The Success of Rolex
The success of Rolex is partly due to its ability to keep pace with technological advances in a way that exceeds expectations and captures the public imagination.
There's far more to Rolex than its precision technology: it has also remained on-trend with geological demands too. Think of the Explorer, ascending through the thin air at the peak of Mount Everest, or the Deepsea Special, descending to the 36,000 ft depths of the Mariana Trench.
Rolex watches have even conquered space, with the GMT-Master floating effortlessly through zero gravity. The Rolex watch has succeeded in just about every hostile environment you can imagine. This gives consumers confidence because where durability and precision are required, the brand fits the bill.
Exploring the History of Rolex Watches
It's a testament to its inventor that Rolex has won a succession of accolades and awards over the past century. The Rolex became the first watch to receive the hallmark Swiss Certificate of Precision in 1910. In 1914, it received the Class A Precision Certificate from Kew Observatory, an honour previously bestowed only on marine chronometers.
The Rolex Oyster
The groundbreaking brand's success story continued throughout the 20th century. British professional swimmer Mercedes Gleitze swam the English Channel in 1927 while wearing the Rolex Oyster, the world's first waterproof watch. The Oyster pioneered today's modern diving watch, with its state-of-the-art features including a precision-milled crystal and screw-down crown.
Gleitze was the first English woman to swim the channel. As she emerged from the freezing water unscathed, so too did her Rolex Oyster. Subsequently, her name was used to market the Oyster and the Rolex brand reached new heights thanks to the global publicity.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Rolex patented its now-famous self-winding Perpetual movement in 1931. This ingenious, yet simple, design continues to power automatic watches today. It solved the problems encountered by other manufacturers, such as being too clumsy, awkward, or simply unreliable. It produced longer power reserves and more accurate timing by using a system of clutches, ratchets and an oscillating weight that could rotate 360 degrees. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual
was able to wind itself through the wearer's movements.
The Rolex Datejust
In 1945, always ahead of its competitors, Rolex invented the self-changing date for its Rolex Datejust
. Around a decade later, a self-changing day was added for the Rolex Day-Date
wristwatch in 1956.
New innovations in Rolex watches are tested in the real world, pushing the boundaries to new levels. This was the case in 1953 when the famous Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, wore his Explorer in the freezing storms and bitter winds of his expedition to conquer Mount Everest's peak for the first time.
In 1960, Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard plunged more than 35,000 ft, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, wearing the prototype Deepsea Special. It survived the journey, proving beyond all doubt the endurance of Rolex watches. In 1971, a Rolex GMT-Master was also taken to the moon by the American NASA astronaut, John "Jack" Swigert, on the Apollo 14 mission.
While Rolex watches are ideal for exploring the most challenging places in our solar system, they are also worn by people from every walk of life. Interesting data revealed more than 11% of insured homes in the UK included a Rolex watch on the policy. The biggest concentration of owners is in south-east England and London, where 29% of residents include a Rolex on their home contents insurance policy.
Professional Rolex Collections
The Rolex GMT-Master
Professional people rely on Rolex watches to carry out their day-to-day duties. The twin time zone GMT-Master
was developed for American airline operator, Pan Am, in 1955, to assist with increasing numbers of flights carrying passengers all over the world.
The Rolex Milgauss
In 1956, scientists working at the European organisation for nuclear research, CERN, were able to use the Rolex Milgauss
in the electromagnetic fields produced by their equipment. It was the first watch capable of withstanding the force.
The Rolex Daytona & Sea-Dweller
In 1963, the Cosmograph Daytona
, a chronograph watch, was launched with racing drivers in mind. In 1967, Rolex developed the Sea-Dweller
for COMEX, a company specialising in engineering and deep diving explorations.
It goes without saying that buying a Rolex watch is also an investment for the future. A rare 1979 COMEX Sea-Dweller was sold for an incredible £150,250 at an auction of fine watches at the international auction house, Bonhams, in London in December 2020. If you’re thinking about selling your watch
with WatchCentre, fill out our form today and we will provide a valuation.
The Aesthetic Appeal of Rolex Watches
As well as its Professional collection, Rolex manufactures watches that have additional aesthetic appeal, without losing any of their precision and reliability. These include the Rolex Yacht-Master
, Pearlmaster, and the Cellini
. Their extra adornments complement the functionality that makes Rolex special.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller
, launched in 2012, is a testament to this combination. It features innovative functions on a scale never before seen in a Rolex. It boasts an annual calendar, along with a sophisticated GMT display and a Ring Command bezel, enabling the wearer to set the date, reference time and local time from the crown.
Rolex is far more than just a high-quality fashion brand. It creates beautiful, functional, reliable, luxury watches, with a pedigree that is second to none. It has always been an iconic brand, and always will be.
At WatchCentre, we provide a range of luxurious watches for our customers from brands such as Rolex and many others. As a leading pre-owned watch specialist, we buy and sell luxury Rolex watches. Sell yours today, or invest in a second-hand Rolex to enjoy additional value on your purchase, either as a gift for a loved one or simply as a present for yourself.
For more interesting reading all about Rolex, visit our Rolex Guides