The history of Rolex and Swiss watchmaking are inextricably linked. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, and has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history.
Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet.
THE FOUR ROLEX SITES
Dedicated to perfection
Switzerland is the crucible where Rolex watches are brought to life thanks to the know-how and commitment of more than 6,000 employees at the brand’s four sites, all at the cutting edge of watchmaking technology.
GENEVA – ACACIAS
Rolex world headquarters is home to management, research and development, design, communication activities, sales and after-sales service. It is also where the final assembly of the watches from components delivered by the three other sites and final quality control of the finished watches take place.
Cases and bracelets
The Plan-les-Ouates site brings together all the development and production activities for watch cases and bracelets, from the casting of the gold and forming of the raw materials to the machining and polishing of finished components. Composed of six wings linked by a central axis, it is the largest of the Rolex sites. It is home for the foundry where Rolex creates the 18 ct gold alloys used for its watches – yellow gold, white gold and Everose gold, an exclusive pink gold alloy developed by Rolex.
The Bienne site is the production facility for the movements of Rolex watches. More than 2,000 people are engaged in the manufacture and assembly of the hundreds of components comprising a Rolex movement. The components, often tiny and of complex geometry, are manufactured with a precision of the order of a few microns. Such rigorous execution allows 100 percent of Rolex movements to meet the accuracy criteria of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The assembly and regulating of the movements are carried out entirely by hand, by highly skilled operators and watchmakers.
Dials and gem-setting
The Chêne-Bourg site houses the development and manufacture of the dials, as well as the gemmology and gem-setting activities. Here the faces of Rolex watches take shape thanks to a magical combination of high technology and the dial makers’ command of traditional know-how.