14 Fascinating Facts About Rolex

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The luxury brand Rolex was first introduced over a century ago, but it has never been more popular than it is today. Rolex watches are well known for their use of high-quality materials and their design, but there are lots of things about this company that you may not know. If you want to know a little bit more about Rolex and you want to find out some fascinating facts then keep reading below:

1: Rolex Watches are Handmade

Rolex watches are made completely by hand and each watch can take a whole year to make. Almost every part of a Rolex watch is made in house, meaning that they can ensure that each component produced complies with their strict standards and guidelines. Once each of the parts of the watch have been created, they are then hand-assembled and tested. The quality assurance process they have to go through is extremely thorough and intense.

2: Rolex Watches are Pressure Tested

Rolex is well known for being a leader in producing water-resistant watches. Before being released for sale, Rolex watches are placed in an air pressure chamber to see whether there are any leaks in the casing. If the sensor finds any water infiltration or condensation, the watch will be thrown away.

The legend amongst Rolex: Submariner is just one example of their amazing waterproof technology. This watch not only has an extraordinary design and legendary reputation, but it’s well-known for being one of the best wristwatches in history. The Submariner is waterproof up to 300 metres, meaning it is one of the best diving watches available on the market. You can buy the Submariner and other coveted Rolex watches at CHRONEXT. They sell new, used and vintage watches like the Rolex Submariner online, so why not check them out?

3: The Rolex Headquarters Are More Secure than a High-Security Prison

There are a number of reasons why the Rolex headquarters is more secure than a high security prison. One of the main reasons is because it holds bars of gold worth over £1,000,000. In order to prevent theft, the headquarters has installed bank vault doors, fingerprint scanners, and they use unmarked armoured trucks to move their parts between different sites. After all, Rolex watches are the most sought-after watches on the planet.

4: Rolex Don’t Use IV on the Clock Face

Instead of using the roman number IV on the clockface, Rolex still used the Clockmaker’s four or IIII. The reason they do this is for symmetrical balance and aesthetic reasons.

5: The Name

The majority of popular watch brands were named after their founders e.g. TAG Heuer and Patek Philippe, but this isn’t the case with Rolex. While the founder of Rolex hasn’t actually gone into detail about what the name means, there are a number of theories including:

– The founder wanted to choose a name that could be pronounced in a variety of different languages, looked amazing on the watch face and is memorable and short. This is the only theory that has ever been admitted.

– The name could derive from the French for exquisite clockwork (horlogerie exquisite). This hasn’t been denied or confirmed by the founders.

– The name Rolex sounds like the sound of a watch being wound.

– Some people believe that Rolex is a word in another language, but there is no language in the world that uses this word. However, in Spanish the word reloj means clock, and both reloj and Rolex sound similar. Even though Spanish is one of the most common languages spoken around the world, this explanation is unlikely.

6: Rolex Was Founded in 1905

Rolex was first founded in London, England in 1905. The company was initially named Wilsdorf and Davis but it soon changed its name to Rolex. Hans Wilsdorf and his brother in law Alfred David were the two main founders.

When Rolex was founded, it didn’t make watches – it merely assembled them. Rolex used to purchase parts and put them together inside a case. These watches would then be sold in jewellery shops around the country.

7: The Trademark Changed in 1908

Rolex was first founded in 1905, but it wasn’t until 1908 that it became known as Rolex. Wilsdorf registered the trademark on 15th November 1915.

8: The Company Relocated in 1919

In 1919, Rolex re-located their business to Geneva. This comes as a shock to many people as Rolex is well known around the world for being a luxury Swiss watchmaker, but the company didn’t start out in Switzerland and the founders weren’t Swiss.

9: The Crown Logo Appeared in 1925

Everyone associates the crown logo with Rolex, but it wasn’t actually used until 1925. Since then, it has undergone a number of changes to its shape and size.

10: The Bao Dai Rolex Sold for Over £5,000,000 in 2017

The Rolex Bao Dai ref. 6062 was a one of a kind watch built by Rolex in 1954. It included diamond indexes and a black dial.

This watch first went to auction in 2002 and was sold for over £240,000, but 15 years later it broke this record and was sold for more than 20 times its original auction price. In 2017 it actually sold for over £5,000,000.

11: The Rolex Daytona Sold for over £17,750,000 in 2017

When the Bao Dai watch sold at auction in 2017 for over £5,000,000 it broke all previous records, but not long after this, Rolex sold a Rolex Daytona for over £17,750,000. This watch became the most expensive wristwatch to ever be sold at auction. It is still the 6th most expensive watch sold at auction to date.

The watch that broke the world record was the mythical Paul Newman Daytona. This had been owned by Paul Newman himself. The watch sold for the staggering price of over £17.8 million to an anonymous buyer on the phone.

12: Rolex Set Their Hour Markers by Hand

While the majority of watchmakers around the world use machines to set the time on their watches, Rolex use the human eye. This is because the human eye is better trained than a machine to spot mistakes.

13: Rolex Can Make Up to 1 Million Watches a Year

It is estimated that this luxury brand makes over 2000 watches every day. However, these are only estimations. Rolex don’t release information about how many watches they actually produce on a yearly basis.

14: Rolex is Actually a Charity

The Hans Wildorf Foundation was founded in 1944 when Hans Wildorf lost his wife. Since then the ownership of this luxury brand has been subject to the Hans Wilsdorf foundation and there are specific guidelines for how the finances and profits should be set up and handled.

Since the laws in Switzerland say that private charities such as the Hans Wilsdorf foundation don’t have to disclose their respective charities, the amount of money and donations of the Rolex foundation is kept hidden. Thanks to this there is no information available about whether anyone has received help from this foundation.

Rolex is one of the most prominent luxury watch brands in the world. Its worldwide recognition comes from its success in a variety of fields from important innovations and early timekeeping firsts to associations with Paul Newman and James Bond. Despite this, there are lots of things that you might not have realised about this amazing company as their inner workings are often kept secret. This is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most fascinating facts everyone needs to know about Rolex. Which one surprised you the most?


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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