Rolex Brand History

Celebrating over 100 years of this world famous watch brand, we have decided to take a trip down memory lane, revisiting the most iconic moments from Rolex throughout the years. Born in Kulmbach, Germany, Hans Wilsdorf was the founder of the company, now known worldwide as Rolex.

The Early Years



Image Credit: revolution.watch

The company originally named Wilsdorf & Davies was based in London. Just three years later in 1908, it had become one of the most popular watch companies in the UK; it was in this year that Wilsdorf trademarked the name Rolex and set up the first office in Switzerland.


In 1910, Rolex was awarded Official Chronometer Certification, the first time a wristwatch had ever received this title. This was to be the first of many distinctions awarded to the watch, including the Class A Precision certificate from the Kew Observatory, in 1914.

      
Image Credits: Daily Mail and Rolexblog.blogspot

In 1926 the Rolex Oyster was released. It was the first wristwatch to be considered waterproof, demonstrated a year later when a swimmer named Mercedes Gleitze wore the watch in her successful 10-hour bid to cross the English Channel.


Imaged Credit: Rolexblog.blogspot

Here are some of our favourite Vintage Oyster Perpetual Rolex models

            

       1952 18K Y/G Bubble Back             1961 18ki R/G Semi Bubble Back               1963 S/S Bubble Back

 

 

In 1953 the reliable Rolex Oyster Perpetual was put to the test when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to climb Mount Everest. The actual watch was created in 1950, and was never commercially available but was gifted to Sir Edmund Hilary by Rolex as sponsors of the 1953 Everest Expedition. It was promptly returned to Rolex after his decent for rigorous testing and can now be viewed in The Beyer Watch and Clock Museum in Zurich.


  
Image Credits: Thetelegraph and Rolexpassionreport

After years of focusing on sporting expedition designs which tested the quality of Rolex watches, in 1953 the Submariner was launched as the first official divers’ watch. This masterpiece was waterproof to a depth of 330 feet and had a rotating bezel permitting divers to read their immersion time.

 Here are some of our favourite Rolex Submariner models

          

 

       1974 Red Writing Sub 1680          1979 Non Date Submariner 5513             1991 Submariner Date 16610

More than 60 years after its debut, the Submariner is still a must have watch among divers and swimmers. Updated with new movements and a few small attractive changes, including enhanced water resistance, means the watch can now reach 1,000 feet underwater. Rolex celebrated the watch's 50th anniversary by re-launching the Rolex Submariner-Date anniversary edition (Model 16610LV) in 2003.

 

Then and now

Following the death of Hans Wilsdorf, the trust took over the company on 6th July, 1960, later to be directed by the Heinigers. The late Patrick Heiniger described the brand befittingly when he said, “Rolex is evolutionary not revolutionary."


Image Credit: Rolexblog.blogspot

Undoubtedly a symbol of success, Rolex has earned its strong reputation through its design and function over the years, securing Rolex as one of the world’s most prestigious watch brands.

We have a jaw-dropping range of Rolex watches in store, perfect if you desire a statement timepiece. If you are interested in buying any of our exquisite Rolex pieces, please call or text us on 0203 542 0304 / 07885 661 038 or email us at watches@watchcentre.com



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