1969 Breitling Cosmonaute (Ref. 809) "Twin Jets" W/ Booklet & Letter From Air Canada Pilot Original Owner
The Breitling Navitimer is truly something special when it comes to high-powered functionality in aviation watches. Operating much more similar to a navigational computer than just the everyday tool watch. The Navitimer hosts an extremely unique feature that we know as the slide rule bezel. This groundbreaking bezel can be used to calculate flight times, distance traveled, airspeed, ascent and descent rates, fuel consumption rates, and even has a metric conversion tool. The Breitling Navitimer was a lifesaver when pilots needed to make crucial calculations on the fly...pun very much intended.
Scott Carpenter (right) wearing a Breitling Cosmonaut Ref 809 with Mercury 7 astronauts Walter “Wally” Schirra, Virgil “Gus” Grissom. Carpenter flew the Mercury-Atlas 7 flight, on May 24, 1962, becoming the second American to orbit the earth. The Breitling Cosmonaute as worn by Carpenter was the first Swiss wristwatch and or chronograph worn in space. John Glenn had worn a Heuer stopwatch during the Mercury Six flight on February 20, 1962. but it wasn't really a wristwatch as it only recorded the elapsed time and didn't actually tell the time.
Not only is the 24-hour Cosmonaute functionally a champion of watches, but it also boasts historical significance as well. Nicknamed the "Scott Carpenter" after the astronaut that took this beauty as his sidekick when he orbited the earth three times in May of 1962, inside the Aurora 7 space capsule. Scott needed a way to distinguish day from the night while in space, thus the Breitling Cosmonaute earned its nickname from its astronaut companion, who had fine taste indeed when it comes to timepieces
Coming from the original owner, Mr. Gus Jonker is a retired Air Canada pilot who made his childhood dreams of becoming an airplane pilot come to fruition when he moved to Canada from the Netherlands as a teenager. Completing his dream, Mr. Jonker chose the perfect watch to accompany him throughout his extensive career as a Pilot, this Breitling Cosmonaute ref. 809.
The crisp case is believed to remain unpolished with every angle and brushed surface from the factory present, the case exhibits honest signs of light use. The case retains its original Breilting signed crown and pump pushers. The original acrylic crystal shows expected light signs of use. The case back remains unpolished and crisp like the mid-case, with factory markings fully intact. The watch comes supplied on a NATO strap.
The glossy black glit 24-hour dial shows honest, light aging, with silver text and charming vintage aesthetic. The silver sub-dials remain very well preserved with minimal aging present. The tritium Arabic numerals and plots have aged to a common grey patina and no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the minute hand exhibits significant lume loss while the hour hand remains fully intact.
The watch comes with its original Breitling instruction booklet, letter from the original owner, and photo copy photo of the watch next to a photo of Mr. Gus Jonker, the original owner. The watch is functioning correctly and keeping time, previous service history is unknown.