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1905 - Hans Wilsdorf There is a close relationship between the history of Rolex and its farsighted and innovative founder Hans Wilsdorf. In 1905, when he was 24 years old, he set up a company specialized in horologe. He even conceived that watch would be worn on the wrist. Although the precision of watch was not high at that time, Hans Wilsdorf was able to foresee that wristwatch can not only show its elegance, and it also can be accurate and reliable. In order to convince public to believe the his innovative watch was accurate, he specially equipped the watch with small, precise movement produced by a watch company of Biel. Hans Wilsdorf 1908 - five artful letters Hans Wilsdorf wanted to get a concise and readable name for the watch, and it was easy to remember for any language, moreover, it was sightly on the movement and dial. He said: "I had tried all combinations of letters and got hundreds of names finally, but none of them could make me feel satisfied. One morning, when I sat on the upper desk of stagecoach by way of Cheapside in London, I seemed to have heard the voice of elfin, it whispered a word in my ear:Rolex". Stagecoach 1910 - the pursuit of timing accuracy Although Rolex concentrated on improving the quality of movement initially, it explored actively in the precision of chronometer and got success eventually. In 1910, Rolex became the first watch that obtained the Swiss chronometer certificate issued by Beil's official watch ranking center. Swiss chronometer certificate 1914 Four years later, that was 1914, the British Kew Observatory awarded the "A" certificate to Rolex. At that time, this certificate was generally obtained by marine chronometer. Since then, Rolex become a symbol of precise timepiece. "A" certificate 1919 - Geneva Rolex moved to the international city Geneva that was famous for watchmaking technology, and registered as company "Montres Rolex S.A." in the local. Rolex in Geneva 1926 - the first waterproof watch In 1926, Rolex produced the first waterproof and dustproof watch, which symbolized great progress of watchmaking technology. This watch was called Oyster and it was equipped with airtight case to provide the best protection for movement. Oyster 1927 - the Cross-Channel challenge Rolex must be able to provide conclusive evidence to prove the waterproof of watch. In 1927, young British lady Mercedes Gleitze swam across the English Channel successfully with wearing Oyster. After Mercedes Gleitze swam for more than ten hours to reach the terminal point, the watch that she worn was still intact and working as usual. Mercedes Gleitze 1927 - the concept of brand spokesperson In order to celebrate this historic creation, Rolex published a whole page of article to declare the victory of waterproof watch on the front page of Daily Mail. The successful creation symbolized the emergence of the concept of brand spokesperson for Rolex. Daily Mail 1931 - perpetual movement In 1931, Rolex developed the world's first patented self-winding mechanism - perpetual rotor. This original system is design basis of every modern automatic watch. Perpetual Movement 1933 - flying over Mount Qomolangma Pilots were wearing Rolex Oyster in the first voyage of flying over Mount Qomolangma. They were satisfied with the function of Oyster. Flying over Mount Qomolangma 1935 - laboratory of field test Rolex knew that different environments were the opportunities for Oyster's testing and improvement. The fields like sports, aviation, racing and expedition are excellent laboratories for testing numerous technical functions of watch. A living laboratory 1935 - Sir Malcolm Campbell In the 1930s, Rolex built pleasant happy partnerships with one of the world's fastest drivers Sir Malcolm Campbell in the racing world. On September 4th, 1935, this "King of Speed" sat on his racing car "Bluebird" and worn Rolex, and he set a record of more than 300 miles per hour (about 485 kilometers per hour) in Utah's Bonneville Speedway. Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world speed record for nine times successively during the period from 1924 to 1935, five of them was on Daytona Beach. Sir Malcolm Campbell 1935 - a letter to Rolex Sir Malcolm Campbell said: "I have worn Rolex for some time, and my watch is still accurate in the difficult circumstances." A letter to Rolex 1945 - the first Datejust In 1945, Rolex launched Datejust and it was the world's first self-winding watch with date display on the dial. The extraordinary Datejust was equipped with Jubilee bracelet created specially for it and fluted bezel, which were distinctive and it was the major model among Oyster series. Datejust was originally designed for men, ten years later, it gradually evolved into varied and colorful