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Favre-Leuba - Interview with Pen Hadow

Favre-Leuba Interview with Pen Hadow

We spoke with one of the skippers from Arctic Mission, whose vessels were the first to reach the international waters around the North Pole without icebreaker support.

How did you team up with Favre-Leuba?
It was actually at a meeting in Baselworld this time last year. A friend of mine spotted the brand and suggested that they might be interested in teaming up with Arctic Mission. I am the director of the mission, which is concerned with marine ecosystem research in the Central Arctic Ocean and public awareness of the issues that this ecosystem faces due to sea-ice loss. This is seen as a geophysical issue but it is actually a habitat issue because animals live above the sea ice, on the sea ice (bears, Arctic foxes and walruses), in the ice itself, and below it. 

Arctic Mission aims to promote, through the United Nations, the idea of increased protection for the international waters around the Arctic and the North Pole. The habitat is already disappearing, but as a result it is also making the area accessible for the first time. Last year, our two 50-foot yachts were the first vessels without ice breakers to penetrate 300 miles into the international waters around the North Pole. Our point was that if we can do that with our small boats, imagine what commercial shipping and fishing vessels can do right now and imagine the consequences of that for this fragile environment.

Interview de Pen Hadow

One of the boats of the Arctic Mission © Favre-Leuba

Which Favre-Leuba watch did you wear?
I wore the Raider Harpoon, which I love because the issue with diving is that two hands on a watch can lead to confusion and Favre-Leuba have simplified this by just having one hand. It’s practical but quirky. 

Interview de Pen Hadow

The Favre-Leuba Raider Harpoon on Pen Hadow's wrist © Favre-Leuba

What do you like about working with Favre-Leuba?
I am passionately fired up about the brand because a model like the new Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth is best in class. It can record the lowest depth of your dive down to 120 metres and it is water resistant to 200 metres. 

The Raider Bivouac was the only watch back in 1962 and still is the only watch today with an analogue system for showing altitude. This has genuine practical applications if you know what you are doing. For example, in mountainous terrain if you have been in a white-out for some time and you have been climbing and ascending, you may not remember what mountain you are on. It may sound silly but it can happen. You may know the slope you are on and you may know that it is south-facing; you probably know the area of the map that you are in but very often if you know your altitude to within five metres you can locate exactly where you are. You have to know what you are doing, of course. Every time you go through a known altitude, for example past a mountain hut, you need to reset the altitude. 

Because the Raider Bivouac uses barometric pressure to measure altitude you can also use it for weather forecasting. On a yacht, for example, your altitude will always be a constant zero, so you can set the altitude to zero and then forecast the weather based on changes in barometric pressure and how quick it is rising or falling.

Interview de Pen Hadow

Pen Hadow © Favre-Leuba


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Favre-Leuba is the second-oldest Swiss watch brand and traces its origins to the workshop of Abraham Favre in Le Locle, which was first officially mentioned in 1737.

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