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What watch did mountaineer Cory Richards wear on Everest?

Words by Rob Chilton

For his third ascent of the mighty mountain, Richards needed a robust and practical timepiece he could rely on.

After two successful summits of Mount Everest, including one in 2016 without oxygen, the mountaineer Cory Richards embarked on a third attempt, this time along the north-east ridge in Tibet that is considered to be one of the most difficult routes.

Bad weather, unfortunately, prevented the climb for Richards and his climbing partner Esteban ‘Topo’ Mena, but stunning photos from their trip are now on display at Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world.

Cory Richards climbs Mount Everest while wearing a Vacheron Constantin watch.


Richards has already climbed Everest twice

During his expedition Richards wore a prototype Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time that featured an oscillating weight engraved with a design based on one of his Everest photos.

Cory Richards' Vacheron Constantin watch.


The caseback features an Everest detail taken from Richards' photo

The sporty 41mm watch worn by Richards on his ascent had a strap made from waterproof fabric Ventile. The dual time feature enabled Richards to keep track of time in Nepal and back home in the US. In light of the extreme temperatures Richards would encounter on the climb, lubrication was used that wouldn’t freeze while the grey dial, appropriately, was frosted.

Cory Richards' Everest Vacheron Constantin watch.


The watch features a frosted grey dial

Speaking on a podcast for the Hodinkee watch website, Richards describes the one-of-a-kind watch as “tough but elegant, understated but sporty.” The dual time feature, he added, made the watch special for him and encouraged him to take care on the mountain.

Cory Richards climbs Mount Everest while wearing a Vacheron Constantin watch.


Taking a breather

“The truth is that it’s an emphatic reminder of who’s home and who my actions can impact if I execute them poorly,” he explained.


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