8,7 / 10
The present model, reference 809, is a black-silver Cosmonaute, aka “reverse panda”.
It is considered the sixth execution (Mk 6) of the Cosmonaute.
Its dial bears the AOPA wings logo, meaning that it was destined exclusively to an AOPA member.
#1.089.xxx was produced in 1966 and all its parts are conform.
About the model
In 1952, Breitling designed for the influential US AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) a revolutionary watch combining a chronograph and an E6B type flight computer of that would allow its members to perform all kinds of calculations necessary in flight: average speed, fuel consumption, distance, conversion kilometers in miles.
These challenging requirements were made possible by a logarithmic slide rule integrated into a rotating bezel. The Navitimer was born, with presumably the first examples produced in 1954.
In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter, after seeing a Navitimer on a pilot’s wrist, contacted Breitling to ask if they could modify one for his upcoming flight. In particular, he asked to replace the usual 12-hour function by a 24-hour function, the only way to know the real time in space. Breitling agreed and Carpenter received his Cosmonaute a few days before making three orbits around the Earth aboard Aurora 7.
It was the first wrist chronograph worn in space.
Shortly after, Breitling decided to market this special 24-hour version to the public under the reference 809.