While there are a bevy of luxury timepieces around, no other brand has reached the distinction and status that Rolex currently enjoys. Generation after generation, watch lovers look up to the brand as a symbol of true luxury and refined taste. The brand has successfully positioned itself in the luxury watch segment that it has also become a representation of one’s higher aspirations in life.
Revolution Magazine takes a look at how Rolex managed to achieve the iconic status it now enjoys and how the brand has successfully associated itself with fame, luxury, and power.
Driven By Precision
Rolex has become synonymous with ingenuity in watchmaking, and the brand has its founder to thank for. At only 24 years old, Hans Wilsdorf put up a company in 1905 with the aim to only distribute watches. He called it “Rolex”, a name that was short and easy to remember. The name just came to him one morning while riding a horse-drawn omnibus in London.
The leap towards manufacturing timepieces happened when Wilsdorf thought of making a wristwatch, which wasn’t very popular at the time due to its inaccuracy. He thought wristwatches could become bigger, if they were made to be more elegant and reliable. To make his line of wristwatches attractive for customers, he equipped them with small movements that boasted precision and reliability.
It was perhaps a genius move for the brand to concentrate further on developing movements, rather than producing new watches. The pursuit for precision allowed Rolex to come up with movements that were a pioneer in accuracy and reliability. The result of this relentless pursuit for chronometric precision led to the development of a Rolex wristwatch that was the first to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision from the Bienne-based Official Watch Rating Centre in 1910. In 1914, the brand once again established its growing reputation in producing accurate movements when it received a class “A” certificate for precision from the Kew Observatory in Great Britain. The recognitions the brand received strengthened its position as a watchmaking brand that adheres to the highest standards of precision and reliability.
From then on, Rolex would come out with timepieces that were not only a reflection of technical expertise but of innovative visual appeal as well.