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12 things people do not know about Rolex

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A few tidbits about Rolex that typically do not come up in conversation.

GMT and Explorer II Rolex’s can work as a compass
imageAlthough any watch can act as a compass, the Explorer II or GMT II 24 hour hand (when set to local time) points North (northern hemisphere) when the 12 hour hand is pointed towards the sun.

Rolex Service is 5 – 7 Years
Rolex recommends a complete service every 5-7 years, much longer than competing Swiss watch brands.

Rolex produced the first Greenwich Meantime Watch with the GMT Master
Greenwich, England has been the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) since 1884. GMT is sometimes called Greenwich Meridian Time because it is measured from the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. It is the place from where all time zones are measured. When Pan-American Airlines started trans-atlantic flights, the company worked with Rolex to develop a watch that can measure local time in a variety of time zones.

Only Rolex uses 904L Steel
Only Rolex uses 904L steel for its steel watch cases. 904L is an alloy stainless steel usually reserved for the chemical industries, where maximum resistance against corrosion is essential. Such resistance stems from 904L’s higher chromium content.

All modern Rolex models use white gold in the hour indices and hands
Vintage Rolex watches have watch hands that corrode. Modern Rolex watches have white gold for hands and indices such that they do not corrode.

1926 : Rolex introduces the first waterproof case called the “Oyster”
Rolex was also the first watch company to create a truly waterproof watch creating an “Oyster” case that has a screw-in caseback, pressure fitted case, and a screw-in crown.

You can change the time and set the date anytime with a Rolex
Unlike many other Swiss mechanical wristwatches where one should not set the time or date between 10:00 PM and 2:00AM when the date mechanism is engaged, Rolex quickset date mechanism allows for changing the time and date at any time.

Rolex is the longest single continuous ownership of any Swiss watch company.
Rolex has been owned by the same two families (and its successor trusts) for its entire existence. During this time the company has been lead by only 5 chief executives creating stability for the company.

Rolex introduces their first model that displays the day and date in 1956
Rolex is the first company to have both the Day and Date progress simultaneously precisely at midnight every 24 hours.

Rolex is the first company to introduce a date window, and a date function that progresses the date precisely at midnight.

All Rolex watches have a Breguet overcoil

Rolex Breguet Overcoil
Rolex Breguet Overcoil

The brains of your watch is the escapement (combination of the hairspring and balance wheel) and is considered the heartbeat of the watch. The hairspring oscillates back and forth rapidly telling your watch how many ticks per second to move. A Breguet overcoil allows the hairspring to work better at tomes of low mainspring power.

Rolex made the first self-winding watch
The first self-winding Rolex watch was released to the public in 1931, powered by an internally oscillating weight that uses movement in the wearer’s arm and gravity to wind the mainspring. The “Oyster Perpetual” eliminated the need to wind the watch as well as over-winding the watch.

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