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Rolex and Exploration, A History

For over a century, Rolex has devoted all of its creative energy to manufacturing models that correspond, everywhere and in every way, to the fundamental aspirations of the people who wear them.

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It is no accident that the brand has become a symbol of quality, precision and prestige – an absolute reference, particularly in the demanding world of exploration.

Exploration knows no limits. In space or in time. Everything is in the approach, the angle of vision, the personal and unique perception of the world and its inhabitants. In 1905 London, Hans Wilsdorf founded a company specializing in the distribution of timepieces in Great Britain and the countries of the British Empire. He foresaw that the wristwatch would become the predominant timepiece for everyone, if it was precise, robust, waterproof and reliable. Hans Wilsdorf decided that he wanted to sign his creations and in 1908 he invented the name Rolex.

Since the creation of the Oyster, Rolex has constantly braved the elements on every terrain, everywhere on the planet. Reliable, robust, waterproof, precise: The Oyster, from the beginning, possessed all the characteristics required to be worn on the wrists of determined men and women as they sought to test themselves against the limits of the world.

Rolex and Exploration, A History 1

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Rolex then went on to partner with generations of explorers seeking to fulfil ideals, setting off to conquer the world and realize their dreams, from the depths of the oceans to the highest mountain tops, into the bowels of the earth and to far-flung corners of the planet.

The world is a laboratory under real conditions; for explorers it’s about the choice of paths, equipment and goals, while for Rolex it’s about the pursuit of perfection in its field: designing and manufacturing watches of exceptional technical and aesthetic quality. The brand has enabled explorers to know the time, precisely and reliably, night and day, under extreme conditions, while explorers have, through their experience in the field, helped Rolex to continuously perfect its models, to invent and move forward.

Starting from 1927, a young English swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, swam across the English Channel equipped with an Oyster. When she completed her swim, the watch was in perfect working order. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, published a full-page advertisement on the front page of the British newspaper the Daily Mail to celebrate this exceptional event and mark the beginning of “the triumphant march of the Rolex Oyster around the world. Showcasing perfectly that the world is a laboratory in which Rolex creates and tests its models under real conditions.

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