In early 2014, renowned British polar explorer Ben Saunders and his team mate Tarka L’Herpiniere rewrote history with their world record-breaking Antarctic expedition. One of the most ambitious polar expeditions in a century, it marked the first time Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition had ever been completed. For four months, the pair trekked 1,795 miles across Antarctica’s inhospitable landscape on a return journey from Scott’s Terra Nova Hut on the north shore of Ross Island to the South Pole. In doing so, they also set the world record for the longest polar journey on foot. Walking an average of 17 miles daily in temperatures as low as -46°C, they hauled their own supplies by sled - a weight of almost 200kg. The Scott Expedition has undoubtedly pushed the limits of physical and mental fortitude, resetting the bar for polar expeditions of the future.
On the outside of their polar jackets the two polar explorers wore their new Bremont Terra Nova chronometers. The watches were to become an essential tool in their navigation. Far too cold for any type of battery operated device, the light titanium Supermarine with GMT functionality and specially oiled mechanical movement became indispensable. Using the chronometer to measure longitude, the watch could also be used to point to the South Pole using the GMT watch hand and the sun.
Seeing a clear alignment between a unique British expedition and a British watch company that was keen to break boundaries in terms of design and durability, Ben has been working with Bremont since 2010 and particularly in the run up to his Scott’s expedition. The Limited Edition Terra Nova was the result of numerous collaborative meetings during which Ben stressed one crucial element from his vast experience, a personal fixation of any polar explorer: the weight. The result is an incredibly lightweight custom mechanical watch with no compromise on performance whatsoever. Manufactured from aircraft-grade titanium to reduce weight and increase strength, the watch is also water resistant up to 500m. The mechanical movement incorporates a special vibration mount with the ability to protect against extreme shocks and also serve as a thermal insulator. The mechanical automatic movement was also tested to -40°C to ensure it could withstand such extreme temperatures: quartz counterparts would simply stop functioning at this level.
Ben Saunders said: “Having the opportunity to test the next generation of watches on our journey has been fantastic. Most impressive is the weight of the Terra Nova. The titanium provides unrivalled durability without the added weight associated with so many other watches. This was an absolutely crucial aspect of the development. When you take on an endurance challenge like the Scott Expedition, every gram counts.”
Giles English, Bremont Co-Founder said: “It has been superb working with Ben on this project. It is wonderful to think that Scott used mechanical watches on his trip and 100 years later a mechanical watch remains the best tool for such extreme conditions.”
About Captain Scott Iconic British explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott led the first British team to reach the South Pole on 17th January 1912. He died along with the last of his team, Dr Edward Wilson and Lieutenant Henry (“Birdie”) Bowers, on 29th March 1912 on the return journey of the fateful Terra Nova expedition. They had covered almost 1,600 miles - a feat unsurpassed in over 100 years, until now.
About ben Saunders Ben Saunders is a pioneering polar explorer. He has recently broken the record for the longest polar journey on foot in history (by almost 400 miles) and is one of only three people in history to have skied solo to the North Pole (a challenge Reinhold Messner called “ten times as dangerous as Everest”). At the age of 26, Ben was the youngest to complete this by more than ten years, in conditions NASA called “the worst since records began”.
Ben spent four months walking and climbing in the Nepalese Himalayas aged 19, going on to work as an instructor at the John Ridgway School of Adventure in the Scottish Highlands, once billed as "the UK's toughest management training school". Ben has raced mountain bikes on and off-road at national level. He has run seven marathons and three ultramarathons, including an attempt at the inaugural 250-mile Thames Ring Ultra in summer 2009. He is an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust, a Patron of the British Exploring Society, an honorary member of the Cordon Rouge Club, a Global Ambassador for Land Rover, an ambassador for Intel, a Fellow of the British American Project, and supports the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Orchid Cancer Appeal.
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Limited edition Limited to 300 pieces
- Modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-93-2AE automatic
- 21 jewels
- Glucydur balance
- Anachron balance spring
- Nivaflex 1 mainspring
- 28,800 bph
- 42-hour power reserve
- Bremont moulded and skeletonised decorated rotor
- date at 3H. 24H GMT hand
- Satin and polished titanium with bi-directional rotating bezel with SuperLumiNova®
- Inner soft iron anti- magnetic Faraday cage and protective patented anti- shock movement mount
- Automatic helium escape valve and crown protector
- Case diameter 43mm, lug width 22mm.
- Titanium screw-in and Terra Nova decorated case back
- Metal dial with SuperLumiNova® coated hands and numerals
- Domed anti-reflective
- scratch resistant sapphire crystal
- Water resistant to 10 ATM, 100 metres.
- C.O.S.C chronometer tested and certified.
- Integrated rubber strap with pin buckle
- Also available with titanium bracelet