WYLER GENÈVE PRESENTS THE OFFICIAL WATCH OF THE DAKAR
[ via Wyler Genève ]
Geneva, 20th October 2008 - Luxury watchmaker Wyler Genève, the official timekeeper for the 2009 Dakar, today unveiled the official watch of the rally: a limited-edition chronograph made of the rare metal tantalum. Slated to appear in stores in time for the run-up to the Dakar, which starts in Buenos Aires on 3rd January 2009, the production run for this watch is limited to 182, which was the number of competitors in the first-ever Dakar rally 30 years ago.
In addition to on-screen credits as official timekeeper and the right to produce the official watch of the Dakar, Wyler Genève's three-year agreement with the event organisers also includes the obligation for a life-cycle analysis of the event financed by Wyler Genève. The results from this will be used to determine the scope of a Wyler Genève prize, to be awarded for the 2010 edition, to recompense ecological endeavours by participants, organisers or anyone else involved in the Dakar.
The official Dakar watch uses Wyler Genève's unique shock-absorbing case, in which the movement is sealed in a titanium container that is held in place in a carbon-fibre resin frame. The upper and lower plates are then fixed to this construction on sprung titanium screws, leaving the movement suspended inside. The use of tantalum for these plates leaves no doubt as to the exclusive nature of the Dakar watch. Not only is tantalum rarer than gold, it is also more difficult to machine - especially for the complex Wyler Genève case - meaning that there is only ever a limited number of models available with the intriguing blue-grey sheen of this rare metal.
DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating on the titanium screws and stainless-steel crown protector and chronograph pushers give the watch a stealthy look, with sand-coloured detailing for the applied minute track, applied Arabic numerals, individually applied letters of the Wyler name and the chronograph counters offering a subtle contrast with the dark case and black dial. The sapphire crystal case back is laser engraved with
"OFFICIAL WATCH OF THE DAKAR RALLY", the limited-edition number (xxx/182) and the rally's cheich (headscarf) logo. It also acts as a window on the chronograph movement beating inside, which has a 42-hour power reserve and a personalised Wyler Genève oscillating mass in drilled blackened heavy metal.
The official Dakar watch is delivered with a black rubber strap and black PVD-treated foldover clasp fitted. However, a special compartment in the luxury watch box, finished in shrunk leather, contains a special Dakar strap in the same leather, embossed with the cheich logo and Dakar inscription. The compartment also includes the screwdriver for opening the inner case back to change the strap and two Allen keys for removing
the foldover clasp, as well as a USB stick with video instructions on how to change the strap. This not only gives the owner a choice of two totally different looks, it also allows them to see first-hand one example of the robustness of the watch, since the strap is fixed directly to the case with screws that pass through the upper and lower tantalum plates.
One of the Dakar's most legendary drivers, nine-times winner Stéphane Peterhansel, is also a Wyler Genève ambassador, and will be putting the shock-absorbing Wyler Genève chronograph through its paces on the rally that he describes as "fascinating in terms of complexity, difficulty and ruggedness".