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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Just watch 18ct yellow gold 

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Just watch 18ct yellow gold

Part of the Vintage collection

Part of the Vintage collection


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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Just watch 18ct yellow gold

Rolex SA was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his half-brother Alfred Davis. Although one of the largest Swiss watchmaking companies, Wilsdorf was a German national and was first based in London. Wilsdorf & Davis was the original name given to the company, which later became the Rolex Watch Company. Initially they simply imported the Swiss mechanisms made by Hermann Aegler, who later became a partner, into England and assembled them into luxurious cases created by Dennison and other jewellers of the time who sold the first wristwatches under their own brand names. The first watches produced by Wilsdorf & Davis were marked “W&D” (visible on the inside of the case). Hans Wilsdorf registered the trademark “Rolex” in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1908. The meaning of this term is unknown, according to some (a version never confirmed by Wilsdorf) “Rolex” comes from the French phrase horlogerie exquise, meaning exquisite watchmaking. Others report that the name comes from the combination of the word Rolls-Royce, luxury cars beloved by Alfred Davis, and Timex, a major watch manufacturer of the time, to indicate that production would be oriented towards “EX” luxury watches “ROL” hence ROLEX. In any case, Wilsdorf wanted a name that was easy to pronounce in any language, immediate, easy to remember, but also had style, i.e. it should not be too bulky on the dial, and it should give English retailers (for whom the first models were initially intended) the opportunity to engrave their name below Rolex.

Wilsdorf & Davis moved from Britain in 1912. Wilsdorf wanted to make its products cheap, but taxes and import duties on watch cases (gold and silver) raised prices. From then on, the headquarters were moved to Geneva, while maintaining branches in other cities (e.g. Biel) and other continents: North America, Asia, Australia. Another reason for Wilsdorf’s move to Switzerland was that with the outbreak of the First World War, a German was frowned upon in England, which could cause further obstacles for his company.

The name Rolex was officially registered on 15 November 1915. Supposedly this change showed a desire to popularise wristwatches, which at the time were considered ladies’ items because the pocket watch was fashionable among men. Wilsdorf wanted a name that could be pronounced in any language and so decided to call the company the Rolex Watch Company in 1919, later becoming Montres Rolex SA. Today, it is called Rolex SA whose trademark is composed of letters of the same size so that they can be written symmetrically. The characteristic 5-pointed crown, the historical symbol of the company, was introduced in 1925.

According to the documents of the time, the Rolex company set up by Hans Wilsdorf and the Aegler family could not be sold or traded on the stock market and still today maintains the principles and traditions of its founder.

Since 2013, Rolex has been the official timekeeper of Formula 1.




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