Wednesday, March 05, 2014

INSIDE ROLEX- Part 2: Exploring The Wonderful World of Rolex in Switzerland

Part 2 of 3

Zen & The Art of Rolex
Diving Into Rolex's Beautifully Silent World

So now that we have taken a tour through the history of Rolex leadership and Rolex World Headquarters, lets take our first look inside Rolex.

The first Rolex workshop we visited was located in buildings next to the Rolex World Headquarters in the Acacia Canton of Geneva. The first two things I noticed was how clean and ultra-organized everything was, and the second thing I noticed was how library-quite and Zen-like-magical the environment was. Rolex watchmakers have the most state-of-the-art manufacturing and finishing tools for watchmaking, and it is remarkable how quiet and peaceful the world is they work in.

I was also shocked to witness first-hand how much hand-work still goes into making every Rolex. Rolex pointed out there are many things they can optimize with automated equipment and robots, but for many, many details, no machine can match the dexterity and judgement of a well-trained watchmaker. 

I noticed the work-force at Rolex consisted of watchmakers from all over the world. I also noticed there were many more female watchmakers than male watchmakers, and this is due to the fact women are typically more patient and delicate than men.

Over the last century, Rolex watches have evolved into being the International Mark Of Success, and to a large extent, Rolex is like a country, with its culture and currency, which is its watches, that in many ways are very similar to the greenback, in the sense that anywhere you go in the world, people know what Rolex is and you could easily convert a Rolex into cash. 

This is another thing Rolex has in common with Apple. You can take an iPhone 4 or 5 anywhere in the world and trade it like currency, but the difference is that after 10 years, the iPhone will be worthless, and it is likely a 10 year old Rolex will be worth more than when it was purchased.

When I visited Rolex headquarters I witnessed Rolex 'country' culture from behind the scenes, and this explains why Rolex is so strong. There is an honesty and purity that pervades all the people and infrastructure inside Rolex. In other words, the inside of Rolex is perfectly analogous with the inside of a Rolex watch. They are both well thought out, simple, robust, uncluttered, purposeful and reliable.

Inside Rolex nothing is out of place or unnecessary,  and everything is driven by utility, but at the same time the environment is naturally elegant, dignified and beautiful, like a naturally beautiful women who does not need to wear makeup, and has an inner beauty and glow that shines through her eyes and smile. 

From what we learned, Rolex watchmakers are very carefully chosen, and they must posses excellent skills and be very patient and dedicated. I also learned Rolex watchmakers have a great deal of input in designing and optimizing their watchmaking environment and workstations. Rolex designs and builds many of their own watchmaking tools and machines, and I also noticed all the watchmaking workstations were extremely ergonomic.

Serious Quality Control

Rolex does super-heavy-duty extreme testing on 100% of all watches they make, to ensure they are perfect in every way. Rolex basically takes a belt-and-suspenders approach to testing, which adds layers of redundancy, since they are so fanatical about ensuring absolute perfection. 

The machines below show a specially developed Rolex machine that is testing huge boxes of assembled Rolex watch cases with their movements installed. This complex machine tests each watch in multiple positions to simulate real-world-use case-scenarios. If you look closely, you will notice the three robotic machines below can each hold and test 1000 watches each.

Notice each of the holders, is holding ten trays of watches, which each hold 10 watches. Also notice that each stack of 100 watches, is rotated in different positions, which simulates real-world wrist wearing conditions. If you right click on this image, and select, "Open In New Window", you can see much more detail in this image, or you can just click on it and it will get larger, but not as large as it will if you right mouse click on it.

Each watch is tested on this machine for 36 hours, to ensure accurate timekeeping. Keep in mind, these are ALL watches that have already been tested and certified by COSC, but Rolex retests them before they  install the bracelet and box-up the watch to send out to Rolex authorized retailers.

The fascinating photo below shows a Rolex Water-Proof testing station that tests each assembled Rolex Oyster watch in a pressurized water chamber.