ladies watch. the first Datejust 1947 - mysterious man In 1947, in order to celebrate the brand's 100,000th officially certified chronometer, Hans Wilsdorf gifted a log type watch to an outstanding gentleman and called him as great minds of the age. However, up to now, his identity has never been disclosed. Mysterious outstanding gentleman 1953 - pioneering watch In the early 1950s, Rolex developed a series of professional watches that not only possessed the function of telling time with sound knowledge of chronometer's precision and waterproof. These watches were designed for professional activities, including deep-sea diving, aviation, mountain - climbing and scientific explorations. Pioneering watch 1953 - Mount Qomolangma In 1953, Sir John Hunt, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the peak of Mount Qomolangma with wearing Oyster Perpetual respectively. Everest hillary norgay Everest edmund norgay 1953 - Explorer Brilliant achievements of human explorations provided inspiration for the creation of Oyster Perpetual Explorer. Since its launch in 1953, it immediately became the iconic classic watch. Everest Explorer 1953 - Submariner Submariner was launched in 1953, and it was the first diver's watch with waterproof to 100 meters(330 feet). Its rotary bezel allows divers to know time conveniently. First Submariner Perfect partner on land or in the sea. Submariner can operate normally under the sea of 660 feet. All aspects of its functions are excellent. Submariner 1953 - the first intercontinental flights With the advent of jet age in the 1950s, international airlines developed rapidly and the airplanes had to fly across several time zones in a short time, so that it was important for pilots to know different times of different locations on the earth. The first intercontinental flights 1955 - the GMT-Master GMT-Master was specially designed for meeting the demand of pilots. As soon as it was launched, GMT-Master become appointed watch of several airline company, including famous Pan Am. Its remarkable characteristic was the two-tone bezel which marked daytime from nighttime hours. The first GMT-Master 1956 - the Day-Date Oyster Perpetual Day-Date that was launched in 1956 had a prominent innovation: it was available in 18 ct gold or platinum, and it was the first watch with date and week display on the dial, and this was a great technical achievement at that time. As a model of noble watch, Day-Date was only produced with precious metal, it became popular among influential people as soon as it was launched. Day-Date 1956 - leadership Rolex always has a close relationship with many important people who lead the world. Some of them are foresighted, and some of them obtained great achievements, but they have one thing in common-they worn Day-Date. Day-Date 1956 - CERN The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the world - class particle physics laboratory, it is devoted to exploring the secrets of the universe with the most advanced scientific research. It also has the world's highest energy particle accelerator. In the 1950s, CERN was one of the laboratories that took the lead in confirming Milgauss watch can enough to withstand up to 1000 Gauss of magnetic flux density. CERN 1956 - Oyster Perpetual Milgauss Milgauss was launched in 1956. It was specially invented for scientific community and it could withstand up to 1000 Gauss of magnetic flux density. Extraordinary antimagnetic function of Milgauss was derived from its internal antimagnetic shield which was beneficial to ensure the normal operation of movement. Rolex specially selected paramagnetic alloys to make two components of antimagnetic shield. After rigorous testing by CERN engineers, it was proved that watch possessed perfect antimagnetic function. Oyster Perpetual Milgauss 1957 - Lady-Datejust Lady-Datejust was the first lady's watch of the Rolex Datejust, a pretty small case contained its elegance and uniquer functions and it was more suitable for lady's slender wrist. Lady-Datejust 1960 - Deep Sea Special In the 1950s, Rolex carried out rigorous and exhaustive testing of an experimental watch, called "Deep Sea Special". By the knowledge gained from the making of the previous two models, the third Deep Sea Special was able to withstand the extreme harsh conditions, including the Challenger Deep waters of the Mariana Trench. Submariner of 1960 Deep Sea Special 1960 - the deepest dive In 1960, the experimental bathyscaphe-Trieste successfully dived into Mariana Trench which is known for the deepest of earth's surface. Naval lieutenant Don Walsh was responsible for the helm, in the company of Jacques Piccard, the Trieste that they took made this unprecedented achievement of deep-sea adventure. Bathyscaphe and Rolex Deep Sea Special experimental