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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 Pink Gold (Everose) Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Model 116505


    Daytona 116505

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116334


    Datejust II 116334

    March 2012 £4,850.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Mid-size 178274


    Datejust 178274

    July 2014 £4,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 116201


    Datejust 116201

    January 2014 £5,450.00
  • Bi-metal Rolex Oyster perpetual Datejust 116233


    Datejust 116233

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,380.00
  • Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570


    Explorer II 216570

    February 2012 £4,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Turn-O-Graph 16264



    Circa 1991 £2,950.00
  • Platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 228206


    Day-Date 40 228206

    December 2015 £32,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116333


    Datejust II 116333

    October 2015 £6,150.00
  • 18ct Rose gold Rolex Cellini Time 50505. 39mm case diameter


    Cellini Time

    December 2014 £8,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Airking model 114200


    Air-King 114200

    October 2010 £2,650.00
  • 18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 69178


    Datejust 69178

    Circa 1998 £6,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Explorer II Orange Hand 1655/0


    Explorer II 1655

    1974 £11,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Regatta Chronograph. Model 116680


    Yacht-Master II 116680

    June 2013 £9,950.00
  • 18ct yellow gold Rolex Cellini 5113


    Cellini 5113

    1999 £3,150.00
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Previously in stock

  • 18ct Rose Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller Ref 326935


    Sky-Dweller 326935

    January 2015 £23,500.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660


    Deepsea Deep Blue 116660

    March 2016 £9,750.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LN


    Submariner Date 116613LN

    November 2015 £7,550.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116334


    Datejust II 116334

    Pre-owned UNUSED £5,365.00
  • Rolex Bi-metal Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16013


    Datejust 16013

    Circa 1983 £2,450.00
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