A nice reissue is coming our way. Breitling, a company that is as deeply rooted into the exciting world of aviation and space exploration as its archrival Omega, will soon start selling its new take on the historic Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute hand-wound chronograph. Powered by their relatively new Caliber 02 manufacture-made movement, the limited edition “aviator” will be almost identical to the original: the world’s first chronograph that orbited the Earth back in 1962.
Predictably limited to just 1962 pieces, the watch looks similar to its legendary protagonist: the Ref. 809 model that was issued in 1962 (shown in the video and also pictured below).
Too, equipped with a 24-hour display (a handy feature if you happen to make a trip around Earth every 45 minutes or so), the watch differs from the original only with the original Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) wings replaced with Breitling logo and the color accents of the black and white dial. The luminous substance that covers the Arabic numerals, as well as the thin hour and minute hands, is now light green, not beige, and the central chronograph hand is now painted more contrast red instead of the original’s white.
Oh, and the small seconds on the three sub-dials (the 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters at 6 and 12 hours and a small seconds display at 18 hours) are now not black, but are presented in their natural ‘steel’ color (I suppose, there are either nickel- or rhodium-plated in order to give them shiner, more premium-like look). Due to the lack of contrast (the background of the sub-dials is still off-white) the design makes the chronograph displays slightly less readable, but nobody uses mechanical chronographs these days anyway. However, if you tend to often find yourself in a dimly lit bathroom (it’s actually good for getting to sleep faster or so I’ve heard) looking at the small seconds sub-dial while washing your mouth with Listerine or a similar substance, the lack of contrast may be a bit irritating.
Well, of course, the historically accurate Venus 178 hand-wound caliber was, too, replaced with a modern Breitling caliber 02, also manually wound. As usual, the movement is officially certified by COSC as a full-fledged chronometer.
As one could have expected, the new Navitimer Cosmonaute grew slightly bigger. It is now introduced in a tad oversized (well, it is still small for a Breitling) stainless steel case some 43 millimeters in diameter. Although the height of the piece is not specified, it still looks like a pretty chunky s.o.b.
Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute specification
Availability: Limited edition of 1962 pieces
Movement: Hand-wound, Breitling caliber 02, in-house, chronometer, certified by COSC, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 39
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 70 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date, slide rule bezel
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 43.00 mm
Dial: Black, white sub-dials
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Barenia leather, crocodile leather, Air Racer (perforated) strap or Navitimer steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, cambered, antireflective on both sides