RolexFacts and Figures
ROLEX WATCHESPIONEERING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT
Quality, precision and functionality – these were the guiding principles of Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf when it came to developing new watches. This allowed the watch manufacturer to introduce countless technological innovations that would change the craft of watchmaking forever. To this day, the powerful, sporty and extremely reliable timepieces that were produced as a result remain popular, sought-after wristwatches that last a lifetime.
ROLEX AND BUCHERERA CONNECTION THAT SPANS GENERATIONS
The two entrepreneurs – Ernst Bucherer and the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf – were connected by a powerful pioneering spirit and a passion for high-quality watches. Their friendship, which began at the turn of the 20th century, soon developed into a close business relationship: the family-owned and -operated Bucherer Group began carrying Rolex watches in the 1920s – a time in which the brand was little known.
In the years to come, Rolex watches gained a reputation around the world thanks to their extreme precision, excellent water-resistance and high level of durability. The Rolex watch from Geneva became popular amongst well-known figures ranging from politicians to athletes, which also contributed to the company’s success.
THE WORLD’S FIRST WATER- AND DUST-RESISTANT WATCH
The Rolex Oyster, the world’s first water- and dust-resistant watch, was created in 1926. It was submerged in a small aquarium in the window display in order to prove to customers that this sensational innovation lived up to its name.
To convince the rest of the world that not a single drop of water would make its way into the case, Hans Wilsdorf had a spectacular idea: he gave the British swimmer Mercedes Gleitze a Rolex Oyster to wear during her attempt to swim the English Channel in 1927. The watch continued to work perfectly even after more than 10 hours in the water. The sporting event captured the attention of the media and also helped to make Rolex a household name around the world.
EVERY WATCH IS MADE BY HAND
Rolex developed and manufactured all of the main components of their wristwatches themselves – from casting the gold alloys all the way to the assembly and finishing touches on all of the components of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Every watch is carefully assembled by hand.
MILESTONES IN WATCHMAKING
In 1931, Rolex developed and patented the Perpetual rotor, a self-winding system with a free rotor for the wristwatch, the precursor of such contemporary mechanisms. Rolex was also the first to create a waterproof chronometer wristwatch to indicate the date in a window on the dial. The second innovation appeared on the Datejust, which was launched in 1945 and remains one of the most popular watches in the Oyster Perpetual collection to this day.
THE DATE MAGNIFIER AS A SIGNATURE DESIGN ELEMENT
A small magnifier over the date display sets the watch apart: Rolex developed this design element in 1953 and called it the cyclops lens. To this day, the date magnifier positioned at 3 o’clock remains a distinctive feature of Rolex watches. This is also one way to verify the authenticity of a Rolex.
ALL OF THE COMPONENTS MADE IN-HOUSE
The exclusive watches are manufactured using state-of-the-art watchmaking technology at four locations in Switzerland. Rolex’s headquarters in Geneva-Acacias is not only home to the company’s management, but also to its research and development department.
In Biel, more than 2,000 employees develop and assemble Rolex movements using hundreds of components. Highly skilled watchmakers assemble and adjust the movements by hand. The Chêne-Bourg site is where the dials and the watch components that are set with gemstones take shape.
COSC CERTIFICATE AND THE GREEN ROLEX SEAL
The official Swiss chronometer testing institute – Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) – regularly assesses the accuracy of Rolex watches. The watches are evaluated based on scientific criteria over 15 days and 15 nights. Rolex watches comply with the organisation’s strict quality criteria and receive a certificate stating that the chronometers have been tested and approved by COSC. This is reflected by the words “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”, which are inscribed on the dial.
Rolex tests watches with cased-up movements with regard to their chronometric precision and water-resistance as well as their automatic movement in its in-house laboratory subject to strict test conditions. The green Rolex seal confirms that the watches have passed the company’s final check. The green seal is coupled with a five-year warranty, which applies to all Rolex models.
CERACHROM BEZEL AND INSERTROBUST AND DURABLE
Made of extremely hard, virtually scratchproof ceramics, the Cerachrom bezel and Cerachrom bezel insert were developed by Rolex for specific Professional models, such as the Cosmograph Daytona, GMT-Master II and Submariner. Thanks to their particularly durable properties, they retain all of their beauty and functionality, even in the most extreme conditions.
ROLEXBRACELETS AND CLASPS
Elegant, robust and reliable – the bracelets and clasps of a Rolex watch are what lend each timepiece its unique personality. The complex alchemy of form and function is reflected in every Rolex bracelet. Rolex bracelets are complemented by the patented clasps such as the Oysterclasp, the Oysterlock and the Crownclasp.
THE GOLD FOUNDRY IN PLAN-LES-OUATES
The gold foundry is located in Plan-les-Ouates, in the canton of Geneva, within the largest Rolex site. This is where Rolex creates the 18 ct gold alloys used for its wristwatches: yellow gold, white gold and Everose gold – an exclusive pink gold alloy developed by Rolex. What makes Everose gold so special? As opposed to conventional pink gold, which fades over time, Everose maintains its pink colour forever thanks to an additional, high-quality platinum alloy.
BUCHERERAN OFFICIAL ROLEX SPECIALIST RETAILER
At Bucherer, we are proud to belong to the global network of official Rolex specialist retailers. As such, we are authorised to sell and maintain Rolex watches. Our stores carry a vast selection of Rolex models. As an official specialist retailer, we are experts when it comes to Rolex technology, and we can guarantee not only that every detail of your watch will function flawlessly, but also that your Rolex is 100% authentic.
Get in touch with us to schedule an appointment with one of our Rolex specialists. We are happy to help you choose the perfect Rolex watch for you.