Hublot becomes the partner of the Polar Pod expedition, a zero-emission,
ecological vessel designed by explorer Jean-Louis Etienne to explore the
Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica. It is the planet’s main oceanic
carbon sink and a gigantic reservoir of marine biodiversity that is still poorly
understood. This expedition is a first for this Ocean, which has never yet been the subject of this type of research.
As part of its HUBLOT Xplorations programme, the Swiss watch manufacturer has signed a new partnership with the Polar Pod expedition. The brainchild of the French explorer and environmentalist Jean-Louis Etienne - the first man to have reached the North Pole alone - this zero-emission ship will be tasked with exploring the waters of the ‘Furious Fifties.’ This name was given to this area of the Southern Ocean in reference to the high winds and rough seas that are usual here. In order to withstand the sea in all weathers, the Polar Pod is a vertical vessel 100 metres high (with a draught of 80 metres) stabilised by 150 tonnes of ballast. Without an engine, it will drift with the Antarctic circumpolar current and will be powered by the energy of six wind turbines.
The Southern Ocean, the fourth largest ocean by surface area, captures 50% of the carbon dioxide absorbed by all the world's oceans, making it a major player for the climate. Connecting the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, its waters form a gigantic reservoir of marine biodiversity. However, scientists are sorely lacking in measurements and observations in this part of the world. The Polar Pod will be fitted with highly powerful instruments, making it possible to collect a continuous stream of precious date on biodiversity, current dynamics, the impact of human pollution and the atmosphere-
ocean interactions which control the climate.