Movement : Manually Wound Venus Cal. 178
Age : 1971/1980
Specific Age : Circa. 1971
Case Size : 40.5mm
Case Thickness : 11mm
Lug to Lug : 48.5mm
Lugs : 22mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : None
Case Material : Stainless Steel
Warranty : 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty
The wrist model's wrist size is 7inch
Here we have a 1971 Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute 809 Venus 178 made famous by American astronaut Scott Carpenter who wore a modified Navitimer during his Aurora 7 spacecraft's three-orbit flight around the Earth in May 1962, this was the first Swiss chronograph in space, beating the Omega Speedmaster which went into space later the same year as part of the Mercury Space Program. The 40.5mm stainless steel case, has bevelled-edged tapered lugs leading to a lug-to-lug length of 48mm and a thickness of 12.5mm ensuring a comfortable fit on your wrist. On the right side, chronograph piston pushers and a signed crown in the centre. A bidirectional bezel has deep knurling for extra grip, the high-domed acrylic crystal sits above the black dial, the black dial has an outer bi-directional rotating logarithmic slide-rule navigation computer which makes complex mathematical calculations useful to pilots, you can measure a lot of things such as gasoline consumption, miles per minute, and ground speed, rate of descent/climb, distance in descent/climb and nautical / statute mile conversion. Arabic 24-hour numeral indices coated in Tritium mark the hours, and three recessed registers add dimension to the dial, at 3 o’clock a 30-minute register, at 6 o’clock a 12 hours register and finally, at 9 o’clock a continuous 60 seconds register. Long sword hands are coated in Tritium, complemented by a tapered chronograph arrow-pointed hand. The signature Breitling Cosmonaute double plane motif sits at 12 o’clock. On the reverse, a screw-down case back with Breitling 809 engraved into it, inside a manually wound Venus Cal. 178, 17 jewels, 28,800 beats per hour, column wheel chronograph movement. The watch comes paired with a suitable 22mm black leather strap with a Breitling pin buckle.
There will forever be something special and alluring about an honest vintage Breitling Navitimer, especially this Cosmonaute reference 809 featuring the 24-hour Venus 178, meaning the hour hand goes round once every 24 hours instead of 12 like a traditional watch, takes a second to get used to but once you are it's just as simple telling the time in a rush! This dial and condition of this one are the selling point, plus the fact we are priced incredibly fair and the watch is fresh from a service ready to be enjoyed and worn, snap it up whilst you can!
Breitling was established in 1884 by Leon Breitling in the Swiss Jura Mountains. In 1915 Gaston Breitling introduced a pusher at 2 o’clock to start, stop and reset the chronograph. Leon later moved the reset to a pusher at 4 o’clock. In 1939 Breitling shipped a huge quantity of chronographs to the Royal Air Force. During the war with Germany surrounding Switzerland Leon and some friends created a makeshift runway near their factory. Planes would use the car's headlights as a guide to land. Once on the ground, they were quickly loaded, taking off before the Germans knew what was going on. They introduced the “Navitimer” a navigation computer in 1952 when Willy Breitling was approached by the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to produce a watch for its members. His design was made to be worn and incorporated scales to enable pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations, including average speed, distance travelled, fuel consumption, rate of climb or descent, and conversion of miles to kilometres or nautical miles. Later in 1956, the watch was made available to everyone and the iconic 806 references were established. During the 1960s Breitling began the development of one of the first automatic mechanical chronograph calibres. In 1969 they collaborated with Heuer, Burne, and Dubois-Depraz on a top-secret project called Project 99. Together they developed one of the first self-winding chronograph movements. Breitling stands for high precision, outstanding performance, and functionality. During the early days of space exploration, Lt. Commander Scott Carpenter went around the earth three times whilst wearing a modified Navitimer. In 2017 they were sold to CVC Capital Partners, Europe's largest private equity firm.