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The history of Rolex

Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis, Rolex has a rich history that has become synonymous with luxury, precision and craftsmanship in the world of watches. It all began in London, where Wilsdorf and Davis initially dealt in watches and timepieces. In 1908, they registered the name "Rolex" as a trademark in Geneva, Switzerland, a move that paved the way for the iconic brand we know today.

In its early years, Rolex focused on perfecting the accuracy of watches. In 1910, a Rolex watch received the first Swiss certificate for chronometric precision, laying the foundation for Rolex's pursuit of chronometric excellence. The brand quickly established itself as a pioneer in the watch industry, constantly striving for innovations that improved watch performance and durability.

Rolex watch

Rolex Extraordinary marketing stunts

A turning point in Rolex's history came in 1926, when the brand introduced the world's first waterproof watch, the Rolex Oyster. The revolutionary design of the Oyster case, with a screw-in crown and case, made the watch waterproof and dustproof. To prove this, Rolex performed a bold publicity stunt: the watch was attached to the outside of a swimming English Channel swimmer and continued to function perfectly. This event established Rolex's reputation as a brand that not only strived for technical excellence, but also dared to push the boundaries.

In the following decades, Rolex continued to lead the watch industry with innovative technologies and design concepts. In 1931, Rolex introduced the automatic winding mechanism with the launch of the Perpetual rotor, an invention that later became the standard for automatic watches. During World War II, Rolex was known for providing reliable watches to pilots and military personnel, which contributed to the brand's worldwide fame.

The 1950s saw the birth of two of the most iconic Rolex models: the Submariner and the Explorer. The Submariner, introduced in 1953, was the world's first diving watch waterproof to 100 meters. The Explorer, launched in 1953 in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's ascent of Mount Everest, embodied the spirit of adventure and discovery.

The 1960s brought the launch of the Rolex Daytona, originally designed for car racing. The watch later gained additional fame when it became a favorite of actor Paul Newman, earning it the nickname "Paul Newman Daytona" and making it one of the most sought-after and valuable watches among collectors.

In subsequent decades, Rolex continued to innovate and expand, introducing new materials such as the use of sapphire crystal for its watch lenses and developing new watch technologies. The brand has maintained its position as a symbol of style, status and success, with a wide and diverse range of models that appeal to different tastes and lifestyles.

Today, Rolex remains one of the most influential and recognizable watch brands in the world. Rolex's history is steeped in innovation, craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to precision, giving the brand a timeless and coveted position in the world of luxury watches.

Craftsmanship and Quality

What sets Rolex apart from other watch brands is its unparalleled craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each Rolex watch is assembled by hand by highly skilled watchmakers who carry on the brand's tradition. These watchmakers are masters of their craft and have years of experience working with the finest materials and complex watch mechanisms.

Every component of a Rolex watch is carefully manufactured and tested to ensure the highest standards of precision and reliability. Rolex uses the finest materials, including high-grade stainless steel, 18-karat gold and platinum. Watch cases and bracelets are crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail, resulting in an unparalleled finish.

Rolex watches are subjected to rigorous quality control and extensive testing procedures to ensure that they meet the brand's high standards. Each watch is individually tested and adjusted before it leaves the factory. This dedication to quality has earned Rolex a reputation as one of the most reliable watch brands in the world.

Moreover, Rolex has its own laboratory, where the brand researches new materials and technologies. For example, Rolex has its own gold foundry, where it produces its own 18-carat gold alloys. This allows the brand to have complete control over the quality and color of the gold used.

The pursuit of perfection is not limited to the mechanical aspects of Rolex watches. Design and aesthetics are also carefully considered. Rolex watches are timeless and have a recognizable style that sets the brand apart from other watch brands. The dials are clearly legible and feature elegant details, while the watch cases strike a perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.

Timeless Designs

The Rolex collection is known worldwide for its timeless designs that strike the perfect balance between elegance and functionality. Each watch embodies craftsmanship and precision, making them not only time-measuring instruments but also timeless style statements. Whether it is the classic Submariner, the refined Datejust model or the sporty Daytona, Rolex's designs remain iconic and inspire admiration across generations. This collection reflects the timeless aesthetic that has made Rolex synonymous with luxury watches.

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is an iconic diving watch known for its impressive water resistance and timeless design. With a rotating bezel for measuring elapsed time underwater and an easy-to-read dial, the watch combines functionality with elegance. Made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel, the Submariner is durable and suitable for everyday use. Equipped with the reliable Rolex Caliber movement, it is not only beloved among divers but also a symbol of status and style, often seen on the wrists of celebrities. With its timeless design, the Submariner remains a coveted watch within the Rolex collection.

Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona was carefully designed for speed and precision on the race track. With a unique tachymeter scale on the bezel and a sophisticated mechanical movement, the watch offers not only functional accuracy but also timeless aesthetic appeal. Beloved by racing enthusiasts and watch collectors alike, the Daytona represents a fusion of technical excellence and sporty elegance, with choices of various materials and dial options.

Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust exudes class and sophistication. With its distinctive date display and recognizable Cyclops lens, this Rolex watch offers not only precision in timekeeping, but also elegant design. This versatile watch perfectly suits any occasion, from formal occasions to everyday use. The variety of materials and the choice between different dials and bezels allow wearers to express their own style. Whether a timeless steel version or a more luxurious model with gold accents, the Rolex Datejust embodies craftsmanship and remains a symbol of timeless elegance and individuality.

Rolex GMT-Master

The Rolex GMT-Master is a timeless watch designed for world travelers and aviation professionals. It is characterized by the 24-hour bezel, which allows easy reading of two different time zones. With high-quality materials and various color combinations, such as the famous "Pepsi" and "Batman" bezels, the GMT-Master offers both functionality and style. The watch remains a favorite for those who value precision, craftsmanship and a touch of adventure in their daily lives.

Sky-Dweller

The Rolex Sky-Dweller is a contemporary masterpiece that combines innovation and elegance. With a convenient dual-time function and annual calendar, this Rolex watch is ideal for travelers and business people. The signature Ring Command bezel and use of luxurious materials underscore the Sky-Dweller's functionality and style, making it an essential accessory for those who appreciate precision and sophistication.

Day-Date

The Rolex Day-Date, also known as the "President's Watch," is a symbol of luxury and prestige. With the unique ability to display both the day and date, this watch offers both functionality and elegance. Made of high-quality materials and with a timeless design, the Day-Date remains a favorite among leaders and lovers of sophisticated watches, making it an icon of success and style.

Oyster Perpetual

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is a timeless watch that combines craftsmanship and simplicity. With its iconic waterproof Oyster case and self-winding Perpetual movement, this watch embodies Rolex's original innovations. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, the Oyster Perpetual represents Rolex's timeless elegance with a focus on durability and simplicity. It is a classic Rolex watch that reflects the brand's core values.

Sea-Dweller

The Rolex Sea-Dweller is designed specifically for deep-sea divers, with an emphasis on extreme water resistance and reliability. Equipped with a helium valve for decompression, this Rolex watch is both functional and robust, with an Oyster case that guarantees water resistance. An icon of reliability and technical excellence, the Sea-Dweller is an indispensable companion for diving adventures.

Milgauss

The Rolex Milgauss is designed for professionals working in magnetically demanding environments. With resistance up to 1,000 gauss, this Rolex watch offers reliable precision. Its distinctive design, featuring the lightning bolt second hand and orange accents, combines functionality with style. Made of high-quality stainless steel, the Milgauss exudes both robustness and sophistication, and is a reliable companion for those who value precision and technological innovation.

Explorer

The Rolex Explorer is a watch designed for adventure and discovery. With its minimalist design and durable materials, including stainless steel, it is a reliable companion for adventurers. Whether you are climbing mountains or looking for a stylish watch with an adventurous spirit, the Rolex Explorer offers reliability in a timeless design. It is a tribute to those who want to explore the world and reach new heights.

Air-King

The Rolex Air-King is a tribute to aviation history with a focus on functionality and legibility. The watch, with its bright dial and Oyster case, embodies the pioneering spirit of aviation. Whether you're interested in aviation history or looking for a stylish and functional watch, the Air-King offers a timeless choice that continues Rolex's legacy.

Deapsea

The Rolex Deepsea is designed for extreme deep-sea diving adventures. With a watch case made of rugged materials and the innovative Ring Lock System, the watch can withstand high water pressure up to a depth of 3,900 meters. A symbol of unparalleled performance underwater, the Rolex Deepsea is the perfect companion for professional divers and lovers of extreme watch technology.

Rolex Watches for Men: Subtle Diversity in Sizes

For men, Rolex offers a diverse collection of watches with carefully chosen sizes and models. The classic Rolex Explorer, with a case diameter of 39 mm, exudes understated elegance, perfect for everyday use. For a more powerful look, there is the Submariner, with 40 mm, a robust model suitable for sporting adventures. The Datejust, a timeless model with sizes ranging from 36 mm (Unisex) to 41 mm, offers versatility for different wrist sizes and style preferences. The Daytona, with a case diameter of 40 mm, combines sportiness with sophistication, while the Day-Date, available in 36 mm and 40 mm, is a symbol of luxury. View our full range of Rolex watches for men in our complete men's collection.

