Rolex has launched the Perpetual Planet campaign early this year that includes an enhanced partnership with National Geographic Society to solidify its ongoing support for climate and environmental research. Since the 1930s Rolex has been an active supporter of pioneering explorers and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual has accompanied individuals to the highest mountains and the deepest oceans. In turn, these expeditions have proved to be the perfect “living laboratory” for the brand to test and develop its timepieces. In 1933, the brand equipped the British Everest Expedition and again, in 1953, Sir John Hunt’s historic expedition when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In 1954, Rolex partnered with the National Geographic Society and has supported bold individuals and transformative ideas, making valuable contributions to explorations, science and conservation. This year, Rolex is joining forces with key individuals and organisations to help find solutions to environmental crises. The Perpetual Planet campaign consists of three pillars – leading oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue initiative to protect the oceans through a network of protected “Hope Spots”; the Rolex Awards for Enterprise that recognize individuals with projects that advance knowledge and protect human well-being and the environment; and an enhanced partnership with the National Geographic Society to study the impacts of climate change.
Rolex and National Geographic are planning a series of expeditions to answer critical questions about the impacts of climate crisis on extreme environments. The goal is to gain new insights on how the systems that are vital to life on Earth: mountains as the world’s water towers, rainforests as the planet’s lungs, and the ocean as its cooling system.
The first expedition supported by this partnership is to Mount Everest and ran from April to June 2019. The Everest expedition team, led by National Geographic and Tribhuvan University, aims to better understand the effects of climate change on the glaciers of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya that provide critical water resources to a billion people downstream. This information, coupled with additional data sets on water supply and demand in the region, will form the basis of a new index to track the health of the Himalayan water system.
Of the venture, the President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Tracy R. Wolstencroft, said: “Together with our partners at Rolex, we will harness the power of science, exploration and storytelling to reveal critical insights about our changing world, advance understanding and scale up solutions toward achieving a planet in balance.”
Rolex and National Geographic have also been associated in other ways. Scientists from the National Geographic Society have served as members on the Rolex Awards for Enterprise Jury. One of the members of the jury for this year’s Awards is Jonathan Baillie, a global leader in conservation science with focus on the world’s most endangered wildlife and wild places. He is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist of the National Geographic Society. Sixteen Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise have also been National Geographic Explorers or recipients of grants.
For nearly a century, Rolex has supported pioneering explorers and pushing back the boundaries of human endeavor. With the Perpetual Planet campaign, Rolex is committed for a long term to support the quest to protect the environment. From exploration for pure discovery to exploration as a means to preserve the natural world, Rolex continues the legacy of its founder.