‹ Back to the Icons menu

 Felix Baumgartner lors de la Mission Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner during the Red Bull Stratos Mission

Millions of eyes were fixed on their screens on Sunday October 14 2012. All over the world, people were getting ready to experience one of the craziest exploits of the 21st century in real time. The dream about to come true was to be achieved by Felix Baumgartner.


For the first time in history, a man was about to break the speed of sound in a freefall. And with him was Zenith, whose El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th was to become the first watch to break the speed of sound at the very doors of space.

Zenith was the exclusive
timekeeper and sponsor of this
exceptional challenge

Partner to one of the greatest human adventures, the brand with the guiding star was also the exclusive timekeeper for this exceptional challenge: the Red Bull Stratos mission. With his Zenith firmly attached to his wrist, Felix Baumgartner launched himself into the stratosphere from a space capsule suspended from a helium-filled balloon. He did so at an altitude of 39,045 meters – four times higher than airliners fly – and at a temperature of -62°C.

Fond de la montre, frappé du logo de la mission Red Bull Stratos

The watch's case-back, struck with the Red Bull Stratos Mission logo


El Primero Stratos Flyback Stratos Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner

El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner


 Felix Baumgartner lors de la Mission Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner during the Red Bull Stratos Mission


When he threw himself into the stratosphere, Felix Baumgartner reached a record speed of 1,342 km an hour, before being slowed down by the atmosphere during his freefall that lasted four minutes and 20 seconds.


He subsequently opened his parachute and landed safe and sound in the New Mexico desert. In all, the jump lasted nine minutes and three seconds, and set three new records: the first jump in history to break the speed of sound in freefall, the highest occupied flight in a balloon, and the highest freefall. The Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th that accompanied the feat was still working perfectly upon arrival after being subjected to massive differences in pressure, temperature, altitude and acceleration.

The El Primero Stratos Flyback
Striking 10th chronograph, the
first watch to break the sound barrier on the edge of space

This mission that had been in preparation for over five years provided an opportunity to obtain precious medical and scientific information in a real-life situation that will enable advances in spatial and aeronautical research. For example, the data gathered on the reaction of the organism at a speed greater than Mach 1 on the very edge of space brings the advent of space tourism substantially closer, while new systems of sub-orbital evacuation could be developed.


For Zenith, this adventure means much more than confronting its mechanics with the most extreme conditions.


Because the Red Bull Stratos Mission and the Manufacture follow the same star – that which guides entrepreneurial daring, continually pushes the boundaries of technical performance and opens up a place of freedom where anything becomes possible. For the sheer pleasure of achieving one’s destiny.

  • El Primero watch movement

    El Primero

    Breaking the frequency record

    Designed 40 years ago, El Primero remains the most precise series-produced chronograph in the world, beating at the amazing rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour.

    More information
  • Louis Bleriot

    Louis Blériot

    Crossing the english channel

    On July 25, 1909, Louis Blériot achieved a feat crossing the Channel aboard the Blériot XI, wearing his trusty Zenith watch.

    More information

  • SERVICE CENTER

    A vast network of service centers
    around the world is at your
    disposal so that you may benefit
    from the expertise of watchmakers
    who are properly trained to maintain
    and repair your watch, and to restore
    vintage timepieces.

    FIND A SERVICE CENTER