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Rolex and National Geographic have formed an enhanced new partnership to promote exploration and conservation. The organizations, with more than 200 years of combined experience supporting expeditions, are again joining forces to support pioneering explorers and nurture their successors in efforts to safeguard the Earth’s oceans, poles and mountains for the benefit of future generations.

C ONQUERING EVEREST: REACHING THE SUMMIT OF THE WORLD

Conquering Everest

Since the 1930s, climbers on the Himalayan peaks have relied on Rolex wristwatches when tackling one of Earth’s most extreme environments. Sir John Hunt’s expedition to Mount Everest in 1953, on which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to summit the world’s highest mountain, was equipped with Oyster Perpetual watches. That same year, to honour this historic achievement, Rolex officially launched the Explorer model.

Everest Exploration

Oyster Perpetual Chronometer, 1953

“We have indeed come to look upon Rolex Oysters as an important part of high-climbing equipment.”

Sir John Hunt, expedition leader, 1953

Under the Pole

U NDER THE POLE EXPEDITIONS: TURNING EXPLORATION INTO A WAY OF LIFE

Deepsea Under The Pole by Rolex, was a pioneering expedition undertaken in 2010 to learn more about the submerged side of the Arctic. During a combination of ski trekking and scuba diving in one of the toughest climates on the planet, the eight expedition members conducted scientific research and collected audio, photographic and video material of the hidden side of the polar ice cap.

At the helm of the expeditions, Ghislain Bardout and his wife, Emmanuelle Périé-Bardout, have turned their passion for exploration into a career and a way of life. In 2017, with Under The Pole III, the couple and their team plan to explore from the Arctic to the Antarctic, to better understand the ocean’s role in climate equilibrium, bioluminescence, improving underwater exploration techniques and encouraging future generations to do the same.

“Underwater exploration is a potent tool in the quest for a sustainable planet.”

Ghislain Bardout

D AVID DOUBILET: PHOTOGRAPHING WHAT LIES BENEATH

David Doubilet Photography

American David Doubilet is one of the world’s best known and respected underwater photographers. He began snorkelling off the New Jersey coast at the age of 8 and at 12 began shooting underwater, using a Brownie Hawkeye camera. He published his first article in National Geographic in 1971 and continues to contribute exquisite images to the magazine.

Explorer, artist, marine naturalist and protector of the oceans, he has written a dozen books on the sea. Doubilet’s lens has captured all the planet’s seas, his images feeding the public’s fascination for ocean life while encouraging its preservation.

“I want to share the reality of devastation; to protect something you have to love it.”

David Doubilet

S YLVIA EARLE: AN OCEAN PIONEER AND HER MISSION OF HOPE

Sylvia Earle expedition

Internationally renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle is a pioneer of the deep. For more than 50 years the American has led underwater expeditions and remains at the forefront of research into marine ecosystems.

In 1970, Earle headed a team of aquanauts who lived for two weeks in an underwater laboratory as part of a project to study ocean life and the effects on the human body. A committed advocate of sea conservation, her initiative aims to galvanize global support for marine protected areas to safeguard 20 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2020.

“Knowing that we can be at the cutting edge of exploration, we can be change‑makers in a positive way — we can turn the corner. What’s more exciting than knowing that and being a part of this change for the better.”

Sylvia Earle

Bathyscaphe Trieste

T HE TRIESTE: A JOURNEY TO THE OCEAN’S DEEPEST POINT

In 1960, the Swiss-designed bathyscaphe Trieste, piloted by Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and United States Navy lieutenant Don Walsh, carried an experimental Oyster watch, the Deep Sea Special, fixed to its exterior as it descended to a record depth of 10,916 metres in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. Reaching the area known as Challenger Deep and discovering creatures never seen before, the dive marked a milestone for deep-sea exploration.

“Happy to announce to you your watch as precise at 11,000 metres as on surface. Best regards.”

Jacques Piccard, oceanographer, 1960

James Cameron and the Deepsea Challenger

J AMES CAMERON: A FILM‑MAKER AND EXPLORER TAKES ON A DEEP-SEA CHALLENGE

In 2012, James Cameron journeyed to the bottom of the world, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first person to complete the dive since 1960 and the only individual to do so in a solo vessel. The Canadian descended almost 11 kilometres in his submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, then spent several hours on the ocean floor gathering high-resolution 3D images and samples for the scientific community that have led to at least 68 new species being identified.

Although best known as a film-maker, Cameron is an intrepid explorer, inventor and creator of cutting-edge technology.

“My love of cinema is a separate thing from my desire for exploration, but they merge because I don’t believe that it makes sense to go someplace new that no one’s ever seen and not bring the images back to share with the rest of the world.”

James Cameron

Deep-Sea Challenge

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