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Breitling Introduce Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition in Gold

Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

Breitling love to release whole rafts of watches at the same time with a dozen or more references dedicated to a specific model or concept. Models like the Avenger and AVI from last year. Now it’s the turn of the Navitimer 41 which sees new time only models alongside GMTs and the Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition. We’ve already been hands-on with the GMTs so now let’s focus on that Cosmonaute.

The history of the Cosmonaute dates back to 1962 when Mercury Seven astronaut Scott Carpenter approached Breitling with a request. He admired the Navitimer Chronograph collection and wanted to wear one on his trip to space but needed some customisations to improve its utility in space. The addition of a 24-hour scale allowed him to keep track of day/night cycles while in orbit. The Cosmonaute consequently became the first Swiss watch in space, hence the creation of a limited edition celebration watch in the year of Breitling’s 140th anniversary.

Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

Measuring 41mm in diameter with an 18k red gold case, the new Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition offers a more luxurious take on the space explorer. It retains the Navitimer’s sweeping, facetted lugs and classic chronograph pump pushers. Plus there’s the bi-directional bezel with slide rule scale, which you can learn how to use here.

With a Cosmonaute though the key feature is the dial because of the 24-hour scale we discussed earlier, which takes the place of the regular 12-hour scale. That’s an important distinction because by replacing the 12-hour scale, the watch doesn’t become a dual time or GMT. The limited edition has a rich, dark green dial with sunray brushing, black chronograph subdials, gold hands and beige lume on the Arabic numarals of the hours. Aesthetically it bears similarities to the green Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46, except that the dial is a lot more compact due to the reduced size of the case and more detailed hour scale.

Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

Inside the Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition is the B12 automatic movement. It was first produced in 2016 as a 24-hour version of the B01 seen in other Navitimer models. It features a really good 70-hour power reserve and COSC chronometer status ensuring accuracy and reliability. The exhibition caseback through which you can see the movement also pays tribute to the model’s history with an engraving of “First Swiss Wristwatch in Space/Navitimer Cosmonaute May 24,1962.”

Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition

In terms of price and availability, the Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition is limited to 250 pieces at £17,900, which is appropriate for the gold case and high spec movement. On the whole, the cosmonaute is an interesting alternative interpretation of the Navitimer 41 and I like that Breitling keep it as a limited edition as it makes the watch feel more special. If you want a watch designed for space but aren’t looking to get an Omega, the Cosmonaute deserves your consideration.

Price and Specs:

Model: Breitling Navitimer B12 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition
Ref: RB12302A1L1P1
Case: 41mm diameter x 13.6mm thickness, 18k red gold
Dial: Green
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Black alligator leather with 18k red gold folding buckle
Price: £17,900, limited to 250 pieces

More details at Breitling.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.