The Legendary Rolex DEEPSEA
COMEX DEEPSEA Waterproofing Machine

I heard about the legendary Rolex COMEX DEEPSEA testing machine, but had never actually seen a photo of it. COMEX (Compagnie Maritine d'Exprtise) is a French company that specializes in underwater engineering hyperbaric technology. COMEX has worked with Rolex since the early 1970s, and designed and custom-made this one-of-a-kind testing machine that is used just to test Rolex DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER models for waterproofing. 

This thing looks like it is right out of a James Bond movie. Kind of like it was taken from the laser-cutting table in Goldfinger.

The formal name of this machine is The Rolex DEEPSEA TEST TANK, and it was designed specifically to test the Rolex Oyster Perpetual DEEPSEA, which is guaranteed waterproof to an extreme depth of 12,800 feet (3,900 Meters). 

As previously mentioned the hyperbaric tank was designed and built by COMEX engineers for Rolex, and Rolex tests 100% of its Rolex DEEPSEA watches at extreme pressure of 495 bars, which is equal to the pressure of a depth of 4,975 meters, which is 25% greater than the guaranteed rating.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau 
In The First Rolex Silent World
1953 Mediterranean Sea

To this day, Rolex remains the undisputed leader in the field of Deep-Diving aquatic watch technology, and Rolex's conquest of the ocean legacy began in the early 1950s, when Rolex Director, Rene-Paul Jeanneret worked with Jacques-Yves Cousteau to develop and test the original Rolex Submariner as seen in the photo below from 1953.

The Rolex Submariner is the most iconic watch in the world, so I thought it would make sense to dive-in and explore its historical context. The photo below shows the original Rolex Submariner and this watch was made in 1953. It is ironic and true that many Rolex watches are both ageless and timeless, and thus beautifully stand the true test of time.

The document below from the Institute Of Submarine Research is dated October 26, 1953, and documents how Rolex Submariner prototypes were tested by Jacques-Yves Cousteau's right-hand-man in the Mediterranean, by Captain Cousteau's diving team. This historically significant document illustrates the fact Submariner prototypes performed flawlessly in 132 test dives around the Mediterranean Sea.

Professor Jacques Piccard
Oceanographer & Rolex DEEPSEA Legend
1953 Mediterranean Sea

While fellow oceanographer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau was exploring in the Mediteranean Sea in 1953 with his Calypso team with Rolex Submariner prototypes on their wrists, another Rolex explorer named Jacques Piccard was exploring the deepest parts of the same Mediterranean Sea with a different Rolex Submariner prototype, known as the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special.

In 1953, Swiss explorer, Jacques Piccard, along with his legendary explorer father, Auguste Piccard, set an all-time depth record when they dove down 3150 meters (10,350 Feet) off the coast of Trieste, Italy. Jacques Piccard is pictured below in Trieste, Italy examining his Rolex Submariner DEEP-SEA Special prototype which he attached to the outside of his Trieste Submersible, when he successfully set the all-time depth record in 1953.

The photo below shows an original Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype, which featured a standard Rolex movement inside.

The photo below shows Jacques Piccard with his father and fellow legendary explorer, Auguste Piccard after they successfully set the all-time depth record in 1953. Auguste Piccard is in the center of the photo and he is wearing his trademark Beret, and his son Jacques Piccard is standing behind him, holding his arm. It is fascinating to note that Auguste Piccard was 70 years old when this photo was taken in 1953.

Auguste Piccard's scientific and technological prowess and determination stands testament to the notion that talent does what it can, and genius does what it must!

The 1953 Rolex advertisement pictured below tells the story about how in 1953, Jacques Piccard took navigated his Bathyscaphe Trieste submersible down to a record setting depth of 10,350 feet to set an all-new depth record, with the Rolex DEEP-SEA Prototype attached to the outside of the Trieste. 

Notice the last line in the Rolex DEEP SEA ad above which says "Mention the National Geographic–It identifies you."

