Born in 1976, the free diver Austrian Christian Redl fell in love with water as a young boy. He holds several world free-diving records: the Breitling replica watches most impressive being the longest ever swim under ice (100 metres), although his crossing of several underwater caves in Mexico cannot be forgotten.
In February 2015, 38 year old Redl and Australian photographer and cameraman Markus Fillinger (the first person to dive at both the North and South Poles set out on a trek from Canada to the North Pole, on an expedition codenamed Mission North Pole, the world’s first free dive under ice at the geographic North Pole. Average temperatures in February at the North Pole are -40C and the seawater beneath the ice -33C.
Equipped only with a 3mm neoprene wetsuit, and the Edox Hydro Sub North Pole Limited Edition, water-resistant to 500m, the diver beat the record of 60 metres in water at barely 2 degrees, a daunting challenge at a depth where oxygen is rarified.
Redl faced extreme, life threatening cold, unstable ice, where one slip could lead to oblivion. And sleeping in a tent in the middle of polar bear territory. The expedition, across the Arctic ice, required Redl and Fillinger to venture out from the base camp to setup a spot to complete the dive. To do so, they used Siberian huskies that walk ahead of them, because the dogs can detect thin ice using their sense of smell, effectively steering them away from dangerously thin ice that they could fall into.
The Hydro Sub is a limited edition timepiece, limited to 515 pieces, especially developed by Edox to cope with the extreme conditions the pair faced. The Swiss replica watches features a unique moveable crown protector to protect the crown mechanism from the extremes of cold and ice.
Redl and Fillinger spent weeks in the Arctic acclimatising to the bitter conditions they faced at the Pole, with Redl also honing his frigid water diving techniques at Lake Weissensee in the Austrian Alps.
“On the way down it was dark; the depth is around 2000 metres but on the way up it was just beyond words – the visibility was endless. The ice was green and black – just like the green of the new watch. I want to say ‘thank you’ everybody for the support but a special thanks to Marcus Fillinger – without him it would be impossible!” Christian Redl
The Edox Hydro-Sub performed flawlessly in the icy and difficult conditions. The model worn by Redl and Fillinger at the North Pole is an updated version that pays homage to the original while incorporating state-of-the-art 21st century engineering. The standard model features an orange and blue color scheme versus blue and lime green on the limited model. The LE version comes with a special blue dial, white applied hour markers and a lime green second hand.
The imposing 46mm 316L stainless steel watch is powered by an Edox 80 automatic movement, based on the Sellita SW-200 automatic mechanical movement, which beats at 4Hz, has 26 jewels and a power reserve of 38-hours (comparable to an ETA 2824-2). The bezel is made from steel and aluminum and rotates uni-directionally to mark dive times.
The engraved case-back features a view of the earth as seen from the North Pole, an individual cheap replica watches number and an inscription marking the Hydro-Sub’s 50th anniversary.
Hydro-Sub 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
Calibre: Edox 80, based on SW 200
Case: stainless steel case 316L, blue MasterLock
Finishes: steel and aluminium rotating bezel, limited numbering and exclusive North Pole engraving on the caseback
Water resistance: 500 meters
Dial: special blue dial, white and green markers and details
Bracelet: stainless steel 316L and folding clasp, black rubber with embossed Edox hourglass logo also available
Limited Edition: 515 pieces worldwide