Reaching the top of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is a test of human endurance and skill. It is also a dream shared by many across the globe.
Now you can own, in fact wear, a bit of Everest without undertaking the arduous and risky climb. All thanks to the efforts of a US watch manufacturer and two Sherpa mountaineers.
Himalaya Everest, a new wristwatch to be launched by Kobold, a renowned maker of adventure watches, would have a special dial with a piece of rock collected from near the Everest summit.
Priced at US $ 16,500 (Rs 8.42 lakh), the limited edition watch will have only 25 pieces and will be assembled in Nepal by Everest summiteers Ang Namgel and Lakpa Thundu.
Since it will be ‘Made in Nepal’ the watch will be available on a discounted price of US $ 8,848 (the height of Everest in metres) or Rs 4.5 lakh in the Nepali market.
“The watches are expensive for the local market, but because of its exclusive nature, we are hopeful of getting orders from within Nepal and outside as well,” said Namgel during a press briefing.
The project to have a watch with a piece of Everest took shape after Kobold founder Michael Kobold undertook a successful expedition to the highest peak two years ago.
Namgel and Thundu, who have reached the peak of Everest seven and nine times respectively, acted as guides on that expedition. On reaching the peak, they collected some stones and brought them back.
The duo later received year-long training at the company’s Pennsylvania office and set up an assembling plant in Kathmandu with an initial cost of NRs 2.5 million (Rs 15.6 lakh).
Both Kobold and the company’s brand ambassador, famed British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who gave the idea of putting a stone in the watch, were present in Kathmandu to inaugurate the plant.
Besides assembling the Himalaya Everest edition, both mountaineers would be churning out other Kobold models too. They hope to sell around 500 watches annually.