History of Rolex Watch Company; Hans Wilsdorf Founder, First Rolex Watches Ever Made & More

One of the world’s most iconic watches, Rolex has been a pioneer of the wristwatch since 1905, including the first waterproof wristwatch – the Oyster – and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism. For over a century, Rolex watches have accompanied explorers and achievers around the world, from the top of the highest mountains to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Brigitte Kruse & GWS Auctions, Inc share some of the history of this renowned watch company and what makes it so special.

The Name Rolex is Born

In 1905 Hans Wilsdorf founded a company in London specializing in the distribution of timepieces. He wanted his watches to bear a name that was short, easy to say and remember in any language, and which looked good on watch movements and dials. The Name Rolex was born. Throughout the years, Rolex has been an innovator, including some of the now classics below.

Automatic Movements

In 1931, Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding watch, which made
them far more accurate and reliable. It was known as a bubble back, because it had such a large caseback, but the technology was revolutionary.

Quartz Movements

The year 1945 saw the birth of the Datejust, the first self-winding wrist to indicate the date in a window on the dial. In 1953, Sir John Hunt’s expedition, in which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, was equipped with Oyster Perpetuals. The Explorer, launched to celebrate the victorious ascent, immediately acquired iconic status. In the 1960s, Rolex played a key role in the original development of quartz watch movements. Over the next five years or so, the company would perfect the technology and create the Rolex Oysterquartz.

Water-Resistant Watches

Rolex’s first water-resistant watch could withstand depths of 330 feet. The DeepSea watch would later travel to the depths of the Mariana Trench. It was reported to have kept perfect time even from 11,000 feet underwater!

Be Aware of Counterfeits

Because Rolex is a widely known status symbol, it is also one of the most counterfeited watch brands in the world. So, if you’ve decided that you’re ready to invest in a Rolex, it’s important to buy from a reputable and trusted seller. A great place to find Rolex watches of all shapes and sizes is at a reputable auction house.

Buying & Selling Rolex Watches & More at Auction in Beverly Hills, Agoura Hills, Palm Springs, Indio & Southern California

At GWS Auctions, Inc, we can help you find exactly what you are looking for in a Rolex watch. If you are trying to sell, we will assist you in getting top dollar for your valuable watches and help you every step of the way. If you are new to auctions, don’t worry, we will guide you through the process. Call us today for more information on any upcoming auctions in your area.