Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reinhold Messner Rolex Explorer Mark II...

The Complete History Of The Rolex Explorer II

...Rolex Super Coolness...

Reinhold Messner
Conquering Mount Everest and K2

1979 Rolex Explorer Mark II

Recently, I have been working on putting together "The Complete History Of The Rolex Explorer II" series, which includes my story on French cave explorer Jean-François Pernette, who was the 1998 Rolex Laureate Winner in the Rolex Awards For Enterprise. Today we are going to look at the other man who best represents the spirit of the original orange hand Rolex Explorer II, and his name is Reinhold Messner.

Reinhold Messner is a legend in the Rolex world of adventure. In this photo he is seen climbing a mountain in Italy back in 1979, sporting his orange hand 36mm Rolex Explorer Mark II [Reference 1655].

The Telegraph in the UK, just published a fascinating story today named "20 reasons why Reinhold Messner is the world's greatest living man", which is fascinating. 

Messner was also the first climber to conquer Mount Everest without oxygen. If you think about it, that is a truly amazing feat because there is less than 1/3 of the amount of oxygen on top of Mount Everest than you are breathing right now.

Extreme Mountain climbing may seem like it is glamorous, but the truth is that it is anything but. It is an extremely dangerous sport and it is common for climbers to loose fingers and toes to frostbite. In this photo we see Reinhold Messner with the tips of his feet missing from frostbite.

Reinhold Messner & Peter Habeler
Conquering Mount Everest in 1978
First Climb Without Oxygen

In this next photo from 1978 we see Reinhold Messner with his climbing partner Peter Habeler. This was the first Mount Everest expedition that climbed to the summit without oxygen. This climb was documented in the movie Everest Unmasked.

In the photo above Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler are wearing their Rolex OysterQuartz Datejust watches [Reference 17000]. Peter Habeler is pictured below wearing his Rolex OysterQuartz Datejust.

Reinhold Messner is pictured below wearing his Rolex OysterQuartz

Below is a recent photo of Peter Habeler and Reinhold Messner

1978 Rolex Oysterquartz Ad
Sir Edmund Hillary and Reinhold Messner
Two Rolex Mountain-Climbing Legends Together

Sir Edmund Hillary from New Zealand and Reinhold Messner from Italy are two of the greatest mountain-climbers that have ever lived. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to conquer Mt. Everest in 1953 and he was wearing his Rolex Oyster wristwatch.

Reinhold Messner was the first man to summit Everest without oxygen. He achieved this amazing feat in 1978, and when he came down the mountain, Sir Edmund Hillary was waiting to congratulate him and this photo was taken. Reinhold Messner was wearing his Rolex Oysterquartz when in 1978 when he first conquered Everest.

You have got to click on this image to see all the detail and read the story:

Update: Kristian Holm from Denmark who is reader of Jake's Rolex Watch Blog and he pointed out that in this next photo:

"It appears Sir Edmund Hillary is wearing a Rolex Oysterquartz 17013. I think it is a bit funny, that both Hillary and Reinhold Messner, 2 of the worlds best climbers, trust the Oyterquartz."

I agree Kristian and thank you for pointing this out. Indeed, Sir Edmund Hillary did wear a Rolex Oysterquartz for many years in his later life. Today Rolex no longer makes quartz watches, meaning watches that run on a battery. Maybe there is something to the quarts watches after all!?!

Pictured below is another Rolex ad featuring Reinhold Messner. It is ironic, if you think about it, that two of the greatest climbers in history preferred to wear Rolex watches that were Quartz!!! Maybe there is something to Quartz watches after all?

The Documentary

In 2012 a full-length documentary came out on Reinhold Messner that was simply titled "MESSNER". You can see the movie poster blow and watch the full documentary below the poster.

In the recent photo below we see Reinhold Messner wearing a 42MM Rolex Explorer with the polar white dial with retro orange hand.


Seth said...

What a great watch, but it seems like his would have been scratched up like crazy with the metal bracelet and plastic crystal.

Ismat said...

Excellent story Jake!!! Thanks for sharing. I love the Exp II, iconic watch good to see it put through its paces! Can we now call it the Messner Rolex instead of the McQueen Rolex?! :-) All the Best Ismat

Gerard said...

Great stuff. Just for the record the first photo is not on K2 but in Italy. As Ismat says, the Exp II should now be known as the "Messner", not McQueen, who never wore one!!!