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Rolex SA is a Swiss luxury watchmaker. The company and its subsidiary Montres Tudor SA design, manufacture, distribute and operate wrist watches sold under the Rolex and Tudor brands. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis, Rolex moved his branch to Geneva in 1919.
Forbes ranked Rolex on place 64 of its list of the world’s most powerful global brands. Rolex is the largest single-luxury watch brand and produces about 2,000 watches a day.
The company is owned by the Hans-Wilsdorf-Stiftung, a family-owned private trust that does not pay corporation tax.
Alfred Davis and his brother-in-law Hans Wilsdorf founded Wilsdorf and Davis, the company that eventually became Rolex SA, in London, England in 1905.Wilsdorf and Davis’s main business activity at that time imported Hermann Aeglers Swiss movements to England and put them in high-quality watch cases from Dennison and others. These early wrist watches were sold to jewelers, who then put their own names on the dial. The earliest watches from Wilsdorf and Davis were usually “W & D” inside the caseback.
In 1908 Wilsdorf registered the brand “Rolex” and opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The company name “Rolex” was registered on 15 November 1915. The book of The Best of Time: Rolex Wristwatches: An unauthorized story by Jeffrey P. Hess and James Dowling says the name was just made. A story that has never been confirmed by Wilsdorf tells that the name exquise from the French phrase Horlogerie, which means “exquisite clockwork” or as a contraction of “horological excellence”. Wilsdorf was said that the name of his watch brand is easy to pronounce in any language. He also thought that the name “Rolex” was onomatopoeic and sounded like a watch that was wounded. It is easy to pronounce in many languages and, since all uppercase letters have the same size, can be written symmetrically. It was also short enough to fit the face of a watch.
In 1914 Kew Observatory awarded a Rolex watch a Class A precision certificate, a distinction generally granted exclusively to marine Chronometer.
In 1919, Wilsdorf left England because of the war tax levied on luxury imports, as well as the export duties on the silver and gold used for watch boxes that cost too much and moved the company to Geneva, Switzerland, where it was known as Rolex Watch was established enterprises. His name was later changed to Montres Rolex, SA and finally Rolex, SA. On the death of his wife in 1944, Wilsdorf founded the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a private trust in which he left all his Rolex shares to ensure that some of the company’s income would go to charity. Wilsdorf died in 1960; Since then, trust has guided and managed the company.
In December 2008, after the abrupt departure from Chief Executive Patrick Heiniger for “personal reasons”, the company denied that it had lost 1 billion francs (approximately £ 574 million, $ 900 million), invested with Bernard Madoff, the American asset manager , Who pleaded guilty to a roughly £ 30 billion worldwide Ponzi scheme. Rolex SA announced Henry’s death on March 5, 2013.
As of 2010, Rolex watches continue to have a reputation as statics symbols.
Rolex Swiss Watches website