For more than 40 years, British explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell has worn a Zenith el Primero chronograph on his expeditions across the world. It was first worn when he led The Scientific Exploration Society’s great British Trans-Americas mission in 1971 – 29,000 km from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) through the previously impenetrable swampy jungle of the complete Darién Gap. Colonel Blashford-Snell has led more than 100 expeditions during which his El Primero chronograph has been through the most testing of conditions.  John donated his original El Primero chronograph to Zenith’s future Museum. Today Zenith is once again paying tribute to this exceptional person by becoming the first partner of The Scientific Exploration Society Explorer Awards.

 

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Colonel John Blashford-Snell © Andy Barnham

 

The SES Explorer Awards are the next great venture for The Society, instigating a global search for the rising stars in the world of exploration.  These aspiring ‘Pioneers with Purpose’ might use the experience and knowledge gained from leading their expedition to go on to do great things in the spirit of The SES, John Blashford-Snell and Zenith. 

Early career researchers or scientists from across the world can apply to become The SES Zenith Explorer 2014, demonstrating that they have identified an innovative objective within the worlds of science and exploration, environment and conservation.  Their expedition will have been planned with a view to achieving a pioneering goal that will make a difference within the field in which it takes place, and leaves a lasting legacy for the benefit of future generations.

The SES Zenith Explorer 2014 will receive £8,500 GBP to implement his/her project as well as a Zenith watch, the El Primero 36 000 VpH. In 1969, when monochrome dials were all the rage, the El Primero stood out from the crowd with its multi-coloured dial featuring three counters in different shades and a red chronograph sweep seconds-hand for enhanced readability. These colour codes still enliven the dial of the El Primero 36’000 VpH, in this 2013 version: midnight blue for the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, anthracite for the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and light grey for the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The sunburst silver-toned dial is rimmed with a tachometric scale. Water-resistant to 100 metres, the 42 mm steel case is topped by a sapphire crystal. It houses the El Primero 400 B movement with its integrated column, its cadence of 36,000 vibrations per hour and its over 50-hour power reserve.

 

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El Primero 36'000 VpH. © Zenith

 

From the brand’s inception, Zenith has always been about “Entrepreneurial spirit”. Zenith watches have participated in some of the grandest human adventures: explorer Roald Amundsen’s discovery of the North and South Poles, Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful fight for India’s independence, the foundations of ecology by Prince Albert I of Monaco, Louis Blériot’s Channel crossing, John F. Kennedy’s political action and last year Felix Baumgartner, the first supersonic man.

Further information: www.ses-explore.org/awards.