The First Rolex: A Look Into the Beginnings of a Timeless Brand

Greetings, fellow watch enthusiasts! In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating history of one of the world’s most iconic and prestigious watch brands: Rolex. But more specifically, we’ll be exploring the origins of the very first Rolex timepiece and how it has gone on to become a symbol of luxury and excellence around the globe.

The Origins of Rolex

Before we dive into the story of the first Rolex, it’s important to understand a bit about the brand’s history. Rolex was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England. Originally called Wilsdorf & Davis, the company primarily focused on importing high-quality watch movements from Switzerland and assembling them into watch cases.

As time went on, Wilsdorf saw an opportunity to improve the accuracy and reliability of wristwatches, which at the time were seen as less accurate and less prestigious than traditional pocket watches. In 1910, the company changed its name to Rolex and began producing innovative wristwatches that quickly gained popularity and acclaim.

The First Rolex: The Oyster

Now, onto the main event: the first Rolex watch. In 1926, Rolex introduced the Oyster, which was the world’s first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch. This was a major breakthrough in watchmaking technology, as it allowed for watches to be worn during a wide range of activities without fear of damage.

But the Oyster wasn’t just functional – it was also beautiful. The design of the watch was sleek and modern, with a simple yet elegant dial and a stylish metal bracelet. It quickly became a favorite among discerning watch buyers and cemented Rolex’s reputation as an innovator in the industry.

🔎 The Oyster’s Key Features:

Feature Description
Waterproofness The Oyster was the first watch to be truly waterproof, thanks to a hermetically sealed case that kept out water and dust.
Perpetual Rotor The Oyster’s self-winding mechanism was powered by a weighted rotor that moved with the movement of the wearer’s wrist, eliminating the need for manual winding.
Chronometer Certification The Oyster was one of the first wristwatches to receive chronometer certification, which meant it had undergone rigorous testing to ensure accuracy and precision.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the First Rolex

Of course, like any watch, the first Rolex had its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a closer look:


  • The Oyster’s waterproofness made it extremely versatile and durable.
  • The self-winding mechanism made it practical and convenient for everyday wear.
  • The chronometer certification ensured accuracy and precision.
  • The design was stylish and timeless.


  • The Oyster was relatively expensive compared to other wristwatches at the time.
  • The size and weight of the watch may have been cumbersome for some wearers.
  • The Oyster lacked any additional complications, such as a date display or stopwatch function.

Frequently Asked Questions About the First Rolex

1. What year was the first Rolex made?

The first Rolex watch, the Oyster, was introduced in 1926.

2. Who invented the first Rolex?

The first Rolex was developed by Hans Wilsdorf and his team of watchmakers in Switzerland.

3. What was special about the first Rolex?

The first Rolex, the Oyster, was the world’s first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch, which made it extremely durable and versatile.

4. What was the price of the first Rolex?

The price of the first Rolex varied depending on the model and features, but it was generally considered to be a luxury item and was relatively expensive compared to other wristwatches of the time.

5. How accurate was the first Rolex?

The first Rolex, like all subsequent Rolex watches, underwent rigorous testing to ensure accuracy and precision. It was one of the first wristwatches to receive chronometer certification, which demonstrated its high level of accuracy.

6. What was the first Rolex made of?

The first Rolex, the Oyster, was made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel and sapphire crystal.

7. Who wore the first Rolex?

Many famous individuals have been known to wear Rolex watches, but it’s unclear who specifically wore the very first Rolex.

8. What is the most expensive Rolex watch ever sold?

The most expensive Rolex ever sold is the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” ref. 6239, which sold at auction for $17.75 million in 2017.

9. What is the most popular Rolex model?

The most popular Rolex model is the Rolex Submariner, which is known for its durability and versatility.

10. Why are Rolex watches so expensive?

Rolex watches are considered to be luxury items and are often made from high-quality materials and crafted with exceptional attention to detail. Additionally, the brand’s reputation and prestige contribute to the high prices of Rolex watches.

11. What is the warranty on a Rolex watch?

Rolex watches come with a five-year warranty from the date of purchase.

12. Can you swim with a Rolex watch?

Yes! Rolex watches are designed to be waterproof and can be worn during a variety of activities, including swimming and diving.

13. How should I care for my Rolex watch?

To care for your Rolex watch, it’s important to keep it clean and dry, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or magnetic fields, and have it serviced regularly by a certified Rolex technician.


And there you have it – a look back at the first Rolex watch and how it has gone on to become a true icon in the world of luxury timepieces. While the brand has evolved and expanded over the years, the Oyster remains a testament to Rolex’s dedication to innovation, quality, and timeless design.

If you’re considering investing in a Rolex watch for yourself, we encourage you to do your research and explore the brand’s many offerings. From classic models like the Datejust to sporty options like the GMT-Master, there’s a Rolex for every style and taste.

Closing Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Rolex or any of its affiliates. The information presented in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or professional advice. Readers should do their own research and consult with a qualified professional before making any purchasing decisions.