The Essential Rolex

Few brand names are more iconic or better known than Rolex. This guide will describe some of the "firsts" that have made Rolex synonymous with watchmaking excellence.

Founded in 1905, Rolex is credited by some as inventing the modern wristwatch. While others also lay claim to this mantle, what is beyond dispute is this incredible list of "firsts" by Rolex:

  • 1910. Rolex is the first watch to gain chronometer certification, which means the watch is guaranteed to be accurate within -4 to +6 seconds per day.
  • 1926. Rolex invents the world's first waterproof time case. In 1927, a young English woman, Mercedes Gleitze, swims across the English Channel wearing a Rolex.
  • 1931. Rolex invents the automatic movement, the first watch powered by the movement of a wearer's wrist.
  • 1945. Rolex introduces the DateJust, which becomes the first watch to display the date.
  • 1947. Super pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier wearing a Rolex.
  • 1953. Rolex launches the Submariner, the world's most famous and most copied watch. Sean Connery and three other silver-screen Bonds wear a Rolex Submariner.
  • Also in 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary, sporting a Rolex, becomes the first person to scale Mt. Everest.
  • 1960. Rolex creates a special watch that is submerged to 35,787 feet in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest a timepiece has ever travelled.

Other interesting facts:

  • Rolex has been owned by the same two families and their successors, for their entire existence.
  • Rolex watches consistently retain a higher resale value than any other watch in the world.
  • Most of the profits Rolex makes go to charitable causes.
Categories: Brand Profiles, Rolex, Swiss Watch Tips & Trivia.

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