Reaching the top of the world: for decades dozens of mountaineering teams had strived for this ultimate goal. The Herculean feat was finally achieved in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest, the highest place on earth. The successful expedition was equipped with Rolex Oyster Perpetual chronometers. A favoured expedition watch, the Rolex Oyster was trusted by 15 Himalayan ventures between 1933 and 1953. Famed for its ability to “defy the elements”, it played a key role in providing precise and reliable timekeeping throughout these expeditions, resisting the extreme cold, snow and shocks. Over the years, the feedback from returning explorers helped Rolex continuously improve its watches. The successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 resulted in the launch by Rolex, later the same year, of the Oyster Perpetual Explorer.