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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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  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II model reference 116710BLNR


    GMT-Master II 116710BLNR

    Pre-owned UNUSED £7,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II model reference 116710BLNR


    GMT-Master II 116710BLNR

    Pre-owned UNWORN £7,750.00
  • Rolex Steel Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 116610LN

    February 2012 £5,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116034


    Oyster Perpetual 116034

    August 2011 £3,950.00
  • 18ct white gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona


    Daytona 116509

    January 2012 £19,950.00
  • Platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 118206


    Day-Date 118206

    August 2005 £31,500.00
  • 18ct Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht Master 16628


    Yacht Master 16628

    July 1998 £12,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 16800


    Submariner Date

    Circa 1983/84 £5,950.00
  • Rolex Bi-metal Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 179161


    Datejust 26 179161

    Pre-owned UNUSED £7,350.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660


    Deepsea 116660

    April 2011 £6,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Explorer 2 16570


    Explorer II 16570

    October 1997 £3,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 28 279171.


    Datejust 28 279171

    March 2017 £6,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 279173.


    Datejust 279173

    March 2017 £6,150.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 279173


    Datejust 28 279173

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,150.00
  • Rolex Oyster Precision Perpetual Airking Date 5700.


    Airking 5700

    January 1972 £3,450.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 4000 116600


    Sea-Dweller 116600

    May 2015 £7,150.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660.


    Seadweller Deepsea 116660

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN


    Daytona 116500LN

    Pre-owned UNUSED £15,650.00
  • 18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116518


    Daytona 116518

    June 2003 £12,950.00
  • 18ct Pink Gold (Everose) Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Model 116505


    Daytona 116505

    April 2009 £18,950.00
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