Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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.

HansWilsdorf_zps7e4addf5.jpg
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_zps09182bc3.jpg
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.

Swisschronometercertificate_zpsf3be1e73.
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.

Acertificate_zpsdb81d8e5.jpg
"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.

RolexinGeneva_zps6e602a6e.jpg
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_zpsf2f71da6.jpg
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.

MercedesGleitze_zps51aa608d.jpg
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.

DailyMail_zps2891748a.jpg
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.

perpetualmovement_zpsac2c4e53.jpg
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. 

flyingoverMountQomolangma_zpsaf665059.jp
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.

alivinglaboratory_zps971354b7.jpg
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.

SirMalcolmCampbell_zpsf487329c.jpg
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."

alettertoRolex_zps97bb4530.jpg
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.

firstdatejustin1945_zpsb7a2f42f.jpg
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.

mysteriousman_zps34ca42ef.jpg
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.

pioneeringwatch_zps12cd58bb.jpg
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.

everesthillarynorgay_zps374a98f3.jpgEverest hillary norgay

everestedmundnorgay_zpsb24576f7.jpg
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_zps8b353018.jpg
Everest

explorer_zps5cb0df3b.jpg
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.

firstsubmariner_zpsd86a05b7.jpg
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.

1955submariner_zps2522176f.jpg
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.

firsttranscontinentalflights_zps66bd36ed
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.

firstgmtmasterIIin1982_zps9367219f.jpg
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.

firstdaydatein1956_zps9eaac12f.jpg
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.

1956president_zps7c0dc4db.jpg
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.

1956cern_zpsd3d8666b.jpg
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.

firstmilgaussin1956_zpse487c0c9.jpg
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. 

ladydatejustof1967_zpsf9a62289.jpg
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.

submariner1960_zps5c6b2631.jpg
Submariner of 1960

deepseaspecial_zpseca1808c.jpg
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.

deepestdive_zpsdfbade98.jpg
Deepest dive

1960batyscaphetrieste_zps224aa24a.jpg
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_zps4f6788cc.jpg
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.

firstcosmographdaytona_zpscb3b7f18.jpg
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_zps49416cef.jpg
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.

seadweller_zps3de0eeee.jpg
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.

theExploreII_zpsf49930e3.jpg
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.

RolexAwardsforEnterprise_zps7a2ab6eb.jpg
Rolex Awards for Enterprise

1978 - Sea-Dweller 4000

Rolex launched Sea-Dweller 4000 with waterproof to 1,220 meters(4,000 feet).

sea-dweller_zps8c3be878.jpg
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.

904Lstainlesssteel_zps95051fc5.jpg
904L stainless steel

1992 - the Pearlmaster

The Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster which was the new interpretation of the Lady-Datejust was launched.

pearlmaser_zps395e9e63.jpg
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.

yachtmaser_zps27f08cc6.jpg
Yacht-Master

1992 - Rolex & Yachting

Rolex is honorary sponsor of many famous maritime events around the world.

yachting_zpsea224f7a.jpg
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. 

4130movement_zps77e6ba8e.jpg
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.

MENTORANDPROTEacuteGEacute_zps2a7a4d3f.j
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_zps7b82fba1.jpg
CERACHROM

cerachrombezel_zpsf1f0dafe.jpg
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.

parachromhairspring_zps279251e5.jpg
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.

yachtmasterII_zpscc5e5368.jpg
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_zps6632b045.jpg
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.

skydweller_zpsc7363b57.jpg
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_zpsd7eceda4.jpg  
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.

deepseachallenge_zpsa832c5ee.jpg
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.

formule1_zps129b9fc3.jpg
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/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×