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Rolex

Timepieces - Advanced




I n 1905, Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis created the Swiss luxury watch company Rolex in London, England that is today estimated to be worth around $8 billion. To understand the beginnings of the company one must first understand the different parts of a watch. The mechanical parts inside the watch are known as the “movement”. The “case” is the part of the watch that protects the “movement”, and the “face” of the watch shows the time.
The original name of the company was Wilsdorf and Davis, and the partners first imported Swiss movements from Bienne, Switzerland into England. They put the movements into expensive cases and sold the watches to jewelers. The jewelers would put their own brand on the watch faces before selling the timepieces.

Wilsdorf changed the name of the company to Rolex in 1908 and started to design their own watches. It’s been said the name “Rolex” was chosen because it was short, so it looked good on the watch face, and it was easy to pronounce in any language. Shortly after the name change, Rolex won awards for chronometric precision in Switzerland and Great Britain. In 1919 they moved their base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland to further developed their craft.

Rolex created the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926. They called it the “Oyster”. One year later Mercedes Gleitze wore the watch as she swam across the English Channel. After 10 hours in the water, the watch was still working perfectly. Rolex published a full-page advertisement on the front page of the “Daily Mail” celebrating the achievement. Some claim this was the first example of “testimonial marketing”, which uses real-life examples to show the value of a product.

A few years later Rolex designed the first ever self-winding watch. The timepiece was powered by a weight which rotated with the movement of the owner, so there was no need for a battery. Rolex continued their legacy by creating the first watch to show the date in 1945, and the first watch to spell out the day of the week in 1956.

Famous explorers would wear Rolex watches while deep sea diving and climbing the world’s highest mountains to further cement the toughness of the timepieces. Today Rolex’s are known to be worn by pilots, racecar drivers and mariners. They produce about a million watches per year and are ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful global brands.

Source:https://www.rolex.com/rolex-history.html

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