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Mitzi Kay Jackson

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The History of the Rolex Logo
by Mitzi Kay Jackson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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A Crown for every Achievement

The use of Logos as trademarks has existed as long as there have been traders and merchants. The history of what is known today as the corporate identity dates back to the Greece in Ancient times. For example the symbol of the snake entwined around a staff can be traced back to the Greek God Hermes. It was adapted for Asklepios, the Greco Roman God of Medicine. It was called Caduceus symbol and it is still in use today by doctors.

  The word “logo” means actually a name, symbol or trademark designed for recon ignition. They are the frontline, the identity of a company. What a logo should do:

Attract attention and leave an impression

Create a uniqueness & distinguishable

Represent the overall culture type & business line the industry in which it belongs

Promote a feeling of authenticity & professionalism


  My favorite logo do all of those things and then some. The logo in which I am speaking is the screwed down Crown better known as The Oyster for Rolex. For one you can’t speak of quality, style, perfection and status without mentioning Rolex and what speaks of status, prestige and power better than a crown? When I first set out to do this paper on The Logo for Rolex, I knew that the logo is a “status symbol” that is known worldwide. What I didn’t know was that in 2007 Business week ranked Rolex #71 on its annual list of the most important global brands, top among all watch makers.


  Rolex is a privately held company that was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis. The Rolex Watch was registered as a company in 1908, but the company named wasn’t officially named Rolex until 1915. Still some ten years later in 1925 the Rolex Crown is registered as a trademark and patent a year later. Their headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. The now CEO is Patrick Heinger, their industry of course is watch manufacturing. The product is wristwatches and accessories. The revenue on Rolex is USD $3 billion. The who, how and what thought that went behind the making or coming up with the logo is as elusive (for many of us) as the watches themselves. Even how the name Rolex had come about is fishy.


   The name Rolex was said to have came from a French phrase “houloguorie exquise” meaning exquisite. Another story claims that the founder Hans Wilsdorf realized that Rolex was the sound that the watch made when being wound up. Yet my favorite and more believable to me personally is that Wilsdorf and his partner got the name by using a combination of Rolls Royce a marker of motor cars known for quality and perfection of engineering and Timex the leader in watches as then. The latter is more believable, one reason being just as Rolls Royce was then the leader in its field; Rolex is the leading name in luxury wristwatches. Rolex has been the pre-eminent symbol of perfection and prestige for over a century in rich tradition of innovation unprecedented watch making achievement. Rolex isn’t single craftsmanship! It is a collaboration of skilled specialist; every role is a symphony of precision watch makers, designers, gem setters and chemist as stated by the official website of Rolex.

  The only information I was able to obtain was the picture of the logo, the name of the logo and when it was registered. But the information about the company and its founder was more than enough to draw some pretty good conclusion. The founder Hans Wilsdorf was known as a perfectionist. He was known for his love of exquisite things (the finer things in life) and his love of the sea. With his logo Crown named the Oyster and his line of watches such as: the Rolex Sea-Dweller introduced in 1971, which is a heavy duty version of the Rolex Submariner in steel, with a thicker case and crystal. With features as the Sea Dweller incorporates a helium escape valve for use with helium based breathing gas mixtures in saturation. The current model (ref16600) is guaranteed waterproof to 1220 m14600ft, it all made perfect sense. What represents status, a power, a prestige more than a crown? Nothing I can think of. What holds the crown jewel of the sea? Oysters.  With the research I have done, learning the Rolex global philanthropy still today of them taking the leaders in the arts field leaders like Toni Morrison, Martin Scorsese and matching them up with up and coming artist, that Rolex likes to call their Mentor Protégé imitative, it all comes together. With all the things left unsaid by Rolex founder and company there is no surprise that their slogan is “A Crown for every Achievement”.

And their logo is no doubt the perfect front the perfect identity the perfect trademark for what it is that they do.



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Reviewed by rich keele (Reader)
Mitzi, Thanks for the article, was wondering if you found out why, with such a solid logo and recognition, that Rolex does not seem to aggressively pursue the Rolex replica watch makers who use the Rolex logo on their knockoffs?
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
very interesting!
Reviewed by Regis Auffray
Thanks for the lesson, Mitzi. Love and best wishes,

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