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Major Milestones of Rolex

The rolex company is now over one hundred years old. First formed in 1908 in Switzerland, and then in 1912 in London, the watchmaker has a reputation built on outstanding quality and stunning beauty.


During the last century, there have been many milestones along the way. The following is a chronological overview of many of them.

1905: German-born Hans Wilsdorf founds a watchmakers with English partner Alfred Davis and call it Wilsdorf & Davis

1908: Wilsdorf & Davis renamed to rolex in Switzerland

1912: rolex brand launched in London

1914:  – rolex wristwatch awarded the prestigious Class A precision certificate by The Kew Observatory in London

1926: rolex developed and patented the first airtight, dustproof and waterproof watch and call it the Oyster

1927: The Rolex Oyster crossed the English Channel unscathed on the wrist Mercedes Gleitze

1931: Rolex introduced a self-winding mechanism that provides automatic winding, a feature that would be copied across the world

1945: The Oyster Datejust, the first watch to display the date was released

1947: Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier, wearing his Rolex

1953: Rolex creates the first specialist diving watch – the Submariner. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stood on the summit on Mount Everest wearing Rolex Explorers

1954: The Oyster Perpetual LadyDate was released

1955: The Oyster GMT Master was released, making it possible for airline pilots to tell the time in any two time zones at once

1956: The Oyster Day-Date was released

1960: The Rolex Bathyscaphe “Deep Sea Special” was taken 35,787 feet into the Mariana Trench and survives

1967: The Oyster Sea-Dweller was introduced, which is waterproof to a depth of 2,000 feet

1971: The Oyster Explorer II was released

1978: The Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller is taken to a depth of 4,000 feet and remained waterproof

1992: The Oyster Professional range gets a new watch, the Yacht-Master

2003: Rolex releases a special commemorative Submariner to celebrate 50 years of the model

The last decade have been extremely successful for Rolex, and well publicized, so we won’t bore you with the details here. Suffice to say Rolex has had a long and distinguished history so far, there’s no telling what achievements the future holds!