This #flashbackfriday we wanted to take a look back on some industry changing innovations released by Rolex over the years.
One of the reasons Rolex watches are incredibly renown is due to their ingenuity and their execution of testing these innovations. Not only releasing the first waterproof case, they are also known for the release of the first self-winding watch and the first watch with a date. These are only the tip of the iceberg in the innovations that has propelled Rolex to the company it is today. Before cell phones existed, it was the innovations in watches that made different timepieces renown and usable as daily tools for different activities. In addition to the innovations, Rolex established itself with a reliable reputation. All of their timepieces that released new innovations were tested by ambassadors of the company.
Truly a groundbreaking company, one of the most notorious innovations was the release of the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926. The watch was “swimmer approved” by Mercedes Gleitz, the first woman to swim the English Channel. While she did not complete the channel swim on that attempt, she did wear the Rolex oyster case around her neck. With the watch case submerged in cold water for hours, it still kept time - not only increasing brand awareness but also the public’s opinion of Rolex’s quality and reliability.
Rolex has changed the world with their watch innovations. In 1945 Rolex released the datejust. The datejust was the first watch that had a function that could automatically change the date. With no detail being overlooked, the date window was placed at the 3 o’clock hour position because most watch wearers wore their watch on their left hand. This position of the date window has persisted throughout most designs today.
Image by @mo_watches
Then, in 1954, the iconic Rolex Submariner was released. This new watch was released with the twin lock crown system that allowed for the new capability of reaching 100 meters water resistant. Again, the Rolex Submariner was tested under harsh conditions to ensure reliability. This watch became an icon because it was worn by James Bond, as well as countless other celebrities and prominent people.
Also in 1954, another Rolex model was released and recognized to be a huge breakthrough for the time-telling world. Pan Am wanted to provide a watch for their pilots that could display multiple time zones. Thus, the GMT was released. By adding a 24 hour hand and a rotating bezel, the GMT provided pilots with a way to tell multiple timezones at once. With Pan Am pilots around the world becoming Rolex ambassadors with this release of the GMT, Rolex once again established reliability with their innovations.
Image by @tom.inslay
By using brand ambassadors to market their timepieces as the reliable option for everyday wear, extreme activities and everywhere in between, Rolex is known throughout the world. Rolex has established itself as a reputable company that has released and will continue to release timepieces for generations.