Rolex is a brand of Swiss wristwatches and accessories renowned
for their quality and exclusivity, as well as their cost (from a
few thousand to more than one hundred thousand U.S. dollars). The
watches have become status symbols of the rich and famous —
as well as the upwardly-mobile career-minded individual. Although
a symbol of success, Rolex has earned its strong reputation through
innovations in design and function over many decades.
The Rolex SA company was founded in 1905 by Mr. Hans Wilsdorf and
his brother-in-law, Mr. Alfred Davis. Contrary to popular belief,
Hans Wilsdorf was neither Swiss, nor a watchmaker. Wilsdorf &
Davis was the original name of what later became the Rolex Watch
Company. They originally imported Hermann Aegler's Swiss movements
to England and placed them in quality cases made by Dennison and
others. These early wristwatches were then sold to jewellers, who
then put their own names on the dial. The earliest watches from
the firm of Wilsdorf and Davis are usually marked "W&D"
– inside the caseback only..