An Exclusive Interview with Explorer Mike Horn

7 February 2024
An Exclusive Interview with Explorer Mike Horn

World-renowned explorer Mike Horn has been pushing the boundaries of discovery and adventure for more than 20 years. One of Horn’s supporters on this journey is Panerai. We talked to Mike Horn about his journey of discovery and his projects with Panerai.

An Exclusive Interview With Explorer Mike Horn

You’ve been a well-known figure in the adventure world. How did you become interested in adventure and extreme sports?

Embarking on the journey of adventure was less of a choice and more of a calling. The thrill of the unknown, the dance with danger – it’s a magnetic pull that has captivated me from a young age. The more I have delved into the world of extreme sports, the more I have realized that the real adventure lies not just in the terrain but in the discovery of oneself amid the challenges.

You’ve observed nature through your adventures. Could you tell us about your observations in terms of climate change and global warming?

Nature has been my greatest teacher, and unfortunately, it’s also showing signs of distress. Through my ventures, I’ve witnessed the subtle shifts and not-so-subtle upheavals brought about by climate change. The once-predictable rhythms of nature are now erratic, echoing the urgent need for collective action to preserve the delicate balance that sustains our planet.

You’ve experienced extreme conditions in nature. What was the most dangerous situation throughout your career?

Pinpointing the most dangerous situation is like selecting one wave from an ocean of challenges. Yet, a defining moment occurred during my last expedition to the North Pole in 2019. Amid the changing Arctic environment and melting ice, our Arctic Ocean crossing on the sea ice became a true test of resilience. In the final stretch, the delicate ice gave way beneath me, plunging me into an icy abyss. It was a close call, a stark reminder of the imperative to adapt to a shifting environment with skill, fortitude, and a deep respect for the formidable forces of nature.

An Exclusive Interview With Explorer Mike Horn
Mike Horn

Throughout these extreme conditions, you transcend mental and physical boundaries. With these experiences, what is your philosophy?

In pushing the limits, both mentally and physically, I’ve come to embrace a simple yet profound philosophy – adapt or perish. It’s not just about conquering the external elements; it’s about mastering the internal ones. Every setback is an opportunity to evolve, and every summit reached is a reminder that our potential is boundless if we dare to explore it.

As Panerai’s ambassador for more than 20 years, could share an unforgettable memory that you experienced in Panerai projects.

Over the last two decades, I’ve witnessed the incredible journey of Panerai’s evolution, as they have mine. Together, we’ve woven a tapestry of memorable moments, sharing the highs of my expeditions and their innovations. Panerai has been by my side since the early days, shaping not just my projects but also contributing to the person I’ve become.

One indelible memory etched in this partnership was the privilege of sharing my insights and conservation message during Panerai’s signature Arctic expedition, tied to the Submersible Ecopangaea Tourbillon GMT and the Submersible EcoTitanium TM watches. This collaboration isn’t just about brand endorsement; it’s a human connection rooted in our joint commitment to environmental stewardship, bravery, change leadership, innovative risk-taking, extreme performance and an unwavering pursuit for excellence. It’s truly heartening to witness a luxury watchmaking brand wholeheartedly engage in such impactful endeavours!

Does time pass differently in the extreme or dangerous conditions? Has Panerai proved to overcome the test of time and durability in the extreme conditions?

That’s the magic of timekeepers! When the elements test your endurance and time takes on a different rhythm, your watch transforms into more than just an accessory – it becomes an unwavering companion in the face of adversity. In the world of Panerai, watches aren’t mere timekeepers; they’re conquerors of time itself, crafted to withstand the most daring challenges with precision and grit. Indeed, Panerai is the provider of survival and functional tools for today’s Modern Heroes.

An Exclusive Interview With Explorer Mike Horn
Mike Horn

Which is your favorite Panerai watch?

It’s truly challenging to single out one, as each holds a unique significance. However, if pressed, I would highlight the Luminor Arktos PAM00092 — the first watch codesigned with Panerai. Its specific engineering for extreme cold and polar magnetic fields made it an invaluable companion during my Arctic expeditions. And then, there is the last watch we codesigned, the Submersible Ecopangaea Tourbillon GMT PAM01108, featuring a recycled driveshaft from my sailing vessel, Pangaea. This watch holds a piece of metal that has journeyed the world alongside me for over 15 years, making it exceptionally meaningful. The crossing path with Panerai has not only been valuable for the incredible experiences but also for the enduring memories. It is an emotional feeling to take a look at something functional which at the same time holds so much sentimental value.

Could you tell us about your current projects, What’s Left and Pangaea X? How do you believe Panerai’s values align with your philosophy, especially in the context of “What’s Left”?

The essence of my What’s Left expedition lies in revisiting pivotal locations from my career, creating a timeless narrative. Panerai’s unwavering support and provision of essential tools significantly enrich the journey, contributing to its success over this four-year expedition. This longstanding partnership not only fortifies the project but also amplifies its impact, spreading a stronger message with increased visibility, all thanks to Panerai’s steadfast support. Turning to Pangaea X, this program is fuelled by the vibrant energy of a generation eager to drive positive change. With countless youth expressing their desire to make a difference but lacking guidance, Pangaea X serves as a platform to encourage, inspire, and support the next generation. Through hands-on experiences and knowledge sharing, this initiative cultivates a sense of responsibility and environmental appreciation. Pangaea X moulds young minds into advocates for conservation, echoing my core message to the youth: believe, stay disciplined, and commit to personal and environmental projects. The values embedded in both What’s Left and Pangaea X seamlessly align with Panerai’s commitment to making a lasting, effective impact.