“A crown for every achievement” is what Rolex promises in their slogan. And with the brand’s history and reputation, Rolex indeed lives up to its words. Starting from the quintessential Rolex Submariner to the sporty Rolex Daytona and the finest Rolex Datejust, Rolex watches are on top of everyone’s shopping and wish lists.
Rolex doesn’t only take in popularity, but it is also a portrait of excellence in so many ways. This Geneva-based company crafts its timepieces by hand. It also constantly innovates its design and technology and manufactures the gold and materials used to make its timepieces. And not to mention that this company boasts in its COSC-certified movements.
History and Innovation of Rolex
In 1905, Rolex started its watchmaking history in London, England. Initially, it was named by its founder Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf, his brother-in-law, as Wilsdorf and Davis. But it eventually became Rolex, the brand that we all know. The company brought Hermann Aegler’s Swiss movements to England and laid them in cases curated by Dennison and many other case makers. Then, these watches are distributed to jewelers who branded them as theirs.
In 1908, exactly three years later, Wilsdorf registered the name “Rolex” This has become the brand’s new name for watches under the Wilsdorf and Davis company. Wilsdorf also moved into an open office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, which is considered the heart of the watchmaking industry.
As years passed by since the start of the Rolex brand, they chased after accuracy in watchmaking. And they indeed caught up with this by earning certifications regarding their accurate movements that no one has ever done before. Afterward, the whole company moved to the watchmaking city of Geneva, Switzerland, where the brand is still based up to this day.
If you are curious why Wilsdorf picked the name Rolex, well, it came from his desire to create a brand name that is easy to pronounce and remember regardless of whatever language you speak. It is also onomatopoeic to the sound of a winding watch.
The Iconic Rolex Logo
The iconic Rolex Logo was personally designed by Wilsdorf and Davis themselves. In 1925, they made sure to trademark the crown logo. You can instantly recognize the brand anywhere, if you are familiar with it, by spotting its five-pointed crown on top of the word “Rolex.”
The details of the logo are not complicatedly made. It uses a Garamond font that leaves the name as simple as it is. This design helps in making the brand’s logo in perfect balance when it is put on the watch’s dial. Besides, the word “Rolex” is in a green hue while the crown is in gold.
The Rolex crown exudes luxury with its gold color and puts the brand in standards among the Swiss luxury watch brands. After all, a Rolex watch is a great reminder of reputation in any way. This luxury band is dominating the industry. Many people refer to it as the “King of All Watches,” which is yet one of the most daring titles given to a brand. However, it is not a surprise that the brand got this reputation with its greatness.
Even so, the most uncomplicated explanation behind the iconic logo is the company slogan: “A Crown For Every Achievement” Most owners of a Rolex watch consider this as a badge of honor that represents financial independence and a prize for a specific achievement. Either way, the Rolex logo continuously symbolizes grace, prestige, and luxury humbly worn around your wrist.
The Rolex Chronometer Certification
The chronometer certification plays a huge part in the Rolex index. The brand is a pioneer in chronometer certifications. In 1914, a small Rolex wristwatch was granted a Class A chronometer certificate by the Kew Observatory in Great Britain. This watch is the first of the many to grace the brand’s watch selection for men and women. That milestone signaled the beginning of Rolex’s race to earn a chronometer status for its watches.
Indeed, Rolex is one of the chiefs of accurate timekeeping, and the brand completely embraced certified accuracy as part of its identity. By the 1950s, they had already produced nearly 90% of all certified chronometers in Switzerland since the late 1920s.
Furthermore, despite the changes in regulations in 1951, Rolex still went further and beyond to ensure that almost all of its movements earn certifications that cite particularly good results in each one’s performance. Rolex takes these certifications to pride by adding an inscription to its dials that say: “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified.” And even though the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) stopped giving these special citations on certificates in 1973, the inscription remains common to all Rolex watches today as a reminder of the brand’s contribution to the development of precision timepieces.
Among the Rolex watches that are certified chronometers are the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex Yacht-Master II, Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller, and Rolex GMT-Master II.
The Rolex Oyster Case
Besides the track record of producing chronometer movements and watches, Rolex also proves to be an innovator in several ways. And this is evidenced by the invention of the Oyster case.
Hans Wilsdorf changed the company’s focus to the practical demands of its consumers, which includes having the watch dust-resistant and moisture resistant. Since most movements get easily damaged by dust and moisture when it gets under the dial and crown, Rolex developed a waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926, thus the name “Oyster.” This Oyster is an airtight sealed case that gives the movement optimal protection against dust and moisture.
Furthermore, the brand continues to aid professionals on their expeditions and world-breaking events like the 1953 Everest Expedition and the 1960 deep-dive by James Cameron at the Mariana Trench. And just recently, Alain Hubert was accompanied by a Rolex watch on his trip to North Greenland in 2007 to map the changes on the Arctic ice.
New Rolex 2020 Models
Although the BaselWord 2020 was canceled because of the current pandemic, Rolex persisted and released different new models for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Rolex Submariner, and Rolex Sky-Dweller. They also released a new movement called Rolex Caliber 3230. This new caliber takes pride in improved precision and magnetic field, and shock resistance. This caliber can be found in the new Oyster Perpetual and Submariner.
For a bit of detail, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 2020 models come in bright-colored dials like coral red, turquoise, and pink. While the Rolex Submariner 2020, from the usual case size of 40mm, has increased its size by 1mm. In addition, a no-date Submariner was released along with the improved movement of the collection. Contrastingly, the Rolex Sky-Dweller 2020 improved only the availability of Oysterflex bracelets on its watches, which makes them even suitable for travelers and jet setters.
The legacy and pride that Rolex watches possess give a sense of pride to its wearer. Aside from the legacy it boasts, a feeling of luxury and achievement can also be felt upon owning a Rolex piece. And although Rolex watches in nature are luxurious pieces that cost thousands of dollars, they remain as everyone’s favorite and dream watches.