A Voyage Into The World of Rolex


Rolex Philosophy


Hans Wilsdorf was firmly convinced of a person’s
ability to innovate and strive for excellence. More than 100 years after the
creation of the brand, the founder’s philosophy is more present than ever, from
the manufacturing of the company’s watches to its commitments worldwide.

Rolex is host to a variety of professions, brought to life by employees who are experts in their fields.

“The opposition I encountered seemed insuperable.”

At the turn of the 20th century, a visionary
entrepreneur based in London was on the verge of success. His aim? To introduce
the watchmaking world of the day to an as-yet-unknown dial signature: Rolex. A
new name, invented in 1908, it would become one of the world’s most respected
brands in the space of a few decades. As Hans Wilsdorf recounted in his memoirs
of the early days of his company, the opposition he faced seemed insurmountable
at first. The entrepreneur started out with very little, but he did possess
invaluable qualities: vision, perseverance and an extraordinary ability to
work. An orphan at the age of 12, with nothing other than his determination to
help him overcome challenges, Hans Wilsdorf went on to invent the world’s first
waterproof self-winding wristwatch with a Perpetual rotor – a watch that has
become a benchmark in terms of quality and prestige.

 “Too complicated, too fragile, ill-adapted” – the wristwatch was met with scepticism.
Yet, relying on his firmly-held beliefs, Hans Wilsdorf managed to achieve his
bold objective of establishing the Rolex watch – the Oyster Perpetual – as the
archetype of the waterproof timepiece: precise, robust and able to withstand
all conditions.

But he was not simply a visionary who endowed Rolex watches
with their fundamental technical and aesthetic characteristics. His constant
quest for perfection was accompanied by a profound generosity and unshakeable
faith in human potential.

Rolex is host to a variety of professions, brought to life by employees who are experts in their fields. The company has complete control over its essential components, from the casting of gold alloys to machining, finishing and assembly of the movement, case, dial and bracelet elements, as well as gem-setting. Its know-how is also made available right across the world thanks to an exceptional after-sales service network.

To ensure the brand’s expertise exists into the future, Rolex has its own unique Training Centre. Dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and the development of its employees, the centre, located in Geneva, provides training to employees and instructs apprentices. The company aims to pass on to younger generations its pride in its skills and mastery of its knowledge.

As the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, it played a pioneering role in the development of the modern timepiece. Over the years, the Oyster became the proud bearer of many other innovations – such as self-winding by means of the Perpetual rotor (1931) – that defined the identity of the models in the collection and forged Rolex’s reputation for excellence, of which chronometric precision and reliability are among the cornerstones.


The Oyster gradually evolved into a collection of watches that integrated new functions and innovative technologies. All the models share fundamental features and a strong visual identity. Today the collection consists of 12 ranges, split into two categories: Classic watches such as the Datejust and the Day Date, and Professional watches, including the Explorer and the GMT-Master II.


As the pioneer of the wristwatch, the company is
at the origin of numerous major innovations in the watchmaking industry and has
filed over 500 patents in the course of its history.