15 Things You Didn’t Know About ROLEX

15 Things You Didn’t Know About ROLEX


fifteen things you didn’t know about Rolex welcome to a Lux calm the place where future billionaires come to get inspired hello in lectures we’re very excited to have you with us today as we talk about what many consider the most iconic luxury watch brand in the world oh yes it’s here we finally made a video on Rolex a pioneer of luxury watch making and the name more synonymous with opulent timepieces than any other watchmaker in the industry a Rolex was established 112 years ago in 1905 by a German and Brit Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis contrary to what most people think it all started in London not Geneva today the company is privately owned by the Hans Wilsdorf foundation and has grown into an 8.8 billion dollar brand last year they generated almost 5 billion dollars in sales making Rolex ranked 64th in the world’s most valuable brands list here at a Lex comm we strongly believe that a true luxury brand should have a crown for its logo and Rolex has always been a brand we looked up to so if we ever made a video on them we had to get it right enough with the introduction let’s get to it here are 15 things you didn’t know about Rolex number one the Rolex name doesn’t mean anything it just sounds expensive Hans Wilsdorf one of the two founders of Rolex wanted to choose a name that would be resonant and easy to pronounce for all people of all languages he knew it should be short and had to look good when embedded on a watch he decided it should be five letters long so he started making thousands of combinations from all the letters in the alphabet he nailed down around a hundred names but none of them really struck a chord with him until one day as described by the man himself and history was made so now you know the name is of divine inspiration but it didn’t actually stand for anything when it was made up they picked it because of its simplicity and because it sounds expensive number two they moved from London to Geneva not because it’s where the best watches in the world are made but in order to cut down on taxes the business was started in 1905 by a 24 year old with his brother-in-law they used to import the individual pieces and put them together themselves three years later they decided to make the pieces themselves Rolex officially left London in 1919 because the war import taxes were rising fast and Switzerland made perfect sense for its neutral position and the fact that skilled labour was available in the region not only that but as we’ve mentioned before Switzerland is also a tax haven so it was the obvious choice to make the move here’s where it gets interesting and this isn’t mentioned in any other video about Rolex number three Rolex is actually a charity when we wanted to check Rolexes financial records for this video we discovered something suspicious Rolex is actually registered under a charity in Switzerland how about that let us shed some light on this we know some of you guys actually skip the intro to our video shame on you in it we mentioned how Rolex is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf foundation the Hans Wilsdorf foundation was founded in 1944 following the death of those drops of wine all of the ownership shares of Rolex have been transferred to the foundation along with clear and strict instructions on how to handle the finances for the company according to Swiss law private charities do not need to disclose their respective charitable activities and as per the company the donations are kept a secret there has been no confirmation regarding whether anyone has ever received a charity donation from this foundation furthermore since technically the Rolex brand is owned by a charity they also get some major tax cuts if you want to learn more about how to do things like this we may video on the countries where billionaires hide their money it’s definitely worth watching now before you guys change your impression of Rolex it’s important to keep in mind that the company was the only thing Hans had in his life he owned all the shares and didn’t have children so his goal with this move was to ensure the company will survive even today the company doesn’t have owners or shareholders they are just custodians so they don’t own any of it the employees are paid incredibly well and since there’s no pressure to generate profits for shareholders the company can simply reinvest all of it to escape taxes and perpetuate their efforts to perfect their craft number four it takes almost one year to make one Rolex watch this is what makes Rolex watches so damn expensive believe it or not the watches are all handmade despite rolling out thousands of watches every year from its factory each Rolex watch is still individually crafted there is the same hallmark dedication to quality each individual watch is rigorously tested in stress and pressure tests to ensure they meet Rolex as high standards the only parts done by robots and machines are those where the robots proved to achieve a better end product than a skill human worker ever could the extensive testing they do on every single watch is time-consuming so it’s not unlikely for a watch to take an entire year before it goes out to the market we know this is an example we’ve used before but this is a great time to remember that it takes 13 hours to build a Toyota car just saying this tradition of excellence continues today and this is probably why Rolex remains a coveted brand by watch enthusiasts all around the world number five the most expensive Rolex watch in the world is the 1950 ex Rolex GMT master which was sold for 3.5 million dollars the 1958 Rolex GMT master was sold just a few months ago at Philips auction house in Geneva this watch was made in 18 karat gold one of its distinctive features his it’s striking bakelite cognac round bezel it is rare because most rolex gmt watches were made in stainless steel instead of gold for 58 years this particular rolex gmt master was preserved in its unrestored and original condition but still what makes this watch worth three point five million dollars something few people know about Rolex is that they have their own private gold foundry yes people Rolex makes its own gold they actually have patents on three gold blends and a specific steel compound called 904 L it’s no secret that Rolex