Rolex Adventures: The Watches That Made History Part One: It’s Only A Mountain

Wow, that must have been hard. Could you imagine climbing Everest? Well, in the year 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand native and mountaineer, set off on his second expedition to Mount Everest—his successful expedition to Everest. On his wrist was a Rolex “Big” Bubbleback Oyster Perpetual reference 6098. This watch made history on May 29th, 1953 when Hillary reached Everest’s peak. Hillary was instantly deemed the first man to reach the summit of Everest; his Rolex was deemed the first watch to reach the summit of Everest. This was a major accomplishment of Humanity and, of course, Rolex. A picture of the famous “Everest” watch can be seen in Rolex ads created anytime from the mid 1950’s to the late 1990’s. Today, a 6098 can range anywhere from $3000-$15000. I would expect to pay in the $8000-$12000 range if I were to purchase this watch from a retailer. The value of the 6098 is primarily based on the condition of the dial and also the positioning of the numbers on the dial (some dials only have even numbers, odd numbers, or a combination of both). The movement is extremely basic and is standard in almost all of the Rolex Bubblebacks/Oysters of that period—it barely has an effect on the value. If you are considering adding to your collection, or starting your collection with, a Rolex 6098 it is a great choice. I am confident enough to say that the Rolex 6098 will hold its value well, and will be prized by collectors for many years to come.


P.S.: If you’ve got any questions about the Rolex 6098, just send us a message via the contact us form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. The Rolex 6098 was the first watch I have ever bought and sold (so I know a hell of a lot about it). 

Luke Rottman (Executive Editor:


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