When Haroun Tazieff wears a fireproof suit he wears his Rolex on the outside.
The tiny figure on the right of the photograph is Haroun Tazieff. The picture was taken last year when Tazieff and a scientific team were observing the eruption of Niragongo.
Haroun Tazieff always wears a Rolex, though unfortunately the camera could not get close enough to show it.
The scientists involved in observing volcanoes need completely reliable watches to record the changing temperature of gases and the magma flung up by volcanic action.
The figures they collect help them to understand the whys and hows of this basic phenomenon: the Earth's volcanism.
A Rolex can be trusted to keep cool and unperturbed on either side of the earth's crust.
The seamless Oyster case is carved from a solid block of 18ct. gold, platinum or stainless surgical steel, by a series of 162 separate operations. Inside this virtually indestructible case our craftsmen fit one of our patented inventions, the Rolex winding crown, which screws down onto the case, acting rather like a submarine hatch.
The rotor self-winding Perpetual movement is so accurate that it is certified as a Chronometer by one of the Swiss Institutes for Official Chronometer Tests.
A Rolex takes just over a year to make, and the time and care our craftsmen take ensures that each Oyster is perfectly reliable, wherever it is worn. Rolex Oysters have been taken up Mt. Everest and down to the deepest part of the ocean bed, but certainly Haroun Tazieff has taken his Rolex to the hottest place of all.
For years Niragongo had lain comparatively quiet, in fact in 1959 Tazieff had actually climbed right down into the crater. He described the experience:
"Around us there was nothing but this sealed-off world, enclosed by immense cliffs, and fumes ceaselessly rising from the centre. But it was the sight of the bottom, about five or six hundred feet down, that was amazing: in its north-western quarter there was a lake of live lava, boiling away ceaselessly from the action of forces deep below; every now and then the elastic black skin covering it burst and threw up fountains of cherry-red lava, while at the southern end a tremendous froth of liquid fire lashed the banks with heavy scarlet waves. The lava suddenly overflowed, and in a few moments had covered a surface of more than an acre."
So wherever you may travel, even in the warmest regions, you can be sure your Rolex, or at least a Rolex like it, will have been there before.
You can tell by the men who wear them.