The first is the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Founded in 1976 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Oyster watch, the awards recognise and support enterprising individuals from around the globe who initiate projects aimed at making the world a better place. Winners receive a cash grant to advance their projects, along with international media coverage. (Rolex Awards for Enterprise).
The second is the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, a biennial philanthropic programme launched in 2002 that brings together gifted young artists with globally recognised masters in the fields of architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theatre and visual arts, for a year of creative collaboration and one-to-one. (Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative)
The Rolex Institute was created by the brand to help support specific people and events in line with the brand's values, through two distincit programs.
Applications for the 2018 Rolex Awards for Enterprise are now open. Five Awards will be offered to Young Leaders who have a proposal to advance human knowledge or improve the quality of life on the planet. Applications must be broadly in the areas of the environment, applied science and technology, or exploration.
The following are the Rolex Award winners since 2000.
At the BaselWorld watch and jewellery show 2008, Rolex introduced an updated Sea-Dweller model named the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller Deepsea. Its reference number is 116660.
With an official depth rating of 3900 m, the Sea-Dweller deepsea represented in its launch year the most water resistant mechanical watch in serial production. To obtain this official depth rating, the Sea-Dweller deepsea is tested to a depth of 4875 m to offer the 25% safety reserve required by the ISO 6425 divers' watches standard. To test the water resistance of the Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA, Rolex uses testing equipment developed for them by Comex. Normal surface air filled watch cases and crystals designed for extreme depths must be large to cope with the water pressure. The Rolex Sea-Dweller deepsea watch case has a diameter of 44.0 mm mm and a thickness of 17.7 mm (domed crystal thickness 5.5 mm), and the case and bracelet weigh 212 g. Other features which came with the Deepsea at 2008 was the "Ringlock System" for sealing the sapphire crystal to the case, a caseback made of titanium/steel alloy, the "Glidelock-clasp" and diver extension link, "maxi-dial", engraved rehaut, ceramic bezel with platinum-filled numbers, calibre 3135 with antimagnetic Parachrome-Blue-hairspring and blue "Chromalight" loom.
The Rolex Watch Company improved Harwood's design in 1930 and used it as the basis for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, in which the centrally mounted semi-circular weight could rotate through a full 360° rather than the about 200° of the 'bumper' winder. Rolex's version also increased the amount of energy stored in the mainspring, allowing it to run autonomously for up to 35 hours.
Rolex SA is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland. Originally founded as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905, the company registered Rolex as the brand name of its watches in 1908 and became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. in 1915. After World War I, the company moved its base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland in order to avoid heavy taxation from a recovering post-war Britain, and in 1920 Hans Wilsdorf registered Montres Rolex SA in Geneva as the new company name which eventually became Rolex SA in later years. Since 1960, the company has been owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a private family trust.
Rolex SA and its subsidiary Montres Tudor SA design, manufacture, distribute and service wristwatches sold under the Rolex and Tudor brands. In 2018, Forbes ranked Rolex as the world's 71st most valuable brand. As of June 2019, among the world's top ten most expensive watches ever sold at auctions, three are Rolex watches. In particular, Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona currently holds the title of the second most expensive wristwatch and the third most expensive watch ever sold at auction, fetching 17.75 million US dollars in New York on October 26, 2017. Rolex is the largest manufacturer of Swiss made certified chronometers. In 2005, more than half the annual production of watches certified by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) were Rolexes. To date, Rolex still holds the record for the most certified chronometer movements in the category of wristwatches.
Material-wise, Rolex first used its "Cerachrom" ceramic bezel on the GMT-Master II in 2005, and has since then implemented ceramic bezel inserts across the range of professional sports watches. They are available on the Submariner, Sea Dweller, Deepsea, GMT Master II and Daytona models. In contrast to the aluminum bezel which it replaced, the ceramic bezel color does not wear out from explosure to UV-light and is very scratch resistant.
Rolex SA is owned by the private Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, which is registered as a charity and does not pay corporate income taxes. In 2011, a spokesman for Rolex declined to provide evidence regarding the amount of charitable donations made by the Wilsdorf Foundation. In Geneva where the company is based, it is said to have gifted, among many things, two housing buildings to social institutions of Geneva.
Having picked up the Grand Slam concept, which was originally launched by the three events acting in concert, the company have since established themselves as a leading sponsor within Three Day Eventing. Furthermore, they were title sponsors of the Rolex Kentucky Horse Trials until they abandoned eventing title sponsorship across the globe and dropped the sponsorship. The Rolex Kentucky Horse Trials is now the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, since Land Rover picked up the sponsorship. Rolex was the title sponsor of the event from 1981-2017. Rolex remains the official timepiece of the event.
The Rolex Milgauss series of antimagnetic certified chronometers was first manufactured in 1954 with the model 6541 for those working in nuclear, aircraft, and medical settings associated with strong magnetic fields. The watch has an advertised magnetic flux density resistance of 1 000 gauss within magnetic fields of 80 000 A/m. In 2007, after being out of production for nearly two decades a new Milgauss was introduced as the model number 116400.
