Millions of people watched him getting ready for the jump almost from the edge of earth’s atmosphere. As the common folks from around the globe applauded, prayed and wished him luck, Felix Baumgartner jumped from the space capsule and descended on to earth. He walked away after the feat like nothing much happened. It was a moment like that accomplished by the first people who went on a mission to moon.
Was he wearing a watch while he fell through the atmosphere? Yes, he was definitely wearing a watch. It was the Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th that he was wearing. This watch was able to handle the rigors of the fall at speeds even higher than that travelled by sound waves. It was the first watch to travel at such high speeds, exposed to the air, heat and all the other elements that were blowing against it. Of course, there were other watches worn by astronauts and air travellers while traveling in rockets and airplanes. But, those watches were never exposed to the elements of the atmosphere. Those watches were inside weather controlled and pressure controlled environments.
Stratos has joined the elite club of very few watches that literally travelled in space. The only other two watches that are members of the same club are the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute and the Omega Speedmaster Professional.
You must have seen the sports watches that are endorsed and worn by celebrity athletes. Are they really exposed to the adventures where these athletes participate in? In most cases, the watches are worn at the time of shooting the ad or at the time of presentation ceremony only. During the real action, these watches are kept away from the scene of the intense action and thus protected from damage. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Richard Mille and the Rolex DeepSea Sea Dweller are two of these exceptions to the rule. Now, Zenith has added its watch model to the list of these other tough watches too.
The creators of Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th were sure of its ability to withstand the supersonic fall weathering the extreme conditions. Hence, they let Felix Baumgartner wear the watch on his wrist and expose it to the elements during the 24 mile fall.
What is special about this model? It is a regular Stratos Flyback with a solid case back in place of the normal see through sapphire case back. Again, this customized watch had a case back featuring an engraving of Felix Baumgartner wearing his space helmet, and also commemorative text denoting the special occasion around the outer edge.
You can get this special edition watch in two strap options; perfectly fitting thick black rubber strap with fitted steel end links and a fold over deploying clasp.
How expensive is this watch? With all the features that go in to it, you must be willing to pay an arm and leg for it. The rubber strap version will cost you $9200 and the steel bracelet one will cost you $10400.