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The Story of Rolex
While known today as the most famous Swiss luxury watchmaker, Rolex was founded in London, England in 1905. From the start, the brand’s focus was on high precision, with one model winning an award for precision usually reserved for the more advanced marine chronometers. The founders moved the company to Switzerland in 1919 when WWI drove taxes too high in their home country. After the move, Rolex became known for timekeeping innovation, creating the first waterproof wristwatch called the Oyster in 1926, and the first wristwatch with an automatically updating date on the dial in 1945.
Where did the name Rolex come from?
The exact meaning of “Rolex” may never be known, but historians today have some good guesses. The word may have been chosen because it is easily pronounceable in many languages. The capital letters of the logo are all the same size, making the design easy to work with. Also, the sound of the word resembles the sound made when winding a watch. And finally, the word “Rolex” may be a contraction of the French words horlogerie exquise, meaning "exquisite clockwork."
What does the Rolex “Crown” Logo Mean?
Much like the meaning of the word "Rolex" itself, the symbolism of the Rolex Crown logo in not known today. When the logo was first created in 1925, it featured a gold crown above the name "Rolex" written in green. There are five points on the crown, which mirror the five letters in the brand name. And the crown in the logo has a clear connection to the Rolex motto: "A Crown for Every Achievement."
How much is my Rolex Worth?
The four most important factors affecting the value of a used Rolex watch include the model and serial number, the materials used in the construction of the watch, the presence of the original box and authentication papers, and the condition of the watch.
- Model and Serial Number — Rolex produces many different watch models at multiple price points, each with a different value on the used market. Collectors and watch lovers have preferences for some models which will affect the value of a used Rolex. The Model and Serial Numbers on every Rolex can be used to determine the year, material, and movement of a watch.
- Materials — The materials used in the construction of a Rolex affect its value on the used market. Multiple material options exist for the bracelet, dial and bezel of a Rolex. For bracelets, platinum is the most desired, followed by gold and stainless steel. Bezels can be made from gold, platinum, titanium or ceramic. And the dial of a Rolex can be made from multiple materials, with many featuring diamonds.
- Box and Papers — Every new Rolex comes in a box with paperwork that proves the authenticity of the timepiece. Used watches which come with their original box and authentication paperwork are typically worth more in the used Rolex marketplace than watches where those items are not present.
- Condition — How well a Rolex was treated affects its value. Sometimes shallow scratches can be buffed out to avoid reducing the value of the watch. But if any part of the timepiece has been deeply scratched or blemished, then this imperfection must be factored in to the watch’s value. The bracelet of the watch may be stretched out, or there may be links missing. Keep your Rolex in tip-top shape to maximize its worth.