The year 1953 is a significant year for mankind. Not only did explorers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach the summit of Mount Everest—at 8,848m (29,028 ft) high, no less—that very year, it was also when Rolex introduced the Explorer, which measured 36mm wide, following the first ascent to the summit.
The launch formally cemented the symbiotic relationship between the watchmaker and exploration. As early as the 1930s, Rolex had already been equipping expeditions as a means to test the robustness and reliability of its timepieces under real-life conditions. This benefited the watchmaker as feedback from the members of these different expeditions had a direct influence on the evolution of its watches, making them more precise.