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Hans Wildorf founded Rolex in 1905, with the ultimate goal of making high precision wristwatches.  The name Rolex was trademarked in 1908 and chosen because it was short, easy to say in any language, and looked good in print.  Rolex has since become synonymous with a strong, no compromise luxury watch.  Rolex innovations are a list of such vital importance, it is easy to take them for granted.  Some examples are:

1926 - The Oyster waterproof case

1931 - The Perpetual Winding Rotor, the first self winding watch with a central rotor

1945 - The Datejust, the first date displayed in a window

1953 - The Submariner, the first watch waterproof to 100m

1956 -The GMT-Master, the first watch capable of tracking local and GMT time

1956 - The Day-Date, the first day spelled out completely

and many, many more. 

 

Rolex has accompanied explorers from the bottom of the ocean (the 1st Mariana Trench expedition) to the top of the world (1st summit of Mt Everest) and has been the choice of explorers and leaders of all stripes ever since.