The founding fathers of the Rolex SA company were two relatives - the German Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis, who in 1905 launched their business, firstly not based in watchmaking, but rather in mere importing Hermann Aegler's Swiss movements to England (the popular fallacy says Wilsdorf was a Swiss watchmaker, but it is not true). Wilsdorf & Davis later changed its original name to one of the most famous names of these times - the Rolex Watch Company; this name was not officially registered before 1915. Since Rolex SA is the property of the Aegler family, it cannot be sold as well as traded on any stock market. There is a veil hiding the true origin of this name(according to one theory, the name Rolex comes from the French "horlogerie exquise", which means something like "delicate watch industry". The change of its name was perceived as a marketing step - Wilsdorf intended the name to be pronounceable without any huge difficulties in any language. As years passed by, the company name underwent changes again : after 1919, when it was legally changed to the Rolex Watch Company, it was renamed to Montres Rolex, SA and finally Rolex, SA.
Their first wristwatches were bought by jewellers, who incorporated their own trade names onto the dial; that is why their very first timepieces are labeled as W&D only inside the caseback. Then Rolex entered markets with one clear aim - to made people realize the wristwatches are not intended exclusively for women,(men were still using the pocket watches.
The W&D in 1912 left the Great Britain; Wilsdorf naturally wanted his watches to be low-priced and therefore affordable but his utopian plan was largely altered because of the increasingly high export taxes set on silver and gold. Since then, Rolex has its base in Geneva, Switzerland, but it also owns facilities in other cities (e.g. in Bienne) and continents (N. America, Asia, Australia,?). Despite the fact that Rolex did a great deal in the development of the quartz watch movements(Rolex engineers are responsible for their design and implementation during the beginning of 1970s), its quartz items are very rare (the Oyster series).
When it comes to the company's innovations, among the most striking are the first self-winding watch, the first waterproof watch case, the first wristwatch with a date on the dial; the first waterproof watch case, but the most relevant is the first chronometer certification(concerning the wristwatch; Rolex earned even the record in this field).
The public was allowed to see the first self-winding Rolex watch in 1931. It was powered by an internal structure, using the power created by the movement of a wearer's arm. Due to this innovative technology, the watch-winding has become unneeded and, moreover, the frequent troubles connected with over-winding a watch(which usually resulted in damaging the whole mechanism disappeared . This company pioneered in designing a truly waterproof watch, which was - at that time - a great innovation in the area of watch industry. The numerous improvements and elaborations went so far as to have a special Rolex watch attached to the Trieste bathyscaphe (proceeding to the bottom of the Mariana Trench).
The evidence of the unusual quality, preciseness and durability of Rolex watches is (after the various "ordeals" the Rolex watch had to undergo) best expressed in the telegram sent by J.Piccard to the company? s office: "Am happy to confirm that even at 11,000 metres your watch is as precise as on the surface. Best regards, Jacques Piccard".
Among the sports watches are the Rolex GMT Master II, Explorer and Explorer II (exclusively created for expeditions in rough...