Breitling Cosmonaute Ref. 0819 (1968)
A beloved pilot’s watch from the ‘60s, this Breitling Cosmonaute features a complex 24-hour dial and a bold combination of black, vibrant orange and white (aged to a creamy patina). This example remains in good condition, showing little signs of wear in its 52 year life.
The idea for the Cosmonaute was conceived by NASA astronaut Malcom Scott Carpenter, who took part in NASA’s Project Mercury in 1959. As a combat pilot in the Korean War, he wore a 12-hour Breitling Navitimer. He soon proposed the creation of a Navitimer with a 24-hour dial, thus the ‘Cosmonaute’ was born in 1962 as the first Breitling to go to space.
The Cosmonaute was sold throughout the sixties with various dial configurations along the way. It remains a staple of the Breitling brand in 2020, with the latest examples paying tribute to such Cosmonautes as this 0819 reference from 1968. This example has a diameter of 48mm and a thickness of 13mm. A fabulous and sharp-looking timepiece, the Cosmonaute represents an important part of Breitling’s rich history.
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