Mike Horn is a South African-born Swiss professional explorer and adventurer. He became famous in 2001 after completing a one-year, 6-month solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport. In 2004 he completed a two-year, 3-month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, and in 2006 along with Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland, became the first men to travel without dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness.
On his next adventure, Pole2Pole equipped with a Mercedes-Benz G-Class and his sailing vessel Pangaea, plus a Panerai on his wrist, he will attempt to become the first person to undergo a unique circumnavigation of the globe via the two poles over land and sea.
When I was in luxury watch retail I had the opportunity to go to NYC and meet Mike Horn at a Panerai weekend exclusively for their retail partners at the time. It was for the unveiling of the Arktos PAM00092 watch in 2006 that Mike had worn in the winter in complete darkness at the North Pole.
The Panerai that will accompany Mike on this Pole2Pole exploration is called the Panerai PAM00719. This will be made in a limited and numbered edition of 500 pieces for the world.The watch is made out of titanium and 47 mm in diameter. This is a Luminor Submersible model. It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal and it is water resistant to 300 meters. 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.
The movement is the Swiss automatic Panerai in-house caliber P.9001 with 29 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 3 days via twin barrels. It features a Glucydur balance and an Incabloc anti-shock device. Functions include: hours, minutes, small seconds, date, and GMT. It has a midnight blue dial with luminous Arabic numeral and applied hour marker dots coated with SuperLumiNova, it features the inscription POLE2POLE, printed in yellow and matching the second time zone hand and the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock. The watch is fitted with a black natural strap with titanium buckle.
I love everything about the watch except that Pole2Pole is written on the dial in yellow which cheapens it in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love yellow writing on blue dials but the Pole2Pole thing is complete overkill! I wish Mike the best of luck with his expedition. It’s cool that Mike is still fulfilling his passion by living on the edge with the support of Panerai all these years later!