August 10, 2022
One of the most famous exploration ships of all time, Endurance, took Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic in 1912. The ship became trapped in the ice and in 1915 sank triggering Shackleton’s astonishing trek to safety with his crew; immortalised in Alfred Lansing’s book Endurance. We all thought the ship was lost to the icy depths but little did we know that the story would come to prominence again this year. In March 2022 the wreck of Endurance was found by an exploration team with a deep water ROV still in a remarkable state of preservation. The boat had not been crushed as Shackleton had assumed; incredibly it had sunk almost intact and lain preserved for over one hundred years on the seabed, 3008m down. Amazing pictures were beamed back from the ROV showing the ship’s name ENDURANCE still bold on the stern.
A story which is the perfect inspiration for one of ZULUDIVER’s most durable strap designs to date. Introducing the new Endurance strap, made with extreme durability and comfort in mind. We began with a base of soft but strong FKM rubber with moulded sidewalls. The upper open half of the strap was then seamlessly in-filled with precision cut leather with such an attention to detail that the final product feels like one piece of material. The pin holes have a rubber surround to ensure that they keep their shape after countless fastenings. Colour co-ordinated stitching brings cohesion, and the strap is secured with a high-quality brushed stainless buckle and quick-release spring bars.
Early prototype straps were tested on numerous watch models from Rolex to Omega, from Citizen to Breitling. On the wrist, the strap is soft and supple from new yet feels incredibly strong and of superior quality. To all intents, it looks like a leather strap, but the soft rubber inner half makes for excellent long-term use and there is none of the wear, be it from skin contact or bending, associated with leather. The strap has also been submerged in water to test resistance and build quality.
The Endurance strap has been developed in six colours with each of those named after a part of the Earth which required a truly adventurous spirit to reach.
The brown Endurance strap is named after the famous Kalahari Desert which can be rocky, arid and hostile, especially in parts of Botswana. In the Tswana language, the name translates to "a waterless place". The earthy tones of the Kalahari strap perfectly reflect this terrain and will look good on any model of field, dive, or outdoor watch which suits a brown leather strap.
The Wahiba Sands cover vast areas of Oman and are called a “sand sea”. This is because the dunes of this flawless desert look like waves, especially from the air. A favoured exploration spot for National Geographic teams, the Wahiba Sands were famously used in several classic 1980s Rolex adverts. The light tan of this strap mirrors the many such colours which make up Wahiba and other sand seas on Earth.
At 1.550 million square miles in size, the Congo Jungle is synonymous with explorers seeking new civilizations and wildlife. In the 1850s a reporter named Henry Morton Stanley became the first man known to have followed the Congo River across Africa to its mouth. He proved that there were many miles of navigable river above the waterfalls. The lush green of the Congo Jungle is represented by a rich olive green within the Endurance range of straps.
The Marianas Trench is the deepest part of any ocean on Earth, reaching its maximum depth at the Challenger Deep, 10,929m below sea level. Pressure there is an astonishing 7.5 tons sq. inch. Seldom has man ventured here, first in 1960 in the DSRV Trieste and most famously in 2012 when James Cameron took his one-man submersible to the very bottom. On both occasions, there was a special Rolex Deep Sea attached to the hull of the submarines to test the watch. At this depth, there is zero natural light so the black strap in the Endurance range had to be named the Marianas.
The Northwest Passage is a navigable route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans straight through the Arctic. Since 1492 sailors had sought this passage but were defeated by ice and treacherous waters. The Northwest Passage was finally discovered in 1850 and Roald Amundsen made the first complete journey in 1903. The blue strap in the Endurance range pays homage to the many navigators who attempted this most elusive of ocean passages.
Few of us will have heard of Sam Cossman but in certain circles, he is a legend. Sam is a Volcano Diver and was filmed in 2014 descending into the crater of the Marum Volcano while it was active. To achieve this unbelievable feat, he wore a bespoke silver proximity suit designed to withstand temperatures of 1600 degrees. Even with this level of protection, his time in the crater was very limited. The red strap in the Endurance collection is a nod to the fiery Volcano which Sam explored.
About the Author: Richard Brown
About the Author: Richard Brown
I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.More Articles by Richard Brown