Rolex and National Geographic

Since the 1930s, Rolex has supported the pioneers of exploration. Oyster Perpetual watches have accompanied them to the world's highest peaks and the depths of the oceans, proving reliable and accurate. In turn, these revolutionary expeditions proved to be ideal opportunities to test the company's models in real conditions and to design new ones. In 1954, this interest in exploration prompted Rolex to form a partnership with the National Geographic Society, which for over 130 years has sponsored pioneers and innovative ideas, as well as making valuable contributions to exploration, science and environmental protection. Articles dedicated to these exploits were published in the society's famous magazine, National Geographic. In 1954, one such article described the historic ascent of the world's highest peak, Everest, by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Rolex also played a role in this epic feat, having supplied the watches of the expedition members. This shared spirit has united Rolex and National Geographic over the years as they continue to support pioneers setting out to discover the unexplored parts of our planet. In 2017, the partnership between Rolex and the National Geographic Society was officially extended to promote exploration aimed at safeguarding the planet. The partnership draws on the expertise of world-renowned scientists and cutting-edge technology to provide information on the impact of climate change on the ecosystems that make life on Earth possible: the mountains, which are the world's "water towers"; the rainforests, which are the planet's lungs; and the ocean, which is its cooling system. The first expedition supported by the partnership targeted Everest and took place from April to June 2019. The expedition team, led by National Geographic and Tribhuvan University, aimed to better understand the effects of climate change on the glaciers of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, which provide vital water resources for a billion people. During the follow-up expedition earlier this year, a team of National Geographic explorers and scientists set up the highest weather station in the southern and western hemispheres, just below the summit of the Tupungato volcano in the southern Andes. Thanks to this weather station, scientists will be able to study atmospheric processes in the high Chilean Andes. The water supply of the more than six million inhabitants of the nearby city of Santiago depends on the water tower of this mountain range. This project encapsulates all of Rolex's commitment to future generations, through its support of personalities and organisations that strive to preserve the natural world and the systems that enable survival. By shedding light on the issue, these valuable expeditions should enable targeted decisions to be made so that the world can better address the most important environmental challenges.