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Freefall

Breakdown: Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th

Zenith has had its share of ups and downs. After decades of success making watches for everyone including Mahatma Gandhi, the brand may have reached its zenith (sorry) in 1969 with the release of the El Primero chronograph, arguably the world’s first full-rotor self-winding chronograph. The ’70s and quartz bottomed out the brand, but it has since recovered. We break down Zenith’s Stratos Flyback Striking 10th ($9,500), released in tribute to the Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, the man who would jump from a balloon 130,000 feet above the Earth — with this watch on his wrist.

timekeeping-promo-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of GP's fresh new face to TIMEKEEPING, a weekly chronicle on the utility, design, tradition and innovation of watches.
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The fastest watch in the world

Timekeeping: Zenith Stratos Flyback Striking 10th

John Glenn strapped a Heuer stopwatch to his wrist; Scott Carpenter wore a Breitling chronograph; and everyone knows the story of Omega’s Moonwatch. Now it’s Zenith’s turn to join the list of legendary space watches. When Felix Baumgartner stepped off that skateboard-sized platform this week and plummeted to Earth while millions watched, you may have…

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The 22-mile high club. Membership: 1

Red Bull Stratos

Update: If you missed it amid a weekend of heavy boozing and/or sleep, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from more than 24 miles above the earth Sunday, breaking the world record highest jump set by Joe Kittinger. His leap was more than just a stunt, though — the experiment, sponsored by Red Bull, was also testing…