The 12 Days of Christmas
With only 13 days remaining until the big day arrives, Charles Martin Watch Company are bringing you 12 days of Christmas blogs, news stories and features on some of our best loved brands.
We’re starting with one of our favourite brands, Rolex. Below is a brief history on their key achievements and the incredible watches they have created.
1905, at the age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf founded a company in London specialising in the distribution of timepieces. By 1908 it had become one of the leading watch companies in the UK – it was this year that the name Rolex was created after searching for a name that was short, easy to say and which looked good.
1910, a Rolex watch was the first wristwatch in the world to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne. Four years later Rolex became synonymous with precision when it was awarded a class A precision certificate.
1926 saw the release of the Rolex Oyster, the first waterproof watch. Its credentials were put to the test the following year when a young swimmer crossed the English Channel wearing one. The swim lasted over 10 hours and the watch remained in perfect working order.
1931, Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor. This ingenious system is now at the heart of every modern automatic watch.
Rolex showed no signs of slowing down in the years that followed, bringing out the first Date-Just in 1945 followed by the Oyster Perpetual Explorer and The Submariner in 1953. Rolex were developing professional watches whose functions went beyond telling the time. These watches were intended for activities such as deep sea diving, aviation and mountain climbing – they became known as the watches of achievers.
1955 and 1956 The GMT Master and the Day-Date were respectivly released. A year later The Lady Date-Just came out. The Milgauss was also introduced in 1956 and was designed to meet the demands of the scientific community, withstanding magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss.
1963 Launched a new-generation chronograph, the Cosmograph which soon gained the name that became the mark of an icon: Daytona. Designed as the ultimate tool for endurance racing drivers, the Cosmograph Daytona was robust, waterproof and featured a tachymetric scale on the bezel for calculating average speed.
1967 saw the launch of the Oyster Perpetual waterproof to a depth of 610 metres.
1971 the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II was dedicated to all those pushing the boundaries of exploration. To celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1976, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise were launched to honour those who possess the courage to take on major challenges.
Two years later, the Sea-Dweller 4000 was released, waterproof to a depth of 4,000 feet!
1992 The Pearlmaster (a new interpretation of the Lady-Datejust) and the Yacht-Master were both introduced
Rolex continued to innovate, conceiving the 4130-chronograph calibre movement in 2000 and founding The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002
2003 Rolex developed and patented the Cerachrom bezel for specific Professional models to ensure lasting beauty and functionality even after exposure to the most extreme conditions.
2007 to 2012, Rolex introduced The Yacht-Master II, The Rolex Deepsea and The Sky-Dweller.
2016 Rolex is introducing the latest creations in its Oyster and Cellini collections together with a new in-house certification for all its watches. The brand’s emblematic Superlative Chronometer designation has been redefined with performance criteria that exceed watchmaking norms and standards.
Want to own a piece of Rolex history? Click here to view our collection and one of our amazing pre owned time pieces could be yours.
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