Tenzing Norgay & Sir Edmund Hillary

Conquer Mount Everest

With Rolex Watches On Their Wrist

Iis the ultimate wisdom of the mountains that a man is never more a man than when he is striving for what is beyond his grasp. – Tenzing Norgay

Below is a copy of the very first Rolex Mount Everest Ad which was published 3 days after Mount Everest was conquered. You can learn much more about Rolex conquering Mount Everest in 1953 by exploring my article named "Rolex Conquers Mount Everest–The Complete History."

The DEEPEST Dive In History

In the late 1950s, the U.S. Navy purchased the Bathyscaphe Trieste submersible from the Piccard's, and hired Jacques Piccard to continue overseeing its testing. 

The U.S. Navy and Piccard were extremely ambitious and after significantly reinforcing the Bathyscaphe Trieste attempted to take it down to the deepest known point in the earths ocean, which was a place named The Challeger Deep, located near Guam in the South Pacific, in the Marianas Trench. Once again, the Trieste was equipped with another Rolex DEEP-SEA Prototype attached to the outside, and of course it came back-up unscathed.

In the photo below we see Professor Jacques Piccard on-board the Bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960, and notice he is wearing his Rolex GMT-Master sport watch, which was taken only 5 years after the GMT-Master was first made available for the public to purchase.  

Pictured below, we see an illustration that shows exactly where the Challenger Deep is located in the Pacific Ocean.

Pictured below, we see a diagram that illustrates just how deep the Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench is at 36,070 feet. Notice the Challenger Deep is significantly deeper than Mount Everest is tall. This excellent illustration really puts things in an accurate and easily understandable perspective.

All Time DEEP-SEA Depth Record 
Trieste Descends To 36,070 Feet
January 23, 1960

The photo below shows the Bathyscaphe Trieste out in the Pacific Ocean as she prepares to set the all-time depth record of 36,070 Feet on January 23, 1960.

The photo below was taken on January 23, 1960 while U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard were at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, in the Challenger Deep, Off the coast of Gaum when they set the all-time depth record of 37,799 Feet (11,521 Meters). This all-time depth record has never been broken.

This next photo of then U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, and Professor, Jacques Piccard was taken after they had surfaced from their record setting dive, along with the Rolex DEEP-SEA Special, all of which were in perfect working condition.

As I mentioned earlier, Jaques Piccard had attached a Rolex DEEP-SEA Special to the outside of the Trieste, and you see his telegram in French to Rolex on the 25th of January 1960. Translated into English from French it says

"Happy to inform your watch as precise at eleven thousand meters down as on the surface. Best Regards, Jacques Piccard."

The following Rolex Magazine appeared in the international version of Life Magazine on October 24, 1960, and it perfectly contextualizes the way Rolex saw this achievement at the time. You can click on the image to make it easier to read the text.

The next magazine ad also showcases Rolex's proud DEEPSEA record achievement.

The Rolex video below documents the Bathyscaphe Trieste's record dive in 1960, and I very highly recommend watching it.

The press release below tells the story of the actual Rolex DEEP-SEA Special Prototype watch, and how it ended up in the Smithsonian Institute.

The Rolex magazine advertisement below is from 1966, and tells the story of how Rolex made the first waterproof wrist chronometer in 1926, and it is remarkable how far Rolex's conquest of the ocean came in three short decades.

"To Explore New Worlds, To Seek Out New Life
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before."

Rolex & James Cameron
Rolex Travels Back To The Future
New Era Of Exploration

Legendary movie director James Cameron is best known for making epic blockbuster movies like Titanic, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, and his most recent mega-hit was Avatar. James Cameron is an amazing storyteller and director, which is clearly evident since Titanic and Avatar are the two highest grossing films of all time! James Cameron has been wearing a Rolex Submariner for over a quarter-century and is also a world-class scientist and DEEP-SEA Explorer. 

