At the same time Messner and Fuchs were trekking across Antarctica, another Minnesotan, Will Steger, was leading a momentous expedition to cross the same continent, but using dogsleds and taking a much longer route. The 1989-90 “International Trans-Antarctic Expedition” was ambitious for a number of reasons, not just the conditions and distance. Steger assembled a thoroughly international team, with representatives of France, Japan, the U.K., Russia and China, in addition to himself, which brought with it its own issues of language and cultural barriers.
Though Steger had used Rolex watches for past expeditions (he was only the fourth person in history to reach both Poles), for the 1989 expedition, he used a quirky watch made especially for him by the French brand, Yema. The watch, called the Bipole Duopoly had a 48mm titanium case, long velcro Kevlar strap, and quartz movement. But its most useful and distinctive feature was an anti-magnetic sidereal solar compass and reversible dial that allowed navigation for both the North Pole and South Pole. It’s incredibly rare, and not the prettiest watch in the world, but without question the most purpose-built one in this list.