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Rolex History

There is no one who wouldn’t know the brand Rolex. A brand that carries a luxurious vibe, impeccable quality, imbued with a heritage that no amount of money can replicate it. The brand was founded by a visionary in 1902, Hans Wildsford. When it comes to watch making, Rolex has a distinct insurmountable advantage: they wrote the rule book. 

Generating sales of over 7 billion dollars a year while manufacturing 2000 watches per day. Rolex was originally named “Wildsford & Davis” located in London, but was then relocated to Geneva Switzerland and in 1908 was when Wilsford registered “Rolex” as a trademark and opened their first Switzerland office in La Chaux-de-fonds. 

In 1910, thanks to Hans' high standards and the excellence of Maison Aegler’s output a Rolex wristwatch became the first wristwatch to be awarded an independently ratified certificate of chronometric performance. Which resulted in getting an award for Class A precision certificate by the Kew Observatory in 1914. It was very exciting considering that normally the award was given exclusively to marine chronometers. This paved the way for ROlex becoming one of the most respected brands in the world. 

Wilsdorf left England in 1919 due to taxes imposed on luxury items, the silver and gold metals that were used in production of Rolex watches became too costly. So he decided to relocate to Geneva so that he could work more closely with his suppliers in Bienne. After creating watches for 21 years, Rolex finally released the Oyster Case in 1926 it became a game changing model marketed as the world’s first waterproof watch the Oyster case was a revelation. 

With this revelation, Hans Wilsdorf begged the famous Channel swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze to wear one around her neck, the watch performed admirably keeping excellent time throughout the entire swim. Five years later, Wilsdorf achieved his own personal holy grail the creation of a self winding wristwatch, the combination of water resistant and dust proof case along with an automatic movement secured Wilsdorf’s finest creation a place in the pantheon of great watchmaking advancements.