"Exploration is curiosity in action." –James Cameron

In 2012, James Cameron showcased his custom-built  DEEP-SEA Submersible, known as the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, which attempted to break the all-time depth record set in 1960 by Professor Jacques Piccard, and U.S. Captain Don Walsh.

Unbridled Passion
Spirit Of Enquiry and Exploration

James Cameron wrote the following regarding his inspiration for undertaking the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, in which he describes his Spirit Of Enquiry and Exploration:

“I’ve always dreamed of diving to the deepest place in the oceans. For me it went from a boyhood fantasy to a real quest, like climbing Everest, as I learned more about deep-ocean exploration and became an explorer myself in real life. This quest was not driven by the need to set records, but by the same force that drives all science and exploration … curiosity.

So little is known about these deep places that I knew I would see things no human has ever seen. There is currently no submersible on Earth capable of diving to the ‘full ocean depth’ of 36,000 feet. The only way to make my dream a reality was to build a new vehicle unlike any in current existence. Our success during seven prior expeditions building and operating our own deep-ocean vehicles, cameras, and lighting systems gave me confidence that such a vehicle could be built, and not just with the vast resources of government programs, but also with a small entrepreneurial team.

It took more than seven years to design and build the vehicle, and it is still a work in progress. Every dive teaches us more, and we are continuing to improve the sub and its systems daily, as we move through our sea trials.” —James Cameron

National Geographic was a cosponsor of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE with Rolex, and they summed up the experience by saying:

"More than 50 years ago, two men climbed into a massive, blimp-like submersible, descended about 35,800 feet (10,912 meters) to the deepest point in the ocean, and became the first people to observe the dark underworld of one of Earth’s most extreme environments. No one has been back since. But that’s about to change.

James Cameron, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, plans to dive to this point, known as the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, in a custom-built submersible that he co-designed. Although best known for directing films such as Titanic and Avatar, Cameron is an avid explorer with 72 submersible dives to his credit—51 of which were in Russian Mir submersibles to depths of up to 16,000 feet (4,877 meters), including 33 to Titanic.

For this expedition, Cameron will squeeze into a pilot sphere so small he won’t be able to extend his arms. He will be the sole occupant in a complex, 24-foot-long (7.3-meter-long) craft made primarily of highly specialized glass foam. As he maneuvers on the ocean floor amid unexplored terrain and strange new animals, Cameron will be filming a feature-length documentary and collecting samples for historic research. Why? To promote exploration and scientific discovery.

The dive is part of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, a partnership with National Geographic that will take Cameron, along with fellow pilot Ron Allum and a team of engineers, scientists, educators, and journalists, to the greatest depths of the ocean—places where sunlight doesn’t penetrate and pressure can be a thousand times what we experience on land.

After years of preparation, the team will head to the Mariana Trench, a 1,500-mile-long (2,400-kilometer-long) scar at the bottom of the western Pacific Ocean. There, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Guam, Cameron will continue the work that Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, the first men to dive the trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste, started in 1960.

While the Trieste was not equipped to take pictures or get samples, Cameron and his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible will be armed with multiple cameras and a mechanical arm for scooping up rocks and animals. These samples could enable groundbreaking discoveries: Studying the forces that shape these trenches could help us to better understand the earthquakes that cause devastating tsunamis; studying the fauna that survives there could lead to breakthroughs in biotechnology and our understanding of how life began.

For Cameron, who explored the Titanic wreck during his production of the Academy Award-winning film, reaching the deepest point on Earth has been a long-term goal. “Imagination feeds exploration,” he says. “You have to imagine the possible before you can go and do it.”

Return Of The DEEPSEA

The following videos give a super-insightful perspective into the details of James Cameron's return to the deepest part of the Deep-Sea, and offer fascinating insight into what makes him tick:


As previously mentioned, when U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh and Professor Jacques Piccard set the all time depth-record in 1960, they had a Rolex DEEPSEA Special prototype (pictured below) attached to the outside of the Bathyescaphe Trieste, which traveled down to ocean floor, and came back up to the surface in perfect working order.

