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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 Submariner Date 116618LB.


    Submariner Date 116618LB

    April 2016 £18,950.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LN


    Submariner Date 116613LN

    April 2012 £7,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss Anniversary Edition 116400GV


    Milgauss 116400GV

    August 2013 £4,850.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 179160


    Datejust 179160

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116520


    Daytona 116520

    June 2002 £7,450.00
  • Rolex Steel Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner Date 116610LN

    August 2010 £5,450.00
  • S20182


    Datejust 178240

    January 2015 £3,250.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Mid-size Datejust 178383


    Datejust Bi-metal 178383

    February 2013 £9,750.00
  • Rolex Steel Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner Date 116610LN

    August 2013 £5,450.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master 2 model reference 116710LN


    GMT Master 2 116710LN

    October 2015 £5,600.00
  • 18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116528


    Daytona 116528

    August 2009 £15,950.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II 11633


    Datejust II 116334

    Pre-owned UNUSED £6,550.00
  • Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date 116619LB


    Submariner Date 18ct

    November 2011 £17,950.00
  • Ladies steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 179174


    Datejust 179174

    February 2007 £3,550.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LB


    Submariner Date 116613LB

    November 2014 £7,750.00
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Previously in stock

  • Rolex Steel Submariner Date 116610LN


    Submariner 116610LN

    Pre-owned UNUSED £5,700.00
  • 18ct Yellow Gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 218238


    Day-Date II 218238

    March 2015 £19,950.00
  • Rolex Bi-Metal Submariner Date 116613LB


    Submariner 116613LB

    May 2016 £7,875.00
  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Regatta Chronograph. Model 116680


    Yacht-Master 2 116680

    June 2013 £9,950.00
  • Bi-metal mid size Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Model Ref 178243


    Datejust 178243

    May 2015 £4,750.00
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