Edmund Hillary`s Rolex goes under hammer

London: Rolex watch, gifted to Sir Edmund Hillary after his successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, is to go under the hammer, a media report said.

The Oyster Perpetual limited edition watch, which was given to the explorer by Rolex retailer `Bosecks` in Calcutta and valued at 12,000 pounds despite its damaged visage, is to be sold by his family, `The Daily Telegraph` reported.

Sir Edmund wore it on his Antarctic expedition of 1955 to 1958 -- the first overland crossing of Antarctica and the first expedition to reach South Pole since Scott in 1912.

In fact, the watch was the forerunner to Rolex`s Explorer watches, which the company was inspired to make following Sir Edmund`s feat. The explorer, who became the face of Rolex and was used to promote watches, died in 2008.

The Oyster Perpetual watch is just one of the watches owned by the explorer which are going under the hammer.

Another of the watches, a Rolex Explorer I, was made in 1972 and was acquired by Sir Edmund on the 20th anniversary of his failed 1972 attempt on the mountain Cho Oyu.

His Explorer II -- the so-called "Steve McQueen" -- was made in 1973 and he bought it to mark to 20th anniversary of his Everest ascent. It`s valued at 12,000 pounds.

Sir Edmund was 33 when he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.