Rolex SA is one of the leading brands of luxury watches in the whole world. It was founded by Mr. Hans Wilsdorf along with Alfred Davis in 1905 London United Kingdom 114 years ago. The company manufactures and designs watches for men and women. It is the 71st most valuable brand according to Forbes.
The company is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation which is registered as a charity and doesn’t pay the corporate income tax. Key people of the company are Mr. Bertrand Gros (Chairman) and Jean Frederic Dufour (CEO), He is the sixth CEO of the company in this long period of 114 years.
The company was started in 1905 based out of London, United Kingdom with the hallmark as “W & D”. Wilsdorf registered the trademark as “Rolex” in 1908. King’s Observatory was awarded a Rolex Watch with a Class A precision certificate in 1914, the distinction normally granted exclusively to the marine chronometers. In 1915 Rolex change its name to “Rolex Watch Co. Ltd.
Due to the heavy post-war taxation, Hans Wilsdorf decided to switch to England (1919). It was a very high tax levied on the luxury import, as well as high cost also implements on Export of gold and silver which is used for the watch cases.
Wilsdorf moved the company to Geneva, Switzerland, where the company changed its official Name with the Montres Rolex SA in 1920. The current name of the company is Rolex S.A.
Hans Wilsdorf created its foundation in 1944. Mr. Wilsdorf gave all shares of the company to the foundation because the foundation used that company income for good work.
Rolex is a luxury brand and it is serving the elite class. But in 1946 Mr. Wilsdorf created a sub-brand, which is known as Montres Tudor SA. Under this brand, the company made watches for the other classes. Watches are of very fine quality in the affordable cost range, which makes the reach of this brand to the mass.
- 1910- The first watchmaking company to earn a chronometer certificate for a wristwatch. Rolex became the largest manufacturer of Swiss made certified chronometers.
- 1926- Rolex had invented the 1st waterproof watch “Rolex Oyster”. It is also known as the “Deep Sea”. The name of this watch was given after the test of this watch in the Mariana Trench with a depth of 11000 meters, the watch was working as precise as on the surface.
- 1945- Introduced the wristwatch with the automatic date changing feature.
- 1953- Its first wristwatch case waterproof to 100M (330ft).
- 1954- Rolex produces its first wristwatch which showed a two-time zone at once.
- 1956- Rolex made a wristwatch with an automatic change day and date feature.
Rolex remains one of the luxurious brands in the world preferred by the elite class.