INTO THE DEEP, DEEP WA­TERS

FRENCH FREE DIVER MOR­GAN BOURC’HIS EX­PLAINS WHY TU­DOR’S NEW ‘PE­LA­GOS’ IS A WIN­NER. AND WHY YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ATH­LETE TO AP­PRE­CI­ATE GOOD DE­SIGN.

GQ (Australia) - - NEWS -

Two years ago, Mor­gan Bourc’his plunged to a depth of 87 me­tres off the coast of Nice in France, and was crowned world free-div­ing cham­pion. To­day, the 37-year-old re­mains at the top of his feld, in a sport that sees com­peti­tors en­dure ex­treme pres­sure and hold their breath for min­utes on end. Free div­ing is noth­ing new – div­ing for sponges and pearls was pop­u­lar in an­cient Greek cul­ture – but Bourc’his is part of a gen­er­a­tion of ul­tra-ath­letes test­ing the ab­so­lute lim­its of un­der­wa­ter en­durance. As the new face of Tu­dor’s ‘Pe­la­gos’ watch cam­paign, we caught up with him to dis­cover what it takes to be­come such a cham­pion, and how the right watch plays its part.

GQ: Is it as dan­ger­ous as peo­ple imag­ine? Mor­gan Bourc’his:

If you’re pre­pared and all the safety pre­cau­tions have been taken, free div­ing to 100m is less dan­ger­ous than scuba div­ing to the same depth. The hu­man body is ca­pa­ble of adapt­ing in an ex­tra­or­di­nary way.

GQ: Had any ac­ci­dents or near misses? MB:

Never a ma­jor one, no. I have in­jured my lungs dur­ing train­ing be­cause we are sub­jected to great pres­sure vari­a­tions in our de­scents. I have passed out in train­ing be­fore, but came round im­me­di­ately. It wasn’t se­ri­ous and has hap­pened maybe three or four times in 15 years.

GQ: What kind of train­ing is in­volved? MB:

I do a lot of phys­i­cal train­ing be­cause my dis­ci­pline re­quires a huge ef­fort to re­turn to the sur­face with no as­sis­tance. I do weights all year round, but with­out build­ing up too much be­cause mus­cles use oxy­gen. I swim, cy­cle and, of course, free dive both in the pool and the sea.

GQ: Where are your favourite places to dive? MB:

The rich seabed in Mar­seille means I can train there, but also dive for fun and visit fab­u­lous un­der­wa­ter land­scapes like grot­toes, wrecks and cliff faces. I have been lucky enough to dive in the Red Sea, The Ba­hamas, Ja­pan and the In­dian Ocean.

GQ: You’re in the new Tu­dor cam­paign. What do you like about the ‘Pe­la­gos’ watch? MB:

I love its sim­ple style and the op­tional blue colour. The lu­mi­nous in­dices, the snow­fake hands, the helium valve, the self-ad­just­ing buckle and the in­house move­ment all high­light the le­git­i­macy of the brand. I ap­pre­ci­ate his­tory and tra­di­tion, what­ever the sub­ject.

GQ: And why is this watch a good fit for a diver? MB:

Re­li­a­bil­ity is im­por­tant and it’s also easy to read, mak­ing it per­fectly suited to un­der­wa­ter divers, who­ever they are.

CHAM­PION FREE DIVER MOR­GAN BOURC’HIS.

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