Rolex Watches for Ladies: Sophisticated Elegant Choices

For ladies, Rolex presents a series of sophisticated watches with carefully matched sizes and models. The Lady-Datejust, with case diameters ranging from 26 mm to 31 mm, exudes subtle elegance. For a more everyday look, there is the Oyster Perpetual, available in sizes ranging from 26 mm to 41 mm. The Yacht-Master with a case diameter of 37 mm, offers a balance between style and comfort. In short, Rolex watches for ladies present a range of sizes and models, allowing every woman to find her perfect combination of sophistication and wearability. View our full range of Rolex watches for women in our complete women's collection.

The ultimate Prestige

Rolex watches are more than just time pieces; they represent a lifestyle and status. Wearing a Rolex is a symbol of success and sophistication. Rolex watches have always been the choice of world leaders, celebrities and visionaries, and are considered the ultimate status symbols.

Rolex's heritage and reputation contribute to its allure and prestige. The brand has a long history of association with important events and achievements. Rolex watches have been worn by explorers, sports icons and visionary leaders around the world. These watches have adorned the wrists of pioneers in aviation, expeditions to the deep sea, mountaineering and other pioneering achievements.

Rolex is also closely associated with the world of sports. The brand has long been involved in several sports, including tennis, sailing, golf and auto racing. Rolex is official timekeeper of prestigious events such as Wimbledon, the Masters golf, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Through these collaborations, Rolex is associated with top performance and exceptional skills.

Wearing a Rolex watch not only exudes success and prestige, but it also provides a sense of self-confidence and self-worth. Rolex watches are often passed down from generation to generation and cherished as heirlooms. Owning a Rolex is an investment in craftsmanship, quality and timeless beauty.

What is the Price of a Rolex: Catalog versus Market Price

Prices of Rolex watches vary considerably and are influenced by several factors, including model, material and availability. List prices for entry-level models, such as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, often start around €5,000 to €7,000. Iconic models, such as the Submariner or the Daytona, can have list prices ranging from €10,000 to €90,000, depending on specific features such as materials and functions. 

However, it is important to note that some popular models are difficult to obtain from official Rolex boutiques due to high demand and limited production numbers. This has led to a market where prices on the secondary market can be significantly higher than list prices. 

The market prices for coveted models can vary, but in some cases prices can be significantly higher. For example, a GMT-Master originally offered for €11,000 may cost €21,000 on the secondary market, depending on scarcity and popularity. 

Thus, buying a Rolex is not only a financial investment, but also a strategic choice. While list prices give an indication of the initial cost, the market price can vary significantly based on availability and demand. Obtaining a coveted Rolex watch can be a delicate balance between managing budgets and realizing the dream of owning a piece of timeless elegance.

Vintage and Occasie Rolex

The world of vintage and used Rolex watches offers watch lovers the opportunity to embrace a piece of history at often more accessible prices than new models. Prices vary considerably, as Rolex's collection covers a wide range of models, but in general, vintage and used watches are slightly kinder to the wallet than their brand-new counterparts.

Vintage Rolex watches, dating back to the brand's early days, are often considered collectibles and can vary widely in both price and rarity. For example, a vintage Submariner from the 1960s may be more expensive than a recent model, while a vintage Oyster Precision may be a more affordable option for those looking for classic charm.

Occasional Rolex watches, which are offered second-hand but are still in excellent condition, are also popular on the market. Prices for used models can depend on factors such as age, condition and rarity. A second-hand Datejust or Explorer can often cost significantly less than the newest model, while still retaining Rolex's unmistakable style and quality.

In the world of vintage and used Rolex, the diversity of models is great, and prices reflect this variation. Overall, however, this market offers an opportunity for enthusiasts to acquire a piece of timeless luxury without paying the price of a brand new watch. It is a journey through time, worn on the wrist of history, and an affordable way to embrace Rolex's unique heritage.

Rolex watches as an investment

Rolex has earned an unparalleled reputation for decades, but did you know that Rolex watches can also be excellent investments? In this article, we delve into why Rolex watches can be an attractive investment opportunity, offering valuable insights for watch collectors and investors alike.

