Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London in 1905. In 1919 the two partners moved the base of the company’s operations to Geneva, Switzerland. Rolex is one of the most famous names in watchmaking and is credited with numerous inventions, including the very first waterproof watch and the perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism.
For almost a century, Rolex timepieces have adorned the wrists of some of the most intrepid explorers who have put Rolex timepieces to the ultimate test. Rolex is also involved in the arts through projects in film, the performing arts, architecture, music, dance, literature, visual arts, and cultural heritage. The company is also active in the sports sector with motor-racing, tennis, golf, yachting, and horse riding.
Five interesting facts about Rolex
- When searching for a name for his company, Hans Wilsdorf searched for a name that was short, catchy, easy to pronounce in any language and that would look good on the dial of a watch. He tried every combination possible until he claims a genie whispered the word “Rolex” in his ear.
- In 1927, English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze tested the water-resistance of the Rolex Oyster by swimming across the English Channel with it. The swim took her 10 hours and the watch remained in perfect working order.
- During World War II, Hans Wilsdorf offered allied prisoners of war the opportunity to order a Rolex immediately and pay after the war, which they did. These watches fetch important prices at auction today.
- Rolex recently became the official sponsor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Academy Awards.
- Famous people spotted wearing a Rolex include Roger Federer, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise, Mark Wahlberg, and Sofia Vergara, among many others.
Brand ID Card
– 1905: Wilsdorf & Davis, London
– 1908: the Rolex brand
– 1920: Montres Rolex SA, Geneva
Company status: Public limited company
Senior Management: Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Managing Director
Number of employees: Over 10,000
Flagship collections: Oyster, Cellini
Bestsellers: Oyster Perpetual Datejust
Retail prices in USD: From USD 6,450 to upwards of 49,450
Annual production: Undisclosed