facebook pixel


Bob's Watches - The Pre-Owned Rolex Exchange
(800) 494-3708
1900 Quail St, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • (800) 494-3708
  • CART  

    Empty Cart?

    Find Your Rolex



A History of Rolex Watches

June 30, 2011

BY Paul Altieri

Rolex History

The Vintage Rolex Submariner ref. 5512 was first introduced in 1953.

Subscribe for the latest Rolex news.

The Beginning of Wilsdorf and Davis

Have you ever wondered how and where Rolex began? It is quite intriguing when you think of it, how the company got its start and grew into one of the most prestigious brands known to man!

Rolex was founded by Hans Wilhelm Wilsdorf and Alfred James Davis in 1915. Born in Germany, Wilsdorf was a writer for leading watch exporter Cuno Korten of Geneva, Switzerland. This provided him with massive exposure to the watch market, and he soon decided to become an expert timepiece developer.

Rolex History

Rolex Banner with Wilsdorf and Davis was originally founded in Chaux-De-Fonds

Rolex History

His pursuit led him to the study of Horology, or the science of creating accurate timepieces. In his first three attempts at creating watches, he wowed testers as all three passed with flying colors.  Wilsdorf felt that it was time to take his dream to the next level and decided that he would develop his own company. In 1905, he developed his first company with his brother-in-law Davis named Wilsdorf and Davis. The duo began importing top quality watches from Switzerland to England. In 1908, they registered the Rolex trademark and opened up an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and in 1915 the Rolex Company was founded.

Wonder why the duo chose the name Rolex above all other names? Wilsdorf felt that it is:

  1. Rolex is a word that can be easily pronounced in all languages
  2. It can easily be remembered
  3. It sounds like a watch being wound up if one carefully pronounced the name
Rolex Movement by Hans Wilsdorf

Rare movement with an engraving of Hans Wilsdorf

Rolex Watches and Precision

Following its inception, Rolex quickly caught the attention of experts who awarded Rolex a Class A Precision Certificate. This was quite amazing for Wilsdorf and Davis because the award was usually given to marine chronometers, i.e. watches developed to navigate the seas. This set Rolex apart from its competition and spelled out that these guys meant business! In 1919, the company was relocated to Geneva, Switzerland and continued to grow exponentially.

Vintage 5500 Explorer came out in the 70's.

The first Explorer was introduced by Rolex in 1953.

You would have to admit that it’s quite amazing what can happen when one follows his or her passion with focus, determination and a will for excellence! Rolex has become one of the most prestigious brands in history for more than its pretty face…more so because its creator’s sense of precision and purpose. If you are a Rolex owner or soon to own one, may you wear your new or used Rolex with pride!



Leave a Reply

The most trusted online retailer for pre-owned rolex watches
purchase with confidence

As the most trusted name in luxury watches, with the largest inventory on-hand and ready for immediate sale, Bob's Watches is the foremost destination to find the best in authentic, pre-owned luxury accessories. So whether on the hunt for a new pre-owned Ceramic No Date Submariner, or a vintage Paul Newman Daytona, Bob's is your primary source to find the best-of-the-best in pre-owned luxury goods at unbeatable prices.

Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.