Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, August 23, 2012


One giant leap, four world records: Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Chronograph


Zenith Ambassador Felix Baumgartner is set to break the sound barrier with the human body.

Wearing the all-new El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph, Zenith Ambassador Felix Baumgartner is taking the plunge in the summer of 2012: the Austrian will jump out of a capsule suspended from a balloon in the stratosphere at an altitude of over 120,000 feet / 36.5 kilometres, nearly four times higher than passenger planes typically fly. It’s a mission to the very edge of space.

Sponsored by Red Bull Stratos and Zenith, the project will attempt to smash four world records:

•          The highest manned balloon flight

•          The highest freefall

•          The longest freefall time

•          and, a world first -breaking the sound barrier with the human body.

The ultimate airborne challenge 


 Should Felix Baumgartner succeed in breaking the sound barrier while descending to earth, it will be a Zenith firmly clasped around his wrist, and the first watch in history to cross the sound barrier in a near space environment.

Zenith “trials by fire have included the El Primero that crossed the Atlantic fixed to the landing gear of a Boeing 707 in 1970, on a flight from Paris to New York.

Subjected to drastic changes in temperature, pressure and terrible jolting, it maintained its regular cadence of 36,000 vibrations per hour and required no adjustment, having remained accurate to the nearest second – apart from the inevitable time zone difference.

This mission in the stratosphere will test the reliability of Zenith watches under the most extreme conditions: temperature, low pressure, speed, friction, and impacts.

 “We have often been forerunners in unexplored domains and we have accompanied people in there most incredible projects. It is this ability to come up with new ideas, and then push through with new technical developments before anyone else that is most fascinating at Zenith." Zenith CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour

Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Chronograph

As the heir to the Rainbow Flyback model developed for the French Air Force in 1997, 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. Watches and cockpit flight instruments are subjected to abrupt variations in pressure, intense vibrations and violent accelerations – from 9G to 11G. With its robust construction, the El Primero Stratos will be right there with Felix Baumgartner as he tests the edge of the human envelope. 


Win a chance to meet Felix Baumgartner!




From July 30 to August 30, 2012 Zenith is organising a contest offering the winner an exclusive chance to meet Felix Baumgartner. Participants may also win a special Red Bull Stratos bag.

For your chance to win, simply estimate the correct time taken by an El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th watch to fall from an altitude of 36,500 metres. See the Zenith microsite for further details.

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