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Rolex

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 18038

    Rolex

    Day-Date 18038

    Circa 1981 £9,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King 116900

    Rolex

    Air-King 1169020

    July 2016 £4,790.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116300

    Rolex

    Datejust 116300

    January 2016 £4,850.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 16622

    Rolex

    Yacht Master 16622

    August 2001 £5,500.00
  • 18ct yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Regatta Chronograph. Model 116688

    Rolex

    Yacht-Master II 116688

    February 2009 £22,950.00
  • Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 69178

    Rolex

    Datejust 69178

    1988 £5,950.00
  • 18ct white gold Lady Datejust Pearlmaster model 80319

    Rolex

    Pearlmaster 80319

    2001 £9,950.00
  • 18ct Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust Pearlmaster 80318

    Rolex

    Pearlmaster 80318

    2001 £11,950.00
  • 18ct white gold Lady Datejust Pearlmaster model 80319

    Rolex

    Pearlmaster 80319

    Circa 1999 £8,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster model 80319

    Rolex

    Pearlmaster 80319

    August 2006 £13,950.00
  • Ladies Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Tridor

    Rolex

    Datejust 69179B

    Circa 1985 £6,950.00
  • 18ct white gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster mid-size 81319

    Rolex

    Pearlmaster 81319

    April 2014 £21,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 4000 116600

    Rolex

    Sea-Dweller 116600

    May 2014 £8,500.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King 114200

    Rolex

    Airking 114200

    August 2012 £2,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust mid-size 178271

    Rolex

    Datejust 178271

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,680.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 114270

    Rolex

    Explorer 114270

    May 2002 £3,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 4000 126600

    Rolex

    Sea-Dweller 126600

    Pre-owned UNWORN £12,950.00
  • Oyster Perpetual Datejust 116201

    Rolex

    Datejust 116201

    Pre-owned UNUSED £7,250.00
  • Bi-metal Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 116203

    Rolex

    Datejust 116203

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,500.00
  • Bi-Metal Rolex Oyster Perpetual Mid Size Datejust 31 model reference 178273

    Rolex

    Datejust 178273

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,280.00
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