watch which was attached to the outside returned to the the surface of water from the deep sea of 10916 meters (37800 feet), ans both of them were still functioning normally. Deepest dive Bathyscaphe-Trieste 1960 - Daytona Beach Daytona Beach, Florida. Daytona Beach was a legend as the world capital of speed for it was long, flat and firm, with hard-packed sand. There were 14 world land speed records set between 1904 and 1935 at Daytona Beach, five of them were set by Rolex-wearer Sir Malcolm Campbell. With time goes by, the sandiness deteriorated. In 1959, a "Super Speedway" was built, that was the Daytona International Speedway. This new amphitheatre of motor racing quickly become one of the most prestigious endurance car races in the world and it enjoyed equal popularity with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Although its surface was no longer sand, Daytona was still racing area of the Rolex 24-Hour at Daytona. Daytona Beach 1963 - the Cosmograph Daytona The new-generation Cosmograph Daytona was launched in 1963, and its name was derived from a classical landmark - Daytona. Cosmograph Daytona was robust and waterproof, and it was equipped with speedometer-applique bezel for calculating average speed. The First Cosmograph Daytona 1963 - the French diving company Comex Rolex collaborated closely with the French diving company - COMEX. Divers of COMEX worn Rolex Sea-Dweller watches during their working in the deep sea. Under the leadership of Henri Germain Delauze, COMEX was once forerunner in deep-sea diving and remains a world-renowned iconic enterprise in hyperbaric engineering and underwater work. The cooperation between Rolex and COMEX is as strong as ever today. The headquarters of COMEX is located in Marseilles, and it specially developed a hyperbaric tank for testing the Rolex Deepsea watch. Comex 1967 - the Sea-Dweller Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller was launched in 1967, its possessed waterproof to 610 meters. In order to meet the demand of professional deep-sea divers, it was equipped with helium escape valve to release helium from the gas mixtures during the long-playing decompression process in hyperbaric chambers, so that it could prevent the watch from being damaged. Sea-Dweller 1971 - the Explore II Rolex launched Oyster Perpetual Explore II which was specially designed for polar explorers, speleologists, and explorers who devote to challenging limits. The watch was equipped with a distinctive 24-hour hand which could help the wearers to distinguish day from night in polar or in the underground cave. Explore II 1976 - Rolex Awards for Enterprise To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster, Rolex specially held Awards for Enterprise to praise the courageous, faithful people for they pay efforts to address great challenges. Each Rolex Award for Enterprise is given for innovative project or ongoing project from all over the world. Rolex hopes that people can improve their lives, protect the world's natural and cultural heritage. These projects are involved in all aspects of humanity by expanding knowledge or improving the earth's ecological environment. Rolex Awards for Enterprise 1978 - Sea-Dweller 4000 Rolex launched Sea-Dweller 4000 with waterproof to 1,220 meters(4,000 feet). Sea-Dweller 4000 1985 - 904L stainless steel Rolex was the first leading watchmaking brand to select 904L stainless steel to produce stainless steel case. This material is always used in the high-tech, aerospace and chemical industry, its excellent anti-corrosion can be comparable with the precious metal, it can show unique luster after a final polish. 904L stainless steel 1992 - the Pearlmaster The Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster which was the new interpretation of the Lady-Datejust was launched. Pearlmaster 1992 - the Yacht-Master Rolex launched Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master in 1992. It was the first Oyster professional watch that was available in three sizes of case(29, 35 and 40mm), and it was the concentrative expression of close relationship between Rolex and nautical sport. Yacht-Master 1992 - Rolex & Yachting Rolex is honorary sponsor of many famous maritime events around the world. Yachting 2000 - 4130 movement The idea and assembly of 4130 movement were exclusively completed by Rolex, and the Cosmograph Daytona designed in 2000 only consists of 290 components( far fewer than standard chronograph) and shows its simplicity. 