Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
In the June 2013 edition of National Geographic magazine, explorer James Cameron provides a first-person account of his unprecedented (well, I guess Piccard + Walsh did it in 1960 with a Rolex, too) voyage to the deepest known spot of the ocean, the Challenger Deep. This is the first first person account of the mission that I am aware of, and it is well worth the read.
I believe that Cameron’s mission will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest exploration voyages ever undertaken by man, and I have great respect and admiration for extreme explorers such as Cameron (and Zenith-sponsored extreme explorer Felix Baumgartner (of Red Bull Stratos fame), who is also profiled in the issue).
In his multi-page, journal-style account, Cameron even mentions the Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch which accompanied him on the dive:
“35,756 feet [deep]…Core sample safe on board, I take a moment to shoot a close-up of the Rolex Deepsea watch for the Swiss firm that has partnered with us on the expedition. The watch, strapped to the manipulator arm, is still ticking, despite 16,300 pounds per square inch of pressure. In 1960, as part of a U.S. Navy project, Lt. Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard dived in the massive bathyscaph Trieste to the same depth, the only other humans to ever do so. They also brough a specially built Rolex, and it too withstood the pressure just fine…”
Flashback to Perpetuelle’s coverage of the expedition, replete with multiple images in which I identified the Rolex affixed to the outside of Cameron’s explorer vessel: Rolex Deepsea Challenge: Deepest Point On Earth
Also if interested, check out my 2010 hands-on encounter with the “original” Rolex Deep Sea Special: Perpetuelle Special Report: The Rolex Deep Sea Special (the Rolex taken by Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh to the bottom of Challenger Deep in 1960)