The Solar Navigator Mario Julen Limited Edition timepiece watch created by Swiss watch brand Villemont in partnership with Norwegian watch brand Amundsen Oslo.
In 2006, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first Swiss expedition to Mount Lhotse (8501m) – Everest (8848m), a team lead by Mario Julen, world-renowned mountain guide and a native of Zermatt-Switzerland, decided undertook an expedition to accomplish the same adventure, and successfully fulfilled this expedition on a time span of seven weeks.
To celebrate this feat, Villemont manufactured a limited edition of commemorative watches. For the Mario Limited Edition timepieces, Villemont joined forces with Amundsen Oslo, a Norwegian watch brand well known for its historical heritage in the field of outstanding outdoor expeditions.
Amundsen Oslo was founded by Jorgen Amundsen, the great grand nephew of Roald Amundsen (1872-1928), one of the greatest explorers of all times. Roald Amundsen has overcome the three natural elements that can be most dangerous, namely air, earth and sea. In 1911, he was the first to reach the South Pole; in 1926 he was the first to fly over the North Pole. His favoured domain was sailing where he pioneered as illustrated by him conquering the North-West passage.
Hence, whilst finding inspiration in the achievements of this great grand uncle, Amundsen Oslo develops watches that are truly original in the field of horology whilst inspired by its outstanding historical heritage. Conceived to resist to the most extreme weather conditions, 250 timepieces were taken, in site by Jorgen Amundsen himself, to the North Pole, to test their resistance.
Amundsen and Villemont have teamed to create the Solar Navigator. A combination of Villemont’s elegance and Swiss watch making excellence to Amundsen Oslo’s know how in resistance to extreme natural elements, the Solar Navigator is truly a symbiosis of both brands. Both brands benefit from one another: Villemont gains from Amundsen’s exceptional historical heritage whilst Amundsen gets access to the mastery and craftsmanship unique to the Swiss watch tradition.
The Solar Navigator is made of stainless steel and bears a 45 hour power reserve. Its self winding mechanical movement is engraved and decorated with the “Côtes de Genève” motif. The Solar Navigator presents all the necessary options required for navigation (hour, minute, second, calendar at 3 o’clock) as well as the Solar Navigator system in the centre and in addition a central hand alarm.
The Solar Navigation System is a manual alternative to the Universal GPS, which, in the case of expeditions in extreme conditions, tends to be too dependent on batteries, circuits or even unstable availability of surrounding satellites.