29 Fun Facts About Rolex You Need to Know
Watch & Bullion4 April 2023 | 5 min read
In this article, we dive into the fascinating world of Rolex, exploring 29 fun facts about the legendary watch manufacturer that you might not know about, such as; what is unique about Rolex, and how did Rolex get its name.
Established in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex has revolutionized the watch industry with its groundbreaking innovations, high-quality craftsmanship, and commitment to perfection.
Rolex’s rich history is filled with colourful stories and milestones, from its iconic partnerships with famous explorers, celebrities, and sporting events to its philanthropic endeavours. Discover how this great company has earned its place as a global symbol of success, with its watches adorning the wrists of influential figures and adventurers alike.
Whether you’re a seasoned Rolex enthusiast or new to the world of watches, these cool facts will give you a deeper appreciation for the brand and the fine art of watchmaking. So, without further ado, let’s embark on an exciting journey to uncover the fascinating details behind the renowned Rolex brand.
Rolex Wikipedia / 29 Things to Know about Rolex:
1. How did Rolex get its name?
Theories abound about the origin of the Rolex name. The most common story is that the founder wanted a short, memorable name that could be pronounced in any language and looked good on a watch face.
2. What type of Stainless Steel does Rolex Use?
They use 904L stainless steel. Since 1985, Rolex has used this corrosion-resistant superalloy for all its watches, setting the brand apart from competitors.
3. Are Rolex movements assembled by hand?
All Rolex movements are assembled by hand, showcasing the brand’s quality and attention to detail.
4. How many Rolex watches are produced annually?
Rolex is estimated to produce 800,000 to 1 million watches per year, but official numbers are not released.
5. The Official “Rolex time”
All Rolex watches are photographed at 10:10 with the second hand at 31 seconds, the date set to 28, and the day set to Monday for aesthetic and branding purposes.
6. How much time does it take to make a Rolex?
It takes about a year to manufacture all the components for a Rolex watch, but only 4 hours to assemble them.
7. Who were the original founders of Rolex?
Rolex was founded by Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf, who were brothers-in-law.
8. When was Rolex founded?
The company, initially called Wilsdorf and Davis, was founded in London in 1905.
9. How did Rolex start?
Rolex began as a company that assembled watches using external movements and cases.
10. When did Rolex relocate to Geneva?
In 1919, Rolex relocated to Switzerland due to wartime taxes on luxury imports.
11. When was Rolex trademarked?
The “Rolex” trademark was registered in 1908 and the company name was changed to Rolex in 1915.
12. Is Rolex a Charity?
The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a private charity, owns Rolex, but its donations are not public.
13. When was the iconic Rolex crown logo introduced?
Introduced in 1925, the crown logo has undergone slight changes over time.
14. The Birth of the Rolex Oyster:
The name was inspired by the watertight seal characteristic of an oyster. Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf, encountered difficulty opening an oyster at a party, which sparked the idea for his waterproof watch. In 1926, the original Oyster was introduced as the first waterproof watch, famously worn by Mercedes Gleitze during her English Channel swim. Today, every Rolex, except the Cellini, carries the “Oyster Perpetual” label, signifying water resistance and self-winding movement. Dismantling a Rolex Oyster requires special tools, much like opening an oyster without an oyster knife.
15. In-house gold production:
Rolex is the only watch company to make its gold in-house, ensuring quality and control over its materials.
16. High-security headquarters:
Rolex’s headquarters has higher security than a high-level security prison, including employee fingerprint scanners and bank vault doors.
17. Roman numeral dials:
Rolex uses IIII instead of IV for aesthetic and symmetrical balance.
18. Deepest point in the ocean:
A Rolex watch descended 12,000 meters (39,370 feet) into the Mariana Trench during James Cameron’s 2012 Deepsea Challenge mission.
19. In how many languages does the Day wheel come?
The Rolex Day-Date model’s day wheel is available in 26 languages.
20. First automatic date change:
Rolex introduced the first wristwatch with an automatic date change in 1945, the iconic Datejust.
21. First COSC-certified wristwatch:
In 1910, Rolex became the first watchmaker to meet the COSC precision criteria for a wristwatch.
22. First 100m waterproof watch:
In 1953, Rolex made history by introducing the Submariner, the first-ever watch with a remarkable water resistance of 100 meters.
23. First dual time zone watch:
Rolex was the first watchmaker to create a watch displaying two time zones at once.
24. First automatic day and date change watch:
Released in 1956 as the now famous Day-Date.
25. When was the Rolex GMT-Master designed and who for?
Rolex’s GMT-Master was originally designed for Pan Am pilots In the 1950s, Pan American Airways requested a watch that could simultaneously display two different time zones to help their pilots manage time during long flights. Rolex responded with the GMT-Master, which features a 24-hour rotating bezel and an additional hour hand that displays a second time zone.
26. Notable Celebrities who wore Rolex:
Rolex watches are popular among celebrities and world leaders. Many famous figures, including actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians, have been known to wear Rolex watches. Notable wearers include Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, John F. Kennedy, and Winston Churchill.
27. What are some Patents that belong to Rolex?
Rolex holds numerous patents and has a long history of innovation securing numerous patents throughout its history. Some of these patents include the Oyster case, the Perpetual Rotor, and the Twinlock and Triplock winding crowns.
28. What is the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona named after?
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is named after the Daytona International Speedway The Rolex Daytona, a highly sought-after chronograph watch, was named in honour of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, reflecting the brand’s long-standing relationship with motor racing.
29. What is Rolex’s most complicated watch?
The Sky-Dweller stands out as an unusual Rolex watch with its intricate design. It’s among their most mechanically complicated model, with only the Yacht-Master II coming close. When it was released in 2012, it was available solely in precious metals, making it even more special.
Rolex is not just a watch but a symbol of success in the modern world. The brand’s storied history and groundbreaking advancements will make it an icon for years. Rolex’s attention to detail and dedication to quality is evident in every aspect of the company. With over a century of history and continued innovation, Rolex remains at the forefront of the luxury watch industry. These 29 fun facts provide a glimpse into the brand. I hope you have enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Please check out the rest of our blog right here.