A Rolex is more than just a watch. It is a sign of accomplishment, a sign of stature, and the ultimate sign of power. Owning a Rolex says you have become somebody, you are somebody, and people respect you. You don’t get the ultimate power watch by slacking off around the office, or doing a half assed job at life. You become the owner of this amazing Swiss masterpiece by working hard and putting in long hours, by still being in the office when it is damn near silent and the lights are going out. A Rolex is a small, but very powerful sign to the world that you have worked hard for everything you have, and you are damn proud of it. Here is a little history on this beloved watch maker, why you should strive to own one, and which models we like best.
The History of the Worlds Most Beloved Watches
You can thank the innovative mind of Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, for every man’s goal of owning his very own Rolex watch. His visionary spirit began in 1905 as he founded a timepiece distribution company in London at the age of 24. It was here that he dreamt of the comfort and ease of the wristwatch- as it was not very popular nor precise during this time. Thankfully this dream soon became a reality, and the first version of the Rolex we know today was born. Driven by the quest for chronometric precision, in 1910 Rolex was granted the first ever award of Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision and from these accomplishments grew the legendary brand to where it is today.
Rolex, The Watch for Achievers
Pushing boundaries and defining excellence, Rolex quickly branded itself as the watch for professional achievers. Creating watches for specific uses such as deep sea diving, aviation, mountain climbing and scientific explorations made this watch the accessory beyond limitations. The brand became synonymous with success and leadership as it portrayed personal achievements worn by both exceptional men and women. As of today, this status still applies with Rolex’s perfect craftsmanship made from the highest quality of materials.
Most Popular Rolex Watches
Where To Buy Them
The safest and smartest way to purchase your brand new Rolex is at your nearest Rolex retailer. Check online for the retailer closest to you for your authentic Rolex watch.
Where To Find Great Deals
We know that with the high quality of Rolex comes the high price. This is when it may become easy to jump to sources like Ebay or Craigslist to find a great deal, but be warned that you are at risk for buying a fake or partially inauthentic watch. If you are looking for something a little less pricey, we recommend Bobswatches.com, a trusted pre-owned watch online retailer.
Our Final Rolex Review
Understanding the history of the innovative Hans Wilsdorf and his undeniable drive for a watch created to perfection can make us all see why Rolex is one of the most sought out brands by mankind. Along with it’s prestigious design, Rolex demands a feel for success, leadership, and excellence by it’s wearer. Some may say that money can’t buy happiness, but in this case we beg to differ.
- Rolex might be the pride of Switzerland but it started in London.
The company started by assembling watches, not making them. At the age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf and his English brother in law Alfred Davis started a company in London that imported Swiss movements and placed them in English watch bodies. In 1908, the guys decided to make their very own watch, and they opened an office in Switzerland because that’s where the skilled watch makers were.
2. Nobody is actually sure what “Rolex” really means.
There is a story that Rolex came from a French phrase for exquisite clockwork, but neither of the founders or company commented on it. Wilsdorf did admit that they chose that name because he wanted a short word that would look good on a watch face, and also that it could be pronounced in any language.
3. Prisoners from World War II made Rolex a desirable brand.
The Flyers of the Britain’s Royal Air Force hated their standard-issue watches, and a lot of them changed their watches with Rolexes, which earned Rolex a reputation as being both accurate and durable. The Nazis took the watches of flyers who had been shot down and taken prisoner and when Wilsdorf found out , he offered to replace any Rolexes lost by British prisoners based only on their word. American prisoners that were held in the same camps, heard about the deal and were impressed with Wilsdorf’s confidence that the Nazis would lose as they were with his watches. The brand became a status symbol among both British and American aircrews.
4. A Rolex made the great escape possible.
Corporal Clive Nutting, One of those British prisoners, ordered a replacement for his Rolex Oyster 3525. He was then answered personally by Wilsdorf, he was impressed because a non-officer would have such an impressive watch when most of the others of his rank were interested in the cheaper, snazzier Speed King. The watch was delivered to Nutting at the prison camp, Stalag Luft III, with a personal note that came from Wilsdorf that declined Nutting’s offer to pay for the replacement and an apology that it took the company so long to get it to him. Nutting then used the Oyster 3525 to time the movements of the Nazi guards so that his fellow prisoners could evade them in what became known as the Great Escape.
