Learn About Rolex Watches

Today Rolex is known as a symbol for prestige, wealth, and luxury.

Rolex Watches

Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Deep Sea, Sea Dweller

As one of the world’s most widely recognized and highly regarded luxury watch brands, its influence and reputation of class, elegance, and style reach worldwide, inspiring generations of consumers and appreciators of the Rolex brand alike. With over a hundred years of history of success and innovation, Rolex watches boast the patronage of famous figures such as Paul Newman, James Bond, and more. It is no surprise that today the company continues to strive for excellence as one of the world’s leading watch manufacturers, and so many people covet the “crown for every achievement”.

Behind the scenes- a brief history of the Rolex Brand

In 1905 in London, brothers-in-law Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis founded Wilsdorf and Davis, the company that would eventually become what we now know as Rolex. They soon opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and renamed the company to Rolex; Wilsdorf chose this name due its resemblance of the sound of winding up a watch, and its ease of pronunciability across languages. It was also short enough to fit on the face of a watch and catchy enough for people to remember.

enlarged watch sign outside of Rolex shop

Enlarged watch sign outside of Rolex shop. Image: Public Domain

" Throughout the next half of the 20th century, the company would continue to make monumental strides in watchmaking history and technology, rightfully earning its reputation as leaders of innovation, luxury, and prestige."

In 1910, a Rolex was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne. Only a few years later in 1914, they were awarded a Class A Precision Certificate by Kew Observatory, an achievement that previously had been granted almost exclusively to marine chronometers, timepieces that are used as portable time standards by the military. From this early date in the brand’s history, the Rolex name would become synonymous with precision and accuracy, a feat that would continue to be upheld up until today. But it was not only timekeeping excellence that was Hans Wilsdort goal since the beginning of the company. Most of all he wanted to produce watches that will accopany their owners through the whole life, no matter how adventurous it would be. He was pushing and testing his watches to make sure they will continue to perform without a problem even in the harshest of environments.

Innovations in Rolex Watches

After the first World War, Wilsdorf moved the company’s base to Geneva, Switzerland due to post-war taxes on luxury imports. In 1927 the company manufactured the first ever waterproof and dust-proof wristwatch, and named it the “Oyster”. It featured a case that was sealed air tight, preventing interference with the movement, or the watch’s inner mechanism, to the highest degree possible. The next year, Mercedes Gleitze, the first person to woman to swim across the English Channel, did so while wearing an Oyster, which proved to be in perfect working condition after the 10 hour swim.

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Rolex Oyster steel and gold face

Rolex Oyster steel and gold face. Image: Canva / License: Public Domain

In 1931, the company invented the first ever self-winding wristwatch, which used a system known as a Perpetual rotor, a semi-circular plate that moves freely within the watch. This mechanism would become the basis for all automatic watches across the industry. Two years later, members of the first expedition to fly over Mount Everest were equipped with Rolex Oysters. In 1935, Sir Malcom Campbell, the “king of speed” who broke the word record for land speed nine times between 1924 and 1925, wrote a letter to Rolex stating “I have now been using my Rolex Watch for a while, and it is keeping perfect time under somewhat strenuous conditions”.

Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner. Image. Canva / License: Public Domain

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay led the first successful expedition to reach the top of Mount Everest and did so while wearing Rolex watches. To celebrate this feat the Oyster Perpetual Explorer was released to commemorate the event and quickly became an accessory of iconic status. Throughout the next half of the 20th century, the company would continue to make monumental strides in watchmaking history and technology, rightfully earning its reputation as leaders of innovation, luxury, and prestige. In 1960, Hans Wilsdorf would die, leaving the company to be run by his trust, but not before establishing Rolex as one of the world’s great leaders in timepieces. 

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Daytona. Image: Canva / License: Public Domain

Rolex and the Cyclops

While some love it, others hate Cyclops, which are a signature feature of many Rolex watches. The legend says it was added by Wilsdorf, after his wife complained about the difficulty to see the day-date on her watch. To solve this problem the small magnifying bubble was added on top of the date display of Rolex Datejust model that was introduced in 1945. The name Cyclop was inspired by the one-eyed giants from the Greek Mythology. Rolex patented the feature in 1950s and added it to Datejusts three years later

Cyclop on the Rolex watch

Cyclop on the Rolex watch. Image: Canva / License: Public Domain

Which Rolex Watch is for me?

There are plenty Rolex watches on the market, both modern and vintage If you are looking for one you should make a quick research online or in one of the Rolex watches for a variation that fits you best. Some of the earlier models has been discontinued and are today considered vintage or collectible. These watches may reach higher prices than their modern counterparts. You can compare the market for Rolex watches to the one of wine, they can be worth more with age.

While all of the watches from the Rolex range are excellent, they were designed to perform better in different environments and appear more to various types of wearers. Rolex Submariner is thought to be a great choice for someone that enjoys swimming and Diving, because it is designed to remain accurate even while enduring high water pressure. Rolex Daytona was named after famous racing events and will be a perfect choice for those who love that extreme sport.

Please look below to find your perfect Rolex watch model from the classic Oyster collection:


Datejust II

Datejust Lady 31

Datejust Pearlmaster 34


Day-Date II

Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Deepsea


Explorer II

GMT-Master II


Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster


Oyster Perpetual

Sea-Dweller 4000




Yacht-Master II

The legacy of Rolex

Today Rolex continues to enjoy its reputation of peak luxury, its watches being highly coveted and regarded as great symbols of status. The company’s contributions to science, convenience, and all while staying indisputably elegant are undeniably significant. It is no wonder that generations have enjoyed Rolex wristwatches, and more will likely continue to admire and seek these accessories as symbols of adventurism and ultimate success.

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