No wonder they say that time is money. Among the watch brands, the Swiss "Rolex" stands out, which is imbued with the philosophy of "maximum quality for maximum money". For a long time, the company's products have become a household name and a symbol of success.
A man with a Rolex in his arms cannot be poor. Nevertheless, they managed to become a business card of success, and the watch brand is the most famous in the world.
And all thanks to a large-scale advertising campaign run by Hans Wilsdorf. The founder of the Rolex company spent huge sums to make the whole world hear about his watch. The clever German possessed the gift of foresight, he managed to understand that soon the wrist watch would be replaced by the heavy pocket watch. But those were the times when gentlemen simply did not believe that a small watch on a belt could be as practical and accurate as a pocket watch.
Wristwatches were generally considered pampering, a woman's accessory and a whim. Men believed that the small size of such samples would not allow a quality mechanism to be placed inside. However, Hans Wilsdorf managed to change the stereotype by creating a quality product that remains relevant today. The Rolex company produces watches in the amount of 650-800 thousand pieces a year, but the supply still exceeds the demand.
Hans Wilsdorf was born in Bavaria on March 22, 1881. Interestingly, he initially had nothing to do with watches or Switzerland. At the age of 12, Hans became an orphan, but continued his studies at an elite Swiss boarding school. At the same time, the German also managed to independently provide for his accommodation. After graduating from school, Wilsdorf interned for a time in a pearl importing company. And soon his friend at school invited him to start exporting Swiss watches all over the world. So Hans got into a watch company, quickly becoming interested in this world.
Having gained valuable experience, at 22, the young German moved to London, where he planned to create his own company selling Swiss watches. Hans married an Englishwoman, became a citizen of this country. Together with his half-brother Alfred Davis, he formed the company originally called Wilsdorf & Devis. At first, she simply supplied to England watch movements from Hermann Aeglers Swiss in cases from Dennison. These items went to jewelers who put the W&D logo inside.
However, simple resale was not what Wilsdorf wanted, he dreamed of setting up his own production. The German believed that it was time to get busy with wristwatches. Since 1905, Hans began to produce them, offering gold and silver straps. Suddenly, the novelty is in demand. The following year, customers are offered watches with a flexible metal bracelet. As a result, the product from W & D becomes the best-selling in the country.
Wilsdorf's next step was to rename his brand. The new name was supposed to be sonorous, memorable and short enough to fit on the dial. On July 2, 1908, a new name was born. There are many legends about its origin. For example, the word Rolex is said to be an abbreviation for Horologerie exquise (fine watchmaking). The official confirmation of product quality has become very important for the company.
So, in 1910, a mechanism appeared, which was officially assigned the status of a chronometer, which was fantastic for a wristwatch. And in 1914 the Rolex watch managed to pass a 45-day test at the London Kew Observatory. As a result, they were recognized as the most accurate and awarded a certificate. And the official name of the company was registered on November 15, 1915, after 4 years it changed to Rolex Watch. Since then, the company has changed its name several times to draw attention to its product.
By the end of the First World War, almost all men realized how much more convenient wrist watches are than pocket watches. Wilsdorf set himself a new challenge - to make the watch even better. From the very beginning of the company, Hans strived to make the watch case water and dust resistant. After all, this was the only way to achieve perfect accuracy. In 1926, the Rolex Oyster, or Oyster, was released. The watch got its name due to the fact that the case details fit very tightly to each other, like a real pearl. This watch was unique, requiring appropriate advertising. The case soon presented itself.
Mrs. Mercedes Gleitze became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. However, she was accused of cheating, so she decided to repeat her swim. Wilsdorf pulled a publicity stunt - he offered the athlete a brand new watch if she spent the entire swim with it on her arm. And 15 hours 15 minutes the Rolex product was in the water without deterioration. It was a great advertisement.
The newspapers printed a photograph of the winner with a Rolex watch on her raised hand. They did not suffer at all from prolonged exposure to water, which played into the hands of the manufacturer. This reputation allowed Rolex to start paying attention to extreme sports, because the mechanisms are considered the most reliable.
And in 1931, Wilsdorf shocked everyone with another novelty. The Perpetual watch turned out to be self-winding, powered by any movement of the owner's hand. The consumer waited for the next masterpiece in 1953 when the Rolex Submariner was launched, the first civilian underwater watch. In the same year, it was with them that Agent 007, James Bond, overcame both fire and water in the cinema.
In 1960, a specially designed Rolex plunged 10,915 meters into the Mariana Trench. The clock was attached to the bathyscaphe Trieste with the Frenchmen Jacques Picard and Donald Walsh on board. The Rolex went through this test, showing the exact time throughout the trip.
The 1970s became a struggle for quality for the company, which even began to resemble an obsession. Even for parts invisible to users, the highest standards have been adopted. All products undergo a multi-stage test. The sponsoring company also began to expand - tennis and golf were added to the previous auto races, horse racing and regattas.
In 1990, Hans Wilsdorf died and Rolex was taken over by Patrick Heininger, son of the company's second president, Andre Heininger. The watchmaker's policy has not changed much - the production of exclusive and prestigious models continued.
Rolex is not chasing fashion, as models quickly become obsolete. The company offers classic mechanical watches. The volume is limited so that not everyone can afford such an elite item.
And sales partners are carefully selected. Rolex does not switch to the manufacture of other products and never makes discounts on its products, regardless of the circulation and customer experience. Today the price for a Rolex watch starts at 5 thousand dollars. The turnover of the company is about 4.5 billion dollars, it employs 3 thousand people.