Mt Everest Rolex myth explained

First published: 05-01-2010

The hard work that Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary put in when conquering Everest is very easy to commend, yet the story of the latter's watch is one that, until now, may not have been as clear to timepiece fans as even Rolex makes out.

Hodinkee, one of the leading resources for high-end watch fans, explained how the famous Rolex Oyster Explorer - known for its black face, 3/6/9 configuration and white hands - is commonly associated with Sir Edmund, when in reality this is incorrect.

The legendary explorer actually wore an older Rolex Oyster Perpetual - something even Rolex does not recognise in its current marketing, instead using the black stainless steel watch alongside Tenzing and Sir Edmund.

One old advert, however, remembers the correct watch alongside the feat, noting how it is "specially designed for expeditionary purposes to be truly accurate and to withstand the severest treatment".

Rolex was also famous for accompanying Mercedes Gleitze across the English Channel on her successful crossing, forming one of the first advertising strategies ever recorded in the UK.

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