Published: Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Sports watchmaking brand Offiine Panerai will be the partner of the Pole2Pole expedition, the two-year project of circumnavigating the globe through land and sea, passing through the two poles, led by Swiss – South African explorer Mike Horn.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 3

(Photos: Officine Panerai - Mike Horn)

This announcement is being made on the eve of Mike’s departure from Cape Town, South Africa, for the South Pole, and it confirms the long-term partnership between Mike Horn and Officine Panerai, which has already sponsored many of the most remarkable enterprises of the famous explorer: Arktos (2002-2004), the North Pole Winter Expedition (2006) and Pangaea (2008-2012). 

Pangaea is the yacht which has already taken Horn to every corner of the globe during the expedition of the same name, and he will be sailing it on all the sea journeys which will alternate with challenging land-bound sections exploring some of the most fascinating, remote and unspoiled areas of the planet.

Pole2Pole is Mike Horn’s culminating expedition, which more than any previous one is the incarnation of his values and philosophy, of everything he has learned in the course of decades of experience of living in harmony with our planet. A record of exploration that is unequalled has enabled Horn to bring to maturity a philosophy based on three fundamental pillars: adventure, environment and sharing. Horn’s mission is to inspire people to enjoy their own personal adventures without fear of leaving their own comfort zone, to understand the laws which rule the planet in which we live, and to publicise the need to protect this extraordinary environment at a time when the dangers threatening nature are extremely serious and alarmingly current.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition

The partnership between Mike Horn and Officine Panerai is based on the sharing of all these values, on the common passion for the sea and on the awareness of how important it is to defend our planet. Officine Panerai has created a remarkable travelling companion for Horn, an instrument which will be able to accompany him on the most difficult challenges while always ensuring maximum reliability: the new Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio – 47mm, a special edition of only 500 examples, tested to survive any possible environmental situation in which Horn may find himself in the course of the expedition.

The new Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio is strong and reliable, and it is equipped with functions which are vital not only for an exceptional explorer like Mike Horn but also for any traveller or lover of nature.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 5

Water-resistant to a depth of 300 metres and with a rotating bezel for measuring the time of immersion, the new special edition (500 examples) created by the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel is also extremely tough thanks to its solid case (47 mm in diametre) made of brushed titanium, an extremely tough, hypoallergenic material which is very much lighter than steel. The P.9001 automatic movement has functions which are invaluable for any traveller: the date, a long power reserve – a good 72 hours – and the GMT function, with a central hand indicating the time at home when one is abroad.

The dedication to Mike Horn is evident on both the front and the back of the watch. On the midnight blue dial, with applied hour marker dots coated with Super-LumiNova, the sports character of the watch is enhanced by the inscription POLE2POLE, printed in yellow and matching the second time zone hand and the small seconds dial at nine o’clock.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 6

Engraved on the back are the logo of the expedition – which consists of two animals symbolising the two poles, the polar bear and the penguin – and Mike Horn’s signature.

Hidden behind the minimalist midnight blue dial is the automatic P.9001 movement, entirely designed and created in the Officine Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel. With a diameter of 13¾ lignes, 29 jewels, variable inertia balance and Incabloc shock protection, the movement is notable for the precision of its construction and for the two spring barrels, which are constantly wound in both directions by an oscillating rotor, providing a power reserve of three days. The movement also has the GMT function, displaying home time with a central hand, and a convenient system for adjusting the hour hand, which can be moved forwards or backwards in jumps of exactly one hour, at the same time modifying the date display accordingly. 

The new Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio (PAM00719) is supplied with a black rubber strap, fastened by a large trapezoid-shaped buckle in brushed titanium.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 7

Mike Horn began his expedition from the Yacht Club of Monaco, from which he sailed his boat southwards to Namibia. There he explored the world’s oldest desert, the Namib. His route then took him through the Okavango delta in Botswana, the world’s largest inland delta. On to Horn’s homeland South Africa, where Pole2Pole’s first project was implemented and executed: The Shark Project. The aim of this project was to banish the negative stereotypes associated with sharks, raise awareness on the global issues our oceans are currently going though, and to engage and connect with existing local South African programs. 

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 2

Next step, Horn will leave Cape Town and sail to the Antarctic, which he will cross on skis via the South Pole. Crossing complete, he will navigate the Pacific through the islands of Oceania to Asia, where he will travel parts of New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Once arrived in Asia onboard Pangaea, a further overland journey will lead Horn to the summit of the virgin peaks in India, followed by a journey through the tundra in Kamchatka, before setting sails for the great north. The extreme athlete will then attempt another crossing, this time of the Arctic via the North Pole. Following this, Mike will cross over the world’s largest island, Greenland, after which he will conclude his adventure by navigating back to his point of departure, Monaco.

The world and its elements have always been Mike’s playground, his lifeblood, and his passion. Mike is only really himself when confronted by the whims of nature or when he is in a situation where he has to push his abilities to the limit. He is the type of man who will go around asking provocative questions such as this: “On average a lifetime lasts only 30,000 days. What are YOU doing with those 30,000 days?” In this way he makes people think seriously about the way they are living their lives.

Officine Panerai Partners With Mike Horn For Pole2pole Expedition 1

A professional explorer who is also a contemporary hero, Horn’s courage, determination, and endurance have pushed him to a level of his own. His strength goes way beyond his physical abilities: it is his mental strength which is challenged as he walks to the North Pole in the complete darkness of winter, or climbs mountain peaks of 25,000 feet and more without oxygen or assistance. Horn is a man who does not fear many things but the one thing which does worry him is time. He has so many plans, ideas and adventures going through his mind that he is afraid he will not have the time to accomplish all the things he still dreams of.

His past achievements as a professional explorer only reflect part of Horn’s true character. People struggle to understand the mysterious 50-year old behind the weather-beaten face, which reflects his unique lifestyle. They do not understand him because he does not think like an average human being. Instead of asking himself “Why should I go on this adventure”, Horn asks himself “Why shouldn’t I?” He only cares about what he can do, not what he cannot.

Horn believes that if you open up your mind to the world, there is a greater chance of achieving your dreams in life. But then again, as Horn often says, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough."