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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 bi-metal Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116523


    Daytona 116523

    July 2003 £7,350.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116610LV


    Submariner Date 116610LV

    November 2014 £5,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 50th Anniversary 16610LV


    Submariner Date

    July 2010 £6,750.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 4000 116600


    Sea-Dweller 116600

    June 2014 £6,500.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master 2 model reference 116710LN


    GMT Master 2 116710LN

    February 2015 £5,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II Ref. 216570


    Explorer II 216570

    November 2012 £4,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht Master 16628


    Yacht-Master 16628

    July 1996 £11,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master 1675/0.



  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LN


    Submariner Date 116613LN

    December 2012 £7,150.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 115200


    Date 115200

    May 2008 £3,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 116334


    Datejust 116334

    January 2010 £4,750.00
  • Rolex Steel Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 116610LN

    July 2015 £5,700.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 14060M.



    August 2007 £4,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116619LB.


    Submariner 116619LB

    October 2011 £17,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 14060M


    Submariner 14060M

    August 2006 £4,350.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660


    Deepsea 116660

    May 2016 £9,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master 2 16710


    GMT Master 2 16710

    June 2007 £5,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116520.


    Daytona 116520

    July 2012 £8,350.00
  • S20618


    GMT Master 2 116710BLNR

    July 2016 £6,600.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller DEEPSEA 116660


    Deepsea 116660

    January 2014 £7,250.00
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