Swiss mens stainless steel Rolex oyster perpetual wristwatch with replacement red dial, circa 1970. Datejust model, 26J auto movement #41885, Cal #1550, Ref #1603.
In 1905, 24 year-old Hans Wilsdorf was searching for watches that were precise and reliable. Watches at the time were not always accurate and almost never worn on the wrist. His desire for this led him to found Rolex in London. The name “Rolex” was created from Wilsdorf’s want for a name accessible in any language and that looked elegant on watch dials.
The main priority of the early Rolex company was to have the highest quality of movement. Wilsdorf first produced the watches using very small and precise movements made in Switzerland. In 1910, Rolex had made the first wristwatch in the world to be granted the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision and, in 1914, a class “A” precision certificate by the Kew Observatory in Britain.
In 1919, the Rolex company moved to Geneva, Switzerland. In 1926, the “Oyster” wristwatch was created, which was the first wristwatch to be both waterproof and dustproof. The Oyster watch was tested in many different areas during the 1930s, including a flight over Mount Everest and a land speed record. The Oyster wristwatch became the standard for durable wristwatches worldwide.
In the 1950s, Rolex started developing professional watches for activities such as deep-sea diving, mountain climbing and aviation. The Submariner, the Explorer, the GMT-Master and the Day-Date varieties were all developed throughout the 1950s. Rolex continued to manufacture watches designed to withstand extreme conditions, such as the Oyster Perpetual Milgauss, which could withstand strong magnetic fields.
Through the 2000s and today, Rolex has never ceased to improve the quality and strength of their wristwatches. Today, Rolex still stands as one of the most famous brands of wristwatches. Rolex watches are world-renowned for their balance of durability and classic beauty.