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A brief history of Rolex Watches

Rolex is one of the most famous names in watchmaking. The company’s iconic crown logo enjoys ubiquitous brand awareness. The Genevan maison can trace its routes back to 1905, when Hans Wilsdorf established a company in London, distributing timepieces.

Wilsdorf, clearly a visionary, saw the potential of the wristwatch at a time when pocket watches were de rigueur and subsequently created the Rolex brand.

Rolex produced the first waterproof watch. In a stroke of marketing genius, a young swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, wore a Rolex Oyster on her wrist whilst swimming the English channel. The ability of the watch to continue functioning faultlessly, despite exposure to the harsh sea, led to the birth of the Oyster case. This case has evolved over the years with the brand gently enhancing its form and improving its water resistance.

In 1931, Rolex also invented, and patented, the world’s first self-winding mechanism. This user-friendly attribute is common to most of the brand’s models, albeit there are some exceptions, such as some of the early Daytona models. The self-winding aspect is often referenced on the dial with the word “Perpetual”, short for perpetual movement and not to be confused with a perpetual calendar.

A key benefit of Rolex watches is their robustness. The cases of today’s steel models are constructed of a high-grade steel, 904L. Recent models include a blue Parachrom hairspring which is said to be unaffected by magnetic fields and 10 times more resistant to shocks. The research and development of Rolex timepieces is unrelenting and each new reference technically usurps its forebears.

Several illustrious Rolex models

Rolex has produced a myriad of different models over the years. The Datejust, Day-Date, Explorer, GMT-Master and Yachtmaster are all held in highest esteem. However, there are two watches which deserve further comment, the Cosmograph Daytona and the Submariner. Every watch brand dreams of producing an iconic watch, but few can truly say they have produced two models that are as legendary as these two sports watches.

While Rolex offers some watches in gold and even platinum, without question the most sought after models are its steel sports watches, especially if they are rare vintage examples.

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Currently in stock

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  • 18ct Rose Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller Ref 326135


    Sky-Dweller 326135

    March 2015 £23,500.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LN


    Submariner 116613LN

    October 2015 £8,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 50th Anniversary 16610LV


    Submariner 16610LV

    March 2007 £8,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II 116710BLNR


    GMT-Master II 116710BLNR

    March 2016 £7,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 214270


    Explorer 214270

    February 2015 £4,395.00
  • Steel and pink gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust mid-size 178271


    Datejust 178271

    Pre-owned UNUSED £7,950.00
  • Steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116300


    Datejust II 116300

    November 2016 £4,850.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN


    Daytona 116500LN

    December 2016 £15,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116610LV


    Submariner 116610LV

    June 2014 £6,950.00
  • Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 116610LN

    April 2012 £6,150.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 16610.


    Submariner 16610

    August 2009 £6,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 176200


    Oyster Perpetual 176200

  • Vintage Rolex Explorer 5500


    Explorer 5500

    Circa 1952 £10,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 116231


    Datejust 116231

    October 2013 £7,750.00
  • Rolex bi-metal Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116523


    Daytona 116253

    April 2004 £9,250.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II Ref. 216570


    Explorer II 216570

    January 2014 £5,250.00
  • Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 16610LN

    Pre-owned UNUSED £7,150.00
  • 18ct Pink Gold (Everose) Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Model 116505


    Daytona 116505

    March 2012 £19,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer Ref 214270


    Explorer 214270

    February 2017 £4,550.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LB


    Submariner 116613LB

    January 2017 £8,750.00
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