14 Nov 2010

Sir Ed's watches withdrawn from sale

2:41 pm on 14 November 2010

An auction house in Switzerland has removed from sale six watches which belonged to Sir Edmund Hillary.

The watches were put up for auction by Sir Ed's widow, Lady Hillary, and were due to be sold on Sunday and Monday in Geneva.

A spokesperson for Antiquorum Auctioneers says the items were removed after the auction house was notified of an interim injunction brought by Sir Ed's children.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has also advised Lady Hillary that one of the watches, a 1953 Rolex Oyster Perpetual, is protected by statute and must be returned to New Zealand.

A ministry spokesperson says it is very happy to hear the 1953 Rolex has been withdrawn but says it still wants the watch to be sent back to New Zealand.

Antiquorum Auctioneers would not comment on whether Lady Hillary would be charged a penalty fee for the removal of the items from sale.