Rolex History – Phase 1 – 1905 to 1919
1905 – Hans Wilsdorf and His Dream of a Highly Accurate Wristwatch
The history of Rolex is closely related to the vision of Mr. Hans Wilsdorf – founder of Rolex. In 1905, when Hans Wilsdorf was 24 years old, he founded a company specializing in distributing watches in London. He started dreaming about watches on his wrist. Wristwatches of that time were not highly accurate, but Hans Wilsdorf foresaw that they could become watches that were not only elegant but also of great precision. 

To convince watch wearers of the precision of his innovative timepieces, he equipped them with small, highly precise movements produced by a Swiss watchmaking company. at Bienne

1908 – Inspiration in 5 Letters
Hans Wilsdorf wanted his watches to have a name that was short, easy to read and remember in any language, and had an eye-catching look on the movement and dial.

“I tried to combine the letters of the alphabet in every possible way,” he said. This produced a few hundred names, but I didn’t find any of them okay. One morning, as I was sitting in the upper deck of a horse-drawn carriage along Cheapside, London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.

1910 – Chronometric Mission for Precision
Rolex first focused on movement quality. Constant testing to achieve superior beat-counting accuracy quickly brought success. In 1910, a Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Precision Chronometric certification issued by the Official Watch Evaluation Center in Bienne.

1914 – The Accuracy of Rolex Watches Continues to Be Proven
Four years later, in 1914, the Kew Observatory in England awarded a Rolex watch with a Class A certificate of accuracy, which at that time was only reserved for chronometers below. sea. From that day on, Rolex wristwatches were synonymous with precision.

1919 – GENEVA
Rolex moved to Geneva, a city world-famous for its watchmaking. Montres Rolex S.A. was registered at Geneva in 1920.

Rolex History – Period 2 – 1905 to 1919
The First Waterproof Watch
In 1926, Rolex’s creation of the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch marked a major step forward. Named “Oyster”, this watch has a sealed case for optimal protection of the movement.

1927 – Challenged to cross the Canal with Rolex
Declaring a watch waterproof is simple. Proving it is another matter. In 1927, a Rolex Oyster crossed the English Channel with a young British swimmer named Mercedes Gleitze. The swim lasted over 10 hours and the watch was still in perfect working condition at the end of the swim.

1927 – Testimonee Concept
To commemorate the crossing of the canal, Rolex published a full front-page advertisement of the Daily Mail proclaiming the success of its waterproof watch. This event marked the birth of the Testimonee concept.

1931 – Perpetual Movement
In 1931, Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor. Today, this ingenious system, a true work of art, is at the heart of all modern automatic watches.

1933 – Fly Over Everest
Rolex Oyster watches were equipped for the first expedition to fly over Everest. The members of the expedition were extremely pleased with the performance of the watches.

1935 – Rolex Laboratories
Rolex saw a great opportunity to test, refine and showcase the technical performance of the Oyster watch at various events. The worlds of sport, aviation, racing and exploration have served as living laboratories for the creation of countless technical specifications for watches.

In the 1930s, Rolex and one of the world’s fastest drivers, Sir Malcolm Campbell, took part in a speed test together. On September 4, 1935, driving a Bluebird – and wearing a Rolex – the “speed king” set a land speed record of more than 300 miles per hour (about 485 km/h) at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Sir Malcolm broke the world speed record nine times between 1924 and 1935, including five times at Daytona Beach in Florida

A letter to Rolex: “I have used my Rolex watch for some time and it keeps perfect time under relatively harsh conditions,” Sir Malcolm Campbell.

1945 – First Date Just Edition
1945 saw the birth of the Datejust, the first self-winding chronometer to display the date in a window on the dial. A watch with great distinction, the Datejust is equipped with a Jubilee bracelet specially crafted for this watch and features a fluted bezel, giving the watch instant brand recognition. Rolex. This is the mainstay of the Oyster collection. Initially, this watch was intended for men, in the following decade, the watch was launched in many different models for women.


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