Hublot has become a partner of the Polar Pod exhibition created by explorer Jean-Louis Etienne to study the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica. The mission will share data with the international scientific community gathered by a zero-emission ecological vessel. The Swiss watch manufacture is proud to support the world’s first expedition to explore the planet’s main oceanic carbon sink and a vast reservoir of marine biodiversity.
As part of its Hublot Xplorations program, the Swiss watchmaker has signed a new partnership with the Polar Pod expedition. The brainchild of French explorer Jean-Louis Etienne, this adventure will explore the waters of the ‘Furious Fifties’, so named for the Southern Ocean’s high winds and rough seas.
Designed to withstand extreme weather, the Polar Pod is a vertical vessel 100 meters high – with a draft of 80 meters – stabilized by 150 metric tons of ballast. It will drift with the Antarctic circumpolar current, which runs from west to east around Antarctica, and be powered by energy from six wind turbines.
Construction of the Polar Pod will begin in June 2022, with a launch date in late 2023. The exhibition will span three years until 2026.
The Southern Ocean captures 50% of the carbon dioxide absorbed by all the world’s oceans and constitutes a gigantic reservoir of marine biodiversity. Thanks to its powerful instruments, the Polar Pod will perform measures and observations of this remote part of the world and provide a continuous stream of data that the international scientific community is currently lacking. This data covers biodiversity, ocean current dynamics, the impact of human pollution and atmosphere-ocean interactions that regulate the climate.
Research using this data will be coordinated by the (French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in partnership with the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and Ifremer, the French National Institute for Ocean Science. Scientists from 43 institutions and universities in 12 countries will be contributing to the research. The project includes educational outreach as well and will let students at schools follow the adventure through videos and exhibition.
Hublot’s participation is part of its Hublot Xplorations program, which counts three pillars: Space, with the design of components for the Space X Exomars Martian robot; Earth, with support for Sorai, a charity that protects rhinoceroses and other endangered animal species; and the Sea, with Anticythère and now the Polar Pod expedition.
This partnership with Jean-Louis Etienne celebrates Hublot’s maritime heritage and resonates with the source of the brand’s very name, embodying the Swiss Maison’s philosophy: “Be First, Different and Unique”.