If you’ve ever heard reference to a fine watch in a television show or movie, you’ve probably heard the name Rolex. You’ve probably also heard the term “Swiss watch.” Perhaps you already know what the term means, but if you’re not entirely sure, there’s a definition, and a long history to accompany that phrase.

What is a Swiss Watch?

Swiss Made is a label attached to anything made in Switzerland. In the case of watches, Swiss Watches are considered the pinnacle of fine watches, and have been highly valued for over a century and a half.

The first Swiss wristwatch is said to have been created by Patek Philippe in 1868, for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. Patek Philippe used the small design of other ornamental watches, such as pocket watches and arm watches, and adapted the design into a much more practical timepiece.

While this original wristwatch was more ornamental than functional, it paved the way for the modern wristwatch as we know it.

Wristwatches were worn almost exclusively by women in the beginning. They were considered too dainty and feminine for men, and so pocket watches and pendants continued in use by men until the 1880s.

At this time, practicality won out, and wristwatches began being mass produced first for the German military. These mass-produced watches were being made by the Swiss watch company Gerrard-Perreguax.

A Brief History of the Rolex Watch Company

You’ve probably heard of Rolex. It’s one of the most famous brands, and, in many cases, has become the kind of standard for fine watches. It is so well known, in fact, that Rolex has basically become the generic trademark of luxury watches.

While being the generic trademark isn’t that great, we’re sure Rolex does love being a name everyone around the world knows.

Hans Wilsdorf, and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, founded the Wilsdorf and Davis company in 1905. At that time, the brothers-in-law imported Swiss watch movements and put them into high quality watch cases made by another company.

Three years later, Wilsdorf got the name “Rolex” trademarked, and opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and then transitioned the company to the name Rolex in 1915. Theories postulate that the name Rolex was chosen by Wilsdorf to make sure the name could be pronounced in almost any language. No one is absolutely certain of where the name came from, but it is thought that Wilsdorf just made it up.

In 1919, Wilsdorf left Britain to avoid the wartime taxes, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland. At this time, the now famous company was established as the Rolex Watch Company.

Rolex Innovations

Rolex has had a rich history of creative innovations that have helped to keep the Swiss watchmaking industry moving forward. Some of these impressive actions have included:

  • The first honor as a chronometer certification for a wristwatch, in 1910.
  • The creation of their first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster, in 1926.
  • The creation of the first wristwatch with an automatic date change on the watch dial, in 1945.
  • The creation of the first wristwatch case that is waterproof up to 330 feet, in 1953.
  • The creation of the first wristwatch to show two time zones on the watch dial, in 1954.
  • The creation of the first wristwatch to show both a changing date and changing day on the watch dial, in 1956.

Rolex Watch Collections

Rolex Watch collection

Image via Property Room

Rolex watches are status symbols for many professionals in a variety of fields. With a variety of collections of gold watches for men, sports watches for men and women, and numerous others, Rolex has some of the finest options available. Current collections include:

Rolex Watches for Men

  • Day-Date 40
  • DateJust 41
  • Sky-Dweller
  • Pearlmaster 39
  • Oyster Perpetual 39
  • Air-King
  • Cosmograph Daytona
  • Submariner Date
  • Sea-Dweller
  • GMT-Master II
  • Yacht-Master II
  • Explorer II
  • Milgauss
  • Cellini Moonphase

Rolex Watches for Women

  • Lady-DateJust 28
  • Pearlmaster 39
  • Pearlmaster 34
  • Oyster Perpetual 34
  • Yacht-Master 37
  • Date 34
  • Oyster Perpetual 31
  • DateJust 31
  • DateJust 36

Each collection and model comes in a variety of colors and materials, including steel, white gold, yellow gold, diamonds, and Everose gold.

Purchasing Your Rolex Watch

Whether you’re shopping for Rolex watches for men or for women, you have a lot of options. Only retailers with reliable reputations should be trusted for these purchases. As Rolex has long been a status symbol, there are a lot of knock-offs on the market that will fail long before the genuine article would.

If you’re ready to purchase but don’t have enough set aside currently for the model you want, you should consider financing with companies like Tourneau or Bob’s Watches. Be sure to check any Better Business Bureau rating with any company before making such a purchase, however, and know exactly how much your payments will be before committing to a purchase of this nature.

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