9,2 / 10
Extraordinarily rare model specially made for King Hussein of Jordan
This extraordinary solid gold Cosmonaute 809 was delivered to King Hussein of Jordan circa 1966.
The connection between Breitling and King Hussein Bin Talal probably started around 1965/66, when he ordered several Navitimer 806 and Cosmonaute 809 in steel and had this Special Edition of solid gold Cosmonaute 809 manufactured for his personal collection.
It is one of only four known examples. No other 809 Cosmonaute model has ever been produced in solid gold.
The back is engraved with the crown of the Hashemite Kingdom, the name of King Hussein bin Talal and the 18K gold hallmark.
The watch is in excellent condition. Such an important model represents probably a unique opportunity for any vintage watch collector.
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.