Watchmaker Michel Kobold shows that Nepal has the potential to make its own brand in watch market<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

April 3, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 05 No.-18 Mar. 30 -2012 (Chaitra 17,2068)<br>

Caught in the midst of a prolonged political instability, a large number of frustrated Nepalese youth are leaving the country, but  American watchmaker Michael Kobold has shown that Nepal can make word class watches by employing its own people.

“It is my hope that by printing Made in Nepal on the dial of each watch that is assembled in our workshop in Kathmandu, Kobold will enhance the international reputation of Nepal as a place of skilled labor and ingenuity. Nepal, a country synonymous with the word adventure, now boasts  a watch company that embraces adventure in everything it does. This is our small contribution to the aid provided to the people of Nepal,” said Michael Kobold.

The watch made in Nepal is special as was handwork of two Sherpa guides.  When this idea was proposed by Sir Ranuplh Feinees, the English adventurer, back in 2008, it seemed impossible.

Every Kobold watch follows the design principles of the Bauhaus movement, which banishes all clutter and prescribes that form follows function. As a result, one can tell the time on a Kobold from a great distance, even in suboptimal lighting. The Kobold Himalaya is no exception to this rule.

According to Kobold, shockproof, water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and antimagnetic, the Kobold Himalaya isn’t just a pretty face. A mechanical movement caliber K.2651/ base Foerster 197, with automatic winding mechanism, powers the watch reliably even in extreme conditions.

To pay tributes to the majestic beauty of the highest mountain on earth, Kobold created a watch dial made from a small rock collected 30  yards below its summit.

However, after four years, Kobold produced Himalaya brand Made in Nepal watch in Nepal by two Nepali Sherpas. The Kobold watch companies showroom was inaugurated recently at Babarmahal Revisited amidst a big gathering.

“When we are celebrating 2012 as Nepal Investment Year, this is a good beginning,” said Radhesh Panta, executive director of Nepal Investment Board.  “The government will encourage more foreign investors by bringing in investment friendly policies.”

At Mount Everest Base camp, Sir Ranuplh Fiennes, the English  Adventurer, presented his friend, the watchmaker Michael Kobold, with a lofty idea to teach their Sherpa mountain guides- how to make watches. “We climbed with Ram, Mike and his future wife Anita Ugyan, two more times. By the end of the third expedition, Mike invited us to live with his family in the United States so that we could become watchmakers,” said Lakpa Thundu Sherpa and Ang Namgel Sherpa, who are now co-owners of the tiny watch company in Kathmandu.

“One year in America was challenging. We missed our families, who continued to live in Nepal and learning the art of mechanical watchmaking was no simple task. Mike and his teachers  crammed enough material for a two year program into the timeframe of ten months,” said Sherpa duo, who were invited by Mike.

When Sir Ranulph Fiennes had the idea for two high altitude porters and mountain guides from Nepal to learn how to make watches, his sights were set high, perhaps higher even than his attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

The Himalaya Everest Edition is limited to a total of 25 watches, each with a unique dial. It is the perfect way to commemorate a special achievement and stand out in any watch collection.




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