had searched their vaults but could not find the watch. Now, 10 years later, the watchmaker says that still not restored watches all these years kept in the Breitling family archive.
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