Across the globe, Rolex is one of the most recognizable manufacturers of luxury timepieces. Rolex watches are designed to appreciate with age and are great heirlooms. While Rolex might be well known, below are a few things owners might not know about the brand:
1. Unexpected Origins
Although Rolex is known as a Swiss-made watch, it had its beginnings in London. In 1905 Hans Wilsdorf, a Bavarian immigrant, and his English brother-in-law Alfred Davis started a company that assembled watches. They imported Swiss movements and added them to the bodies of English timepieces. In 1908 they opened an office in Switzerland, and in 1919 they migrated their business exclusively to Geneva.
2. How Rolex Watches Are Made
Rolex watches are handmade in the Swiss tradition using the finest materials available. To this day, every watch is made by hand. Machines are used for sorting, filing, and delicate procedures but trained technicians still assemble Rolex movements and bracelets.
3. Extensive Testing
Rolex takes watchmaking very seriously, and before leaving the plant every single timepiece is placed in a chamber to be pressure-tested. Dive-rated Rolexes are water-pressure-tested to roughly a 1,000-foot depth, while deep-sea-rated timepieces must survive 14,000 feet.
4. Rolex Is A Charity
Wilsdorf created the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation in 1944 after the death of his wife Doris. He later transferred all his shares of Rolex to the foundation, which is registered as a charity. The trustees act as custodians of the company, making sure some of the profits go to charitable organizations.
5. Where The Name Rolex Came From
Wilsdorf once stated that he picked the name because he wanted something short that would look good on a watch face, and he thought the word sounded a bit like a watch movement. He also wanted a name that could be pronounced in any language.
While Rolex does enjoy quite a ranking and place when it comes to luxury watches, there is still a lot about the company that is not known. Rolex is a privately operated company and known for its secrecy when it comes to the inner workings.
To find out how old your watch is, check out our latest blog on How To Determine The Age Of Your Rolex.