Yema Bipole watch for the Transantantarctic expedition, 1990. New old stock condition. Limited quantity produced. French Quartz Movement. Large 46mm Solid Titanium Case, Reversible see-through Sapphire crystal front (North pole) & back (South pole). Red Kevlar Waterproof Band and Brown Leather Band. Water Proof to 300 ft with Screw Down Crown. Sidereal Solar Sighting Compass (Anti-magnetic). Two screwdrivers and extra screws included for Change of Bands. This YEMA Bipole (Bi-Polar) Watch was specifically designed for the successful Transantantarctic expedition of Dr. Jean-Louis Etienne and team of explorers giving leaders of the expedition a way to find their bearings via the Sun through this sidereal watch. The watch displays mean as well as sidereal time. Manufactured in France!
The hands are painted with a compound that will fluoresce in flat light.
About the watch and expedition:
The YEMA Bipole Watch was commissioned by explorers Dr. Jean-Louis Etienne and Will Steger for their 1989 International Transantarctic Expedition<– click here for video. (Dr. Etienne is the first man to reach the North Pole alone, pulling his sleigh and walking for 63 days over the 800 kilometers, from the northern edge of Canada. Mr Steger is the fourth person ever to reach both poles,)
In addition to wanting a timepiece that would stand up to the rigors of rough handling in a freezing environment, they needed a way to find their bearings via the sun (as compasses don’t work near the North Pole, their operation disrupted by the proximity to magnetic north); the watch displays meantime as well as sidereal time.
A team of six men and thirty-six specially wolf-huskie cross-breeds took 220 days to cross Antarctica. By sled and ski they covered about 6000 kilometers (3700 miles) – from the Larsen ice shelf to Mirnyj – in extreme cold with winds raging at over 160 kph (100 mph), crossing altitudes over 3474 meters (11,400 feet). The team members were:
- Will Steger, an American, an impassioned and seasoned explorer
- Jean-Louis Etienne, a French doctor who had skied solo to the North Pole, where by incredible chance he had met Steger on the icepack
- Victor Boyarsky, a scientist from the Soviet Union (Russia), who had previous experience collecting ozone and weather data at scientific bases in Antarctica
- Qin Dahe, a glaciologist from China, whose daily measurements of the ice and snow were to shed light on the extent to which Antarctica had been polluted
- Keizo Funatsu, a dog trainer from Osaka, assigned to keeping the sled dogs-considered to be the most crucial members of the team- healthy and inspired
- Geoff Somers, also a dog trainer, veteran of the British Antarctic survey and the team’s navigator
This is one of 1500 made in 1990 with an original retail of $1500! Many were sold by Northface at their corporate store in San Francisco. Commemorating an expedition crossing the Antarctic from one ocean to the other via the South Pole. Led by Jean-Louis Etienne of France. The quartz movement is working perfectly (a fresh battery has been installed). The unit truly is “new old stock”. The watch comes with a tool kit. The unit is complete with original box, padded leather strap and instructions also. Unique watch at a good value.