Exploring The Icelandic Wilderness With The Laventure Sous-Marine
From rugged landscapes to mystical aurora borealis and glistening ice diamonds, photographer and watch lover Laurent-Xavier Moulin takes the Laventure Sous-Marine timepiece on an adventure into the Icelandic wilderness.
When traveling, I never leave home without my camera or a watch on my wrist. It is a tradition and I like to take a different watch each time I travel. For my recent trip to Iceland, there was no hesitation. I strapped on my watch crush of the year, the Laventure Sous-Marine.
I first discovered this watch on Instagram then had the good fortune to meet the founder, Clément Gaud, at Baselworld. When I saw the watches in the flesh, it was love at first sight, and I treated myself to number 32 of a 50-piece limited edition Laventure Sous Marine Acier Bleu to celebrate my 32nd birthday.
Going to Iceland had always been a dream. As a photographer, the dramatic landscapes are awe-inspiring and provide the perfect backdrop for watch photography. I taught myself to take photos and started by shooting backstage at catwalks and by covering luxury events. I fell into watch photography purely by chance when I was asked to take some wrist shots of watches during an event, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Day One: Selfoss And Skógafoss
I arrived in Selfoss with friends and videographers Kevin and Diego for a vacation. We planned the trip ourselves, booking various holiday homes in exchange for photography and video of the properties. Our first Airbnb was a luxury house in South Iceland’s Golden Circle called Kerbyggð.
Once unpacked, we headed out on a three-hour drive to the Skógafoss waterfall situated on the Skógá River at the cliffs of the former coastline. The coastline is now five kilometers further into the sea. The Skógafoss waterfall is one of the biggest in the country with a width of 15 meters and a drop of 60 meters and proved to be a great location for some stunning wrist shots of the Laventure Sous-Marine.
Day Two: Exploring Without A Plan
The second day we decided to take the car and drive with no particular destination in mind. We drove for around four hours before deciding to park the car in the middle of nowhere and set off on foot up a mountain. When we reached the summit, we shouted out into the emptiness. It felt like we were the only ones left on Earth.
After driving the four hours back to Kerbyggð, we finally arrived back at the house, tired and weary, and the owners kindly invited us to dinner. It was a wonderful evening, and the mother surprisingly spoke French as she had studied architecture in France. She even put on some old French music, which made us smile, especially as we are Swiss!
Day Three: The Summer House
The following day, the son took us to their summer house, where we stayed for the night. He gave us a fascinating tour of the area, taking us to a special place memorializing the people burnt at the stake as witches during the Dark Ages. To lighten the mood, I asked if he would mind modeling the Laventure for me, and I took a couple of pictures of him wearing the watch. It looked great with his Icelandic wool sweater.
The watch comes in a 41mm stainless steel case with a blue sandwich dial, allowing the beige indices to shine through from below. It is powered by a Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement and comes with a large range of straps. What I love about this watch are all the finishings and attention to detail, which are beautifully executed on a timepiece available at such an attraction price, CHF 2,350.
Day Four: Ice Diamonds
Our next stop was a visit to the diamond beach. This natural phenomenon occurs when icebergs from the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon break off and drift ashore. The blue, black, and transparent ice chunks laid stranded on the beach, sparkling like precious stones. This was a great location for some more watch pictures taken against the ice.
Day Five: Little House In The Middle Of Nowhere
You can’t get to grips with the size of Iceland until you start to drive around the country. We spent hours behind the wheel. On this particular day driving cross-country, our journey was interrupted by a running herd of deer. We jumped out of the car and, using a drone, managed to capture them running on camera. It was hypnotic, watching them run together.
Later, we stopped for lunch in the town of Akureyri. There, a group of handicapped children was in the restaurant, drawing while they waited for their food. When they got up to leave, their teacher handed me a picture one of the children drew of me. I was touched.
Day Six: A Hike To Remember
Nearing the end of our Icelandic journey, we stayed in the Húsafell Hotel, also in exchange for photos and drone. After getting the “work” part over with, we got up at 4 am the following day to go on a hike. I got some amazing shots of a lighthouse, which was particularly inspiring as I had never seen one before, along with some photos of a tiny black church. This was probably the most peaceful place I have ever been, and it struck me just how calm and relaxing it was to be in such an environment.
Day Seven: To The Capital
Our last day took us to Reykjavik, where I met the mother of a girlfriend of mine, who passed me some local meat pancakes to smuggle back to Switzerland for her daughter. My good deed must have brought me some good fortune as that night the clouds finally parted, revealing the beautiful green aurora borealis, the perfect end to a perfect trip.
There is no question that the Laventure Sous-Marine proved to be the best travel partner for the trip, blending in perfectly with the rough and rugged scenery of Iceland. The only question remaining is, where should I take it next?