Taking watches to the extreme…

extreme sports

We have discussed watches suitable for adventurers in previous posts, but it seems that recently leading watch companies are taking more extreme measures to show off their timepieces. Social media is full of brands using their extreme sports watch wearers to impress followers. There is a whole new competition out there of gaining more “likes”, so of course there is the need to shock and create a buzz of danger!

Rolex 6538 James Bond

This of course isn’t the first time watchmakers have stepped into the spirit of adventure. Many sports watches were created with a certain sport in mind. In the sixties and seventies there was certainly a golden age of sports watches being much more popular. James Bond helped with this! In 1962’s Dr. No we caught a glimpse of a Rolex Submariner ref.6537 on Sean Connery’s wrist. Diving was extremely popular in the early sixties and was seen as an activity for a bit of a risk taker.

Rolex Deepsea Challenge

Luxury watch companies like Rolex have created media events for publicity, but also to create inspiration as well. Rolex have had a long passion for underwater exploration, so became an active part of the ‘Deepsea Challenge’ expedition of film-maker and explorer James Cameron. This was in partnership with the National Geographic Society. In March 2012, the submersible decended into the depths of 10,908 meters to reach Challenger Deep. This is the deepest point in the world’s oceans. The submersible carried an experimental divers’ watch, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge ref.116660 on its robotic arm. The timepiece worked perfectly throughout the dive at extreme pressures. This was amazing news for Rolex and their fans world wide.

deepsea challenge
Breitling Emergency

Many brands of course sponsor celebrities or professional sportsmen and women. They also enlist extreme explorers to test their watches - how else are they going to know if the technology works in these conditions after all? Not only can the timepieces help with certain missions, but also alert people when something may not go according to plan. Breitling Emergency (ref. E7632522/BC02/159E) has an emergency locator beacon device, which will activate a search and rescue. This was the world’s first wristwatch with built-in dual frequency Personal Location Beacon (PLB). The Emergency serves both to issue alerts and to guide search and rescue missions.

Mike Horn with Panerai Arktos

Another watch brand to work well with adventurers is Panerai. They created a special watch just for explorer Mike Horn. The Panerai Luminor Arktos GMT North Pole ref.PAM00252 (2006 Special Mike Horn Edition) was dedicated to the North Pole Expedition directed by Mike Horn. It is pretty cool to wear a Panerai with your name on it! Horn circumnavigated the arctic circle by himself with his specially developed, tripled cased Panerai. Many explorers have chosen to wear digital watches on expeditions, but a digital instrument would freeze in the conditions Horn was in. Without the help from Panerai and a few other sponsors, Mike would not have been able to fulfil his mission, which shows the importance of watch brands developing the technology of these extraordinary timepieces.

iwc pilots watches pilots double chronograph edition top gun watch front

We shall finish this post with another “tough timer” we rather like here at Armour Winston! The IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN edition (ref. IW379901) protects its movement from the effects of magnetic fields with a “Faraday cage,” and inner case of soft iron around the movement. This watch reminds us of instrumentation from the cockpit, and the black dial has enhanced readability with ‘propeller’ style hands. 

We currently have an IWC Top Gun ref.3880 available in our shop, along with other fine IWC Pilot's watches.

Do have a look here and feel free to browse our other watches suitable for the adventurer in you!