Rolex - Pushing Boundaries
Sometimes brands don't need to advertise because they are spoken about so much that we do all the work for them! Companies with this superpower include Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari and Rolex.
Ever since their inception, Rolex took on the almighty task of making wristwatches a viable accessory. This endeavour has enabled them to forge an enviable history which took them to the pinnacle of watchmaking.
They even created a sister brand called Tudor. You can read more about their story here: Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Tudor.
In celebration of their contribution to the world of watchmaking, delve into their history to understand why Rolex is regarded as one of the finest watchmakers in the world.
Hans Wilsdorf's Rolex Dream
Rolex can trace their origins back to 1905 in London when a 24-year-old Hans Wilsdorf had an ambition buoyed by his dreams.
Hans dreamed of a watch being worn on the wrist. However, these dreams came at a time where wristwatches were known for their lack of precision.
Despite this popular belief, Hans believed wristwatches could be elegant and reliable. So, he went out to prove it.
Hans started to make breakthroughs after receiving a certificate from the Official Watch Rating Centre in Switzerland and the Kew Observatory who usually award certificates for Marine Chronometers.
With the quality of Rolex watches proven, he then set out to create watches designed to meet the needs of professionals or set a new benchmark in watchmaking. Here are the stories behind popular Rolex series.
Famous Rolex Watches
How many Rolex series can you name? Do you have a favourite? Get closer to their stories by learning about them.
Introduced in 1945, the DateJust became the first self-winding watch to show the date on the dial. Featured on a small window, this complication became the talk of the industry and the flagship model of the Oyster range.
Trivia - The Jubilee bracelet with its signature five-piece metal-link debuted on the Datejust.
It wasn't until 1957 that Rolex made a bespoke Lady Datejust and repeated the same feat in 1992 with the Pearlmaster.
Released in 1955, the GMT-Master was able to display different timezones and was intended for pilots. However, it became widely popular due to its aesthetically pleasing looks.
It's become one of their most popular series and fans have even gone as far as nicknaming different variations of the bezel!
Names that have been attributed range from coke to batman! You can learn about them here: How Do Rolex Watches Get Nicknames?
Just when the date wasn't enough, Rolex exceeded themselves by adding the day as well!
Released in 1956, the Day-Date set a new standard in watchmaking because it was the first watch to display the day in full and the date.
Trivia - this watch proved popular among world leaders and was known as the President watch.
An icon among the Rolex family, the Rolex Daytona was introduced in 1963 and became known as the racing man's watch.
Paul Newman is one of the most famous owners of a Rolex Daytona after his watch sold for £17.8m in an auction and featured in our article: Rolex Watches That Broke Records.
Deeply associated with the Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona became popular thanks to its ability to be used as a timer.
A special edition Rolex Daytona adorned with Everose gold was released to combine speed and elegance. Read about it here: Review: Rolex Rainbow Daytona in Everose Gold.
Even though the Submariner was released in 1953, it can be argued that the makings for it started way back in the '20s. Why? Rolex created the Oyster, a waterproof watch case.
With water resistance reaching 100m, it resonated with divers and swimmers.
With numerous alterations over time, a candidate for the find of the century occurred when a Rolex with a unique bezel sold for a massive price. Read the article here: £69 Rolex sells for a massive £140,000.
Finally, the submariner achieved cult status when it became the official watch of James Bond until the release of Goldeneye.
Rolex has endowed us with an array of iconic timepieces which enabled them to forge a relationship with extreme sports, flying, racing and more with elegance and reliability.
The spirit of their founder is still alive today as Rolex continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking whilst maintaining fantastic levels of precison and desireability.
What's your favourite Rolex? Hit the share button and let us know!
There's a wide array of Rolex watches available in our auctions from Daytona to Datejusts. Explore our collection and start your Rolex story today!