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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 Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 118238


    Day Date 118238

    March 2005 £14,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Non Date Submariner 14060M


    Submariner 14060M

    May 2002 £4,250.00
  • 18ct gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 79178


    Datejust 79178

  • Ladies steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual 76080


    Oyster Perpetual 76080

    2007 £2,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss 116400


    MIlgauss 116400

    December 2015 £4,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 16610


    Submariner Date 16610

    March 2008 £5,250.00
  • Ladies 18ct gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 179178


    Datejust 179178

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116520


    Daytona 116520

    August 2002 £8,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ceramic Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 116610LN

    November 2010 £5,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 69173


    Datejust 69173

    1989 £2,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 79174


    Datejust 79174

    December 2001 £2,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 179160


    Datejust 179160

    August 2010 £3,100.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 16600


    Sea-Dweller 16600

    November 1992 £5,650.00
  • 18ct Pink Gold (Everose) Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Model 116505


    Daytona 116505

    December 2015 £21,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660


    Deepsea 116660

    December 2011 £7,450.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II Ref. 216570


    Explorer 216570

    June 2012 £4,350.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Mid-size Datejust 178341


    Datejust 178341

    February 2012 £7,650.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss 116400


    Milgauss 116400

    December 2009 £3,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 16610


    Submariner 16610

    August 2001 £4,750.00
  • Bi-metal Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116613LN


    Submariner 116613LN

    April 2012 £7,150.00
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