You ever wonder why a Breitling Cosmonaut was worn by Scott Carpentier on the fourth Mercury mission and never mentioned again? I received an email late last week which was very interesting:
I've very much enjoyed reading your informative articles on Omega SpeedMasters, and thought you might like to know about something I came across regarding the Mercury Astronauts and watches. It is clear that they predated much of the NASA activity with regard to the Omega Speedy and the gruesome testing performed to find the best possible time piece for the space program. However, I just obtained a recent book written by Walter Schirra and Ed Buckbee in which Schirra says during an interview with the surviving Mercury 7 members...
"Do you remember a fellow by the name of Harold Johnson who came into our M7 office and gave us each a 24-hour analog hour wrist watch to wear? We were to wear them to become accustomed to the 24-hour clock because the worldwide tracking network would be using that time during our flights. About three weeks later, Harold came back and one of us asked, "Harold, what time is it?" He looked at the analog watch on one arm, shook his head, pulled up his sleeve on his other arm and looked at his regular watch and said "It's about ten minutes until 12". That was the end of that watch."
No mention of the make of the "24-hour" watch is made, but I thought this was quite interesting, and had not read of this before. Thought you might want to know about it for future reference. The book by Schirra and Buckbee is entitled "The REAL Space Cowboys", published by Apogee Books. My copy came signed by both authors, and I'm so pleased to have an autograph of one of the original Mercury 7. Buckbee was involved with NASA from the Mercury days and worked with Dr. Wernher von Braun in developing the rockets for the US space program. So far, an excellent read!
Keep up the great work, Chuck!
I received permission from the person who contacted me to share this information publically. I added the link to Amazon for the book by Schirra and Buckbee...