Panerai Watches Are Essential Companions for My Expeditions: Explorer Mike Horn

The professional explorer spoke to GMT India about how the brand’s vision aligns with his focus on sustainability
Panerai Watches Are Essential Companions for My Expeditions: Explorer Mike Horn
May 20, 2024
Panerai Watches Are Essential Companions for My Expeditions: Explorer Mike Horn

Panerai’s global ambassador for over two decades professional explorer Mike Horn is set to embark on new adventures. The brand has been supporting him in his journey of revisiting the most significant locations around the world to witness the effect of climate change and encouraging people to take action. Under an Environmental Youth Programme, titled “Pangaea X”, Horn aims to empower younger generations to develop innovative projects that can ensure an eco-friendly impact on the planet. This aligns with Panerai’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. 

Mike Horn, Panerai’s global ambassador

In a conversation with GMT India, Horn talks about his journey as an explorer, and his commitment to sustainability and how it is inextricably linked with his association with Panerai. Excerpts from the interview:

GMT India: How has your journey been as an explorer?

Mike Horn (MH): My journey as an explorer began with a thirst for pushing the boundaries of human capability. Over the years, seeing how our planet has been changing, this passion has evolved into a commitment to raising awareness about its beauty and how our actions are impacting its survival.

GMT India: You’ve been a brand ambassador for Panerai for over 20 years now. How did this long-standing collaboration come about?

MH: Panerai has been a consistent and reliable partner for more than two decades now. Its provision of functional tools has been indispensable for my expeditions; it helped me overcome difficult situations in the harshest of weather conditions and reach a global audience.

GMT India: You are also undertaking an Environmental Youth Programme, Pangaea X, that focuses on sustainability. 

MH: Pangaea X is not merely an initiative, it's a commitment to empowering young minds to make conscious decisions. Panerai has played an active role in supporting the programme's goals, going beyond the realm of timepieces; it has allowed me to share my message and project with its audience as well.

GMT India: How has Panerai contributed to Pangaea X?

MH: Panerai's contribution to the programme goes beyond watches. Their active support involves providing expertise and resources, and a shared passion for environmental conservation. Panerai serves as an inspiration for young minds as we implement the programme as a global leader in an industry, taking the lead in innovation and environmental responsibility.

GMT India: You collaborated with Panerai for the Submersible Mike Horn Edition. How did this come about and what was the process like?

MH: Since the beginning of our partnership, Panerai and I have collaborated on a few timepieces, born of a shared aspiration to create survival tools that could withstand the rigours of extreme conditions, pushing performance, durability and legibility. In the latest case, the Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT PAM01108 symbolises “second life”; it recycles and uses a piece of my sailboat Pangaea—the propeller shaft—that has travelled the world. It’s a beautiful piece that represents Swiss technicity and material innovation. It is also a memento of many adventures transferred and converted into a new functional instrument.

GMT India: Can we expect more such collaborations in the future?

MH: Collaboration has been a cornerstone of our partnership, and while I cannot disclose specific details, I am always open to exploring new collaborations with Panerai that align with our shared values.

GMT India: What are the Panerai watches you wear on your expeditions? Any favourites?

MH: Panerai watches are essential companions for my expeditions. Rugged and trustworthy tools, they also symbolise the people who believe and support me. While each model serves a unique purpose, I am particularly fond of the Luminor Arktos PAM00092, the first watch codesigned with Panerai. Its specific engineering for extreme cold and polar magnetic fields made it an invaluable companion during my Arctic expeditions. 

GMT India: Of all the initiatives you’ve taken, which one has made the most impact in terms of sustainability?

MH: Every initiative holds its own significance, but the one that stands out in terms of sustainability impact is the four-year young explorers programme I launched in 2008 with the support of Panerai. Over four years, we have changed the lives of hundreds of youngsters through our mission to explore, learn, and act on various environmental projects worldwide. 

Image credits: Panerai