Time measurement

A survival tool for sailors

From the sextant to the chronometer, timing and positioning instruments have always had a key role to play in navigation. Regatta sailor Loïck Peyron discusses this crucial aspect of ocean racing.

One of the most striking experiences of French sailor Loïck Peyron dates back to his first Atlantic crossing when he was just 19 and had to reach Les Antilles via the Canary Islands. Alone aboard his 6.5 meter boat, he had to find his way with the help of a sextant – an instrument that since the 18th century has enabled sailors to work out their longitude and latitude. And then, somewhere in the immensity of the ocean, the accessory broke down. Happily for him, the young navigator finally found his position after several hours by making radio contact with passing cargo ships.

Today, the sextant is hardly used, and has been replaced with satellite positioning systems: a new phase in the long joint history of maritime disciplines and the measuring of time and distance. Loïck Peyron knows a bit about this – his father was captain of a petrol tanker and his two brothers, Bruno and Stéphane, are also experienced navigators.

After some 50 Atlantic crossings and four round the world trips, including one alone, the trajectory of the French sailor, born in Nantes in 1959, today brings him to other measuring instruments, namely watches. His collaboration with Corum began a number of years ago on Lake Léman aboard the Okalys-Corum D35. It continued with the Jules Verne Trophy, a key sailing competition for which the watchmaking company from La Chaux-de-Fonds is the official timer, as well as for the Americas’ Cup World Series with the Energy Team.

He also took part in the development of the Admiral’s Cup Regatta model, together with Laurent Besse, R&D movement director for Corum. “Our aim was to create a watch that offered the best possible conditions for the start in a regatta” emphasizes Loïck Peyron. As clear timing is indispensable from the beginning of the race, it was crucial to design the simplest, most easily readable instrument possible. “In this context, indications such as the date and a stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second don’t play a key role, says the French navigator. The most important thing is to be able to pre-set the countdown in an optimal fashion five or ten minutes before the start.” This is naturally far more delicate with an analog movement than with its digital counterpart.

Precise measurement of time plays a very important role in the handling of multiple navigation manœuvres. Especially when it comes to breaking records. In this regard, Loïck Peyron’s track record is impressive – in January 2012, at an average speed of 26.5 knots, he won the Jules Verne Trophy, completing his round the world trip aboard a trimaran in exactly 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds!

Time measurement
A survival tool for sailors

From the sextant to the chronometer, timing and positioning instruments have always had a key role to play in navigation. Regatta sailor Loïck Peyron discusses this crucial aspect of ocean racing.

One of the most striking experiences of French sailor Loïck Peyron dates back to his first Atlantic crossing when he was just 19 and had to reach Les Antilles via the Canary Islands. Alone aboard his 6.5 meter boat, he had to find his way with the help of a sextant – an instrument that since the 18th century has enabled sailors to work out their longitude and latitude. And then, somewhere in the immensity of the ocean, the accessory broke down. Happily for him, the young navigator finally found his position after several hours by making radio contact with passing cargo ships.

Today, the sextant is hardly used, and has been replaced with satellite positioning systems: a new phase in the long joint history of maritime disciplines and the measuring of time and distance. Loïck Peyron knows a bit about this – his father was captain of a petrol tanker and his two brothers, Bruno and Stéphane, are also experienced navigators.

After some 50 Atlantic crossings and four round the world trips, including one alone, the trajectory of the French sailor, born in Nantes in 1959, today brings him to other measuring instruments, namely watches. His collaboration with Corum began a number of years ago on Lake Léman aboard the Okalys-Corum D35. It continued with the Jules Verne Trophy, a key sailing competition for which the watchmaking company from La Chaux-de-Fonds is the official timer, as well as for the Americas’ Cup World Series with the Energy Team.

He also took part in the development of the Admiral’s Cup Regatta model, together with Laurent Besse, R&D movement director for Corum. “Our aim was to create a watch that offered the best possible conditions for the start in a regatta” emphasizes Loïck Peyron. As clear timing is indispensable from the beginning of the race, it was crucial to design the simplest, most easily readable instrument possible. “In this context, indications such as the date and a stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second don’t play a key role, says the French navigator. The most important thing is to be able to pre-set the countdown in an optimal fashion five or ten minutes before the start.” This is naturally far more delicate with an analog movement than with its digital counterpart.

Precise measurement of time plays a very important role in the handling of multiple navigation manœuvres. Especially when it comes to breaking records. In this regard, Loïck Peyron’s track record is impressive – in January 2012, at an average speed of 26.5 knots, he won the Jules Verne Trophy, completing his round the world trip aboard a trimaran in exactly 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds!

Time measurement
A survival tool for sailors

From the sextant to the chronometer, timing and positioning instruments have always had a key role to play in navigation. Regatta sailor Loïck Peyron discusses this crucial aspect of ocean racing.

One of the most striking experiences of French sailor Loïck Peyron dates back to his first Atlantic crossing when he was just 19 and had to reach Les Antilles via the Canary Islands. Alone aboard his 6.5 meter boat, he had to find his way with the help of a sextant – an instrument that since the 18th century has enabled sailors to work out their longitude and latitude. And then, somewhere in the immensity of the ocean, the accessory broke down. Happily for him, the young navigator finally found his position after several hours by making radio contact with passing cargo ships.

Today, the sextant is hardly used, and has been replaced with satellite positioning systems: a new phase in the long joint history of maritime disciplines and the measuring of time and distance. Loïck Peyron knows a bit about this – his father was captain of a petrol tanker and his two brothers, Bruno and Stéphane, are also experienced navigators.

After some 50 Atlantic crossings and four round the world trips, including one alone, the trajectory of the French sailor, born in Nantes in 1959, today brings him to other measuring instruments, namely watches. His collaboration with Corum began a number of years ago on Lake Léman aboard the Okalys-Corum D35. It continued with the Jules Verne Trophy, a key sailing competition for which the watchmaking company from La Chaux-de-Fonds is the official timer, as well as for the Americas’ Cup World Series with the Energy Team.

He also took part in the development of the Admiral’s Cup Regatta model, together with Laurent Besse, R&D movement director for Corum. “Our aim was to create a watch that offered the best possible conditions for the start in a regatta” emphasizes Loïck Peyron. As clear timing is indispensable from the beginning of the race, it was crucial to design the simplest, most easily readable instrument possible. “In this context, indications such as the date and a stopwatch accurate to 1/100th of a second don’t play a key role, says the French navigator. The most important thing is to be able to pre-set the countdown in an optimal fashion five or ten minutes before the start.” This is naturally far more delicate with an analog movement than with its digital counterpart.

Precise measurement of time plays a very important role in the handling of multiple navigation manœuvres. Especially when it comes to breaking records. In this regard, Loïck Peyron’s track record is impressive – in January 2012, at an average speed of 26.5 knots, he won the Jules Verne Trophy, completing his round the world trip aboard a trimaran in exactly 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds!