How Rolex Became King: A Brief History

No matter whom you ask to name a luxury watch brand, a role will surely pop into their mind. 


Despite being priced at a mid-range luxury segment, wearing a Rolex watch has always been seen as the ultimate sign of wealth. 


What’s surprising is the fact that it’s not just a perception, rather a reality. Producing over one million units each year, the brand dominates nearly 25% of the market share of watches. 


What’s questionable is how did Rolex become so ubiquitous in our society? What is the real reason for their dominance? 


Well, the ethics the brands follow is what makes them stand out. Read on to know what makes Rolex the king.

  • Royal Aspirations


The inception of Rolex began back in 1905 when a young man named Hans Wilsdorf partnered with Alfred Davis and established a watchmaking company in London, naming Wilsdorf & Davis, Ltd. 


Their ultimate goal was to formulate high-quality timepieces at an affordable price. Although the parts were initially imported from Switzerland, the assembling was later shifted to England to make them cost-effective. 


The name Rolex came around 10 years later when Hans was too inquisitive about having a brand name that was easy to pronounce, regardless of language, and could compete with rising brands, Kodak, Coke, etc., of that age.  

  • Crowning Achievements


Having curated a punchy name with a crown logo certainly wasn’t felt enough to establish a brand. 


Rolex started off in a market where brands were already well-established. These brands used to produce pokey watches for men since wristwatches were categorized as female watches due to lack of fragility. 


Hans understood the gap and took the opportunity, embracing the challenge. That was the ultimate breakthrough of the Rolex watch. 

  • No Profit Status


People are well aware of what Rolex is and how influential its status is but rarely know about the no-profit status of the brand. 


The idea of stability is one of the cornerstones of the luxury market. Luxury items tend to sell longevity associated with the tradition and history of the brands. 


Rolex understands these factors, and hence the Han’s wisest decisions set up the brand to a charitable trust. 


This foundation allows the brand to operate with the pressure and ill-ideas of the shareholders. 

  • Innovative Marketing


With the maturing company, the market strategies matured as well. Where the vintage advertisements were fun and provocative, the modern ones are meticulously curated, showing off the confidence and strong presence of timepieces without a need for explanation. 


Despite that, the brand took years to create an online presence while showcasing its intent of choosing quality over quantity. 

  • Hype, Scarcity, and Value Perception


It’s pretty impossible to overlook the hype and controversies when you speak of the Rolex watch. 


However, considering all the facts mentioned above, this added fuel to their growth in popularity, filling in their ultimate desire to rule the market over the years. 


Further, the apparent scarcity despite millions of production keeps up the brand’s durability, making their watches one of those products that hold value over time.