The Gurkha regiment is a famous military force made up of recruits from Nepal and the Indian sub-continent that have an illustrious history fighting under the British flag over the past 200 years.
The Nepal connection has also instilled Gurkhas with incredible mountaineering skills, which were put to the test in 2015 when they led a rescue of climbers who survived a devastating avalanche caused by an earthquake that year.
A Gurkha team were due to climb Everest before the earthquake made it impossible. Gurkhas halted their attempt to assist climbers to safety before providing vital relief work in Nepal.
Two years later, in 2017, the Gurkhas regrouped to attempt the climb again. This time they were successful, with a team of 13 Gurkhas reaching the summit.
Keeping time on the expedition was a Loomes GWT watch, a timepiece with a history of Everest missions dating back to 1953 when Sir Edmund Hilary conquered the mountain for the first time wearing a British-made Loomes wristwatch.
Loomes has maintained its association with the Gurkhas over many years, and is now auctioning a Loomes GWT to raise money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
The watch goes on sale online today at Bonhams.com.
Robina Hill, managing director of Loomes says: “The Gurkha soldiers have an extraordinary calm and determination which you don’t find in any other British Army regiment. Their modesty afterwards astounded me, simply saying it was good for the watch, because it would raise money for the GWT”.
“This project is a wonderful opportunity to have a British watch on the summit of Everest again after over 60 years.” adds Ray Walford, chairman of the British Horological Institute.
The Loomes GWT on sale from today is a 38mm stainless steel manual wind wristwatch made originally for the Gurkha Everest mission in 2015, and worn again for the successful 2017 expedition.