Monday 17 January, 2011 - 09:50 AM EST
After Davis sold his shares to Wilsdorf and Aegler they both got to be the directors of Rolex Company. Just over a year later on October 1, 1927, the patent number 120849 was granted for the movement that was to be named Prince. The main advantage of the movement design was that, by placing the winding barrel and the balance at opposite ends of the watch, they could each be much larger than if they were arrayed closely to each other, as would be the case in a normal round watch.
The Rolex Prince watch proved to be one of the most accurate wristwatches made to date. The accuracy comes from the very high quality balance wheel, which most unusually for a wristwatch used solid gold screws to add extra weight and, thus, momentum. The watch also had a very high quality finish to the whole escapement, even the wheels. All of these efforts went to ensuring the accuracy of the Prince.
Many years went by… many models were designed.
The name Marconi was the fourth brand name that Wilsdorf registered. Rolex was registered in 1908, Omigra later the same year, Elvira the following year, and then Marconi Lever, registered as a name for watches and watch parts.
Marconi was, of course, named after Gugliemo Marconi who successfully sent radio signals over the Atlantic Ocean in 1901. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1909 in recognition of this achievement.
By the time the Marconi brand hit the market, it had one small problem: Marconi was a figure whose time had passed.
According to LON, Wilsdorf had gone though a phase of registering company and brand names in 1919 and 1920. On March 17, 1919, to celebrate the end of the “war to end all wars” and the foundation of the League of Nations (the predecessor to the U.N.) in Geneva, he registered the name LON (League of Nations) as a brand name. At the same time, he also registered the names Brex and Unicorn Lever. Unicorn took over from Marconi and a few years later it was joined by Rolco, a simple contraction of “ROLex Company”.
In 1946, the year Rolex celebrated their 40th anniversary or jubilee, it introduced its most expensive watch, the “Datejust”. At the same time Rolex launched its final attempt at penetrating the lower cost watch market: the Tudor which was, at first, symbolized with a stylized rose, representing the Tudor rose. Then it was replaced with a stylized shield.
Rolex Tudor was at first, introduced as a “workingman’s” watch. The people most often seen wearing a Tudor watch are the ones leading an active lifestyle requiring a sturdy watch with good timekeeping abilities. Although the Tudor movements may have fewer jewels than the traditional Rolex, they are just as good time keeping as their more expensive “sister brand” watches and also just as durable.
In 1932, the company introduced a new pocket watch movement, the “Rolex Prince Imperial”. This new movement was redesigned to prove one of the most accurate watches ever made by Rolex.
During the 50’s decade, two of the most esoteric models the company ever produced were introduced. The “Tru-beat” (model 6556) and the “Milgauss” (model 6541). The “True-beat” was a standard chronometer grade non-date Oyster Perpetual, but it had a dead beat sweep seconds hand that would make the second hand stop at each seconds mark before jumping to the next one. According to the “Milgauss”, it was made in response to people working in areas of high electro-magnetic radiation, such as research labs or power stations, in which the effects of radiation would make the watches unreliable because of magnetizing the balance work of a watch.
At the Basel Fairm in 1954, Rolex launched four major models: The Explorer, the Turn-O-Graph, the Submariner and the Lady’s Perpetual Chronometer. The “Turn-O-Graph” (model 6202) was a simpler version of the “Submariner”. The “Turn-O-Graph” watch was Oyster Perpetual Precision grade (non-chronometer) with luminous visibility and black dials, luminous hands and rotating bezel. The “Submariner” featured almost the same characteristics, but it was water resistant to 200 meters. It was called “The diver’s friend”. The “Submariner” together with the “President” proved to be one of the outstanding successes of the 1950’s for the Rolex Company. Two years later, the company introduced the “Date-Date” model, a very important model.
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