Rolex & National Geographic

8 minutes read

Recently we introduced the Rolex Awards for Enterprise programme, and today we discover yet another aspect of Rolex’s perpetual drive to assist individuals and organizations who, like Rolex, strive to protect our environment and assist humanity. As such, let us discover the long-standing relationship between Rolex and National Geographic.

Rolex & National Geographic

Andy Bardon’s photo of a member of the Perpetual Planet Extreme Exploration expedition at Khumbu Icefall, Mount Everest

Rolex’s partnership with National Geographic was forged in 1954, in relation to Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s first successful ascent of Mount Everest the year before.

Both Rolex and National Geographic have their respective extensive history of investing in transformative ideas, daring projects and individuals who dare push the boundaries of their fields.

National Geographic has for over 130 years been at the forefront of spreading knowledge and understanding of our world and generating solutions for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Similarly, Rolex has supported outstanding individuals and initiatives throughout its over century-long history — from the historic swim of Mercedes Gleitze through the first successful ascent on Mount Everest to the first successful descent to the deepest place on Earth in the Mariana trench, Rolex has been dedicated to supporting these individuals from the time when they were still merely on the edge of greatness.

Rolex & National Geographic

A breathtaking capture of the Everest by Tom Matthews explorer and photographer

Both visionary organizations, Rolex and National Geographic are united by their passion for and dedication to exploration. Scientists from the National Geographic Society have served as members of the Rolex Awards jury and no fewer than 16 laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise have also been National Geographic Explorers or recipients of grants.

Now, through its support for Perpetual Planet Extreme Expeditions, Rolex proudly states that it shares its experience, resources and ideals in what may prove its most critical mission yet: a five-year endeavour to document the changes taking place in the Earth’s most extreme, remote and imperfectly understood environments.

Rolex & National Geographic

One iconic image of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, climbing Mount Everest in 1953. Rolex equipped the explorers with Rolex chronometers

Perpetual Planet Extreme Expeditions includes a series of expeditions to study three of our planet’s most vital and extreme environments: mountains, rainforests and oceans. This is performed with a goal of placing state-of-the-art technology in these borderline inaccessible and, consequently, least-observed regions to discover how human activity elsewhere on the globe is affecting them.

Rolex & National Geographic

An original Rolex advertisement from 1933, proudly displaying the first waterproof & dustproof wristwatch — the Rolex Oyster —, and Rolex’s ties to exploration

This in all probability will entail the requirement of developing solutions to counter the adverse effects discovered: the partnership of Rolex and Perpetual Planet Extreme Expeditions will seek proposals to these most pressing issues.

Rolex & National Geographic

Film-maker explorer and Rolex Testimonee James Cameron receives congratulations after he ascends from the Mariana Trench in 2012

Of the project, the President and CEO of the National Geographic Society Tracy R. Wolstencroft says: “Together with our partners at Rolex, we will harness the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to reveal critical insights about our changing world, advance understanding, and scale up solutions toward achieving a planet in balance.”

Both organizations have long drawn inspiration from the remote places of our world and the marvels they hold – and from the courage, skill and tenacity which it takes to reach them. In Perpetual Planet, Rolex and National Geographic unite all those attributes and seek to serve humanity, and the Earth itself, through the insights the explorers and scientists will gather.

Rolex & National Geographic

2016 Rolex Awards laureate Vreni Haäussermann with sea anemones in Chile’s Patagonian fjords

It goes to show, then, that Rolex remains at the absolute forefront of exploration — and its very best kinds in particular. Rolex continues to support the spirit of adventure and especially so when it is paired with the very best of human intentions: the intent to learn, discover and better.

To assist in becoming a part of Rolex’s spirit of excellence, we would be delighted to present you the iconic Rolex Professional line-up of timepieces, all designed and proven to stand their ground in the most daring of adventures.


Rolex watches are crafted from the finest raw materials and assembled with scrupulous attention to detail.


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Rolex & National Geographic

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