Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London in 1905. In 1919 the two partners moved the base of the company’s operations to Geneva, Switzerland. Rolex is one of the most famous names in watchmaking and is credited with the invention of the very first waterproof watch — the Oyster — and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism. It was also the first watchmaker to earn chronometer certification for a wristwatch, the first to have an automatically changing date on the dial, the first to reach a water-resistance of 100 meters, the first to show two time zones, and the first to feature an automatic changing day and date on the dial.
For almost a century, Rolex timepieces have adorned the wrists of some of the most intrepid explorers, descending to the deepest parts of the world’s oceans and climbing the planet’s highest peaks. Rolex watches are always a trusted companion, keeping the world’s adventurers on track and on time. Today, Rolex supports pioneering individuals and organizations who are finding solutions to protect our planet for the future.
Rolex is also involved in the arts through projects in film, the performing arts, architecture, music, dance, literature, visual arts, and cultural heritage. The company is also dedicated to supporting scientific projects in the fields of education, innovation, and health that further our understanding of the world.
And last but not least, Rolex is active in the sports sector with motor-racing and Formula1, as well as in the worlds of tennis, golf, yachting, and equestrianism.
Five interesting facts about Rolex
Searching for a name
When searching for a name for his company, Hans Wilsdorf searched for a name that was short, catchy, easy to pronounce in any language and that would look good on the dial of a watch. He tried every combination possible until he claims a genie whispered the word “Rolex” in his ear.
In 1927, English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze tested the water-resistance of the Rolex Oyster by swimming across the English Channel with it. The swim took her 10 hours and the watch remained in perfect working order. In celebration of this amazing feat, Rolex published a full-page advertisement on the front page of the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, proclaiming the success of this waterproof watch. This marked the birth of the testimonial type of communication.
World War II
During World War II, Hans Wilsdorf offered prisoners of war the opportunity to order a Rolex immediately and pay after the war, which they did. These watches fetch important prices at auction.
The official sponsor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Rolex recently became the official sponsor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and sciences which organizes the Academy Awards.
Famous people spotted wearing a Rolex
Famous people spotted wearing a Rolex include Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise, Mark Wahlberg and Sofia Vergara among many others.