Since its origins, the history of luxury Rolex wristwatches have been marked by the desire for perfection and the desire always to go further.
At the beginning of the last century, a visionary entrepreneur, then based in London, is about to succeed with only his will as his banner. What is his commitment? Introduce the watchmaking world of the time to a company that was still ignored: Rolex. An unprecedented name, invented in 1908, would end up becoming one of the most famous brands in the world in a few decades.
“At first glance, the difficulties seemed insurmountable.” With these words, Hans Wilsdorf recalled the origins of his company in his memoirs. At that time, as a businessman, he did not have many assets, but as a man, he possessed some invaluable qualities: vision, perseverance, and an unusual capacity for work. Orphaned since the age of 12, with nothing to fall back on other than his determination to overcome all obstacles, Hans Wilsdorf invented the world’s first airtight self-winding wristwatch with a perpetual rotor. A watch that, today, is a reference in terms of quality and prestige.
The Oyster Perpetual
“Too complicated, too fragile, too out of place,” he had been told repeatedly. Thanks to his deep convictions, Hans Wilsdorf managed, with his audacity and despite everything, to impose the Rolex watch – the Oyster Perpetual – as the archetype of the hermetic, precise, and robust watch capable of resisting any situation. But he was not just the visionary who gave Rolex watches their fundamental technical and aesthetic characteristics. His constant search for perfection was accompanied by great generosity and an unwavering faith in the potential of human beings.
The Sum Of Multiple Savoir-Faire
As an independent and vertical manufacturing company, Rolex has an industrial apparatus that features unquantifiable savoir-faire. Watchmakers, engineers, designers, and other specialists collaborate closely to conceive and subsequently manufacture watches.
Rolex Represents Many Different Professions
The company’s culture is based, above all, on human values that put savoir-faire and social relations at the centre of the different activities.
Rolex represents many different professions, embodied by men and women who are specialists in their respective fields. The brand controls all the essential components. From casting the gold alloys to assembling the movement elements, case, dial, and bracelet through machining, finishing, and setting. In addition, it makes its different sophistication available to the entire world thanks to an exceptional network and after-sales service.
To ensure that the uniqueness of Rolex never disappears, Rolex has its own training centre, the only one of its kind. This centre, based in Geneva and dedicated to promoting new talents and training its employees, offers continuous training to all its collaborators and company managers and guarantees the training of apprentices. A space where knowledge and experiences are shared, its mission is to ensure the replacement for tomorrow in accordance with the brand’s values.
A Watch That Doesn’t Look Like The Others
The Oyster Perpetual collection has been built on the success of the original Oyster watch, patented by Rolex, and introduced in 1926.
The Oyster, the world’s first water-resistant wristwatch, played a pioneering part in the evolution of the modern wristwatch. Over the years, it incorporated many other innovations – for example, the Perpetual automatic rotor winding (1931) – that have defined the identity of the models in the collection and have forged Rolex’s reputation for excellence that, among other things, is based on the chronometric precision of its watches and their reliability.
The Oyster has gradually incorporated new functionalities and innovative technologies into its collection. The foundations of this watchmaking archetype are found in all the models, which share a visual identity. The collection has twelve ranges divided into two categories: Classical watches, such as the Datejust and Day Date, and Professional watches, such as the Explorer and the GMT Master II.
As a pioneering brand of the wristwatch, Rolex is at the origin of many important advances in the watchmaking sector and has registered more than 500 patents in the course of its history.