Who Made Rolex? The Story Behind the World-Famous Luxury Watch Brand

Greetings, watch enthusiasts and history buffs! Have you ever wondered who is responsible for creating the iconic Rolex brand? In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating history of Rolex and discover the masterminds behind the luxurious timepieces that have become synonymous with prestige and wealth.

The Early Years of Rolex

Rolex was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England. The pair began by importing Swiss watch movements and placing them in high-quality cases made by English craftsmen. The brand was initially called Wilsdorf & Davis, but the name was changed to Rolex in 1908.

From the beginning, Wilsdorf had a vision for a watch that was both precise and reliable. He wanted to create a timepiece that could be worn on people’s wrists, which was a radical idea at the time. In those days, most watches were pocket watches that were too fragile to withstand the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of modern society.

Over the years, Rolex became known for its technical innovations and its commitment to precision. In 1910, a Rolex watch became the first timepiece to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, an award that recognized the watch’s accuracy. In 1914, a Rolex watch was worn by a swimmer who became the first person to cross the English Channel.

The Founders of Rolex: Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis

As we’ve mentioned, Hans Wilsdorf was one of the co-founders of Rolex. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1881, and moved to Switzerland when he was just 19 years old. In Switzerland, he worked for a watch-exporting company and became fascinated with the precision and craftsmanship of Swiss watchmaking.

Alfred Davis was Wilsdorf’s brother-in-law and business partner. He was born in London in 1879 and grew up in a family of watchmakers. Davis was responsible for finding the high-quality cases that were used to house the Swiss movements that Wilsdorf imported.

Together, Wilsdorf and Davis built a brand that would become one of the most prestigious and recognizable names in the world of luxury watches.

The Advantages of Owning a Rolex Watch

There are many advantages to owning a Rolex watch, which is why they have become so popular with collectors and watch enthusiasts all over the world. Here are just a few of the benefits of owning a Rolex:

1. Precision and Accuracy

Rolex watches are known for their technical precision and accuracy. Rolex has developed its own in-house testing standards, which are more rigorous than the Swiss chronometer standard. Each Rolex watch is tested for accuracy and precision before it leaves the factory.

2. Durability and Reliability

Rolex watches are built to last. They are designed to withstand extreme conditions and are tested in a variety of situations, from deep-sea diving to high-altitude mountaineering. Rolex watches are also known for their reliability, and many collectors own watches that are decades or even centuries old.

3. Timeless Design

Rolex watches are designed to be timeless. They feature classic, elegant designs that never go out of style. Rolex watches are also highly customizable, with a range of styles and finishes to choose from.

4. Investment Value

Rolex watches are a valuable investment. They are made from high-quality materials and are built to last, which means that they hold their value over time. Many Rolex watches even appreciate in value, making them a smart investment for collectors and investors.

The Disadvantages of Owning a Rolex Watch

While Rolex watches have many advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to owning a luxury watch. Here are a few things to consider before purchasing a Rolex:

1. Cost

Rolex watches are expensive. The brand is known for its high-quality materials and craftsmanship, which means that you can expect to pay a premium for a Rolex watch. However, many collectors believe that the cost is worth it for the prestige and quality that comes with owning a Rolex.

2. Maintenance

Rolex watches require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. This includes oiling and cleaning the internal components, as well as replacing any worn or damaged parts. While this can be costly, it is a necessary part of owning a luxury watch.

3. Counterfeits

Rolex watches are a popular target for counterfeiters. If you’re not careful, you could end up purchasing a fake Rolex that is of inferior quality. To avoid this, it’s important to purchase your Rolex from a reputable dealer and to have it authenticated by a professional.

The Complete History of Rolex: A Table

Year Event
1905 Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis found Wilsdorf & Davis in London
1908 The company is renamed Rolex and moves to Switzerland
1910 A Rolex watch becomes the first timepiece to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision
1914 A Rolex watch is worn by swimmer who crosses the English Channel
1926 Rolex introduces the first waterproof watch, the Oyster
1931 Rolex invents the Perpetual rotor, which powers the watch by movement alone
1953 Rolex introduces the Submariner, the first watch to be water-resistant up to 100 meters
1955 Rolex introduces the GMT-Master, a watch aimed at pilots that can display two time zones simultaneously
1960 Rolex sends the Deep Sea Special, a watch that can withstand depths of up to 11,000 meters, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench
1971 Rolex introduces the Explorer II, a watch designed for spelunkers and polar expeditions
1988 Rolex introduces the Yacht-Master, a watch designed for sailors
1992 Rolex introduces the Pearlmaster, a watch aimed at women and featuring diamonds and other precious stones
2000 Rolex introduces the Day-Date II, an updated version of its classic Day-Date watch

Frequently Asked Questions About Rolex

1. What does the Rolex crown signify?

The Rolex crown is a symbol of the brand’s excellence and prestige. It represents the brand’s commitment to quality and its status as a leader in the luxury watch industry.

2. What is the most expensive Rolex watch?

The most expensive Rolex watch ever sold is the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” watch, which sold for over $17 million at auction in 2017.

3. Are Rolex watches waterproof?

Rolex watches are water-resistant, but not completely waterproof. The extent of their water resistance depends on the model and its features.

4. How often should I service my Rolex watch?

Rolex recommends that you service your watch approximately every 10 years. However, the exact frequency of servicing will depend on how often you wear the watch and the conditions in which it is worn.

5. How can I tell if my Rolex is authentic?

The best way to ensure that your Rolex is authentic is to purchase it from a reputable dealer. You should also have the watch authenticated by a professional to ensure that it is genuine.

6. Are Rolex watches a good investment?

Rolex watches can be a good investment, especially if you purchase a limited edition or vintage model. However, like any investment, the value of a Rolex watch can fluctuate over time.

7. What is the most popular Rolex watch?

The most popular Rolex watch is the Rolex Submariner, which is a classic dive watch that has been in production since 1953.

8. How long do Rolex watches last?

Rolex watches are built to last and can last for decades or even centuries with proper care and maintenance.

9. Are Rolex watches made by hand?

Rolex watches are partially made by hand, but many of their components are also machined by advanced machinery.

10. What is the best way to clean a Rolex watch?

The best way to clean a Rolex watch is to use a soft cloth and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the watch’s finish.

11. What is the most iconic Rolex watch?

The most iconic Rolex watch is the Rolex Day-Date, which is sometimes known as the “President” watch. It has been worn by many presidents and world leaders over the years.

12. What is the smallest Rolex watch?

The smallest Rolex watch is the Lady-Datejust, which has a case diameter of 28mm.

13. What is the largest Rolex watch?

The largest Rolex watch is the Deepsea, which has a case diameter of 44mm.


Now that you know the history of Rolex and the amazing individuals who made it all possible, it’s easy to see why these luxury timepieces are so highly coveted. Whether you’re a collector, an investor, or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, a Rolex watch is sure to impress. So go ahead and indulge in a little bit of luxury-you deserve it!

Take Action Today! Own a Piece of Rolex History

Ready to add a Rolex to your collection? Visit your local authorized Rolex dealer to experience the quality and craftsmanship of these iconic timepieces for yourself. With a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect Rolex to suit your unique taste and style.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. The author is not affiliated with Rolex or any authorized Rolex dealers.