In 2015, the Swiss Space System company (otherwise known as S3) is planning a project which will include series of flights in a specially altered Airbus aircraft. These flights will be the first opportunity for members of the broad public to experience weightlessness of zero gravity, the conditions that mimic an actual space flight. The main sponsor of the event is the Swiss watchmaker Breitling which has prepared a special edition watch for the participants in the project. The timepiece in question is dubbed S3 ZeroG Chronograph and it is the black faced titanium watch with a thermo-compensated quartz movement which includes a chronograph and the second time zone as its complications. The watch with the chronometric certification will actually serve as a boarding pass on the plane and an instrument to be used during the flight. S3 ZeroG Chronograph is reserved strictly for the participants of the adventure and will not be available for sale outside the project.
Zero Gravity Project by S3
The basic idea behind the creation of the new Breitling model stems from the project of S3 company. Its intention is to offer space enthusiasts an opportunity to experience what it feels like to float in cosmos. Due to the cost of the space travel, the project will not actually be taking its passengers outside the Earth’s atmosphere. However, C3 will use a hack that will enable the partakers of the flight to feel as if they are really doing so. During a two hour long flight on an Airbus aircraft, there will be 15 parabolas. These parabolic trajectories, where the aircraft rapidly rushes upwards and then immediately drops back down, actually enable between 20 and 25 seconds of total weightlessness for the passengers of the specially modified airplane.
There will be 38 flights of this kind which will start from 15 different locations across the globe. The first flight takes off from Japan in January 2015, while the next ones will follow all the way until the late November. As S3 decided, these missions will begin at the far east of the world and will finally end with flights from Puerto Rico.
At least $6,800 for the Flight and the Watch
Only the participants of these weightless flights will have the opportunity to own the special Breitling timepiece that is made for the occasion. To be more precise, this pleasure will be reserved only for 40 passengers from the two top classes of the aircraft. For the lesser of these two areas called the Premium zone, passengers will have to pay about $6,800, while the flight in the VIP Room has the staggering price of around $68,000. Each flight will also board 40 more passengers located in the Party Zone which will have the admission cost of $2,725. However, the members of this class will not have the opportunity to wear and keep the Breitling special edition timekeeper. As Swiss Space System company have revealed, it is already possible to book your place on one of the weightless missions. More details about the ZeroG project, the exact dates of flights and available places onboard can be seen on the website of the Swiss company.
Titanium Body and Thermo-Compensated Quartz Soul
Now let us focus a bit more on the specifications of watch that the brand with the winged B logo made for the project. Breitling S3 ZeroG Chronograph is set in a round housing made of sturdy and light black titanium and with the diameter of 43 mm. Furthermore, the construction includes a double anti-reflective sapphire crystal which is encircled with a uni-directional rotating ratcheted bezel which is made in the same material as the case. On the solid metal case-back of the watch, there is a special engraving which depicts a parabolic flight and which is one among several details that show the origin and the purpose of the timekeeper. When it comes to waterproofness, the Breitling timekeeper made for the weightless flights is resistant to 100 meters.
Inside the casing is the watch’s beating heart – thermo-compensated B 73 caliber. The “Super Quartz” caliber is made from ETA Thermoline 251.232 base movement and it features the COSC chronometric certification as a proof of its accuracy. When it comes to its supported functions, it includes a chronograph (with split times and the accuracy of 1/10th of a second), a date indication, as well as a GMT time zone display with fast time zone adjustment. B 73 movement runs on a battery that allows it to function between two and three years.
Breitling S3 ZeroG Chronograph has a Volcano black dial with Arabic numerals in different sizes and shades of gray. At the eight o’clock position, there is a visible S3 logo in white color. Additionally, the watch includes three chrono counters, and four central hands in gray color (for hours, minutes, chrono seconds and the second time zone). The Breitling’s special edition of watches comes with a black rubber strap which once again includes the S3 logo.
The latest model by the Grenchen watchmaker is by no means the first watch by the brand which was intended for weightless surroundings. Its premier model of this kind was Navitimer Cosmonaute made for the legendary astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962. This mechanical timekeeper was actually the first wrist-worn chronograph in space. Half a century later, Breitling commemorated the anniversary with a new version of this historic watch. The watch which we covered two years ago upon its launch is still available and it has been made in black titanium and rose gold versions to compliment the initial steel variation.