Swiss watchmaker Alpina has announced its partnership with La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc, for which it is named as the official timekeeper for the 2019 edition. Taking place from 12 to 23 January in the massifs of the French Alps, this mythic sled dog race is synonymous with high adventure, promoting a certain vision of sport, nature and respect for the environment. Sharing these values through its own alpine origins, Alpina is proud to support the 15th edition of this annual event.
The world’s most challenging international sled dog race
What are the origins of the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc? A dream imagined by Nicolas Vanier and Henry Kam that became a reality in January 2005. The dream of a great adventure that would cross the massifs of the French Alps, whereas the norm for this sport for decades had been to run across icy expanses with little topographical relief. The mountainous topography it runs through makes it the most challenging international sled dog race in the world. The 15th edition of this annual 12-day European event is expecting over 45 mushers with their 400 canine athletes from the United States, Russia and Europe (France, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy). With a middle-distance stage course covering 400 kilometres in total, the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is the only race of its kind in the world. It arouses tremendous popular enthusiasm, attested by the millions of television viewers and 80,000 spectators in attendance at each edition.
An extraordinary adventure that shares the “alpinist” values of Alpina
Equivalent to the Tour de France in the realm of sled dog racing, the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc brings together some of the world’s best stage race mushers (dog team drivers). Once the finish line has been crossed, they will have covered nearly 400 kilometres with a change in positive altitude of more than 15,000 metres in stages of 27 to 48 kilometres. A complete sport, mushing calls for very precise knowledge and preparation: nutrition, strength training, endurance, speed, mental stamina, but also training under all kinds of different meteorological conditions.
Commitment, technical skills, perseverance, respect for nature are all words that resonate in the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc and that are echoed in the values of the Alpina watch brand. Originating in the Swiss Alps in 1883, Alpina has a mission to design and create watches that are both sporty and elegant, that function with the greatest possible precision and reliability in the most demanding athletic environments, such as the alpine realm. Sharing the DNA of this unique international race, it is only natural that the Alpina brand has become its official timekeeper. In this capacity, it will have the honour of presenting the winner with a watch from its new collection AlpinerX.
Oliver van Lanschot Hubrecht, Brand Manager Alpina Watches said “We are proud to support the 15th edition of the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc and to serve as its official timekeeper. We are very pleased to be able to contribute the expertise we owe to the high technicality of our smart watches, so indispensable for tackling mountain conditions on a race like this.”
Yasmina Pedrini, Communications Director Alpina Watches adds “Ever since its first edition in 2005, the Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc has been Europe’s top annual sled dog event. It is the most challenging stage race in an alpine milieu, unique in the world, which gets back in touch with adventure with a capital A while promoting a certain vision of sport, nature and respect for the environment. The alpine realm has always been the original creative birthplace of Alpina watches. So, we are delighted to be associated with this magnificent event that represents so many values we share.”
The winner’s prize: a 100% outdoor smart watch
Equipped with five sensors, the AlpinerX measures the UV index, temperature, pressure, altitude and direction. An alliance between the sporty design of a classic Alpina watch and smart technologies, it offers a wide range of functions, visible in real time on the digital screen, divided into three categories: environment, body, time and notifications.
The first category includes functions related to nature, including an altimeter, a barometer, a compass, a UV index indicator (a first in watchmaking), a thermometer and a smart GPS connected to the application. The second category relates to the user’s well-being, in particular by activity tracking and sleep monitoring, and in this way, providing dynamic coaching and smart alarms based on these results. Finally, the time and notification category provides innumerable options for recording time, notifications, world time and Cloud connection to save data.
In classic intense black or a bold modern orange, the AlpinerX collection offers models to suit all tastes. Athletic in its 45 mm diameter, the fibreglass case (for lightweight comfort), with its engraved steel caseback, reveals a classic analogue dial, encircled by a 360° rotating compass bezel. Protected by a sapphire crystal, the dark matte finish of the face is paired with impressive luminescent white indexes. While indicating the hours and minutes, the hands, also luminescent, can spread apart on the upper portion of the dial if necessary, to reveal the information that appears when the digital dial is activated.
Water resistant to 100 metres and shock resistant, this sporty watch is finished with a rubber strap in orange, black or blue depending on the version, for the perfect consummation of the adventurous spirit of this timepiece.
Connected to Smartphone via Bluetooth BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy or low consumption Bluetooth), the AlpinerX can be used with the AlpinerX Smart Outdoors application (available on IOS and Android) to record and display the data it collects.
Conceived and assembled in Geneva, Switzerland, the AlpinerX Outdoors Smartwatch is equipped with embedded intelligence relying on the MMT-283 Swiss quartz movement that benefits from two years battery life.
About La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc
La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc is the story of a dream. The dream of a great adventure that would cross our Alpine massifs, whereas the norm for this sport for decades had been to run across icy expanses with little topographical relief. Ever since its first edition in 2005, La Grande Odyssée Savoie Mont Blanc has been Europe’s top annual sled dog event. It is the most challenging stage race in an alpine milieu, unique in the world.