Rolex is a brand name that has long been known as a horological status symbol. This is true not only among the individuals looking for a beautiful accessory but also for the most discerning passionate watch connoisseur.
This is unarguably the most powerful and most influential luxury watch brand of this time. Rolex has successfully established itself as one of the most famous luxury watch brands on the planet. Rolex is already a symbol of precision, quality, and luxury.
This luxury watch brand has been around for over a century and has been labeled as producing “the only watch that matters.” They provide some of the world’s most reliable and durable timepieces.
But other than that, this watch brand has other trivial facts as well. Here are some of the ones that aren’t as well known about Rolex:
All of the Gold Rolex Uses Are Made in-House
You know a brand is serious when they just produce the gold they use in their watches. In the industry of watchmaking in general, having an in-house movement tends to be a prestigious thing. And this reflects a great deal of passion for watchmaking, but when this brand even goes so far as to make it gold in-house, it proves that Rolex isn’t like any other watchmaker out there today.
Because they could make their gold in-house, they can control the production and the part where they need to machine parts of it. With this, they are also able to ensure the level of quality of every timepiece, as well as the looks of the material itself.
Every Single Watch Rolex Produces Is Pressure-Tested Right before Leaving the Plant
Just like some super secret spy or high grade military equipment, watches built by Rolex are tested to their limits. Extreme limits. Because Rolex is at the very forefront of water-resistant technology, this of course involves a multitude of steps. Watches they produce are placed in sensitive air-pressure chambers to determine if there are any air leaks within the case itself. Using a medical-grade optical sensor, they will be able to find any level of condensation or water infiltration. If these problems are detected, the watch is completely scrapped.
The First-Ever Waterproof Case for a Wristwatch Was the Oyster Case
The historical oyster case was first made by Rolex back in 1926, and this was in fact, a very significant moment in watchmaking history. Back in the day, normal watches got water damages due to their inability to prevent water from entering the case.
On the other hand, the Oyster case had a patented system of screwing down the bezel case’s back and crown to right to the middle part of the case itself. This essentially made the watch waterproof. They not only created the very first versions of waterproof watches, but they also were able to produce these timepieces on a large scale.
Rolex Timepieces Are All Handmade
Just like the Skyline GTR’s monstrous V6 engine, all watches produced by Rolex are handmade. It takes almost a whole year to build just one Rolex watch. Every single Rolex is painstakingly made by hand in Switzerland.
Rolex watches are given all utmost attention and dedication to ensure that every single piece will meet the coveted brand’s strict standards. Every single piece is made in-house, which all of the course includes the materials themselves. When all of the parts for a Rolex watch are made, they are then hand-built and tested one by one. And as previously mentioned, the overall quality testing process is very intense.
The Most Expensive Rolex Watch Was Sold for $5,060,427 in 2017
This particular timepiece that was sold was called the Bao Dai ref. 6062. This watch is the only one of its kind. It came built with a black dial and diamond indexes. Initially, the watch was first auctioned back in 2002 for a measly $235,000. But as time went by, 15 years later it broke its record easily and more significantly by more than 20 times the price when it was sold for $5,060,427.
The Earlier Wristwatch Models of the Rolex Were Marked with “W&D”
Back when the watch company first began, the name Rolex didn’t exist yet. The company originally made watches for jewelers. Because of that, the watches were not branded on the dial itself. This was done so to allow the jewelers to put their names on the dial. Hence the watches being marked with ”W&D”. Then, years later in 1908, Wilsdorf decided and succeeded in registering the trademark “Rolex”. And this then became the brand name of watches from Wilsdorf and Davis.
Rolex Began Utilizing 904l Stainless Steel Back in 1985
Other watch companies are known to make their steel watches in a type of stainless steel called 316L. Rolex named its special alloy the ”corrosion-resistant superalloy”. As you all know, corrosion is a problem with stainless steel watches. Because the watch is attached to the wrist most of the time, moisture from the sweat, combined with other corrosive substances in the air like salts for example will make your watch rust and corrode eventually over time.
The 904L steel is essentially more expensive than the 316L variant. This is also much more complicated to make. There are of course other variants of steel that are harder and more resistant to scratches and marks than the 904L steel, but specifically for a tool watch and especially when it comes to Rolex’s dive watches, the cases must be waterproof. Corrosion can compromise this if the threads that hold the crown of the watch and the case at the back corrode.
In the end, the Fact Is, Rolex Is a Luxury Icon
Rolex at this point is most probably the most known luxury watch brand around the planet. This level of global recognition comes from the brand’s success in several fields, from early watchmaking firsts, technological innovations, all the way to an association with James Bond and Paul Newman.