Rolex History

Inextricably linked to the visionary spirit of Hans Wilsdorf, its founder

The Explorer II

The Explorer II

1971

Rolex presented the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, dedicated to polar explorers, speleologists, and all those pushing the boundaries of exploration. The watch featured a distinctive 24-hour hand, an invaluable aid around the poles and beneath ground when you can't tell night from day.

Rolex Awards
for Enterprise

1976

Rolex Watches History: 1971 - 1992
Discover the history of Rolex watches on the Official Website: the Explorer II, Rolex Awards for Enterprise, the Sea-Dweller 400 and the Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster.
Sea-Dweller 4000

Sea-Dweller 4000

1978

Rolex launched the Sea-Dweller 4000, waterproof to a depth of 1,220 metres (4,000 feet).

904L Steel

904L Steel

1985

Rolex became the first watchmaking brand to pioneer the use of 904L for the cases of all its steel watches. Most commonly used in high‑technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries, its excellent anti-corrosion properties are comparable to those of precious metals and it offers a final polish of exceptional sheen.

The Pearlmaster

1992

A new interpretation of the Lady-Datejust was launched,
the Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster.

The Yacht-Master

1992

The year 1992 heralded the arrival of the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master, the first watch in the Professional Oyster collection to be available in three sizes – 29, 35 and 40 mm. This new member of the Oyster family reinforced the ties between Rolex and the sailing world.

Rolex & Yachting

1992

Rolex is the proud sponsor of some of the world’s most renowned offshore races.