There can be few more gruelling challenges than crossing the Atlantic in a rowing boat.

But that’s what couple Rosalind Chaston and Andy Hodgson will be doing in January when they set off from the Canary Islands with the goal of reaching the Caribbean approximately 40 days later.

The pair are taking on the journey to raise money for the RNLI and Christopher Ward’s charity partners Blue Marine Foundation. When Andy and Rosalind’s endeavours came to CW’s attention, the company decided to bring them into the Challenger programme – which offers support to pioneers without the financial background to achieve their dreams.

“The world record is 43 days. We’re aiming for 42 and a half”

“I rowed the coast of Great Britain in 175 days,” says Andy. “I was done with it – then I met Rosalind! I still had the boat, they’re hard to sell, and she convinced me to come out of retirement to cross the Atlantic. So here we are!”

The couple plan to complete the trip within record time. “We’re hoping to do between 60 to 100 on a good day,” says Rosalind. “You have the currents, plus the trade winds from the Canaries. The world record is 43 days. We’re aiming for 42 and a half.”

Andy and Rosalind will be wearing a C60 Sapphire on the wrists, donated by CW to help them keep time as they cross the Atlantic. Good luck, guys!

Another recent addition to the Challenger line-up is
James Hayden. One of the world’s most respected endurance cyclists, he’s back-to-back winner of the gruelling Transcontinental Race (which goes from the Black Sea to Brittany in France).

James has overcome extreme pain and unimaginable exhaustion all over the world to climb – literally – to the peak of his sport.

He believes the partnership works because his personal philosophy chimes with the ethos of Christopher Ward. “One of the things that attracted me to the Challenger programme was how CW focuses on being the best they can be in an industry with huge players,” he says. “What I do is a challenge and what CW does is a challenge – going up against the big brands as I go up against the establishment of cycling.”

“What I do is a challenge and
what CW does is
a challenge – going up against the
big brands”

As a qualified civil engineer, he appreciates the craftsmanship and accuracy of our watches. Recently he’s been wearing the all-carbon C63 Colchester – an MOD-approved watch he’ll be wearing on the gruelling 2022 Silk Road endurance race in Kyrgyzstan.

“It’s so light I don’t notice it – it almost becomes part of me. I wear it every day, and because it’s got the retractable crown, it never digs into my wrist, either – something I’ll appreciate when I’m riding up another mountain in Kyrgyzstan!”

“I’ve had the watch for several months and, apart from when I’ve moved into a different time zone, I’ve never had to adjust it. I can rely on it absolutely – invaluable when I’m racing. Because of what I do, I appreciate great engineering. And seeing the movement through the exhibition through the case-back reminds me what an incredible piece of kit it is.”

James is an incredibly driven individual, pushing himself to the absolute limit to reach his goal.

“There are two types of feelings – physical and emotional,” he says. “And if you can control your emotions, you can control the physical side. There are highs and lows in every race where everything feels against you, but I’ve done it long enough to know those periods pass. They allow you to access the door to the next level, where you get the super-high highs.”

Few people better embody the Challenger spirit than
Tom Hicks

A conservationist and explorer, Tom is leading an expedition to the North Pole on behalf of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, which funds conservation projects in Asia and Africa.

While the Arctic is half a world away from the tropics, its environment affects conditions in the Earth’s warmer zones, which is why he’ll be measuring snow depths and melt rates on his trek.

“I’m doing this because I believe everyone has the potential to do something positive,” says Tom. “Our individual and collective power to change is greater than we know. The Arctic is the most vulnerable region for climate change. I’ll be sharing Arctic snowmelt data from the expedition to highlight that climate change is real, and it’s happening now.”

And while he’s there, he’ll be wearing the C60 Anthropocene GMT – a watch named after the era in which humankind has influenced the Earth’s environment.

“For me,” says Tom, “this watch triggers a conversation about our species’ impact on the planet. And anything that gets people to look and act can bring about change.”

“I’m doing this because I believe everyone has the potential to do something positive”