The Privilege of Owning a Rolex
Not all watches are created equal. Everyone knows this on some level – obviously, a cheap novelty children’s watch you purchase for a few dollars is not going to be the same quality as a properly made dress watch. But how much do brands really mean? While it can be tempting to go for relatively cheaper options, it’s important to remember that the price of a Rolex reflects more than the stunning quality of the watch. It also acknowledges the incredible history of a company that has contributed a huge amount to the world of timekeeping.
If you do decide on a Rolex, you’ll be keeping company with a lot of amazing individuals. For instance, there’s Mercedes Gleitze, a young woman who swam the English Channel with the first waterproof watch ever designed. There’s also the crew of the first flight over Mt Everest and Sir Malcom Campbell, an adventurous speedster back in the days where cars were much less safe.
You’d also be keeping time with one of the most illustrious men of the first half of the 20th century, according to the founder of Rolex himself. The 100,000th certified chronometer Rolex produced was personally presented to this unnamed individual.
Less mysteriously, you’d be in the same group as members of Sir Edmund Hilary’s expedition to climb Mt Everest. These are only a few of the daring and remarkable individuals that have owned Rolex watches since the company was founded. The reason so many explorers chose these watches was that Rolex was the first company to develop watch designs that would stand up to the conditions these adventurers were experiencing, whether it was changing air pressure, magnetic fields, or water.
Rolex does more than just make watches. It also gives opportunities. As a company that has been around for over a century, Rolex recognizes the need to give back and to encourage a new generation of minds. Rolex makes a difference. After all, the innovation and genius of one young man are what started the company, so they know how much can be accomplished by someone with vision and education.
Because of this, in 2002, Rolex started a mentoring initiative. It allows young craftspeople to get one-on-one interaction with experts in their artistic field. Combining knowledge and experience with raw talent and new ideas is a great way to prompt innovation, and Rolex enables this to happen. The hope is that this program will create new masters of these disciplines who will have a lot to offer the world along with the means to make their ideas a reality.
Rolex may be over a century old, but that doesn’t mean it is stuck in the past. The company is still creating new innovations on a regular basis, continuously improving mechanical timepieces. For example, the blue Parachrom hairspring was created in 2005. It allows watches to resist even the minutest of changes by protecting them from the effects of magnetic fields or shocks. The same year saw a new material for the bezels as well that will almost never wear off, being much more durable than a mere painted dial.
Some people might say to avoid buying a Rolex because you are paying for a brand, but it is actually more than that. You are paying for a watch from a company that has a proven history of providing cutting-edge timekeeping technology to the people who needed it most. You’re investing in a company that invests in young artists. You’re paying for the privilege of wearing a Rolex.