Watch breaks speed of sound in near-space environment

Felix Baumgartner recently earned his place in the history books after completing a record-breaking jump from the edge of space.

The 43-year-old Austrian skydiving expert also broke the record exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. Baumgartner also broke two other world records: highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight, leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col Joe Kittinger.

Baumgartner landed safely with his parachute in the desert of New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,045 metres and plunging back towards earth, hitting a maximum speed of 1,342.8 km/h through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4.20-minute-long freefall. His jump lasted 9.03 minutes.

Baumgartner was wearing the all-new El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th chronograph when he made his historic leap.

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 Baumgartner’s exploit.

Baumgartner and his team spent five years training and preparing for the mission that is designed to improve our scientific understanding of how the body copes with the extreme conditions at the edge of space.

Zenith watches have often accompanied pioneers during their most incredible projects, participating in some of the greatest human adventures.

These include explorer Roald Amundsen’s discovery of the North and South Poles; Louis Blériot’s Channel crossing; intrepid explorer Col John Blashford-Snell in various endeavours such as his latest expedition to Nepal; and Johan Ernst Nilsson in his daring Pole2Pole mission. Baumgartner has now joined this illustrious list.

Zenith watches are available from Diamonds International in Valletta, Portomaso and Malta International Airport.


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