28 Facts About Rolex


Rolex SA is a British-founded Swiss watch designer and manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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In 1908, Wilsdorf registered the trademark "Rolex", which became the brand name of watches from Wilsdorf and Davis.

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Rolex thought that the name "Rolex" was onomatopoeic, sounding like a watch being wound.

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In 1931, Rolex patented a self-winding mechanism called a Perpetual rotor, a semi-circular plate that relies on gravity to move freely.

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Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, who privately owns Rolex SA, is a registered Swiss charitable foundation and pays a lower tax rate.

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In 2011, a spokesman for Rolex declined to provide evidence regarding the amount of charitable donations made by the Wilsdorf Foundation, which brought up several scandals due to the lack of transparency.

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Rolex watches continue to have a reputation as status symbols.

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The number of Rolex watches was limited by the rate that they could produce in-house Rolex movements, thus Tudor watches were originally equipped with off-the-shelf movements while using similar quality cases and bracelets.

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Rolex mostly produced mechanical watches, but it has participated in the development of the original quartz watch movements.

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In 1968, Rolex collaborated with a consortium of 16 Swiss watch manufacturers to develop the Beta 21 quartz movement used in their Rolex Quartz Date 5100 alongside other manufactures including the Omega Electroquartz watches.

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Material-wise, Rolex first used its "Cerachrom" ceramic bezel on the GMT-Master II in 2005, and has since then implemented ceramic bezel inserts across the range of professional sports watches.

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Rolex uses the higher grade, as it is more resistant to corrosion and when polished, leaves a beautiful luster.

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Each Rolex comes with its own unique serial number, which can help indicate an approximate production period of the watch.

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Rolex watches are frequently counterfeited, and these are often illegally sold on the street and online.

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Counterfeit Rolex watches vary in quality: some use the cheapest of movements, while others use automatic movements, and some use an ETA movement.

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In general, Rolex has three watch lines: Oyster Perpetual, Professional and Cellini .

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In 2016 Rolex reintroduced the Air-King, available as a single model, largely similar to its predecessors but with a larger 40mm case, and a magnetic shield found on the Rolex Milgauss; indeed the new 40mm Air-King is slightly cheaper than the 39mm Explorer .

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The Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch is a direct descendant of the original watertight Rolex Oyster watch created in 1926.

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In 2016, Rolex released the Datejust 41, which has the same 41mm diameter case as the Datejust II, however the Datejust 41 has smaller indexes and a thinner bezel compared to the Datejust II.

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Rolex produced specific models suitable for the extremes of deep-sea diving, caving, mountain climbing, polar exploration, and aviation.

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Indeed, the Rolex Explorer was launched to celebrate the successful ascent of Everest in 1953 by the expeditionary team led by Sir John Hunt.

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When Hans Wilsdorf heard of this, he offered to replace all watches that had been confiscated and not require payment until the end of the war, if the officers would write to Rolex and explain the circumstances of their loss and where they were being held.

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Since the Rolex movement had a serial number and was engraved with special markings every time it was serviced, British police traced the service records from Rolex and identified the owner of the watch as Ronald Platt.

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Since the Rolex movement was fully waterproof and had a reserve of two days of operation when inactive, they were able to determine the time of death within a small margin of error.

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Rolex is the top spender in advertising and marketing in the watch industry since 2000 after they overtook Timex for the number 1 spot.

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Rolex has been the official timekeeper to the Le Mans 24 Hours motor race since 2001.

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However, as John E Brozek points out in his article "The Vindication Swim, Mercedes Gleitze and Rolex take the plunge", some doubts were cast on her achievement when a hoaxer claimed to have made a faster swim only four days later.

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One month later, on 24 November 1927, Wilsdorf launched the Rolex Oyster watch in the United Kingdom with a full front page Rolex advertisement in the Daily Mail.

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