In 1905, Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, in London, England, creating high-quality wristwatches. It was first named as “Wilsdorf and Davis,” but the founders changed its name to “Rolex” in 1908, choosing an easy name for anyone to pronounce. Moreover, later in the same year, they opened their first office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. As a result of the high wartime taxes, Wilsdorf had to leave London in 1919, settling in Geneva, Switzerland.
After the death of Wilsdorf’s wife, he created a private trust, Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, leaving all his Rolex shares for the trust and ensuring that some of the company’s income goes to charity. Till now, Rolex is owned by this trust, creating new, high-quality watch models and ensuring that Rolex continues having a reputation as a status symbol.
Being a status symbol, Rolex watches are considered the most reputable and renowned watches in the world, representing prestige and elegance among all luxury watches. It’s considered the first luxury watch brand to pass the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. Moreover, it’s the leading innovator of multiple timezone timekeeping, waterproof watch cases, and the date feature on dials.
- The world’s first wristwatch that received the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision in 1910;
- The world’s first waterproof wristwatch, from which Rolex Oyster was born in 1926;
- The world’s first wristwatch that automatically changes the date on the dial in 1945;
- The world’s first waterproof watch case up to 100 m in 1953;
- The world’s first wristwatch that displays two time zones at once in 1954;
- The world’s first wristwatch that automatically changes the day and date on the dial in 1956;
- The world’s first wristwatch with a command bezel designed for multiple uses in 2012.
Celebrities wearing Rolex
Daniel Craig has been wearing a Rolex for more than 20 years during his role as James Bond, owning several vintage and modern models. Robert Downey’s watch collection has a Rolex. Mark Wahlberg loves his Rolexes, especially the gold ones. David Beckham is also a Rolex fan. LeBron James, the powerful basketball player, has a Rolex in his watch collection.
Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King wear their Datejust models. Paul Newman owned Daytona. Brad Pitt, Eric Clapton, and Bruce Willis had Yacht-Master models, but Sylvester Stallone GMT-Master.
Most popular Rolex models and collections
Among Rolex’s unrivaled and masterful watches are the Day-Date President, Rolex Submariner, Yacht-Master, Cosmograph Daytona, Datejust, Explorer, Explorer II, Lady-Perpetual watch, Air-King, Oyster Perpetual, Oysterdate, Date, Deepsea, Sea-Dweller, Masterpiece, Day-Date II, Lady Pearlmaster, Lady-Datejust, and GMT-Master II.
It’s the dressiest, most affordable model, symbolizing wealth and elegance. It was launched in 1945, as the world’s first wristwatch with a date complication, coming with two classic bracelets, the jubilee and the oyster which is made of steel, steel with yellow, rose or white gold, or yellow gold. All the metals are made from scratch inside Rolex’s factory in Geneva. Today, Datejust II is also of 41mm, available in steel with white, yellow or rose gold on the oyster bracelet. It has a version, called “President” after being favored by Roosevelt and Eisenhower.
It’s considered the best diving watch, symbolizing good taste, success, fine craftsmanship, elegance, and the love of the sea.
It has a nice sporty and at the same time, elegant design and no wonders as it was developed for racing drivers.
It is designed with the spirit of the sailor and they are very easy to read even in bad weather conditions.
It’s the world’s first watch with dual time zone timekeeping. It’s famous for its blue and red bezel but also, comes in black for a more subtle look. John Leonard Swigert, Apollo 13 astronaut, carried a GMT into space.
Rolex price range
You actually can get a certified pre-owned Rolex very cheap starting at about $3,000.