With the First World War looming, Wilsdorf was determined not to let a geo-political crisis shake his vision. By 1910, Rolex became the first wristwatch in the world to be given the prestigious Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision. The award catapulted the brand into the esteemed status it still holds today.
In 1919, as war ransacked Europe, The Rolex wristwatch company relocated to neutral Switzerland and proceeded to ensure its status as the world’s leading wristwatch. In the 1930s, characteristically at the forefront of innovation, Rolex proved its ability to withstand never achieved before speeds. “The King of Speed” Sir Malcolm Campbell sported a Rolex while setting a land record which exceeded 300mph in Utah.
This was not to be the first, nor the last time a vintage Rolex watch found itself at the center of man’s pursuit of the new, undiscovered, and unachieved. The Oyster watch was worn in 1933 on the wrists of the crew members who were the first to fly over Mount Everest, after which they reported that the Rolex exceeded all expectations.
Throughout the century, the Oyster Chronograph has been worn by those pushing the envelope of human pursuit time and time again, in many fields. Rolex saw this as a formidable chance to display and test the Oyster’s superiority to anything on the market, with a remarkable track record. Today, the majority of Rolex wristwatches in production are variations of the Oyster.
These classic vintage Rolex watches are timeless, and many are out of production. Like any piece of classic art, the only way collectors can obtain one is to acquire a pre-owned model. Thanks to Chrono24, worldwide collectors can locate and buy a classic used Rolex watch with ease.