makes almost all of their parts in-house but to go to the extent of making your own type of gold caught us by surprise apparently this particular watch has a unique blend of gold which was never used again making it the holy grail of Rolex collectors despite it being so amazing we just wanted to point out that this watch didn’t even make our top ten most expensive watches in the world video that’s just something to think about and maybe you’ll want to watch that one next number six the cheapest Rolex is called the air King and it costs $2,200 yes you can buy an original brand new Rolex for only twenty two hundred dollars it gets the same level of attention but it isn’t as complex as the rest of the rolex watches the thing is Rolex watches weren’t that expensive in the beginning for example in 1981 a premium Rolex watch would cost around $900 but within less than 10 years the price had jumped to twenty-three hundred and fifty dollars for the same model with little changes after that they figured out the higher the price and the attention to detail actually work to their advantage and today you can expect to pay around eight to ten thousand dollars for an entry-level Rolex if you’re feeling like shopping for watches at a luxe calm slash shop we have a pretty decent collection of Rolex watches number seven the first ever waterproof wristwatch was built by Rolex in 1926 the Rolex Oyster created in 1926 is the first actual waterproof and also dust proof wristwatch ever to be made every other waterproof wristwatch in the world is a mirror descendant of this particular watch it even coined the term oyster which is still used for waterproof Rolex models today from the day date to the Daytona when Mercedes flights the first British woman to ever swim the English Channel was preparing for her second attempt to swim across she received a Rolex Oyster from Rolex founder Hans volter himself to take with her on the swim glides actually wore the watch around her neck not her wrist and when she was pulled out half conscious after 10 hours in icy cold water the inside of the Rolex was completely dry certainly a shrewd publicity move on Hans volter side number 8 Rolex was the first ever wristwatch to receive a class-a chronometer certificate for those of you who don’t know what chronometer testing is it’s a measurement of wristwatches accuracy and precision it basically certifies that a particular model is incredibly accurate on July 15th 1914 back when Rolex was still based in London a tiny Rolex wristwatch labeled keyless crystal to line bracelet watch was the first wristwatch to ever receive a Class A chronometer certificate from the Q Observatory in Great Britain which was considered a hallmark of excellence this was never achieved before by any wristwatch and this type of performance could be attained only by large ultra complex mechanical watches one of the rules of excellence Rolex has set four so is that every single Rolex piece produced is not delivered before it’s put through 15 days and nights of rigorous testing by the Swiss official chronometer Testing Institute yes they do that with every watch no wonder it takes an entire year to get one of these out even more so in 2016 Rolex once again changed the game while most high-end luxury watches are in the plus 2-6 area of error they decided to subject its entire production line to a plus or minus two per day chronometer standard which is one of the highest levels of accuracy among watchmakers worldwide they’re actually pushing this as a standard for luxury watches and their move wasn’t so well-received by the rest of the industry number nine Rolex proved that their watches can survive anywhere on earth after the war ended Rolex is reputation grew after a British Himalayan expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary reached the top of Mount Everest for the first time in 1953 despite the harsh conditions and high altitude the Rolex watches being worn by all the team members never broke down or even lost a second in 1960 the US Navy sent a specially designed research submarine down to 35 thousand seven hundred and ninety eight feet below sea level in what we know as the Mariana Trench and it so happens to read in deepest spot over Earth’s crust out of curiosity a Rolex was attached to the outside of the vessel and shockingly it ran without losing a second despite enduring extreme pressures just to flex again they went ahead and repeated the gig in 2012 when Rolex took part in the deep sea challenge expedition led by filmmaker James Cameron who made Titanic and Avatar in partnership with National Geographic they had it outside the submarine and operated it via a robotic arm the watch performed excellently number 10 this is how you tell if a Rolex is a fake hey ale Xers let’s get this straight you should never buy a fake if you can’t afford it buy a cheaper but original brand you’re not doing anyone any favors by buying replicas we wanted to get this out of the way since between 15 and 30 percent of searches related to watches on Google are related to replica rule of thumb here is quality which stands the test of time so even use you’ll never find a Rolex for under $1,000 to educate you guys just a little bit there are three areas where watches are sold the white area which means real dealerships with authorized retailers in premium locations gray area which means people who sell what might be real watches but without a license and authorization and the black area those who sell fake watches before you get your hopes up there are very little sellers in the gray area and you would need a highly trained friend in the watchmaking industry to prove a Rolex is real when it isn’t sold with a license by the way did you know strippers are actually trained to slot a fake Rolex watch here’s what you need to look for to tell if a Rolex is a replica or the real deal first and easiest red flag to spot just look at the second hand of the watch real Rolex is run smoothly in a continuous form they don’t skip from one second to the other in the words of jay-z roly’s that don’t tick-tock secondly the Cyclops lens on the face of the true Rolex will magnify the date so it’s hard to replicate so most counterfeit timepieces will skip this step and the date will appear the same size it should also be dead-on over the date thirdly just look closely at the finishing of the end product