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Prestige, success & luxury- the brand with the golden crown ‘Rolex’ is worthy of all the fascinating adjectives. From royals to celebrities and elites, everyone flaunts them as it is quickly recognisable as a brand of status & wealth.
Founded in 1905, Rolex has been reigning for over a century. With such enormous popularity, it has to be the topic of discussion. And Rolex, the rightful leading luxury watch brand, has a lot of opinion-givers. But honestly, how many of you know the history or the facts?
Hence, we have rounded up the lesser-known or unknown facts about this iconic watchmaking company that is sure to surprise you. The blog answers all the questions you were so far afraid to ask.
Perhaps, this is the most asked question related to Rolex. Each Rolex is unique, and so is the price of every Rolex model. You must know the factors that affect the pricing of a typical Rolex watch. They are as follows:
It seems like a very basic question, but unfortunately, many get tricked. Rolex is a Swiss watch manufacturer, with all the Rolex timepieces built in Switzerland. So, if you ever come across a Rolex made in China, remember that it’s fake.
Moreover, Rolex designs all the essential components to make a prestigious Rolex watch in-house.
Different people will have different answers to this question, but the truth is that the first-ever Rolex was the Oyster Perpetual watch. The first OP looks fairly different from the one available today, Fibut it still has a lot of demand.
Moreover, many might argue that the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, had created an 11-ligne Rebberg watch with Aegler pieces before Rolex and believe it to be the first Rolex. But others argue that no document mentions the timepiece like a Rolex.
So, get your facts straight, folk!
Rolex, as a watch brand, dominates the world. Even if you aren’t a watch fanatic, you probably must have heard the brand ‘Rolex’. Are they valuable elements, innovative design, technical advancements, or all three?
Unlike other brands, Roles is always up for perfection. Additionally, there are a few factors that make a Rolex so special even after decades; they are as follows:
The overwhelming count of watch brands to select from can often put you in a dilemma. But if you genuinely want to invest in a watch that you will appreciate, Rolex is a safe bet! If you plan to invest in any of the models today, expect to fetch a higher value when you sell Rolex watches in future.
Also, not to forget the unmatched elegance of the Rolex timepieces. Owning a Rolex is an achievement in itself!
Firstly, you must know that Rolex’s popularity makes it so valuable. Secondly, there’s a strong reason why the value of a particular Rolex model increases, decreases, or remain the same. It is the demand and supply chain.
The catch is Rolex intentionally restricts the manufacturing of some of the models to retain its desirability in the market. As a result, people who wish to purchase are willing to offer almost double the value!
Additionally, Rolex naturally holds the best value among all its competitors, making them an excellent investment option!
A question that is creating a lot of buzz in the watch landscape is ‘Are Rolex watches a good investment’? And guess what, it indeed is! Not just good, but in today’s scenario, the best!
As per the latest 2022 reports, Rolex has yielded better returns than stock, gold, or any other asset. In the past couple of years, Rolex’s value has skyrocketed. Thanks to its limited supply (Answered in the last question).
Therefore, if you’re willing to put your savings on an item that will not just retain its value but also appreciate, give Rolex a go!
Honestly, no Rolex comes at a cheaper price tag. However, certain factors can affect the price; they are:
But, if you want a specific name, we believe that the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the oldest Rolex watch, comes at a comparatively lower price.
Apart from being valuable and prestigious, Rolex is also one of the most expensive luxury watch brands. A few coveted Rolex models attract exceedingly high prices at auctions.
There’s an in-depth list of the most expensive models, but the single most expensive Rolex timepiece is the Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona model.
As a reputed watch brand, Rolex guarantees the proper functioning of all the watches for five years from the date of purchase. The warranty excludes a few points like:
But the good news is that, in the majority of the cases, Rolex timepieces last a lifetime provided you take good care of them.
Tip: For a Rolex to last a lifetime & beyond, service the watch every ten years for optimal performance.
Moreover, if you take good care of your Rolex, expect to fetch a higher price if you decide to sell Rolex watches in the pre-owned market.
After knowing all these fascinating facts about Rolex, it is not difficult to get more impressed. Rolex has been what it is for a very long time and shall continue to remain so in the years to come. The luxury watch brand is an icon of perfection and precision and continues to evolve unconventionally.
In fact, as per the latest 2022 reports, the demand for Rolex has skyrocketed to an unimaginable extent. So, if you’re lucky enough to own a Rolex already, expect to get a high value if you sell Rolex in the pre-owned market.
Rolex is unlike any other watch brands. This independently run, privately-held entity today enjoys an unparalleled global recognition and reverence. And this is the result of success in various fields over the years, from the ocean depths, mountain peaks, space explorations to associations with notable personalities like Paul Newman, James Bond, and film appearances.
The Swiss giant watchmaker has a universe of its own. It hardly permits anyone to enter its honoured walls and do not make their operations public. Rolex only produces watches. However, they work more than a mere timekeeper. The brand has taken the concept and standard of watchmaking to a new level.
Well, while you cannot head into the Rolex’s hallowed halls to see its operations, you can know about some fascinating facts that define the brand by reading this article. So, if you are a watch lover, continue reading below.
The illustrious journey of watchmaking started with the foundation of Wilsdorf & Davis Ltd in 1905 in London by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis. Later, Hans Wilsdorf opened an office in Switzerland after registering the trademark “ROLEX” in 1908.
However, the company name was officially changed from “Wilsdorf & Davis Ltd.” to Rolex in 1915. Interestingly, there are many stories behind the Rolex name origination. One says that Hans Wilsdorf adhered to George Eastman’s lead. Eastman founded the name “Kodak” for his company, and his success paved the way for short, unique brand names.
