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Everything You Need to Know about Wristwatches

Updated on April 3, 2020
Rolex is one of the most iconic brands in history.
Rolex is one of the most iconic brands in history.

Status symbols are desired by many and are considered the epitome of success. One popular standout is an expensive watch. The authentic Rolex watch is a classic choice when seeking a quality timepiece.

The investment value that an authentic Rolex watch provides is endless. Besides an excellent appearance and its classic iconographic style, a Rolex watch in prime condition offers a resale price higher than its original cost.

History of Wristwatches

The earliest known model of wristwatches was formed in 1570, where they were known as “arm watches”. These “arm watches” were a mere curiosity at the time.

Wristwatches would later take the iconic form known today in 1812 when one was gifted to the Queen of Naples. During that time, wristwatches were exclusively meant for women. Men preferred pocket watches, due to their popularity and protection against the elements. Wristwatches soon found their fame amongst the male gender during wartime periods, as it was easier to keep track of time while in the heat of battle or in a trench. In 1880, the German Navy produced over 2000 wristwatches for members of their fleet.

Wristwatches became popular amongst civilians due to the efforts of Alberto Santos-Dumont. A famed aviator in his native Brazil, Santos-Dumont needed a timekeeping mechanism that would allow him to time flights while still maintaining the controls. To this end, he contacted his friends, Louis Cartier and Edmond Jaeger. The wristwatch not only was successful in Santos-Dumont’s goal, it also created a new fashion statement. Soon, wristwatches were being sold all over the world, with one particular company soon to arise.

History of Rolex

Rolex originated in 1908 when a German immigrant, Hans Wilsdorf, developed the company Wilsdorf & Davis along with his brother in law, Alfred Davis. Their original headquarters were located in London. The company’s main agenda was to create smaller watch movements. Pocket watches were more commonplace at the time. It was challenging to shape the accuracy of timekeeping on anything more modest than the pocket watch.

In 1910, Rolex sent their first experimental prototype to the School of Horology in Switzerland. The prototype received the Chronometer Award for the accuracy of timekeeping.

The award gave Wilsdorf clout in the industry as well as more publicity. With these achievements in hand, he perfected the watch with other innovations, such as dust and waterproof cases. With this, he skilfully advertised his watches globally. By furthering its accuracy of time, Wilsdorf registered the trademark name “Rolex” in Switzerland in 1915, and the rest is history.

Fakes Abound

As with many status items of value, knockoffs of Rolex watches are prevalent worldwide. The knockoffs are available from New York to Rome, some of them looking so authentic that they are easily mistaken for the original item. Rolex watches are at a set price. Genuine Rolexes are never offered at a discount. If the price is low, it is doubtful it is an authentic Rolex.

Know the Real Item

Authentic Rolex watches can be identified by the serial numbers printed on the back of the case. The serial number consists of 1 letter, followed by six digits. The letter details the time-period that the case was made, but not the actual watch. Only Rolex can decipher the balance of the numbering system; this means that they will know the exact date that each clock was generated.

A Rolex bracelet will have a number stamped on the folding part of the clasp which identifies the bracelet type.

The model number is a specialized code and usually contains four to six figures. The model number can be found at the 12 hands, nestled between the lugs and the bracelet of the watch. Each digit serves as a notification of the watch model.


Whether an authentic Rolex or any other high-quality brand watch is desired, learn all the facts behind before purchasing. One major point to stress is to only buy from a reputable authorized dealer. The advantages of buying a Rolex or another investment watch is its long-term value, which may even increase in the future.

A Rolex watch is highly desirable; be sure to take things into consideration before purchasing one.
A Rolex watch is highly desirable; be sure to take things into consideration before purchasing one.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Matthew Shine


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