we mentioned how hard it is to put together a genuine watch and how attentive to detail they really are so no cheap materials everything should be like a million bucks on it there should be a serial number when the strap connects and if anything feels fishy it’s probably a fake one of the things that’s worth looking for is starting with the year 2000 Rolex in their crown logo very smoothly where the six o’clock should be it’s very hard to spot it and incredibly hard to replicate as the glass is of such high-end quality that it can only be cut by diamond this is done with incredible accuracy and should almost be invisible to the human eye number eleven Rolex caught scammed of almost 1 billion dollars by Bernie Madoff in 2008 the watch world was stunned when Hans Wilsdorf Foundation CEO Patrick heininger stepped down for personal reasons he and his father Andre had run the organization since those Orff’s death in 1960 and there were no warning signs that their dynasty was about to end turns out Rolex had a very serious investment in Bernie Madoff 65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme long story short until 2009 this guy ran what might have been the world’s biggest investment scam he caught caught and sentenced to 150 years in jail turns out Rolex was one of the companies investing in Bernie’s Fund and despite the official stance of the company denying the claim ironically Rolex was Bernie Madoff favorite watch friend and his entire collection of luxury watches was auctioned off after he went to prison in order to recoup some of the money only six hundred thousand dollars was raised speaking of crimes this isn’t the only one Rolex was involved in number 12 a Rolex watch helped solve a murder committed by Canada’s most wanted criminal in 1996 the crime happened in London Albert Walker Johnson was a high school dropout and scam artists from Paris Canada who scammed 70 clients out of 3.2 million dollars through her mortgage and investment scam wanted by Canadian police he fled to England with one of his three daughters he started a new investment business with another Canadian expat named Ronald Joseph plant when Platt moved back to Canada Johnson assumed his identity with his 15 year old daughter posing as his wife to avoid Interpol but when Platt returned to England in 1996 Jean and decided to kill him he would have gotten away with it too if he was smart enough to take off Platts Rolex before dumping him in the English Channel after two weeks in the water the only identifiable thing was his still working waterproof Rolex through service records the police identified the body as Platt and it didn’t take long to track down Walker he’s now in prison serving a life sentence number 13 Rolex is the official timekeeper for the Wimbledon tournament if you’re a true and Luxor your sports interests go beyond football cricket or NBA the partnership between Rolex and tennis dates back to 1978 when Rolex became the official timekeeper of the Wimbledon championship this date marks the beginning of a privileged association between two partners driven by the same pursuit of excellence despite them having multiple ambassadors in the world of tennis their biggest name also happens to be the best tennis player of all time Roger Federer who they gladly pay 15 million dollars per year for his endorsements number 14 Rolex has over 60% profit margin on all of their watches but let’s not get ahead of ourselves this is one of those situations we hate most when people start breaking down the raw material costs of anything and comparing it to the sale price but because we’re an authority in the luxury watch space we felt like we had to address it the right way yes the raw material costs for a Rolex watch are way less than what you’re paying for it but that doesn’t mean the price isn’t justified because at the end of the day you’re not paying for the raw material you are paying for a lot of intangible value you’re paying for innovation for heritage for something that took years to be perfected you’re paying for the expertise of the finest watchmakers in the world and their time you don’t think that comes cheaply do you this type of information is confidential but to the best of our knowledge here’s the breakdown of the economics behind a ten thousand dollar Rolex watch the manufacturer builds the watch for $3,000 it sells for 6500 and makes $3,500 or 54 percent profit the dealer who bought it for 6,500 has additional cost of one thousand dollars sells it for ten thousand dollars and makes two thousand five hundred or twenty five percent profit the total profit generated by the chain is around six thousand dollars for a $10,000 watch okay guys at this point the video is getting pretty long so let’s wrap it up in style number 15 the most expensive Rolex you can find direct ly from the manufacturer is a Rolex GMT master to men’s diamond ice watch priced at a little over a half million dollars they basically took an already expensive Rolex watch and covered it with as many diamonds as they could you might wonder who in their right mind would pay half a mil for a diamond covered Rolex but let’s be honest you’ve been in a Luxor for long enough to know that this isn’t even that expensive compared to our previous mentioned watches so celebrities like Brad Pitt or David Beckham splurged a little to make their wrist shining we are curious to know a Luxor’s what is your favorite Rolex watch clasp know in the comments we’re interested to know how many of you really know your Rolex is oh you’re still here okay can you imagine how many people left already you guys deserve a bonus sack for sticking with us till the end there’s sort of a battle between two guys on who’s got the biggest Rolex collection in the world it’s between John Mayer and Mike wood check out these pics crazy right okay then let’s see who’s a true a lexer and watch this video to the very end please comment Rolex collector below so we can see who’s a true a lexer it also drives people crazy who don’t know why we’re doing it so it’s kind of fun thank you for spending some time with us a lexer make sure to subscribe so you never miss a video if you want more we hand-picked these videos you might enjoy or head over to a Lux calm for the best in fine living content on the planet be a part of the largest community of luxury enthusiasts in the world and tell your story

