The Matterhorn: Watch Testing In The Extreme

John Peck

John Peck

How many people can truly say they have tested their watch to it’s limits?  We spoke to real life adventurer, motivator and team building expert John Peck who has done precisely this in his incredible adventures to the four corners of the earth.  John has rowed from London-Paris in a whaler rowing boat (World Record holder), rowed across the Atlantic, climbed the Matterhorn, lead a student expedition to the Malaysian jungle and completed the Marathon Des Sables – 7 day/ 151 mile marathon race across the Sahara Desert!  Quite amazing by anyone’s standards. 

John says, “It is always impressive to see a film star sporting a good quality watch but I guess many of them will never get the chance to test them in action for real in seriously dangerous conditions where your life can be on the line any minute. Over the past ten years I have had the chance to really put what I consider to be one of the finest quality watches available from Michel Herbelin to the ultimate test in environments that could not be more testing – from temperatures of minus 45 degrees on the polar ice cap to + 45 degrees in the heart of the Sahara Desert.

The Matterhorn. Photo: John Peck

The Matterhorn. Photo: John Peck

Let’s start with what is probably one of the best-known mountains in the world – the Matterhorn – at just under 5000 metres – it has justifiably earned its image as the ‘killer mountain’.  On a climb like this, what you are looking for is a no nonsense, discrete watch that will not catch on your equipment ,and will withstand the occasional hand jamb or falling rock without immediately falling apart.  My Michel Herbelin watch proved to be just the job for this.” As you can imagine, a very experienced climber like John, has to trust the equipment around him as the implications of a failure in such extreme conditions could be catastrophic.

Matterhorn Early Morning view down into Zermatt. Photo: John Peck

Matterhorn Early Morning view down into Zermatt. Photo: John Peck

John explains that, “On a climb like the Matterhorn, timing is everything. To know when to turn back or continue to the summit can determine whether you will live or die. It is always great to know when tackling peaks like this, whilst there are many variables that you may not be able to control – a trusty watch will always be your friend and consistently feels good on your wrist – whether perched on the sheer rocks on the slopes of the Matterhorn or on the table in the Boardroom. Michel Herbelin ticks all those boxes for me – and , amazingly – at a price you can afford.”

John wears a Michel Herbelin Divers watch, with date function and luminous hour markers and hands. It is water resistant to 200 metres, but in his experience it will also withstands dramatic changes in air pressure and the odd knock from falling rocks!

Michel Herbelin Diver's watch model 12682/05B

Michel Herbelin Diver’s watch model 12682/05B

Click here to find out more about John Peck and his adventures

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