Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Rolex Premieres Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans

To commemorate World Oceans Day, Rolex released a documentary to tell the global story of our fragile oceanic ecosystems and the work that goes into protecting them.

Jun 10, 2021 | By Joseph Low
Brad Norman, 2006 Rolex Awards Laureate, tagging a
whale shark off the coast of Western Australia

The most iconic of Rolex’s range of timepieces is arguably the submariner. The luxury dive watch is universally known and loved by many the world over, and it cemented the manufacture’s connection with the ocean. It seems only fitting that Rolex, as part of their Perpetual Planet initiative, supports the efforts of organisations like Mission Blue who are working to protect and conserve the diverse ecosystems that are found under the sea. This World Oceans Day, Rolex released a documentary, produced in conjunction with BBC Studios’ Science Unit, telling the stories of these organisations and celebrating the work they have done.

We previously covered Rolex’s collaboration with the National Geographic Society and their expeditions to remote mountain tops to better understand the world’s atmospheric processes. While these expeditions occurred a great distance above sea-level, this documentary took the Swiss manufacture many miles below. As previously mentioned, Rolex supports Mission Blue’s work in protecting the many ecosystems found in the world’s oceans. Founded by Dr. Sylvia Earle, a Rolex Testimonee since 1982, Mission Blue has been working to encourage governments and communities around the world to safeguard marine life at risk from human pressures by creating protected areas they call Hope Spots. These areas are designated due to their vital role in the preservation of various species. Hope Spots could be areas of significant biodiversity, home to endemic or endangered species, or places where a healthy environment was essential for the livelihood of local communities.

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Rolex Testimonee since 1982 and Founder of Mission Blue

Since 2014, Rolex has supported Mission Blue, helping to bring the number of Hope Spots from 50 to 130. Presently, only 8% of the world’s oceans are protected, but Earle is hopeful that with Mission Blue’s contributions, that figure will grow to 30% by 2030.

The hour-long Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans was commissioned by Rolex as part of the Perpetual Planet initiative and is aimed at garnering greater support and awareness for individuals and organisations who dedicate their lives to exploring the planet, learning about its ecosystems and devising solutions to conserve them. 

Emma Camp, 2019 Rolex Awards Laureate, searching for resilient corals that might save the Great Barrier Reef.

The documentary, narrated by Sylvia Earle, features the works of eight distinguished personalities in the field of marine science. These include five Rolex Award Laureates, Sylvia Earle, founder of Blue Mission, Angélique Pouponneau who represents a Hope Spot in Seychelles, and Ghislain Bardout, co-founder and leader of the Under The Pole expeditions. Throughout the film, viewers are taken on an immersive journey through a vibrant world under the sea, courtesy of footage shot by BBC Studios’ Science Unit. The challenges faced by ocean life are highlighted along with the solutions being developed in response by the eight aforementioned individuals. 

Clockwise from top: Ghislain Bardout, Brad Norman, Vreni Häussermann, Michel André
Clockwise from top: Angélique pouponneau, Kerstin Forsberg, Slyvia Earle, Emma Camp

Perpetual Planet: Heroes of the Oceans has been broadcast on National Geographic Channels and has been available to watch on since 8 June 2021, World Oceans Day. With this documentary, Rolex and its partners hope to ignite a passion for the natural environment and create greater awareness and support for efforts to protect it. In Earle’s words, “Each of us can make a difference in inspiring others. With passion, curiosity and hope, anyone can change everything. We can create a Perpetual Planet for generations to come.”

All images courtesy of Rolex

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