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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Oh wow, now that's just stunning! Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Strela.

Jeannie
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

What a cool watch!!!!
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

cool!
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

I wonder what the case size is?

looks identical to me recent Tudor Purchase which uses a genuine Rolex Oyster case from that period |>


 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

he owned also an omega speedmaster pro

 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

How nice is that? I've always wanted a birthyear watch, gonna have to bid on that one.
DW
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Hillary didn't wear a Rolex on Everest and they were not sponsers of the successful 1953 expedition led by John Hunt. They did however sponsor and equip both the 1952 Swiss expedition led by Raymond Lambert which got to within 200M of the summit before turning back, They also sponsored the unsuccessful 1952 Cho Oyu (the worlds sixth highest mountain) expedition on which Hillary climbed .

As it happens, Tenzing Norgay was the chief Sherpa to the '52 expedition and accompanied Lambert to just below the summit. As a result he was issued and allowed to keep a Rolex. This is the one now in the Rolex museum.

For the Hunt expedition, which was sponsored by Smiths, both Norgay and Hillary were issued with fifteen jewel Smiths Deluxe watches. Norgay rather famously wore both, while Hillary wore the Smiths alone. This watch is now in the museum of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London. While I have seen it several times, photographs are not allowed. Another brave soul took one and posted it here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=60537&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Naturally, Smiths Watches took full advantage of this and had a massive advertising campaign in which both Hunt and Hillary were quoted directly.



Note how the advert explicitly states that they equipped the 1953 ascent: "which were the official selection of the gallant Everest team". This is not a statement you will ever see in a Rolex advert for the simple reason they were not. For example:



Here the implication is that they wore Explorers.

As a result Smiths had a range of watches called 'Everest' and Rolex, having already - and precipitously - had an 'Everest' model, named the watch style worn by Tenzing the 'Explorer' instead.

Rolex, to this day, try to imply that Hillary wore a Rolex on Everest. He didn't; Rolex, backed the 'wrong' expedition.

As it happens I own near identical versions of both watches. I will freely concede that the 34mm oyster would be better for snow and ice climbing than the Smiths. While the Smiths is perfectly robust and equally accurate, the automatic winding and screw down crown make a far more suitable watch for the conditions. It just wasn't the one used.

What irritates me is the way that the Rolex advertising of the time and since goes to such effort to mix true elements with strong implication to give the impression that Hillary wore a Rolex on Everest in 1953. He certainly wore one pretty well constantly from almost immediately afterwards. For the simple reason he was given one and retained by Rolex almost immediately after he returned to England. He was also equipped with one on a previous climb on Cho Oyu. He wrote grateful copy about both watches. However the copy that Rolex would have treasured beyond gold - grateful copy about a Rolex watch he wore on Everest simply doesn't exist. Instead Smiths have the grateful copy and, used it constantly just as Rolex would have.
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

<snip>...............What irritates me is the way that the Rolex advertising of the time and since goes to such effort to mix true elements with strong implication to give the impression that Hillary wore a Rolex on Everest in 1953. He certainly wore one pretty well constantly from almost immediately afterwards. For the simple reason he was given one and retained by Rolex almost immediately after he returned to England. He was also equipped with one on a previous climb on Cho Oyu. He wrote grateful copy about both watches. However the copy that Rolex would have treasured beyond gold - grateful copy about a Rolex watch he wore on Everest simply doesn't exist. Instead Smiths have the grateful copy and, used it constantly just as Rolex would have.
I mean no disrespect, and I enjoyed your refresher on the history. I have read that information before, but I always enjoy reading it. |>|>

Does it matter that Tenzing Norgay wore the watch rather than Hillary?? IMHO, it makes it no less of an accomplishment that a Sherpa wore the watch rather than Hillary. He was arguably a better climber being a Sherpa vs being a Gentleman from England. I just think it was cool that a Rolex was there on the first successful reaching of the summit, regardless of who was wearing it. And now, you can own almost the same watch today with very few changes.:p:p

Smiths was a good watch in its day, but the styling and look have no appeal for me now. Cool history though:-!
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

I quite agree - Tenzing Norgay was, without doubt a better athlete although I doubt he was the better technical climber. Hillary wasn't a gentleman from England, he was from New Zealand and a superb technical climber.

The question of who got their first is unanswered and so it may well have been a tie or a Smiths. However, my objection was with the revisionism that has Rolex equipping the expedition and Hillary wearing an Oyster on the ascent.

Smiths are still a great watch today.



The W10, my avatar, is a regular wearer for me.

However, I agree that the Explorer I is something special. I'm sure you have seen my argument that it was the original Bond watch.
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Very nice. Crichton's always been one of my favorite novelists.
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Hillary wasn't a gentleman from England, he was from New Zealand and a superb technical climber.
Oops, your right..........Like I said, I have read the history before, but it is a bit fuzzy.:-d
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Very nice Explorer, I managed to find a simlilar watch in my book. :)
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

How nice is that? I've always wanted a birthyear watch, gonna have to bid on that one.
DW
hehehe.....there is something about Rolex and 1953 right DW?
I share your obsession with that year.....not sure I can afford my obsession, but I share it
 

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Re: Michael Crichton's Rolex Pre-Explorer: A Missing Link Watch Owned By A Great Storytell

Does anyone know if the watches that went to the tops of these mountains were standard watches with standard movements, oils and springs? Did Rolex ever experiment with special or heavy duty interior components designed for extremely cold or arctic environments?
 
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