Collection Item Summary:
On October 24, 2014, Dr. Alan Eustace used a state-of-the-art Pressure Suit Assembly to ascend to the top of the stratosphere beneath a large, helium-filled plastic balloon and sky dive back to Earth. He reached a maximum altitude of 135,889 feet before parachuting back to Earth, breaking the previous world record. He accomplished this mission by using a pressure suit alone for life support and foregoing the weight of a balloon gondola to ascend to the stratosphere.
Along with him for the ride was this Sinn 857 UTC chronograph watch. The forearm of the suit had a specialized mount with Velcro straps that held the chronograph in a position that Eustace could view easily. Before, during and after the jump, the instrumental watch put in a lasting performance – despite the cold (-77 degrees C / -108 degrees F), low pressure and a free-fall speed of 1,322.9 km/h, which lasted five minutes and resulted in Eustace breaking the sound barrier.
The Eustace-Kwan family donated this item along with the suit to the museum in 2015.