Rolex is undoubtedly one of the most famous luxury watch brands in the world and with good reason. “The only watch that matters” has graced the wrists of the great, the good, the afficianado and the lucky enough to own one for the last 125 years. But although it may be a household name, thanks to their secrecy and the discrete fashion the brand is managed, there are still things that many people don’t know about Rolex, here are our top 5:


1. Rolex was founded in the United Kingdom, not Switzerland

Yes, it’s true. Although it might rank amongst the most famous of famous luxury Swiss watch brands, Rolex was in fact founded in Blighty. Launching in 1905 under the auspices of 24 year old German immigrant, Hans Wilsdorf and his English brother-in-law Alfred Davis, the Rolex brand began life as more of a watch assembler than a watch maker, importing Swiss movement parts to fit to English cases. Rolex opened their first office in Switzerland in 1908, manufacturing the watches themselves, leaving the UK for good in 1919.

2. Rolex was the first brand to produce a waterproof wristwatch

Always at the forefront of horology, Rolex were the first brand to introduce a waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926, marking a major step forward in wristwatch design. Advertised as ‘the wonder watch’, the Rolex Oyster watch (so named after its similarities to a clamped Oyster shell)  featured a hermetically sealed case and screw-down back and bezel, capable of diving to depths of up to 100 meters.

3. Rolex found their own gold

You heard it, not content with using the everyday gold that other luxury Swiss watchmakers use, Rolex found their own. Though Rolex have a small number of suppliers that found the metal to make their steel watches (Rolex still work it in-house to manufacture their own parts mind you), all the platinum and gold used to make their more expensive watches is made (founded) in their own foundry. This way, Rolex are not only able to control and ensure the quality of their parts, but also guarantee that they look great too.

4. Rolex watches come in 26 languages

The day wheel on Rolex’s classic Day-Date mode, is available in a colossal 26 languages:  English, German, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Ethiopian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Dutch, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Moroccan, Norwegian, Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and Turkish. If you’d like your day wheel in another language or dialect be it real or fictional - Time 4 Diamonds can make it for you, contact us to find out more.

5. Nobody knows what the word ‘Rolex’ means

Noone. Unless, not that anyone knows about. Some sources claim that the Rolex name comes from a french phrase for exquisite horology - “horlogerie exquise”, though it’s never been confirmed by the brand or the founders. Some research suggests that the founders chose the Rolex name because it’s distinctive in every language -  but again, it remains unconfirmed. What do you think Rolex means? Leave us a comment below.

Is there a little known fact you know about Rolex? Leave a comment to let us know. Remember to follow Time 4 Diamonds on social media and subscribe to our Youtube channel to discover more about the world of luxury watches.