The hashtag #EXPLORE has been misused for fashion purposes, maybe even by myself, on Instagram and other SoMe channels. This time, however, it’s the real deal. Maybe you fancy yourself exploring tropical reefs next summer with a dive watch strapped over your wetsuit. Or there might be a mountain range in Nepal with your name on it.

Personally, I’m trapped in my self-imposed bubble of a guilty conscience, living in Norway and not enjoying nature. Perhaps I’m merely channeling here, but with the pandemic easing off finally (knock on wood), it’s time to experience more than your (and yes, my) neighborhood. These are the toughest tools and the right gear, but the motivation needs to come from within, Grasshopper.

Omega Seamaster Ultra Deep in Titanium

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is the new Ploprof. The new Seamaster Ultra Deep Titanium is seriously impressive in its own right. I’ll ban all mention of desk divers or shirt cuffs because this is real. Get off of the sofa, strap this on, and book a SCUBA diving course. This Seamaster is uncompromisingly tough. The Ultra Deep is cut from a different cloth, and you know what? I’d say it’s even a more fitting Omega for James Bond (hot-take alert!). The rounded case and manta lugs speak a language of their own, the only similarity being the rather huge namesake from 2019. The ISO 6425 certification makes it abundantly clear that you need a diving course and a wet/drysuit, and the in-house caliber 8912 means business. This beast is exploration-ready at CHF 11,400. Now get going!

Our very own managing editor exploring the cold depths of a lake somewhere in southern Germany

PADI Diving Course

No, I’m not going to give you a choice to opt-out. I will instead provide a link to one of many PADI diving courses. This one is in Gran Canaria, so you can book a flight to lose those winter blues, and get ready to immerse your Omega Seamaster Ultra Deep. I know, after spending CHF 11,400, you might not have the budget for a Canary Island holiday, but chances are there is a course very near you. Sorry, if you thought you’d get out of this, then no. And I need it just as much as you do! I mean, we’ve been stuck inside for the best part of two years now. I’ve got three dive watches, one of which will go down to 300 meters. And no matter what I’ve told you in the past, it wants to be strapped over a wet suit. Just do it — it’s time!

Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655

Yes, I know. This is not a modern tool watch. But my god, the vibe it gives you. And despite its high value, most of these first Explorer II references have a story to tell. Like a vintage Testarossa cocooned in a temperature-controlled garage, the Rolex ref. 1655 wants to get out and #EXPLORE. It might look cool with a suit, but this time, make it happy and take it on a mountain trek. I know, it was designed for cave explorers, making it nearly unsellable in its debut years. But what a truly perfect sports watch! The huge 24-hour hand, giving the model its nickname “Freccione” (big arrow), was meant to help explorers distinguish day from night in dark caves. It’s a great example of form following function, making this a much cooler tool watch than a blingy Batman GMT-Master II.

Rolex Explorer reference 1655

A real Rolex

In my book, this is perhaps the coolest and most focused tool Rolex has ever made, from the staggered minute and hour markers to the giant triangle at 12 o’clock and black-based hands with lume. Get a properly scratched-up one for about $25,000 from Chrono24, and don’t baby it. Take it out, climb a mountain and simply add to its rich history. Each extra little nick on the case will become a part of your memories and a great way of re-affirming the Rolex ethos. The Submariner might be a lost cause, trapped under starched tuxedo shirts or bought as part of an investment portfolio. But this, Fratelli, is the real deal. Don’t leave it in a safe, as it will self-destruct, or at least lose its soul forever.

#EXPLORE the world again

Image courtesy of

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Mountaineering boots

For once, I followed my Norwegian sense and went to Bergfreunde for some proper mountaineering boots from Scarpa. Now, this story is meant to inspire you to #EXPLORE the world or your nearest mountain, not simply go on an urban hike. So these leather and Gore-Tex boots are function-forward and supremely comfortable. With the breathable, waterproof design, these will hold up on a long trek. And the color? Yes, there might be a pop of orange that just happens to match the Freccione… But wear these downtown with some skinny jeans, and you’ll look like a fool, I’m telling you now. At €234, these are not cheap boots, but as hiking boots, they are a superb choice. And those Vibram soles will keep you moving through rough terrain without losing focus.

#EXPLORE the world again

Image courtesy of Allo Fans

Casio G-Shock GBD-H1000 — the Garmin beater

This claim might not be true, as I’m not a big GPS, Fitbit, or smartwatch enthusiast. But what this Casio G-Shock does is simple. It puts GPS, activity, and tracking functionality within a brightly colored frame that I’d trust with my life. To be truthful, for a trek up a mountain, I would pick a normal G-Shock for its indestructibility. But, and it’s that’s big but, your phone does not have an indefinite range or battery life. Yes, the Casio G-Shock GBD series, not a Garmin, is the ultimate survival tool if you are horologically inclined. This might have the same barometer, acceleration sensor, and heart-rate tracking capability, but with added trust. And while that functionality may be better-suited to a Garmin or Polar, halfway up a mountain, it’s a G for me, buddy. This is peace of mind for around €500.

#EXPLORE the world again

Image courtesy of Canada Goose

Canada Goose Resolute Parka

Also known as “The Industrial Parka Of The North” is the most extreme winter outerwear from renowned brand Canada Goose. Yes, it matches the almost emergency red of the G-Shock, but it is also available in a more demure black or navy. At $1,295, this is your best investment to protect you against the elements anywhere. With sewn-on ringlets to hook on anything from a nuke-proof water bottle to a flare gun, the Resolute will keep you warm down to -30° C. This coat would have been a shoo-in for Best Supporting Jacket in End Of Days. But it is too warm to be a mere urban winter favorite, so I’d suggest you start looking at flights to Nepal. Springtime is coming, so get up to higher altitudes and give this parka a proper chance to prove itself.

So, did I inspire you to find your inner mountaineer, or are you already scanning eBay for a bargain wetsuit and some SCUBA gear? Let us know in the comments, and well, get exploring!

Find me and follow me at @thorsvaboe