4130 movement 2002 - MENTOR AND PROTÉGÉ The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative was founded in 2002, and many worthies from every artistic field will provide talented individuals with one to one mentoring through this unique project. Over the past ten years, the creative community of Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative has expanded across different continents and cultures, and now there are more than 80 major creative artists of different generations and backgrounds are taking part in this project. MENTOR AND PROTÉGÉ 2005 - CERACHROM bezel To ensure the sturdiness and durability of watch, Rolex developed patented Cerachrom bezel for Oyster specific professional models. Because it was made from special ceramics with great hardness, corrosion resistance and scratch resistance, it still will not fade under ultraviolet irradiation. Its diamond polished surface presents an exceptional luster. The 24-hour markers are coated with a thin layer of platinum. CERACHROM CERACHROM bezel 2005 - blue Parachrom hairspring After five years of research, Rolex created the blue Parachrom hairspring with paramagnetic alloy. It is unaffected by magnetic fields and its shock resistance is up to 10 times. Historically, the blue hairspring was only equipped to the most accurate timepieces. Parachrom hairspring 2007 - Yatch-Master II Oyster Perpetual Yatch-Master II regatta chronograph is the world's first watch equipped with a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory. In this unique and complicated watchmaking installation, its movement and case, as well as the Ring Command that exclusively designed and developed by Rolex, three of them constitute an innovative system and interact. This regatta chronograph allows yachtsmen to cross the line as soon as possible after the starting gun. Yatch-Master II 2008 - Rolex Deepsea Rolex Deepsea was specially designed for extreme underwater exploration. The innovative Ringlock system allows crystal to withstand water pressure equivalent to a weight of more than three tonnes. The depth that Rolex Deepsea can dive into is not deeper than a few purpose-built research submersibles, but it is deeper than most of the submarines, even more than 100 times beyond the depth that any human could physically survive. Deepsea 2012 - Sky-Dweller Rolex launched innovatory Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller which was designed for world travelers. It was equipped with elegant case with diameter of 42mm and readable, adjustable dual time zone display; and it also was equipped with particularly innovative annual calendar named Saros, its inspiration was derived from an astronomical phenomenon and it requires only one adjustment per year. To set its functions quickly and easily, it was also equipped with a new interface which consists of the rotatable Ring Command bezel. Sky-Dweller 2012 - reaching the deepest place on earth On March 26th, 2012, filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer in Residence James Cameron descended into the Mariana Trench, he renewed the record of solo deep-sea diving and become the first solo dive into the deepest point on earth. Before this, there was only two-man Trieste expedition of 1960 had conquered Mariana Trench. and the only dive into the trench since the two-man Trieste expedition of 1960. Only one passenger was on both voyages: a Rolex watch. Deepest 2012 - Deepsea Challenge Rolex Perpetual Deepsea Challenge is a experimental diver's watch with waterproof to 12,000 meters(39,370 feet). This watch was completely developed and produced by Rolex, it could withstand extreme pressure of deep-sea, and it set a record of the deepest diving watch in the world. Deepsea Challenge 2013 - Formula 1® In order to keep close relationship with motorsports, in 2013 Rolex entered into a long-term partnership with Formula 1® Racing and served as Official Timekeeper and Official Timepiece. Formula 1® The following links may help you know Rolex better: Air King: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1400-the-evolution-of-rolex-air-king/ Datejust: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1420-datejust-the-most-iconic-rolex/ Day Date: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1655-the-day-date-in-rolex-history/ Daytona: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1362-paul-newman-and-mcqueen/ Explorer: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1371-rolex-explorer-history/ GMT-Master: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1441-rolex-gmt-master-a-skywalker-in-time-zone-traveling/ Milgauss: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1406-how-to-resist-the-magnetic-power-rolex-milgauss/ Prince: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1416-rolex-prince-doctors-watch/ Submariner: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1675-different-generations-of-rolex-submariner/ Sea-Dweller: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1727-rolex-deepsea-legend/ Turn-O-Graph: http://www.watchtalkforum.com/topic/1731-rolex-datejust-turn-o-graph-review/