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Look watch we found: Ultra rare OMEGA Polar Plaisted Expedition Speedmaster

by Michael Weare
11 May, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

OMEGA-Speedmaster-Plaisted-Polar-Expedition-watch

Forty years this past April 20th, a U.S. Air Force weather reconnaissance plane radioed down to a small gathering of men to tell them, “Everywhere from where you are now is south!”

It’s undeniable that the men of the 1968 Plaisted Expedition were the first snowmobilers to ever reach the North Pole. And, they could well be the first men to reach the Pole by land — despite the National Geographic Society’s claim that Robert E. Peary was the first.

The verification of their position meant a great deal to the four men who had spent more than 40 days fighting polar ice to make snowmobiling history. With that radio message the U.S. Air Force verified their historic accomplishment.

Plaisted Polar Expedition

The four-men at the North Pole consisted of expedition leader Ralph Plaisted, a 40-year-old St. Paul, Minn. insurance man; navigator and radioman Gerry Pitzl, a 34-year-old university geography teacher; 40-year-old mechanic Walt Pederson, who owned a Ski-Doo dealership in St. Cloud, Minn.; and Jean-Luc Bombardier, the 29-year-old nephew of Ski-Doo inventor J-Armand Bombardier, whose snowmobiles the team rode to the Pole.

OMEGA Speedmaster Plaisted Polar Expedition 02

On the April 19th, 1968, after travelling 44 days and 1320 kilometres across the polar cap, the four men calculated their location with a sextant and a Speedmaster: they had reached the 90 degrees latitude North, which is the Geographic North Pole.

Now one of only 4 watches released by OMEGA for the expedition is available on Ebay. The watch in question is believed to have belonged to Jean-Luc Bombardier, the youngest member of the four man team.

The 39.5mm X 47mm OMEGA Speedmaster – known as the OMEGA Polar Plaisted Expedition Seamaster Cal 321 – features the black tritium dial, hands, case and caseback with the Plaisted Expedition logo all in original condition, only the watch bracelet is after market. The watch runs on a hand wound Cal 321 17 jewel movement. So far the watch has received 25 offers on Ebay and the asking price is $99,000.00. The watch comes with all appropriate papers.

Omega Speedmaster Polar Plaisted Expedition case back

Team leader Ralph Plaisted to this day feels that his expedition of snowmobilers was the first to reach the North Pole by land. His accomplishment was unquestionably verified by an outside source.

Plaisted Polar Expedition story and picture courtesy of Jerry Bassett of snowmobile.com

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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