Rolex was founded in the city of London in the year 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis. At the beginning, Wilsdorf and Davis were strapped for capital, so instead of starting their own watch brand, they imported Swiss Movements and used them inside high quality watch cases. Then in the year 1908, the Rolex company was officially launched and soon after, the Rolex watch company relocated to Switzerland and started to design and manufacture their own watches.
The two men's hard work finally paid-off in the year 1910 when Rolex launched the first wristwatch in the world to have Chronometer Certification. In the year 1926, Rolex launched the Oyster. The Oyster was the first water-resistant watch available in the world. Their innovative technology continued and in the year 1931, Rolex patented the world's first perpetual self-winding mechanism.
In the 1940’s, Rolex launched both the Air-King and Datejust. The Datejust was the first self-winding watch to have a date display on the dial. Subsequently, Rolex introduced both the Explorer and Submariner and soon after, the GMT Master. Then in the year 1956, Rolex introduced the Day-Date, aka the President. The Day-Date was the first watch to display both the date as well as the day of the week on the dial.
In the early 1960s, Rolex introduced the iconic Daytona. As history remembers, the Rolex Daytona was made famous by the legendary actor and Motorsport enthusiast, Paul Newman. Soon after, other famous Rolex models were introduced, such as the Sea-Dweller. Essentially, the Sea-Dweller was a modified version of the Rolex Submariner with more robust parts and components.
Over the years, the brand Rolex became synonymous with both watchmaking innovation and high quality. Not only are Rolex watches worn by many famous diplomats and adventurers, but sports figures as well.
Jack Nicklaus, arguably one of the greatest golfers of all time, wore his Rolex President Day-Date for over 50 years before auctioning his watch at the Phillips' auction in New York. The 18-karat gold Rolex Day-Date sold for $1.22 million. During the same auction, Marlon Brando's GMT Master, Reference Number 1675 sold for $1.952 million. Brando wore his GMT Master in the famous movie Apocalypse Now. However, neither watch pales in comparison to Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona, which sold for a record of $17.8 million in the year 2018.
Even though the Rolex brand is ubiquitous, it is arguably one of the very few watch brands that will always appreciate in value over time.
Rolex Models: Explorer, Explorer II, Submariner, DateJust, Date, Ladies DateJust, Sea-Dweller, Sky-Dweller, GMT-Master, GMT II-Master, Daytona, Day-Date (President), Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Air-King, Yacht-Master, Yacht-Master II, Cellini, Prince Bubbleback
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