Watches made in Stamford have made it to the top of the world on the wrist of a team of Ghurkas.
On Monday, at 2.08pm Nepalese time, a team of Ghurkas made it to the summit of Mount Everest, wearing entirely English-made watches by Robert Loomes and Co, based in St Mary’s Hill, Stamford.
This expedition came after an unsuccessful attempt in 2015, when they were forced to leave the mountain after the Nepal earthquake. The Royal Gurkha regiment soldiers were the first to summit this season.
Robina Hill, managing director of Loomes and Co said: “This is an incredible achievement. To summit Mount Everest requires planning, timing and a degree of luck.
“These guys are heroes. We are delighted they agreed to wear our watches again. Our English watches are on top of the world.
“This is the first time an entirely English-made watch has been up Everest since 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Everest carrying Smiths watches.”
The team that attempted Everest in 2015 were well on their way to the summit, but a catastrophic earthquake in Nepal reeked havoc causing a massive avalanche, which killed 22 climbers.
The 200-strong team of Ghurkas were lucky to escape alive and spent several days locating missing climbers and co-ordinating evacuation of the dead and injured from the mountain.
In May 2016, it was decided to return to the mountain to complete ‘unfinished business’. In late March this year, Major Dick Gale, and the Ghurka 200 team, left the UK with the watches amongst their equipment, arriving at Everest base camp in mid April – their goal to put the first serving Ghurka on Everest.
Robert Loomes, technical director, said: “The Ghurka’s have put their first serving soldiers on the summit of Everest. They have taken our watches to the top of the world. We are delighted they decided to use our watches.”
The watches were slightly modified to take into consideration the cold and the altitude and Major Gale collected them from the Stamford shop in March. When the watches return, the shop intends to auction them to raise funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust and The Mountain Trust.