The Grenchen-based watchmaker is launching a new limited black steel version of its Transocean Cosmonaute model. Made in an issue of 1,000 pieces, this watch is the recreation of one of the best known historical models made by Breitling, the watch which became the first ever wrist chronograph in space. The archetype model which it was based on was worn by Scott Carpenter during his mission in 1952 when he became the second American to orbit the Earth. Half a century later, in 2012, Breitling presented the remake of the watch which premiered its B02 proprietary movement. This year, the model is available in a steel casing with black PVD treatment.
As the first glance on the dial reveals, the watch is distinctive for its 24-hour scale which was originally requested by Carpenter. Unlike on the Earth where one can utilize 12-hour dial without any problems by simply observing whether it is night or day, an astronaut in space can be easily confused on that matter. This is the reason why Carpenter requested such a timekeeper. Breitling complied with the request and a Navitimer, later known as Cosmonaute, was born. The recreated version unveiled last year preserves this trait, as well as bidirectional bezel with a slide rule, which enables the wearer to compute various data. Finally, the chronograph feature of the original is likewise present. Regarding the appearance, the new Blacksteel version of the watch does not allow many options. In fact, it is available solely with a black dial (with the chrono sub-dials in the same color) and a black Ocean Racer rubber strap (with circular perforations) which fastens with a pushbutton folding clasp.
Since the modern version of the Navitimer Cosmonaute saw the light of day 50 years after the first one, the new watch features a lot of differences. The most notable of them is the presence of Breitling B02 proprietary movement. It is a hand-wound caliber (quite unusually for the Grenchen based manufacturer), based on the brand’s first modern in-house B01 caliber. It operates at the watchmaker’s standard frequency of 28,800 vph and supplies auxiliary power that lasts for 70 hours. The watch features a solid screw-in case-back which is another of uncommon characteristic for a watch by Breitling (most models are with a see-through back). Its case allows only the basic water resistance to 30 meters, while the crown is non-screw locked and with two gaskets. The watch with a cambered sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment features the diameter of 43 mm and the thickness of 13.85 mm.