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20 Things You Need To Know About Rolex Watches

20 Things You Need To Know About Rolex Watches
Mau Briones

Rolex SA is a Swiss luxury watchmaker founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in Longdon, England in 19015 and later (the year 1919) moved its base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland. For over a century, Rolex watches have accompanied explorers and achievers around the world.

Rolex is at the origin of landmark innovations in watchmaking and here’s a list of things you need to know about Rolex watches before buying one for yourself.

  • How did the word “Rolex” originate? According to Hans Wilsdorf, he wanted his watches to bear a name that was short, easy to say and easy to remember in any language but also will look good on watch movements and dials. He then tried combining the letters of the alphabet, but with no luck and nothing felt right, until one morning while riding on an upper-deck of a horse-drawn omnibus, a genie whispered to his ear ‘Rolex’.
  • A Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne, in 1910.
  • Rolex marked a major step forward when it created their first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch called “The Oyster” with hermetically sealed case that provides optimal protection for the movement in 1926.
  • In 1931, Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor. This ingenious system, a true work of art, is today at the heart of every modern automatic watch.
  • 1945 was the birth of the first self-winding wrist chronometer that indicates the date in a window on the dial – the “Datejust”. It was a watch with great distinction equipped with Jubilee bracelet and a fluted bezel.
  • Rolex developed professional watches in 1950 known today as the watches of achievers. These watches served as tools equipped with functions far beyond simply telling the time and intended for professional activities like deep-sea diving,  mountain climbing, aviation, and scientific exploration.
  • Rolex launched the first divers’ watch waterproof to a depth of 100 meters called The Submariner. It has a rotatable bezel that allows divers to read their immersion time.
  • Rolex developed the GMT-Master, especially made to meet specific needs of airline pilots. Its most distinguishing visual feature was the two-tone bezel which marked daytime from nighttime hours.
  • The first wristwatch to display the date and day of the week spelled out in a full window on the dial made its debut, it is called The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. With president bracelet, originally created especially for it, the Day-Date continues to be the watch par excellence of influential people.
  • Rolex introduced The Milgauss in 1956. It was designed to meet the demands of the scientific community and is capable of withstanding magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss.
  • Rolex launched The Cosmograph Daytona in 1963. It was designed for endurance racing drivers. It was robust, waterproof, and featured with tachymetric scale on the bezel which calculates average speed.
  • Rolex presented the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, dedicated to polar explorers in 1971. The watch featured a distinctive 24-hour hand, an invaluable aid around the poles and beneath ground when you can’t tell night from day.
  • Rolex uses 904L steel which is more rust and corrosion resistant and much harder than other steels. It is also more expensive and much more complicated to machine and when worked properly, it is able to take and hold polishes incredibly well, that is why steel on Rolex watches looks very different than other watches because Rolex learned how to properly worked on  904L steel.
  • Rolex has different types of extremely well-equipped science labs at their various facilities with highly trained scientists. The purpose of these labs is not just to research new watches but also to research more effective and efficient manufacturing techniques among other things.
  • Rolex watches are all hand assembled and tested, meaning machines do not build their watches. Rolex watches are given all the hands-on human attention that you would expect from a fine Swiss made timepieces. Of course, the company has the most sophisticated and advanced watchmaking machinery that does all automated tasks that humans aren’t good at like sorting, filing, cataloging, and other delicate procedures that only robots can handle such as applying the right pressure when attaching pins, aligning parts, and pressing down hands.
  • Rolex makes its own gold. All the gold and platinum is made in-house. 24k gold comes into Rolex and turned into 18k yellow, white, or their non-fading version of 18k rose gold (Rolex’s Everose gold). Though they have different suppliers of steel, the company still works the steel in-house to make all the parts.
  • To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Oyster, the company launched the Rolex Awards for Enterprise to honor extraordinary individuals who possess the courage and conviction to take on major challenges. Each Rolex Award for Enterprise is given for a new ongoing project anywhere in the world – one that deserves support for its capacity to improve lives, protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. These projects have touched all aspects of humanity by expanding knowledge or improving life on the planet.
  • The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative were founded in 2002 to encourage talented individuals through a unique program of one‑to‑one mentoring with a major figure in their artistic discipline.
  • Rolex developed and patented the Cerachrom bezel for specific Professional models to ensure lasting beauty and functionality even after exposure to the most extreme conditions in 2005.
  • Rolex sets the record for the deepest diving watch in the world in 2012 when it conducted The Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge.

We simply cannot deny that Rolex’s reputation for high quality and expert craftsmanship has been proven and tested throughout the years and it is really hard not love and appreciate timepieces such as Rolex watches.

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