About Rolex Watches
Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex has grown to become the world’s leading luxury watch brand. From the Submariner dive watch and the GMT-Master pilot watch to the Day-Date “President” watch and the classic Datejust watch, Rolex boasts a pantheon of watch icons to its name. As such, the Rolex name and the famed crown logo are synonymous with prestige, quality, and craftsmanship.
Over the last century, Rolex has been a dominating force in watchmaking innovation. The brand patented the first waterproof watch case in 1926, aptly named the Oyster. Using a proprietary construction comprising of a screw-down caseback, screw-down winding crown, and sealed crystal clamped down by a bezel, the Oyster case remains as the foundation for almost all modern Rolex watches. Rolex watches with Oyster cases have a minimum water resistance rating of 100 meters and can reach up to 3,900 meters for specialized diving watch models. In 1931, Rolex patented the first self-winding movement with a “Perpetual” rotor—establishing the fundamental structure for modern-day automatic watches.
In 1945, Rolex was the first to introduce a chronometer wristwatch with a date window on the dial; and in 1956, the brand unveiled the first chronometer wristwatch with both a date and a day window on the dial. Fast-forward to today, and the Datejust and the Day-Date continue to be Rolex’s flagship dress watch models. In 1953, the Submariner became the first dive watch with a water resistance rating of 100 meters while the GMT-Master made its debut in 1955 as a tool watch built specifically for Pan Am pilots to read the time in two separate time zones. 1963 saw the birth of the Rolex Cosmograph chronograph watch, now simply known as the Daytona. In 2017, history was made when Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona chronograph sold for a record-breaking $17.8 million to become the world’s most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.
In the 1980s, Rolex became the first watch brand to use high-grade 904L stainless steel for its watch cases, eventually rolling the metal out to cases and bracelets across all steel models. Since 2018, all steel Rolex watches are fashioned from Rolex’s own 904L alloy, known as "Oystersteel.” Rolex casts 18k yellow gold, white gold, and its own proprietary rose gold alloy dubbed “Everose” gold in an in-house foundry to use on its watches. To produce its dazzling gem-set watches, Rolex has a team of master jewelers and master gem-setters charged to source the finest precious stones and set them by hand into the watches. In 2005, Rolex introduced bezels in an ultra-modern ceramic alloy it calls Cerachrom.
Today, Rolex manufactures all of its mechanical movements in-house, using both cutting-edge machinery and traditional handmade techniques. From robust time and date calibers to complex chronograph, GMT, and annual calendar calibers, Rolex ensures that all of its COSC-certified movements live up to their “Superlative Chronometer Official Certified” designations. Since 2015, Rolex guarantees an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day—twice the parameters set out by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) institution.
Whether crafting fine materials, designing iconic watch silhouettes, or expertly engineering mechanical movements, Rolex represents the finest Swiss watchmaking traditions built for a modern audience.