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.