The Vintage Rolex Christmas Ads
Viewing Rolex Christmas Ads Through Time
I hope everybody is having a great holiday season! Every year, around Christmas time, I publish this Rolex Christmas ad story, and each year I significantly update it. This year is no exception, and I just completed a major update including a 1948 Season's Greeting from Rolex Founder, Hans Wilsdorf!!! I can hear the Nutcracker Suite playing in the background ;-)
Rolex used to publish Rolex Christmas ads, but I don't recall ever seeing one in a magazine in my lifetime. It is interesting to note the Rolex Christmas magazine ads only ran while Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was alive.
1930 Beautiful Rolex Christmas Ad
This next stunning art-deco vintage Rolex ad from 1930 that features a woman sporting the flapper look. It was published in the British publication named "The Tatler" in 1930. This ad was published at a fascinating and optimistic time in Rolex history. Several years prior, Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex had recently completely revolutionized the world of watches, when Rolex introduced the worlds first waterproof watch, known as the Rolex Oyster.
In 1930, Rolex was preparing to revolutionize the world of watches again, by preparing to introduce the Rolex Perpetual movement, which was the worlds first automatic movement that would allow the wearer to wind their watch simply with just the movement of their wrist. I believe this beautiful ad reflects Rolex absolute optimism at this time. Notice how the ad uses the term wristlet instead of the commonly used term of of today which is wrist watch.
It took Rolex 20 years before they came up with their crown logo which they introduced in 1925. If you examine all of the ads, which run from 1935 to 1948, you will notice how much the Rolex crown logo evolved. Over the 12 year span from 1935, we witness the evolution of the crown from a kind of primitive version to the timeless logo which has not changed very much over the past half-century.
1935 French Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1935 that was published in France. The watches in this ad are art-deco and more dress watch oriented.
1936 British Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1936 that was published in England in the Punch or The London Charivari.
1937 French Rolex Noel Ad
Next we examine this vintage Rolex ad from 1937 that was published in France.
1938 French Rolex Christmas
We see in this next French Rolex Christmas ad that with all the different Rolex ads, Rolex is really beginning to hit its stride. I really like the artwork in this ad.
1942 World War II
Rolex U.S.A. Christmas Message
World War II was an extremely difficult time for most people on earth. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was likely very, very frustrated by the mess the Nazi's and other axis powers made because it had a devastating financial impact on Rolex business.
The reason I suggest Hans Wildorf and Rolex must have been really frustrated, is because Rolex had really begun to hit its stride, and Rolex wanted to capitalize on their patents on both the waterproof Oyster as well as the perpetual automatic movement. This spiritually uplifting ad was published in the United States in 1942.
1943 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
It is difficult to put into words how profound and optimistically prescient this next 1943 Rolex magazine advertisement was from the middle of World War II. I is also interesting that Hans Wilsdorf and Rolex were so distraught about the sad affairs of the world, Rolex published this add that was just an observation and a wish for the future. In other words, Rolex spent money to make this bold declarative statement, and did not even show or mention a watch in the ad.
1944 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
In this next World War II Rolex Christmas Ad, you see how they were getting excited about the end of World War II:
1945 World War II
Rolex Christmas Magazine Ad
In this next World War II Rolex Christmas Ad, you can see that Rolex is relieved and back on its optimistic game:
1946 German Rolex Ad
Rolex was quick to get things back to normal just after World War, as we see in this very elegant German Rolex Christmas ad from 1946.
1947 French Rolex Ad
1948 Hans Wilsdorf Season's Greetings
1948 Rolex U.S.A. Christmas Ad
40th Jubilee Celebration
In this next Rolex Christmas ad from 1948 we see Rolex back on top of its game. With the World War II fiasco behind it, it was smooth sailing. 1948 was Rolex's 40th anniversary so they named their new 5-link trademark bracelet, "The Jubilee Bracelet" as seen below on this first generation yellow gold Datejust. (The 40th Anniversary of most things is referred to as The Jubilee Anniversary).
We take having a date complication on a watch today for granted, but back in the late 1940s when Rolex was the first to introduce the date feature, it was considered a dramatically positive innovation. This all-new Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet is essentially the watch Rolex gave Dwight Eisenhower, who at the time was the Supreme Commander of NATO in Europe.
The yellow gold Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet is essentially The Father Of The Rolex President or Rolex Day-Date.
1958 Tiffany & Company Rolex Ad
Vintage Rolex U.S.A. Hotness Ad from 1968
When Pucci Dictates Glitter...Is It Chic To Flash A Rolex?
This is Rolex...The Christmas Watch For Golden Girls
2013 Rolex Festive Season Website