Everyone knows Rolex and everyone recognises Rolex. The Swiss brand is the epitome of luxury watches and at the same time the most desirable watch manufacturer in the world - all for reasons which are completely justified! Do you know them all? Find out.
5 reasons why we love Rolex
An unprecedented success story
When Hans Wilsdorf, a merchant from Kulmbach, began moving to Great Britain in 1905 and specialising in the import of Swiss timepieces, nobody could have guessed what a success story he would initiate. It didn't take long for him to secure the name "Rolex" in 1908, as the name was short and memorable and sounds the same in all European languages. In 1926, Rolex introduced the first water-resistant wristwatch, the Oyster - a milestone with a promising future for the manufacturer, whose watches are among the most robust mechanical timepieces of all.
Today, we know all too well what groundbreaking success Rolex has. The watches are not only known for their extraordinary precision and longevity, Rolex repeatedly occupies first place on the Forbes world ranking list of the most respected brands in the world.
1. Handcrafted movements from Rolex
While Rolex is spread over four different locations in Switzerland (Geneva-Acacias, Geneva-Plan-les-Ouates, Biel and Geneva-Chêne-Bourg), all the work steps relating to the movements are carried out at the Biel site. The rumours of fully automated production are nothing more than a myth: every Rolex watch contains traditional watchmaking craftsmanship. Despite the high annual production figures of an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 watches, the entire assembly and reconditioning of the movement is still carried out by hand: a total of 2,000 employees are involved. All components of the movements are produced directly by Rolex. This applies even to the most demanding components.
2. Rolex is a pioneer of innovation
In contrast to many other manufacturers of haute horlogerie, Rolex does not develop tourbillons, perpetual calendars or minute repetitions. Nevertheless, Rolex is a pioneer of innovation: many functions that we take for granted today have been developed by Rolex. The first chronometer-certified movement was made by Rolex. The first water-resistant watch, introduced in 1926, also originated from Rolex. Another important development is the date, which changes automatically at midnight and has been an integral part of the watchmaking world since the Datejust was born in 1945. It is almost impossible to list all of their innovations: Rolex has filed more than 400 patents since the company was founded.
3. Rolex produces in-house
One of the most impressive reasons why we love Rolex so much is the complete in-house production: Each of the watches is manufactured completely - 100 percent - in-house. Among other things, Rolex has its own gold foundry where the 18-carat gold alloys are produced. The cases and bracelets are produced in the same building. The dials are also developed and manufactured entirely in-house. The idea that a mechanical watch with all its components is manufactured entirely by a single company is more than impressive. Only very few manufacturers can claim this.
4. Rolex is timeless
Rolex has been around for more than 100 years. And when you place the latest Submariner next to the first Submariner, you see the manufacturer’s recipe for success: Rolex does not rely on revolution, but on evolution and tradition. The company management has understood that trends are only short-lived. Instead, the restrictive model policy ensures that all watches will look just as timeless in 50 years as they did in the year of production. The cliché that Rolex is loud and gaudy is nonsense: in reality, most watches are among the most classic and simplest mechanical luxury watches. Icons like Martin Luther King, Elvis Presley or Steve McQueen have worn Rolex; Paul Newman has made the Rolex Daytona one of the most coveted men's watches ever.
5. Rolex is the world's most famous watch brand
You don't have to be a watch lover to know Rolex: The Swiss brand with the crown is undoubtedly the most famous watch brand in the world. This market position is the result of an excellent corporate and marketing strategy, but above all the result of a perfect product. And last but not least, the great reliability, high value retention and recognition value of a classic look also play a major role.
In addition, almost all Rolex models are among the greatest icons in the luxury watch industry and have a pretty impressive history. No matter if Submariner, Sea Dweller, GMT-Master, Explorer or Cosmograph Daytona: Each of these watches was developed for a certain reason and purpose. Worn by politicians, rappers and business people alike, Rolex is perceived to be a symbol of status, power and the ideal opportunity to reward yourself for something. But we don’t necessarily agree that you need to have made it in life to wear a Rolex. It’s definitely an investment, that’s for sure - but it’s a watch for everyone. Whether you’re a junior who’s just set foot on the career ladder or whether you are celebrating retirement.
Rolex is also celebrating numerous records: it was not until 2017 that the world's most expensive wristwatch was auctioned at Phillips. We are talking about none other than the Daytona, which Paul Newman wore personally. A telephone bidder won the contract for almost 18 million US dollars and bought the wristwatch at auction.