No matter if you know much about designers and style or not, you have certainly heard of Rolex. The luxury brand is known for its exquisite timepieces, which are a symbol of wealth, fine taste, and understatement. But what is it that makes Rolex so special? And why does purchasing a Rolex seem to be a milestone for entrepreneurs and successful investors?
This is the story of the world’s most popular watch brand.
Origin and Vision
Back at the beginning of the 20th century, watches were extremely delicate, fragile, and expensive items. Manufactured in careful manual work, they were created to tell the time. But as their clockwork was so prone to damage – water and dust in particular –, they were hardly suitable for everyday life. Another thing that hampered the handling of wristwatches was the fact that their clockwork needed to be wound up every so often.
Rolex was the first company that came up with the vision to manufacture timepieces that were fit for everyday life. In 1926, the Rolex Oyster was born. Its perpetual clockwork, timeless design, and robustness are features that have stayed with the brand and its more recent designs. That’s why it’s not surprising that so many people would like to acquire a Rolex at Chrono24, or any other popular store for luxury watches.
The first time Rolex covered the newspapers around the globe, was when in 1927, Mercedes Gleitze crossed the Channel with a Rolex around her wrist. This adventurous undertaking was what proved to the people that the water-resistance was real. The crossing of the Channel was also one of the first cases of a brand ambassador boosting the marketing strategy of a company.
It wasn’t until 1931 that the watchmakers at Rolex were successful at creating a clockwork that could entirely rely on a self-winding mechanism. Until now, the clockwork that was then invented has been an essential component of all modern Rolex timepieces – the perpetual clockwork.
Even on Mount Everest…
… Rolex defies the elements. In 1933, another coup took place: the very first flight over Mount Everest. The crew was equipped with Rolex Oysters to prove that the robust clockwork would handle the high pressure up in the air without losing track of time. On another note, Rolex was also worn when famous Sir M. Campbell set up the world record of going 300 mph in his race car in 1935.
As one can see, the Rolex company has always gone for superlatives: height, pressure, depth, speed, extreme conditions. The high durability of Rolex watches has always been the strongest selling point.
From Time to Date
The famous Oyster measured time perfectly, but it couldn’t show the date – something the Rolex watchmakers changed in 1945. It was the birth year of the popular Rolex Datejust, which revolutionized the market by having a self-winding clockwork that also featured a calendar. The company reacted to the shift in society, too: female emancipation. Soon, there were various Datejust models for females.
Ahead of the Times
Even though Rolex watches always show the correct time, literally speaking, they are actually ahead of the time. The famous perpetual clockwork and calendar are set up to still measure time, even under the most adverse circumstances, when its owner is gone. The excellent technology within the little watch is something laymen can hardly grasp. But Rolex technology is unparalleled. That is why the brand still counts as the most popular manufacturer of timepieces worldwide. Rolex is the flagship among luxury watches, and owning one is the dream of millions of people around the globe. While there are models worth well more than £50.000, you can purchase starter models for around £5.000 – an investment that lasts forever.