ROLEX – Facts You Might Not Know About This Iconic Watch Brand

Rolex is one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable luxury watch brands. Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, the company has a rich history and reputation for producing elegant and durable, high-quality, and high-quality timepieces. Here are a few interesting facts about Rolex that you may need to learn.

Rolex is known for its Swiss craftsmanship and has roots in London. The company was founded by Hans Wilsdorf, a German, and Alfred Davis, a Brit, under the pseudonym “Wilsdorf and Davis.” They began by putting movements into cases for jewelers.

Rolex made a significant contribution to the watchmaking industry by co-inventing the helium release valve with watchmaker Doxa. This innovative valve releases helium gas buildup during decompression.

The Rolex name was officially registered in 1908, before which the company was known as Wilsdorf & Davis.

Upon his death in 1960, Hans Wilsdorf transferred all ownership of Rolex to the Wilsdorf Foundation, a charity organization, thus ensuring that the company’s income would go towards charitable causes. Since then, Rolex has been operating as a trust.

Rolex SA is exempt from paying corporate income taxes as a charity foundation.

The Rolex Day-Date features a Day-wheel that is available in 26 different languages, including English, German, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Ethiopian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Dutch, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Moroccan, Norwegian, Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish.

Rolex patented the self-winding mechanism, also known as the Perpetual Rotor, in 1931. This revolutionary technology was a semi-circular plate that relied on gravity to move freely, and it was the first wristwatch to use a 360° winding rotor. This mechanism is now the standard for automatic wristwatches. Rolex now calls it the Oyster Perpetual.

Rolex operates differently from other watch companies; one example is the company’s foundry, which produces all the gold for its watches. This makes Rolex the only watch company with its in-house foundry.

In a report on Swiss watch manufacturers and jewelers, Rolex received the lowest environmental rating of “Latecomers/Non-transparent” by WWF. The reason cited was that Rolex is not transparent in its sourcing of materials and does not address the impact of its manufacturing activities on the environment and climate change.

Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, offered to replace watches confiscated from Royal Air Force pilots if they were captured and sent to prisoner of war camps during WWII. He did not require payment until the war’s end, which also showed his confidence in the allied victory.

The Rolex crown logo was patented in 1925 and has become a globally recognized symbol of wealth and success.

Rolex has four factories in Switzerland, in Plan-Les-Ouates, Les Acacias, Chêne-Bourg, and Bienne, where Rolex movements are made. Each factory handles different aspects of the manufacturing process.

All Rolex watches are COSC certified, as they are tested by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronometers (COSC), an independent testing institute established in 1973 to test the precision of Swiss-made movements.

Rolex makes almost every component of its watches in-house, with only a few exceptions. This allows the company to have complete control over the manufacturing process.


Rolex is a brand that has stood the test of time and continues to be a symbol of luxury and precision. From its humble beginnings in London to its status as a Swiss luxury watchmaker, the company has a rich history of exciting facts and innovations. From co-inventing the helium release valve to having its in-house foundry, Rolex sets itself apart from other watch companies. The brand’s dedication to precision and accuracy is evident in all its timepieces, which are all COSC certified. However, Rolex also received the lowest environmental rating of “Latecomers/Non-transparent” by WWF for not being transparent in its sourcing of materials.


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