In October 2012, Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier in free fall. Millions held their breath as the adventurer jumped from a balloon 24 miles (39 kilometers) above Earth. He reached a speed of 833.9 miles per hour (1,342 kilometers per hour). During the historic jump, he was wearing a Zenith Stratos watch (Zenith was one of his sponsors) [source: Heaton].
This holiday season, someone on your gift list can own that same model watch: the "El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner." It makes a great conversation piece, and it's a handsome luxury watch for everyday use, too.
The back of the Stratos is engraved with Baumgartner's motto: "Learn to love what you have been taught to fear." The markers and hands on the dial are luminous for reading in low light -- on the edge of space or elsewhere. Some additional stand-out features: The face is covered with a durable sapphire crystal, the chronograph is accurate to a tenth of a second, and the flyback feature lets a user restart timing intervals with the push of a single button, no stopping and resetting required.
The recipient of a Stratos can rest assured that the watch has proven to withstand extremes of temperature, pressure, speed and impact. It's definitely a high-end gift -- the price is in the $10,000 range -- but one that's both commemorative and useful.