Rolex DEEPSEA SPECIAL Prototype from 1960 Pictured above

When James Cameron returned to the deepest known part of the ocean to set an all time solo depth record, he returned with a trusted Rolex companion, which was attached to the outside of his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Submersible, and this time he had a 51.4MM Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGER watch which Rolex made just for his dive, and it is pictured below.

All-New experimental Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE from 2012 Pictured above

Rolex spoke in detail about the objective behind creating the all-new Rolex DEEPSEA Challenge watch and said:

"A watch for the Deepest of the Deep. The Oyster Perpetual Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE is an experimental divers' watch guaranteed to a depth of 12,000 meters (39,370 feet), entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex to resist the extreme pressure present in the deepest reaches of the oceans. It is manufactured by an entirely integrated watchmaker with unparalleled design, development and production capacities.

A Symbol Of Supermacy. The ROLEX DEEPSEA CHALLENGE symbolizes the brand's supremacy in mastering waterproofness. Its spirit and the real-life circumstances for which it was developed echo the approach adopted for the Rolex experimental DEEP SEA SPECIAL model, which in 1960 accompanied the bathyscaphe Trieste on its record descent to a depth of 10,916 meters (35,815 feet) at the bottom of the Mariana Trench."

Perpetuating the pioneering spirit. The ROLEX DEEPSEA CHALLENGE embodies all the heritage and technical and watchmaking know-how of a pioneering brand of wristwatches. This status is demonstrated by Rolex's invention in 1926 of the OYSTER, the first waterproof wristwatch in history, as well as by all divers' watches, such as the SUBMARINER and the SEA-DWELLER, launched by the brand since the 1950s.

Human adventure and technological innovation. This watch bears witness in a spectacular way to the privileged ties that link Rolex to exploration in general and to the underwater world in particular. 

The ROLEX DEEPSEA CHALLENGE perpetuates a story combining human adventure and technology, innovation and the constant pursuit of excellence. An adventure punctuated with exceptional moments, some of which have entered the annals of history, when Rolex watches have proven their mettle under extreme conditions by accompanying men and women in their quest for the absolute."

The photo below shows James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Submersible as it is being lowered into the Pacific Ocean.

The next photo below compares the size of the U.S. Navy's Bathyscaphe Trieste to the size of James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, which is a one man submersible, that was designed and custom-made to try and beat the record of the Trieste.

Into The Mystic

The photo below shows James Cameron's as he prepared to be bolted into his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Submarine in the very early morning of March 26, 2012.

"I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction at a time when people where living a science fiction reality. People were going to the Moon, and Cousteau was exploring the ocean. And that's what I grew up with, what I valued from my childhood." 

–James Cameron

This next video and photo below shows James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER as it was lowered into the Pacific Ocean today around 2AM Mariana Trench time to begin it's record-breaking descent.

The photo below shows James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER parked on the ocean floor.

The photo below shows the Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Watch which was attached to the robotic arm on the James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible.

The photo below shows James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER as it is surfaces, after it traveled down to the same place in the Mariana Trench as the Bathyscaphe Trieste in 1960. 

James Cameron came close to matching the depth, but came up 10 feet or so short. That being said, James Cameron shot a ton of remarkable 5K Super High Definition video using RED super-state-of-the-art cameras, which he is currently working on making into a feature film named DEEPSEA CHALLENGE.

"James Cameron's successful record-breaking dive today represents the ultimate test of a man and a machine."–Dr. Joe MacInnis

The raw video below from National Geographic details James Cameron successful return from his record-setting solo dive.

The photo below shows James Cameron just after he opened the highly pressurized hatch of his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Submersible, and if you look closely you will notice that there is a specially designed  Rolex DEEP-SEA CHALLENGE watch attached to the robotic arm in the upper right-hand section of the photo. Rolex made this special model just for James Cameron's record setting dive attempt, and just like the original DEEP-SEA SPECIAL, it came up to the surface in perfect working condition.