According to another story, the name “Rolex” is a type of carry-on of “Horlogerie exquise”, a French phrase. However, Hans Wilsdorf had never confirmed what the inspiration behind the name Rolex is. Nevertheless, Rolex is undoubtedly a success.
In 1910, a Rolex watch received the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. Interestingly, it was the first-ever wristwatch globally to achieve this certificate that the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne granted. Later, Rolex patented the first-ever waterproof Oyster watch in 1926.
Rolex introduced the Datejust in 1945 as the first self-winding watch with a date display on the dial. Another iconic creation from Rolex was the Submariner in 1953. It was the first diver’s timepiece to have a water-resistant ability to reach a 100m depth.
Other Rolex patents include a helium escape valve in 1967, a unique 904L stainless steel in 1985, and the Parachrom hairspring.
Rolex uses unique steel that no other watch brands use. Steel is available in several types and grades. However, most steel watches are crafted of 316L steel. But Rolex makes all the steel watches from 904L stainless steel.
Rolex introduced its exclusive 904L steel in 1988. This steel type is more corrosion and rust-resistant and much harder than other steels. Moreover, the 904L steel is pretty harder than other steel types and can also hold polishes exceptionally well.
Now, you may wonder why no other watchmakers use this steel in manufacturing their timepieces. The first significant reason is that the 904L steel is costlier and highly difficult to produce. It requires unique tools and expertise. Rolex is the only brand that has stepped ahead to take advantage of the 904L steel.
It’s actually no surprise to know that the watchmaker who is so particular about its watches’ quality and precision has its Research & Development department. In fact, Rolex has many professional and well-equipped science laboratories at its different facilities. In addition, the watchmaker researches its new watches, innovations, and more effective manufacturing processes.
Moreover, the brand’s laboratories are outstanding, as well as diverse. And the chemistry lab is ideally the most visually fascinating, equipped with tubes and beakers carrying gases and liquids. The highly trained scientists in the chemistry lab develop and research lubricants and oils that are used during the production process.
Furthermore, the Rolex factory has a room consisting of gas spectrometers and electron microscopes. Rolex scientists use these types of machinery to examine the metals and materials closely, maintaining the quality standards they ensure to offer.
However, another exciting room in the brand’s factory is the stress test room. The watchmaker instigates wear and abuse on its watch parts and movements via customised robots and machines.
Rolex may have the most sophisticated machines and robots to help in their watch manufacturing process. But all its watches receive hands-on human attention. Rolex uses machines and robots to file, sort, catalogue, and other highly complicated works.
However, from bracelets to movements, every part in a Rolex watch is hand-assembled. Rolex is compulsive regarding quality control. The skilled artisans at the Rolex factory check, re-check and again check everything meticulously. This is also done before and after Rolex sends their movements for COSC certification.
Manufacturers used to send their handmade marine chronometers for testing at astronomical observatories like Geneva and Kew in the days gone by. Although every observatory had its specific standards, Kew was known to have the most stringent of all. Kew Observatory offered an A-class certificate only to the timepieces that performed exceptionally well. Thus, Kew tests were much more demanding than the test conducted by COSC today.
A Rolex watch earned the first Kew A certificate in 1914. However, Kew offered this certificate for the first time to a timepiece of that kind. In the 1940s, the company sent nearly 145 small watch movements for Kew testing. And surprisingly, 136 movements earned the Kew A certificates.
The watchmaker finished all these movements by hands, and its master timer Jean Matile adjusted each of them. They housed most of the movements in 32mm steel watches. In addition, however, Rolex equipped twenty-four of the movements in 34mm gold watch cases. And undoubtedly, these timepieces are among the most desirable in the world.
Rolex utilises several highly diligent security checks, and you will be fascinated to know that they possess a Bond-style safe. And the safe is situated a few floors underground. Everything is first scanned and then catalogued. Moreover, The brand attributes a unique serial number to each of its movements. Finally, they photograph the serial number and matches it with a case that also comes with a unique serial number. Now:
If anyone has to access the brand’s safe, they need to enter a bank vault door and pass an iris scanner that recognises your identity through your eyes. Overall, the watchmaker is very strict and cautious about their security as we all know that Rolex watches are sound investments.
This Swiss giant has an extensive gemological department involved in buying, testing, arranging and setting precious stones, including diamonds in several Rolex watches. They meticulously check the gemstones they buy from their suppliers to confirm their authenticity. For example, they ensures the diamonds’ authenticity using x-rays.
Moreover, every batch of diamonds also undergoes testing to ensure premium quality. Thus, their diamonds are of IF clarity and range from D to G in colour grade – the watchmaker hand-choose and handset every diamond on its watches.
Rolex does not employ any shortcut techniques to manufacture its watches. The brand is very particular about its watches’ efficiency and quality. They only continue seeing how they can improve more and more. You will see that the brand upgrades its collection with a new size, movement or material but keeps the original design and aesthetics the same.
From beginning to shape the case to testing a watch for accuracy, the entire process takes nearly a year. Every model needs many parts, and almost everything is made in-house from the base. After that, expert artisans at the factory hand-assemble and hand-test every watch. Furthermore, they are checked and re-checked again intensely. Taken all these processes together, they takes nearly one year to make a watch.
Rolex makes virtually every part of its watches in its factory. The brand produces its cases, dials, bezels, bracelets, movements and gold. Besides the complicated machines, Rolex also invests in the techniques and processes. However, while they make almost everything in-house, the brand is genuinely independent.
If you love watches, you love Rolex. They are perhaps the most successful high-end watchmakers and the most successful luxury brands in the globe.
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