Luxury watch brand Wyler Genève will take on the role of official timekeeper for the 2009 Dakar in South America as part of a new long-term partnership with the event. The company will also produce the official Dakar watch and make a contribution to help reduce the event’s environmental impact.
Dakar legend Stéphane Peterhansel (pictured), Wyler Genève’s newly appointed ambassador, will put the company’s shock-absorbing chronograph to the test along the arduous South American route.
The first Paris-Dakar rally was held in 1979 in exploration of a “world without barriers” and has since brought together annually a mixed bag of adventurers, celebrities, and professional drivers seeking the adrenaline rush from pushing themselves and their machines to the limits of their capabilities. For its 30th anniversary, the rally heads for South America for a 9,000km challenge from the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires to Valparaiso in Chile and back again, taking on the Andes and the Atacama desert.
Wyler Genève, as the official timekeeper for this race, will showcase its shock-absorbing chronograph.
“We have favored presenting our watches through projects that focus on travel more as a means than as an end,” said Bruno Grande, Wyler Genève’s managing director. “With the Dakar, we are partnering with an event that has been bringing cultures and adventurers together for 30 years. It is, of course, also the most difficult rally in the world and is therefore a perfect competition to show off the robustness of our watches.”
The luxury watch firm considers the environmental impact of all its actions. It has already been certified CarbonNeutral and this year launched the world’s first CarbonNeutral watch. To take the environment into consideration for its sponsorship of the Dakar, Wyler Genève will develop a prize to reward environmental endeavours by the participants, organizers, or anyone else involved in the Dakar. The first Wyler Genève prize will be awarded at the 2010 edition of the rally and its scope will be based on a wide-ranging scientific study of the Dakar commissioned by Wyler Genève.
Wyler Genève is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is part of the Binda Group of Italy, which owns the brands Breil Milano, Tribe by Breil, and Details. It has a licensing agreement to produce and distribute in Italy and abroad the brands Ducati and Ducati Corse, D&G Dolce & Gabbana Time, D&G Dolce & Gabbana Jewels, Moschino CheapAndChic Watches, Moschino CheapAndChic Jewels.
Paul Wyler, the watchmaker who founded the company, was responsible for numerous innovations to make watches more robust and resistant, notably the Incaflex balance wheel, which is used in the company’s current limited-edition chronograph as a tribute to the genius of its founder.
Wyler Genève will present details of its official Dakar watch later in the year to coincide with the first official press conferences in South America. Full details of the current Wyler Genève collection can be found at www.wylergeneve.com and all press texts and high-resolution images can be obtained at http://share-d.wyler.com (registration required).