Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in London, England in the year 1905, Rolex is a brand that needs no introduction whatsoever. Later, it shifted its base from England to Geneva, Switzerland, a city renowned internationally for the art of watchmaking. At the age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf founded a company in London specializing in distribution of timepieces. Wristwatches came into existence by them but were not very successful and precise at that time. Hans Wilsdorf dreamt of a perfect wristwatch on a man’s hand that was elegant and reliable.Here is a brief history about Rolex watchmaking:
Rolex is one of the most prestigious brands of watches the history has ever seen. But how did it get the name “Rolex”? Hans Wilsdorf wanted the name to be simple and easy to remember so that people never forget the brand. It is known that a lot of names were suggested to him but none of the clicked to him. One day, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in his ear and that instantly drew his mind away. Before ‘Rolex’ the name came into existence, Hans Wilsdorf specialized in distribution of the timepieces to other sellers. Then he came up with the most legendary watch,‘Rolex Oyster’, the first watch to be manufactured under thebrand “Rolex”.
Hans Wilsdorf, to convince the public of the reliability of his resolutely innovative timepiece, equipped them with small, very precise movements manufactured by a Swiss watchmaking company in Bienne. With his focus and determination to manufacture a precise wristwatch, in the year 1910, Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne. Later in 1914, Rolex was awarded with a class “A” precision certificate, a distinction that until that point in time had been reserved exclusively for marine chronometers.
About Rolex Oyster:
Named the ‘Oyster’ because of its oyster case, this watch featured a hermetically sealed case, which provided optimal protection for the movement, giving all models that have used this case a depth of at least 100 meters.The case protects the watch from dust and water, just like the shell of the mollusk protects the oyster from hazardous situations. Thus, the name ‘Oyster’ becomes self-explanatory.
Manufactured in the year 1926, the real metal of the wristwatch was proved in the year 1927 when the Cross-Channel Challengetook place. There were still some doubts about the “waterproof”thingbut it was pretty astonishing at that time of the technology to see the Rolex Oyster was not just able to take water, but also resist a range of liquids and particles, such as dust from entering into the case. It was proved when Rolex Oyster crossed the English Channel, worn by a young English swimmer named Mercedes Gleitze.The watch had 9 carat gold with octagonal case (31×27 mm). The swim lasted for more than 10 hoursbut the watch remained in a perfect working condition even after the completion of the journey.
Rolex published a complete full-page advertisement in the Daily Mail proclaiming the success of the world’s first ever-waterproof watch by Rolex. This event marked the birth of the Testimonee concept.
The oyster case was invented and patented by Rolex in 1926 only after their successful “Rolex Oyster” launch. For Rolex, the word Oyster is a symbol as well as a registered trademark. All Rolex Oysters are guaranteed waterproof up to 100 m. This guarantee is extended to 300 m for the Submariner and to 1220 m for the Sea-Dweller, with helium escape valve.The Oyster watches combine extremely sturdy case, with a case back and winding crown, all absolutely waterproof.
Rolex crown logo was not introduced until early 1930s, which is the reason that the logo is missing on the very first Rolex watch ever. However, the font and overall writing style of the brand name has not changed much over the years, maintaining the authenticity and royal look and style of the watch.
Rolex’s journey basically started in the year 1926 with this waterproof Rolex Oyster that brought a complete change in the way wristwatches were looked at in the entire nation and after this, there was never a looking back, for Rolex as well as the world of watchmaking!