5. Rolexes kept ticking at the top of the world and the bottom of the ocean.
Rolex enjoyed even more prestige after the war. In 1953, the men of the British Himalaya Expedition, it was being led by Sir Edmund Hillary were the first recorded humans to reach the top of Mount Everest. All of the principals in the expedition were wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetuals, and none of their watches broke down or even lost a second, despite the rigors of the climb. In 1960, the U.S. Navy’s bathyscaphe Trieste dove 35,798 feet down to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. Some sailors attached a Rolex to the outside, and they were surprised to find that it still ran without losing a second, despite enduring pressures of 14,000 pounds per square inch underwater.
6. A Rolex once helped solve a murder.
Albert Walker Johnson, who was a high-school dropout and scam artist from Paris, Canada, who bilked 70 clients out of $3.2 million through a mortgage and scams. He was wanted by Canadian police, so he fled to England with one of his three daughters where hee started a new investment business with another Canadian ex-pat named Ronald Joseph Platt. When Platt moved back to Canada, Johnson assumed his identity (with his 15-year-old daughter posing as his wife!) to avoid Interpol. But when Platt returned to England in 1996, Johnson decided to kill him. He would have gotten away with it too, if he was smart enough to take off Platt’s Rolex before dumping him in the English Channel. After two weeks in the water, the only identifiable thing was his still-ticking Rolex. Through service records, the police identified the body as Platt’s, and it didn’t take long to track down Walker.
7. Your fake Rolex won’t trick anyone.
There was a Canadian stripper that was interviewed for another (very different) story, and she told us that she and all of her colleagues had been well trained to recognize a fake Rolex from the real one in the crowd from the stage. “It’s easy,” she told the rinterviewers. The first thing that they are going to spot is the second hand. Rolexes, which are mechanical, have second hands that gracefully sweep the dial, while fakes, which are electronic, have second hands that that tick every second individually. She told the interviewers other cues, which involve quality of materials, machining and design. Perhaps much more obvious, she pointed out, is who’s wearing it. If you’re wearing Keds and an I’m-with-stupid T-shirt, that’s probably not a real Rolex on your wrist.
8. Rolex is a charity…Maybe
The Hans Wilsdorf Foundationwas founded when Wilsdorf’s wife, Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, died in 1944, which he registered as a charitable organization. Later, he transferred all ownership shares of Rolex to the foundation with detailed instructions on how to handle the finances. No charities should pay any taxes, but private charities have no requirement to reveal who they give to, or how much, that is under Swiss law. The company says it likes to keep its donations completely anonymous, and no organization has ever acknowledged it has received support from the foundation.
9. Rolex might have lost millions to Bernie Madoff
The watch world was stunned when Hans Wilsdorf Foundation CEO Patrick Heiniger stepped down “for personal reasons” in 2008. In 1960, he and his father, Andre, was running the organization since Wilsdorf’s death and there were no warning signs that their dynasty was going to end. Almost instantly, the European media started running stories claiming that the foundation was being scammed out of the equivalent of $900,000 by Bernie Madoff. After he was sentenced to 150 years for stealing more than $30 billion, Madoff’s own Rolex collection was auctioned off to help aid his victims, which included Kevin Bacon, Uma Thurman, Steven Spielberg and John Malkovich.
10. Rolex takes it metal very seriously.
Other stainless steel watches are made with a grade known as 316L, but Rolex uses a stainless steel that is much more expensive grade called 904L, which features higher levels of nickel and chromium. Not only is it more harder to machine, it’s also much more expensive to buy, which then it required Rolex to have to upgrade most of its equipment at a great investment.
11. Every single Rolex is pressure-tested before leaving the plant.
Every Rolex is placed in a sensitive air-pressure chamber to test and see if there are any air leaks left in the case. After that, they are placed in a tank in which they are water-pressure tested to the equivalent of 300 meters deep, that is equivalent to 1000 feet. Then they are subjected to a condensation test in which there is going to be a drop of water that is going to be placed on the crystal of a heated watch. If there will be a medical-grade optical sensor finds any condensation, the watch is going to be scrapped. Deep-sea rated Rolexes are subjected to one final test in which they are going to be subjected to the same kind of pressure, they would face 12,000 meters (about 39,000 feet) below the surface of the ocean, even though the deepest spot in any ocean is just 10,911 meters down. But believe it or not, Rolex has already been there.
12. Every Rolex is still Hand-made.
Rolex, although few only believes it, every watch is still made by hand in Switzerland, with the hands placed on by a real human. Of course there are machines involved with mundane tasks like sorting screws, but the most important stuff is that it is all done by Swiss fingers.