 

Historical value and brand reputation

Rolex has a rich history dating back to 1905, and the brand has consistently proven to be a pioneer in the watchmaking world. The iconic design, technical innovations and impeccable quality of Rolex watches have made the brand recognized worldwide as a symbol of success and sophistication. This historical value and brand reputation contribute to the value retention and rising prices of Rolex watches in the secondary market.

Limited availability and exclusivity

Rolex is known for its strict control over the production and distribution of watches. The brand maintains a policy of limited availability, deliberately limiting the number of watches produced each year. This creates a sense of exclusivity and scarcity around Rolex watches, which increases demand and ultimately their value. Investors realize that the limited availability of Rolex watches may lead to further increasing demand and prices in the future.

Price appreciation and value retention

Historically, Rolex watches have held their value and tended to increase in value over time. Many popular Rolex models have steadily increased in price over the past few decades, sometimes by significant percentages. This makes Rolex watches an attractive investment option for those looking for a stable store of value. Moreover, unlike some other luxury brands, Rolex offers an excellent international sales network and an established secondary market, making it easier to buy or sell.

The importance of getting it right:

When investing in Rolex watches, it is essential to make the right choices. Not every Rolex model will be equally valuable, and factors such as rarity, popularity and condition of the watch play a crucial role in determining future value. It is important to do thorough research, follow trends in the market and seek advice from experts to make informed decisions when selecting Rolex watches as an investment.

What does a Rolex cost in maintenance?

Rolex watches are known for their outstanding quality and reliability. These Swiss-made timepieces are manufactured with care and craftsmanship. Although Rolex watches generally require little maintenance compared to other brands, periodic maintenance is still important to ensure the performance and longevity of your Rolex. In this article, we will explore the cost of maintaining a Rolex watch, keeping in mind that they are generally less maintenance intensive.

Rolex typically recommends a service interval of about 10 years for mechanical Rolex watches. This means that you should have your watch serviced every 8 to 10 years. Periodic maintenance of a Rolex watch includes several tasks, such as cleaning, lubrication, adjustment and functionality testing. Costs vary depending on the model, age and overall condition of the watch. In general, you can expect an average cost between €300 and €700 for a standard service. For more complex models, such as chronographs or watches with complications, the cost may be higher. 

vintage rolex watch


Why a vintage Rolex?

 

Although Rolex watches have continuously innovated through time, vintage Rolexes have never lost their value. Iconic vintage models, such as the Rolex Submariner, are always increasing in value and each piece carries a unique story. Each watch’s characteristic is a special one, and all vintage Rolex watches are indeed special.

Some vintage Rolex watches have a discoloured dial, which collectors will value at higher prices than one in a perfect state. This is because the organic paint that they used could discolour, making these watches special and thus increasing their value.

But that’s not all that makes our vintage Rolex collection special. New Rolex watches are noticeably larger than their vintage counterparts. Where current watches often have a diameter of 40 mm or more, they used to be around 36 mm. Vintage Rolexes are thus smaller than they are now, giving a slightly more humble impression without compromising on style and quality.

Buy Rolex

In addition to new Rolex watches, you will also find pre-owned and vintage rolex watches for sale in our collection. We take the time to carefully select and check each watch for authenticity and quality. Our collection includes popular models such as the Submariner, Daytona, Datejust, GMT-Master and more. Whether you are looking for a sporty dive watch or an elegant dress watch, we have a wide range of options to meet your preferences.

We understand that buying a Rolex is an investment, which is why we value authenticity and quality. Every watch in our collection is carefully checked by our experts to ensure that it is an authentic Rolex watch. We work with renowned watchmakers and have a thorough knowledge of the history and characteristics of Rolex watches.

We strive to provide you with the best shopping experience possible. We understand that buying a vintage Rolex is a personal choice, and we are ready to help you make the right decision. We are ready to answer all of your questions and provide you with sound advice. Whether you need more information about the condition of a watch, want help choosing the perfect watch, or want to see your watch in person, we are here to help. Please feel free to Contact us!

Are you ready to buy a unique and stylish Rolex watch? Visit our website and discover our stunning collection. With our carefully selected watches, attention to authenticity and excellent customer service, we offer the ultimate experience for buying Rolex watches. Start your search for the perfect watch today and experience the timeless beauty of a Rolex.

Do you want to Sell your Rolex? This is also possible at Timepieces Belgium. We always offer you the best price.

Are you not looking for a Rolex but rather a Cartier or Omega watch. Don’t hesitate to delve into our complete collection.

FAQ

Timepieces Belgium guarantees that all watches in our collection are 100% authentic and have been checked for authenticity by our experts.

We ship our watches fully insured via DHL Express. You can be sure that your purchase will be shipped with care.

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