The success of Rolex is inextricably linked to the spirit of enterprise of its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. Wilsdorf, a visionary entrepreneur officially filed and registered ‘Rolex’ as a brand name in Switzerland on 2 July 1908. Why the name Rolex though? According to Wilsdorf it was short, with no more than five letters, easy to pronounce in every language, had a good ring to it, was easy to remember and looked good on movements and dials. But the name was just the beginning of this journey. The next challenge was to convince the retailers to include the name ‘Rolex’ on the watches they sold. At the time, each retailer wanted to place their own name on the dial and not reveal the name of the supplier or manufacturer.
In 1926, the year of the launch of the Oyster, Rolex’s waterproof wristwatch, Hans Wilsdorf vowed that, from that date forth, no single watch would be delivered without the ‘Rolex’ brand name figuring on its dial, case and movement. Rolex was now a watchmaking brand in its own right and the rest is history as we know.