It goes without saying that winter sport is in full swing in the Northern hemisphere. Taking centre stage on European television every winter is the action packed sport of Biathlon. For Biel/Bienne Swiss based Horage they have announced a 100 piece limited edition of the Multiply model in collaboration and support of the US Biathlon team.
With this watch from Horage, the motivation of its creation is beyond sponsorship. At first blush, it might seem that Horage is using it to hijack the Olympic Games for commercial intent given the timing of the release, but if you look closer, it’s difficult to make the case for anything but the purest of intentions.
Horage has garnered a relationship to athletes and organization of US Biathlon over a multi-year timeline with the intention to support them on their way to World Cups in winter seasons. The main factor that stymies the hopes of most athletes, potential or otherwise, is money. And this factor especially applies to the vast number of athletes taking part in lesser known sports that are unable to get sponsorship deals.
This new limited edition watch then goes some way to help, with a portion of the proceeds of sale going to the team as a whole, or to each athlete individually of your choosing. It’s nice to see this money going directly to the athletes instead of being tied up in logo placements, publication and broadcasting rights.
The Horage X US Biathlon 2022 Winter Team is based on the Horage Multiply which carries the in-house K1 movement and is available in a few variations with different combinations of these features – central or small seconds, date and power reserve indicator.
This particular limited edition comes with central seconds and a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock, which has been designed to represent a rifle scope and the physical power necessary to be competitive in the race.
Why a rifle? I won’t need to tell you if you are familiar with the winter Biathlon. If you’re unfamiliar, it’ll probably sound weird. The Biathlon is an event that combines cross country skiing with shooting. What does this mean? Well, the athletes ski a standard cross country distance, but have to stop at various intervals to shoot at targets with an eight-pound (3.6kg) rifle they have been carrying on their back throughout.
It’s necessarily a demanding sport, but one wonders how the idea of it came about? Maybe it was part of the history of Alpine sniper training?
Topping off the limited edition part of the watch is the US Biathlon team logo as well as a unique linear effect representative of a freshly groomed racecourse on the bottom half of the white dial. The interesting part of the watch however comes in the form of the sapphire case-back, and in true Horage style, you can choose which one you want, and by extension, who you choose to give your money to.
You can either support the whole team, and get the sapphire caseback with the team logo, or any of the six individual athletes in the team, in which case, your watch will feature the specific athlete’s signature (see below). The proceeds from the watches are then split evenly in the first situation, or specifically to the athlete of your choosing, in the second.
The watch, in a 41mm stainless steel case, comes fitted with a special two-link steel bracelet with deployant clasp. In addition, each watch will ship with two complimentary NATO straps.
Now the Multiply model is what I would consider the bread and butter model of the Horage lineup and is an excellent value for money option given the in-house movement, and the range of complications you can get for it. While this limited edition model comes in at 2500 CHF, the top end model in the Multiply range, with all the possible complications – (big date, power reserve indicator and small seconds) comes in at a reasonable 3300 CHF.
It’s nice to see watchmaking used in this manner for fundraising and I like the way that Horage has gone about creating it. It was a bit out of the blue to see the press release of this watch land in my inbox when it did, but I do know on good authority that Horage’s communications director, Landon Stirling, having been a diving instructor, sports photographer and mountaineer has ties with the world of extreme sports and Horage founder Andi Felsl competed on the World Cup circuit as a professional snowboarder so that’s probably how it came about.
Well, go ahead to this website (LINK) to pre-order your watch if you want to buy one and do note that you have up till the 22nd of February 2022 to do so. After that, you’ll have to wait up to 5 months for the custom engraving to be done, and you should receive your watch shortly after that.
Dial: Biathlon loupe inspired white with US Biathlon logo at 12 o’clock and HORAGE at 3 o’clock, applied indices with Super-LumiNova®, special groomed course pattern on bottom half of dial.
Case Back: Exhibition sapphire crystal engraved with athlete autograph and 2022 Winter Olympian or US Biathlon logo and 2022 Winter Team engraving. Athletes autographs to choose from are Clare Egan, Susan Dunklee, Sean Doherty, Jake Brown, Paul Schommer & Leif Nordgen.
Functions: Power Reserve Indicator – Centre Hour, Minute & Seconds Hand, Power Reserve Indicator at 6 o’clock
Case & Crown:316L stainless steel, push pull crown