“Wear your heart on your sleeve, and your achievements on your wrist.”
Yay or nay?
Do you judge a man’s accomplishments based on what adorns his wrist?
Ironically, in the early 1900s, wrist watches were considered feminine as they were not durably made.
Rolex was one of the first watchmakers to put great effort into manufacturing hardy, high-quality watches that would withstand the most rugged of activities. Founded by Alfred Davis and his brother-in-law, Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex was known as Wilsdorf and Davis (W & D) before it was renamed in London, England in 1905. Then in 1919, the Company moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where it has been based ever since.
Why “Rolex”? In truth, nobody really knows. Some believe that the word comes from a French phrase horlogerie exquise, meaning “hoROLogical EXcellence”, while some say Rolex is an onomatopoeia, a word formed from the sound of winding a watch.
Today, most would agree that “Rolex” stands for achievement, success and luxury. The brand’s iconic five-point coronet has become widely recognized as a symbol of quality, and rightfully so, as Rolex has achieved many major breakthroughs in their quest for excellence and perfection. Here are some milestones every horology fan should know.
In 1910, the Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision from the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne.
In 1914, the Kew Observatory in UK awarded a Rolex wristwatch a class “A” precision certificate, a distinction that until then had been reserved exclusively for marine chronometers.
In 1926, the Rolex Oyster was the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch ever made.
In 1931, Rolex produced the world’s first wristwatch self-winding system with a free rotor, named the Perpetual rotor.
In 1945, Rolex introduced the Oyster Perpetual Datejust, the world’s first self-winding wrist chronometer to indicate the date in a window on the dial.
In 1953, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner divers’ watch became the first waterproof wristwatch case worn to a depth of 100 metres; the Rolex Oyster Perpetual was the first to summit Mount Everest.
In 1954, the Rolex GMT Master was the first wristwatch to show two time zones at once.
In 1956, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date was the first wristwatch to display both date and day of the week spelt out in full in a window on the dial.
In 1960, the world’s deepest dive – to a depth of 10,916 metres – was made with the Rolex Deep Sea Special. In the same year, it was on the beaches of Florida that the world capital of speed was coined.
On the sandy Daytona Beach, man and machine were put to the test and the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, the new-generation chronograph was launched in 1963. This Daytona featured a tachymetric graduated bezel for calculating average speed.
In 1967, the Rolex Sea-Dweller, which was waterproof to a depth of 610 metres, was introduced.
It was equipped with a helium escape valve, which meant that during decompression, the helium from the gas mixture within the watch could be released without damaging the case.
In the years between 1971 and today, more masterpieces/iconic pieces were launched: the Explorer II (1971), the Sea-Dweller (1978), the Yacht Master (1992), the Yacht Master II (2007) and the Sky Dweller (2012).
Rolex, in its 112 years of progress, innovation and achievement, has no less than stamped their name and iconic coronet logo on every success story that is attained with pure drive, vision and hard work. It is fitting that the slogan, “a crown for every achievement”, should shadow this remarkable brand and its stellar achievements.