History of Rolex and Patek-Philippe

History of Rolex Watches

Hans Wilsdorf founded the company, now known as Rolex in 1905. The company, Wilsdorf & Davies, was based in London. In 1908, Rolex had become one of the leading watch companies in the UK. It was in this year that the name “Rolex” was born. Mr. Wilsdorf felt that it was easy enough to pronounce in any European language and short enough to tastefully fit on a watch dial.

The Official Chronometer Certification was awarded to Rolex in 1910 in Switzerland. This was the first time this had ever been given to a wristwatch. This was to be the first of many accolades awarded to the watch, including the Class A Precision from the Kew Observatory in 1914.

In 1926 the Rolex Oyster was released. It was the first wristwatch to be considered waterproof, proven a year later when the watch was worn by the swimmer Mercedes Gleitze in his successful bid to cross the English Channel. This was beneficial to Wilsdorf whom had sponsored the event and gained considerable exposure for his new Oyster Watch.

1931 saw the creation of the Perpetual Rotor, a mechanism now seen as the standard for self-winding movements. In the following years, Rolex released the first Oyster Perpetual Datejust (1945), Oyster Perpetual Submariner (1953), the GMT Master with dual time zone function (1955) and the first Day-Date (1956). Today the Day-Date (which spells out the day of the week in full) is available in 26 languages!

Andre Heiniger took over the company in 1963 following the death of Hans Wildorf. Rolex continued to invent and innovate in terms of technical skill and style throughout the 2nd half of the century. The Sea-dweller (1967) was certified as reaching depths of up to 1,220 meters making it the choice for Professional Divers – a point that was quickly adopted in advertising the model. In 1979, Rolex became the official timekeeper of the Wimbledon and has been ever since.

In 1992, Patrick Heiniger was appointed CEO of Rolex and the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master is born!

You may read more about Rolex’s Century of Achievement at www.Rolex.com

If you wish to sell your Rolex, please fill out the Hamilton York Estate Buyers Sell a Watch Form Form. We will give you the best cash offer for your Rolex.

*Hamilton-York Estate Buyers is not an authorized Rolex distributor or agent.

History of Patek-Philippe

You may not realize that the company known today as Patek Philippe was actually named after two men, Antoine Norbet de Patek and Francios Czapek. Both men were Polish migrants who lived in Geneva and started Patek, Czapek & Co. in 1839. The earliest watches were signed Patek, Czapek & Co. until 1845 when Czapek left the partnership. This same year, Patek met his new partner Jean Adrien Philippe, inventor of the key-less winding mechanism, at a Paris watch show. In 1851, they changed their name to Patek Philippe & Co.

In 1854, Tiffany & Co. in New York became an official customer of Patek Philippe & Co. In 1865, the first-ever wristwatch was created by Patek Philippe-this being one of several important contributions that Patek Philippe has made to watch-making history.

In 1925 they produced the first wristwatch with a perpetual calendar, but production problems meant that it was not until 1941 that series production was possible. Patek Philippe also produced its first wristwatch with a minute repeater in 1925, and a range of 40 of these models continued to be made until 1962. From 1900-1967, Patek Philippe received over 763 prizes at the Geneva Observatory competitions, 187 were first prizes! In 1932, the Stern brothers, Charles and Jean, acquired the majority shares of Patek Philippe & Co.

Patek Philippe released its first quartz watch in 1970, and like every quartz watch it has produced since, the time was not displayed as digital or liquid crystal, but always as watch hands. Patek Philippe has always focused on the luxury end of the watch market which makes this watch such a collectible item.

You may learn more about the history of Patek Philippe at www.patek.com

If you wish to sell your Patek-Philippe, please fill out the Hamilton York Estate Buyers Sell a Watch Form. We will give you the best cash offer for your Patek Philippe.

*Hamilton-York Estate Buyers is not an authorized Patek Philippe distributor or agent.