WatchAdvisor.com is glad to introduce you a new series of articles aiming at improving your understanding and knowledge of the watch industry. Each week, we will have the pleasure to present in detail a brand and its collections, and in order for you to pick the watch of your dream, we will also provide a selection of our 10 favorite watches. This week, we naturally start with the king of the watch industry – Rolex!
Rolex in a Nutshell
Founded: 1905 – in London, by Hans Wilsdorf & Alfred Davis
Corporate: Owned by Wilsdorf trust
CEO: Jean Frederic-Dufour (Since 2014)
Revenue: CHF 5`000`000`000
Price range: CHF 4`400 – 100`000
Units: 800`000 per year
Employees: > 10`000
Collection: Men's & ladies'
What does the Brand stand for?
The best way to describe Rolex is by quoting its slogan used until 2009: "A crown for every achievement". For many times, Rolex has shown that nothing was impossible for those who dare life is limitless. The first watch to ever conquered the Mount Everest was a Rolex. The first watch resisting to a magnetic field of 1000 gauss was a Rolex. And so were the first watches to ever swim across the English Channel and to dive to nearly 11 km of water depth.
When we look at Rolex, we talk about bringing quality, robustness, stamina, and persistence to a whole new level while keeping things as simple as possible. The accuracy of mechanical Rolex watches (+/-2s per day) is legendary, and the only luxury you will find on top of the fabulous movement is precious metals and precious stones. In the end, you could even argue that those elements give the watch a lasting value.
If you like to push boundaries and if you think that life is too short to live it with restrictions, join Rolex and discover how far you can go.
About the Models
Rolex offers various models to their clientele, and plenty of them come to our mind when we hear the name of the brand. A big advantage of the brand is the versatility of its collection. Gold watches, steel watches, platinum watches, with a leather strap or metal band, with or without gemstones, Rolex almost offers all the possible combinations. Another admirable thing about their collection is that for most models, you have the possibility to choose between various dials’ associations.
Definitely one of the most iconic watches ever created in the history of watchmaking. The first ever Daytona and also the only Rolex chronograph was launched in 1963. The collection is named after a city in Florida which was back then the home of automobile races. It is the perfect tool for professional racing drivers and allows pilots to measure speed up to 400 km/h. For the moment, the Daytona is available in steel but also in gold and platinum, with a rubber or a steel strap.
Another iconic collection, resulting from 20 years of experiments, is the Explorer. Rolex sent prototypes to the Himalaya to test them before facing their biggest challenge. In 1953, Hillary and Tenzing, two experienced alpinists, finally wore their Rolex Explorer to climb on the Mount Everest. The watch had mastered the extreme conditions of this adventure with perfection. A legend was born.
Conquering the heights was not enough for an ambitious brand like Rolex. In 2008, it launched its Deepsea model, with a water resistance of 3`600 meters. Four years later, Rolex, together with James Cameron, raised the bar and sent a Deepsea watch to the deepest point on earth. As if it is not enough, there is still something more for Rolex to conquer.
Since the beginning of watchmaking, one of the biggest enemies has been electromagnetic fields as they greatly disrupt the accuracy of a watch. For many times, watchmakers failed to master this law of physics. But if there is a will, there is always a way, and in 1950, the CERN laboratory in Switzerland tested the Rolex Milgauss. This watch was specifically created for people working in power plants, medical facilities, and research labs. The Milgauss resisted to a magnetic field of 1`000 gauss, and this was a huge technological advancement, not only for Rolex but for the scientific community as well.
Yacht-Master I & II
Released for the first time in 1992, it is a classic and more elegant version of the Submariner. Available in three different sizes, it still possesses the robustness and reliability Rolex is known for.
The Submariner is another legend of the Rolex Family. Born in 1953, its modern version still has a vintage look, an elegant and sporty unique appearance, robustness, and reliability. It is a watch that can literally be worn for everything.
The King of the Air – created in honor of the Royal Air Force in 1945. A simple design but a majestic overall appearance. A watch which doesn’t need to roar for attention, having a reputation that other could only dream of. It is elegant on its own and timeless. Wearing an Air King is for those who believe that the sky is not the limit.
For many years, Rolex proved their superb ability to create robust pieces. Rolex watches were known for their unique sporty style despite the brand having created wonderful classic and timeless timepieces since its founding. Cellini honors the art of watchmaking, the art of making complicated things look simple.
Launched for the first time in 1945, it is still today one of the most worn Rolex watches. Thanks to its simple and timeless design, the Datejust constitutes a perfect everyday companion. This is the watch that you will love in 20, 30 or even 40 years, a watch that will uplift your style factor for sure. The Datejust is a statement of pure luxury.
One of the first watches to ever reached a water depth of 100 meters. It had its breakthrough in 1927, thanks to Mercedes Gleitze who swam across the English Channel wearing a Rolex Oyster. Sporty, elegant, simple but still special in its own way.
One of the most complicated watches, if not the most complicated watch created by Rolex. Reaching an incredible number of patents (14), the Sky-Dweller is the perfect watch for travelers who not only want technical achievements but also want to travel in style.
An extraordinary diving watch which maybe did not get the attention it deserved and got lost thanks to its sister the Submariner. The Sea Dweller is definitely a top-class diver watch. The cleverly devised helium escape valve gives the watch an extra asset. Timeless, robust, reliable and just perfect in every aspect. You almost won't find a watch of this size that still looks elegant.
One of the most iconic GMT watches ever created, started to be worn by astronauts and pilots and later by business people who needed to read different time zones at the same time. Throughout the years, the GMT-Master became more and more famous and broke through the shadow of the Submariner and the Daytona. Its unique red and blue bezel distinguish it from other Rolex models. Also available with the black and blue bezel, the GMT-Master is simply a masterpiece.
Also known as the presidential watch for a reason. In 1956, Rolex launched the first watch to ever feature a day-date complication. The brand kept its unique design over the years and added the famous presidential bracelet which could only be found on Day-Date models. The Day-Date was worn in the past by highly respected people such as the president of the United States and many other leaders. Today the watch is only available in 18K Gold.
WatchAdvisor’s 10 Favorites
CHF 9`000 (recommended retail price)
CHF 6`200 (recommended retail price)
GMT-Master II 40mm (Ref. 126710BLRO)
CHF 8`800 (recommended retail price)
CHF 11`800 (recommended retail price)
CHF 35`200 (recommended retail price)
CHF 5`900 (recommended retail price)
CHF 5`400 (recommended retail price)
CHF 7`800 (recommended retail price)
CHF 10`600 (recommended retail price)
CHF 14`500 (recommended retail price)