Watches - Expert's Pick

Adventurer Mike Horn’s Exhibition Panerai Luminor

Panerai supports one of the world’s leading adventurers, Mike Horn, on his round-the-world trip via the two poles.


Mike Horn stakes a convincing claim for coolest man on the planet. He’s a bona fide modern-day adventurer who’s exploits include solo-navigating the length of the Amazon (hunting and fishing to survive), solo-walking the Arctic circle, walking to the North Pole in the middle of the dark months (the first to do it), climbing four of the world’s 8,000 m peaks without oxygen and spending 32 days in a KGB jail.

No problems only solutions! @panerai @mercedesbenz

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This year, despite turning 51, Mike said his goodbyes to his wife and daughter and embarked on a two-year mission around the world. It’s not the first time he’s circumnavigated the globe without a motor, but last time it was along the equator. This time he’ll travel through Asia, Australia, Africa and across the two poles. Mike is also an eco-warrior and one of the key objectives for his trip is to draw attention to the fragile environment. When not adventuring he regularly gives talks on biodiversity and how to get involved in sustainability projects.

This is now the third trip supported by Panerai who consider Mike their ideal ambassador. Until the 1990s Panerai made high-level diving watches for military use only and were the principal supplier of watches to the Italian Navy deep-sea divers for decades. Where many explorers nowadays use digital watches, Mike’s exposure to extreme cold means only the most durable analogue watches would survive. For his trip to the North Pole, Panerai issued Mike with a triple-cased edition of one of their most popular watches, the Luminor.

This year they have developed a 47 mm, extra durable titanium-cased model with a natural rubber strap and a dial designed for extreme legibility in the dark. It’s water-resistant to 300 m and it features a rotating bezel for measuring time intervals underwater. The “midnight” blue dial has optimal contrast with the luminous Arabic numerals and dots. Elsewhere on the dial are small seconds sub-dial and the inscription “POLE2POLE”, the name of Horn’s latest venture, in yellow. On the back it has the exhibition logo—a polar bear and a penguin, which symbolise the two poles.

Giving up must not be the first thing but the last thing we do!

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The watch is a GMT, which means it has a second time zone indicated by a yellow-arrowed central hand, and it has a date feature. Inside beats the impressive in-house automatic P.9001 calibre, which has two barrels enabling a 3-day power reserve. The Luminor 1950 3-Days GMT (PAM00719) is a 500-piece limited edition in titanium. Amazingly, we managed to pick one up pre-owned already with a saving of £600 on its RRP, which is why it’s our watch of the month.

Go check out Mike Horn’s blog to follow his latest exhibition and learn more about his antics and his efforts to make the world a more sustainable place.