Breitling Cosmonaute*** 1809 MKI Bezel*** 1970
BREITLING Extra Large Cosmonaute 1809, mint condition, 1970
Serial: 1350XXX
Circa: 1970
Reference No.: 1809

CASE: 47mm, stainless steel, crown at 9 o’clock and pushers on the right side with bi-directional blackened bezel (MKI), Glass in acrylic

MOVEMENT: Caliber 14, Self-winding mechanical. Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and date, 17 jewels

DIAL: Black dial with 24 hour indication, date indication at 6 0‘clock and tachymeter and slide rule indicator on dial and rotating periphery

STRAP: Not specified

CONDITION REPORT: Overall mint condition. The dial lume is intact and 100% original as well as the hands. The bezel and case are mint and unpolished.

The 1960’s saw the race towards the development of the first automatic chronograph movement. Two groups were in contention for this feat: Movado/Zenith versus Heuer/Breitling/Hamilton/Dubois Depraz. The Caliber 11 was released just ahead of its competitor in March 1969 and became the first iconic automatic chronograph in the world. The amalgamations that lead to its success therefore benefited from the same caliber fitted into Breitling, Heuer-Leonidas and Hamilton-Buren. This caliber became the base workhorse for the next 40 years to follow. At Breitling, the Caliber 14 was the 24-hour version of the Caliber 11 designated specifically for the Cosmonaute.
The Cosmonaut 809 and subsequent 1809 were essentially the 24 hour versions of the 806/1806 Navitimer. In 1961 the name "Cosmonaute" was registered by Breitling with the Swiss Office of Intellectual Property and it is believed that manufacture of the Cosmonaute, model reference 809, began during that year. However the name "Cosmonaute" did not always appear on the dial and the common agreement among collectors is that this model was officially released in 1962. The same year astronaut Scott Carpenter wore the Cosmonaute into space on second orbital flight by an American astronaut.
The extra large 1809 automatic Cosmonaute is impressive with not only its large size and shiny black bezel, but also the bright and clearly legible indications on the dial.