Dial of the Breitling Cosmonaute

Face-to-face with the Cosmonaute

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Twenty-four hours

The main characteristic of the Breitling Cosmonaute is its 24-hour dial. The reasoning driving this choice is that in space, you aren't able to tell morning from afternoon, hence 1 rotation per day is a more meaningful design.


The 24-hour dial

(According to my personal experience with the 24-hour display, it's easy to read the time—but maybe not at a glance, though.)

In the early 1990s, the Cosmonaute started to come with a Breitling logo at the bottom of the second's hand. The subdial's hands are blued (by fire?) on steel dark-faced models. You may find silverish subdials' hands on some of these Cosmonautes: that would mean that they were like this when the watch was bought, and that they still haven't been replaced during a service.

Dial contents

This face is one of the busiest ever seen… the Cosmonaute II (like the A12023) shows no less then 230 characters, masterly stamped on the dial (to display no less than 90 numbers) plus the all subsequent markings (circles, arrows, and serifed batons/lines).

The dial says “Breitling Cosmonaute”, except for the very early models (where there was only written “Navitimer”), and the newer automatic models (which say “Breitling Chronom├Ętre Automatic”).

As all (all but one: the Navitimer “Football”) Navitimers, it comes with a logarithmic circular slide rule (much like the slide rule on my B-1) for performing miscellaneous calculations. The Cosmonaute also comes with a durations conversion scale mapped to the slide rule: for instance 2:00 (2 hours) is in front of 12 (120 minutes).