According to the 2017 Brand Z report, the brand value is estimated $8.053 billion. Rolex watches continue to have a reputation as status symbols. It produces more than 800,000 timepieces each year. It is said that "The power of the Crown is never more felt than when trying to negotiate space in a retail environment for the product of another brand".
Tenzing Norgay and other members of the Hunt expedition wore Rolex Oysters in 1953 on Mount Everest but the only watch that Hillary wore to the summit was a Smiths De Luxe (currently on display at the Clockmakers' Museum within the Science Museum, London). Both Rolex and Smiths had claimed to the first to the summit and while feasible (eg if Hillary and/or Tenzing had carried both or if one had a Smiths and the other a Rolex) it was later admitted by Mr. R. A. Winter, Director of the Rolex Watch Co., Ltd that Hillary was only wearing one watch at the summit, "and that a Smiths watch." He goes on to congratulate Smiths "on the fact that their Smiths de Luxe ordinary wind wrist watch reached the summit with Sir Edmund Hillary." (BHI's Horological Journal, Letters, October 1953, 651) Also on the year 1953, one or several Rolex Oyster Perpetual (ref. 6098) whatches have been given to members of the Italian expedition "Sesto Continente", an exploration in the Red Sea, either underwater and on coasts of the surrounding countries- The expedition, organized and directed by Bruno Vailati, has been filmed in the homonymous documentary that was shot in the Red Sea and the Dahlak Islands and presented at the 15th Venice International Film Festival in 1954. The expedition included commander Raimondo Bucher as director of the sports section, accompanied by his wife Enza, Italian underwater hunting champion, Silverio Zecca, known as the amphibious man, the painter Priscilla Hastings, who would make her own works directly on the sea bed, the journalist Gianni Roghi, the hydrobiologists Francesco Baschieri Salvadori and Luigi Stuart Tovini of the University of Rome, dr. Alberto Grazioli, expedition doctor, film operator Masino Manunza and photographer Giorgio Ravelli. The Sesto Continente is a (edited 1954) film directed by Folco Quilici during the "National Underwater Expedition in the Red Sea" well organized by Bruno Vailati, the first in color in the history of Italian underwater cinema. The Rolex Oyster watches have been precious, and perfectly proper for the hard job to dive for thousand hours.
Certain models from the Date and Datejust are almost identical, however the Datejust have 36 mm and 41 mm cases paired with a 20 mm bracelet, compared to the Date's 34 mm case and 19 mm bracelet. Modern versions of the Oyster Perpetual Date and Datejust models share Rolex's 3135 movement, with the most recent change to the 3135 movement being the introduction of Rolex's "parachrom bleu" hairspring, which provides increased accuracy. As the Date and Datejust share a movement, both have the ability to adjust the date forward one day at a time without adjusting the time; this feature is not confined to the Datejust. Compared to the Date, the Datejust has a much wider range of customization options, including other metals beyond stainless steel, various materials for the dial, and optional diamonds on the dial and bezel. The Datejust II, which was released in 2009, has a bigger case (41mm diameter) than the standard Datejust and it also features an updated movement, being only available in steel with white, yellow or rose gold on an Oyster bracelet. In 2016, Rolex released the Datejust 41, which has the same 41mm diameter case as the Datejust II, however the Datejust 41 has smaller indexes and a thinner bezel compared to the Datejust II.
The 39 mm Rolex Explorer was designed as a "tool watch" for rugged use, hence its movement has Paraflex shock absorbers which gives them higher shock resistance than other Rolex watches. The 42mm Rolex Explorer II has some significant differences from the 39mm Explorer; the Explorer II adds a date function, and an orange 24-hour hand which is paired with the fixed bezel's black 24-hour markers for situations underground or around the poles where day cannot be distinguished from night.
The Explorer (1953) and Explorer II (1971) were developed specifically for explorers who would navigate rough terrain, such as the world-famous Mount Everest expeditions. Indeed, the Rolex Explorer was launched to celebrate the successful ascent of Everest in 1953 by the expeditionary team led by Sir John Hunt.
By the start of World War II Royal Air Force pilots were buying Rolex watches to replace their inferior standard-issue watches. However, when captured and sent to prisoner of war (POW) camps, their watches were confiscated. When Hans Wilsdorf heard of this, he offered to replace all watches that had been confiscated and not require payment until the end of the war, if the officers would write to Rolex and explain the circumstances of their loss and where they were being held. Wilsdorf was in personal charge of the scheme. As a result of this, an estimated 3,000 Rolex watches were ordered by British officers in the officer camp Oflag VII-B in Bavaria alone. This had the effect of raising the morale among the allied POWs because it indicated that Wilsdorf did not believe that the Axis powers would win the war. American servicemen heard about this when stationed in Europe during WWII and this helped open up the American market to Rolex after the war.