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Hey Aluxers, we had to re-upload our famous Rolex video! Now it's back on youtube!
    Most Expensive Watches in the World: https://www.alux.com/most-expensive-watches-world/
    Our videos on:
    Patek Philippe: https://www.alux.com/video/15-things-you-didnt-know-about-patek-philippe/
    Omega: https://www.alux.com/video/15-things-you-didnt-know-about-omega/
    BREITLING: https://www.alux.com/video/15-things-you-didnt-know-about-breitling/
    15 Signs of what makes a luxury watch: https://www.alux.com/video/17-signs-of-what-makes-a-luxury-watch/

  2. I haven't worn a watch in over 30 years. Not into jewelry or self adornment. I use my cell phone as a time piece. And both my cars have clocks. My cable tv box has a clock. My laptop I'm using to type this has a clock on top. I only tuned in for the education as I knew nothing about Rolex other than they're expensive watches. And if worse comes to worse, I can always ask someone for the time. Guess I make an inadequate ALUX'er.

  3. No, wrong info. There were quartz rolexes made before where it "tic tocks" and skips seconds, and there are also rolexes without cyclops(the date magnifier).

    Those don't tell that a rolex is fake

  4. The Chinese have been able to duplicate the smooth movement of the second hand. And its fooling Rolex dealers. But the weight of the watch is lighter than the real deal

  5. Those who wear rolex are trying to impress others and no one cares, those who wear omega are trying to impress themselves and you always care

  6. So rolex changed from 316 stainless to 914 because the backs wouldnt come away from the cases , blancpain forever

  7. I would have had more respect for Rolex had they not refused to service my 1950s watch -"no spare parts". If they are all hand made they could have made them!! I use everyday solar powered quartz watches. More accurate and very much cheaper. I'm not much into these expensive status symbols anyway.

  8. Bigger Fool business model. I do it all the time. I get more jobs when I raise my prices and claim I'm the best. LOL

  9. “If youre a true alux-er, your sports interests go beyond football, cricket and the NBA” – the most pretentious thing I’ve heard in a while

  10. i dont have 1 favourite, i want an 1807, an 18039, an 6265, an 116619 LB and a few others
    should i go on ?

  11. Many watch lovers pay "Big" monies for Rolex as they're paying for the "Brand's name"
    I have chosen & bought an Omega because of the "intrinsic" value of this watch as how they're manufactured!

  12. Whenever I have to travel to a shady destination and I choose not to take my Rolex I always end up missing her.

  13. Nowaday if you want buy an hot reference as gmt2 or sub or daytona, is impossible to purchase as they keep you in waiting list even for years…. rolex give priority to delivery only to resellers , while to the official dealer delivery only references that nobody want at all….

  14. There are so many much higher end watch manufacturers. Rolex watches look good then there are those that are expensive but gross because of encrusting in precious gems. Patek Philippe are more than just timepieces they are works of art and precision engineering to an extreme

  15. So much misinformation… the also moved to switzerland because Wilsdorf was afraid that him being a german in england would be a problem during ww2. The most expensive rolex (sold for the most money) is paul newmans daytona. The cheapest rolex is the oyster perpetual and not the air king and there are fake rolexes now with mechanical movements so a lack of tick doesnt mean it is real. Plus there is a rolex with a quartz movement that ticks: the oysterquartz

  16. LOL at a Rolex Air King being $2200 new in July 2017. Its more like $6k. Also some real Rolex's have ticking seconds such as the Oyster Quartz. Plus pretty much all fake Rolex watches these days will have an automatic movement and sweeping seconds hand. The high end fakes these days are extremely accurate and often a watch with have to be inspected with a loupe or by a professional to verify authenticity. High end replicas can cost as much as $1500.

  17. Another fact. Rolex, in the U.K., don't allow credit deals, especially zero percent. If you want one its cash or credit card only. Also it's rumoured that boutiques are audited to ensure they don't discount current models. In the U.K. it looks like Rolex are moving to single brand boutiques. Another way to preserve the brand identity. And great places to discover the facts and best models to buy.

  18. These watches started off as working watches, but this is making it sound like a luxury brand from day one lol

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