Felix Baumgartner - Zenith Stratos Jump from Space
By Arjun Sekhri & Trupti Mulajkar — November 04, 2012
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner earned his place in the history books on Sunday (Oct. 14, 2012). In a giant leap from more than 24 miles up, daredevil skydiver Felix Baumgartner became the first human to shatter the sound barrier by freefalling at Mach 1, while making the highest jump ever — a tumbling, death-defying plunge from a balloon to a safe landing in the New Mexico desert. Wearing the all-new El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph, Zenith Ambassador Felix Baumgartner smashed four world records: the highest manned balloon flight (128,100 feet / 39,045 kilometres), the highest freefall, the longest freefall time and, for the first time in history, breaking the sound barrier with the human body. Strapped to his wrist, outside of his spacesuit, Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th becomes the first watch to break the speed of sound in a near space environment.
"It was an incredible up and down today, just like it’s been with the whole project,” a relieved Baumgartner said. "First we got off with a beautiful launch and then we had a bit of drama with a power supply issue to my visor. The exit was perfect but then I started spinning slowly. I thought I’d just spin a few times and that would be that, but then I started to speed up. It was really brutal at times. I thought for a few seconds that I’d lose consciousness. I didn’t feel a sonic boom because I was so busy just trying to stabilize myself. We’ll have to wait and see if we really broke the sound barrier. It was really a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”
Commenting on his exploits, Zenith President & CEO, Jean-Frédéric Dufour said: "The Manufacture Zenith is very proud to have been the official timekeeper of this mission and to present the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner. Thanks to him, Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th becomes the first watch ever to cross the sound barrier in a near space environment." The Stratos is equipped with the world’s most accurate automatic chronograph movement, the legendary El Primero as well as the Striking 10th and Flyback functions, making it an eminently suitable partner for Felix Baumgartner’s exploit." "This project is all about uniqueness, manpower and precision and my Zenith watch perfectly matches the mission.” said Felix Baumgarnter after the jump.
Felix Baumgartner hit Mach
1.24 or 833.9 mph, according to preliminary data, and became the
first man to reach supersonic speed without traveling in a jet or a
spacecraft after hopping out of a capsule that had reached an
altitude of 128,100 feet above the Earth. Landing on his feet in the
desert, the man known as "Fearless Felix” lifted his arms in
victory to the cheers of jubilant onlookers and friends.
The Zenith El Primero Flyback Stratos striking 10 Chronograph gets its name from its 1/10th of a second precision timing, it completes one rotation around the dial in 10 seconds, that is the fastest by any mechanical watch. The flyback mechanism allows to reset the chronograph with the push of a button in a single motion. It has three smaller faces embedded into the main face to help count second, minutes and hours more accurately. As expected, the durable case of this watch is made from stainless steel with an adjustable band that can fit any wrist. The crystal sapphire glass is designed to withstand water and air pressure challenges that other watches would not be able to tolerate. It is built for strength and it is built to last.The power reserve in the Zenith El Primero will last up to 50 hours and the design includes up to 31 precious stones. The inner face is enhanced by an outer border that allows you to keep track of the hours and minutes that matter in your next sporting accomplishment.
Markers and hands on the dial are inlaid with Super-LumiNova to ensure readability even under the darkest light conditions whilst even under the most drastic changes in pressure, temperature and movement, the watch maintains a consistent 36,000 vibrations per hour, ensuring it remains accurate to the nearest second. The dial is 45.5mm made of black ceramic with a rotating bezel. The chronograph is displayed in 3 sub dials which are color coded, the midnight blue shows the 60 sec, the steel gray shows 60 min counter and light gray shows small second's.
This watch is special in many different ways. This is the first of its kind watch to jump from that height and break the sound barrier without any vehicle. Inspired from the flyback design from the 90's era' the design resembles the chronographs made for the French air force. The watch Baumgartner wore was a stock Stratos Flyback, with the exception of a solid caseback in place of the transparent sapphire back. The caseback of this edition features an engraving of Baumgartner in his space helmet and commemorative text around the outer edge. Zenith has stated that this is not a limited edition watch.
This watch is designed by Zenith to withstand any conditions you will put it in and it is also designed to look good when you want to head out on the town to celebrate your most recent leap into the world record books. It is a multi-purpose watch that has undergone a test phase that no other watch in history can say it has ever endured. This is truly a once in a lifetime watch. The price of this watch is approx USD 12,000.
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