Everest Explorer Sir Edmund Hillary's Rolex Collection Up for Auction
Antiquorum's sale of Important Vintage and Modern Timepieces to be held Nov. 13 – 14 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Geneva will include the personal collection of Rolex watches of the legendary 20th century explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, credited with being the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953. These exceptional timepieces have been consigned for sale by Lady Hillary and all had special significance for Sir Edmund. The earliest model in the collection is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, ref. 6084, dating from 1953 (above) which was presented to Sir Edmund by Rolex Bosecks of Calcutta, India after his descent from Everest.
It was then worn by him during the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955-1958 – the first overland crossing of Antarctica and the first expedition to reach the South Pole since Scott in 1912 – and as such it has immense historic significance. The watch, with a caseback engraved "Sir E. Hillary", is conservatively estimated to fetch up to about $20,000. Also part of the collection is a gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, ref. 15238, purchased by the explorer on the 50th Anniversary of the day he reached the summit of Everest, estimated at about $10,000; as well as a 1972 Rolex Explorer I and a 1973 Explorer II also owned by the great adventurer.