Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex is a Swiss company, which manufactures, distributes and sells luxury watches.
Its flagship model Oyster exists since 1945.
In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf settles in London, and founds, with his brother-in-law Alfred Davis, a company manufacturing watches called by their two names, Wilsdorf and Davis., At this time, the majority of the production is done in Switzerland, the craftsmen of this country being then the only ones able to manufacture mechanical movements sufficiently small to be held in a pocket watch.
Since the beginning of his activities, Wilsdorf specializes in the luxury segment, asking to his suppliers pieces always smaller and more reliable, a system which allows to manufacture different models of wristwatches increasingly miniaturized, while the fob watch is trendy at the time. It is finally the Aegler company, a small manufacture located in Bienne, who accepts to supply to him the pieces requested. The cooperation between Wilsdorf & Davis and Aegler will never stop.
In 1906, the company files a patent for the extensible bracelet which will equip almost all the models. The Rolex brand is finally registered by Wilsdorf in London in 1908. In order to not destabilize the clientele, the company models will bear, during a certain time, the name of Wilsdorf & Davis-Rolex before keeping only the name of Rolex.
Two years later, in 1910, Rolex asks the Swiss company of chronometry to certify its movements in order to prove that the wristwatches are reliable and accurate, which at the time was the main argument in favour of the pocket watches. The company obtains the first certification of precision for a wristwatch. In 1914, it is the Kew Observatory of Great Britain which delivers a certificate of precision Class A to Rolex. Until then, this certification had only been attributed to military chronometers, mainly used in the navy.
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