An extreme explorer, Felix Baumgartner, made the historic freefall jump from 39,068 meters (128,000 feet or 24.2 miles), smashing four world records and hopefully providing valuable medical and scientific research data. By jumping from the highest point ever, Baumgartner became the first men to break the sound barrier. He also achieved the fastest freefall and the highest manned balloon flight. While flying toward Earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground, the Austrian daredevil was wearing a new Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Chronograph.
After several delays, due to bed weather conditions, Baumgartner finally got a chance to write history, breaking four world records with his jump from the edge of space, on Sunday, September 14. After being taken aloft in a capsule suspended under a giant helium balloon, the 43-year old skydiver jumped from the altitude of 24.2 miles, although it had been previously planned to jump from 23 miles. He achieved the fastest ever freefall speed at 706mph, during the four minutes and 19 seconds of freefall.
The mission called Red Bull Stratos was backed by 100 experts from aerospace medicine, engineering, pressure suit development, capsule creation and balloon fabrication. Valuable data which they have collected should help medical and aeronautical research aimed to improve the safety of astronauts.
As one of the main sponsors of the mission, Zenith launched the superb El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th timepiece which was presented last month, in the famousParisianMuseumof Arts and Crafts, along with the newest models from the brand’s Pilot Collection. Specially adapted for the mission, the El Primero was on the Baumgartner’s wrist during his jump.
The watch is powered by an ultra-quality El Primero 4057B Caliber self-winding mechanism. It oscillates at the super-high frequency of 36,000 beats per hour, which makes it famous in the watchmaking world. The case of the new El Primero is made of stainless steel. This robust chronograph has the diameter of 45.5 mm and a large dial with hands and markers covered with Super-LumiNova for a great readability, even in the most extreme conditions. The dial features three chrono sub-dials in different colors and a central fly-back chronograph hand, counting time intervals with 1/10th of a second accuracy. The case-back is engraved with the Baumgartner’s motto, “Learn to love what you have been taught to fear”. This great timepiece is protected with sapphire crystal with double glare-proof treatment and it is water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet).
If you want to learn more about the Stratos Mission visit http://www.redbullstratos.com.