In the close-up photo seen below, we witness James Cameron wearing a standard Rolex DEEP-SEA SEA-DWELLER on his wrist.

"The Rolex Deepsea Challenge was the reliable companion throughout the dive; it was on the sub's manipulator arm and working precisely at 10,898 meters down at the bottom of the Challenger Deep. It's a tremendous example of know-how, and an ideal match for the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible." 

–James Cameron 
[National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence].

In the photo below we see James Cameron posing with the National Geographic Society flag, just after he surfaced. I think James Cameron is an amazing explorer, and I LOVE this photo, which has a definite  modern Jacques-Yves Cousteau vibe.

In the photo below we see James Cameron shaking hands with Captain Don Walsh, who successfully set the all-time depth record in 1960 while piloting the U.S. Navy Bathyscaphe Trieste in the same waters. 

Not only was retired U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh on board, but as a Rolex ambassador, it was his idea to have Rolex collaborate with James Cameron to put a new Rolex DEEP-SEA to this test on this fantastic journey. 

Captain Walsh also served as an indispensable consultant to James Cameron on this epic project, and in the photos above and below we see them after the record dive and Captain Walsh is proudly posing with the original Rolex DEEP-SEA Special prototype that accompanied him on the outside of his Bathyscaphe Trieste, and James Cameron is also proudly posing with the Rolex DEEP-SEA CHALLENGE watch that accompanied him on the outside of his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Submersible.

In the photo below we see James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER on deck in the background, and we see Captain Walsh standing behind a scaled model of the original Bathyscaphe Trieste. It is amazing how cool and historical these images are. Talk about iconic worlds colliding. This photo really captures the core-essence of The Rolex Spirit of Enquiry and Exploration. This is as real as the real deal gets–the OG hanging-tough with the NG. 

I live-blogged James Cameron's conquest of the Deep-Sea on Jake's Rolex World with minute by minute updates as the whole thing unfolded live. It is fascinating to note that I am 47 years old at the time of this writing, and this is the only Rolex related event I have ever witnessed in my lifetime as an adult, and I hope to see many more! 

In this next photo we see three of the greatest explorers alive; Captain Don Walsh, Doctor Robert Ballard (who discovered the Titanic), and James Cameron.

In the photo below we see James Cameron on the cover of National Geographic, and we see the headline: "The New Explorers" on the cover. I sincerely hope Rolex does everything they can now and in the future to assist in supporting this new age of exploration that is upon us.

In the photo below we see a close-up of James Cameron's Rolex DEEP-SEA SEA-DWELLER.

In the photo below, we see a recent National Geographic video interview featuring James Cameron, that goes into great detail on his amazing scientific discoveries from his dive. When you listen to James Cameron speak, you can't help but be in awe of how intelligent he is.


Next up, we see another fascinating James Cameron interview, this time recorded at Rolex World Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland where he discusses his shared values with Rolex as well as how Rolex was able to build the Rolex DEEP-SEA CHALLENGE watch in ONLY 5-weeks!?!?! 

Just to be clear, retired U.S. Captain Don Walsh, who is a Rolex Ambassador, was consulting with James Cameron, and he said to James, "Why don't I reach out to Rolex and see if we can get them to build a new watch to take down on your attempt to break my record?" James agreed, and Captain Walsh contacted Rolex in Geneva to ask if they could meet this incredible challenge. Rolex immediately jumped into action and the video below tells this amazing story.

Historically, Rolex has been the true King Of The DEEP-SEA, which stems from their experience with their conquest of the ocean. 

The Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE watch looks like a Rolex DEEP-SEA SEA-DWELLER on steroids, but the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE is not available to the public for purchase. Instead it is an experimental watch.

The photo below shows and original Rolex DEEPSEA Special from 1960 next to its grandson, a Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE from 2012.

The photo below appears courtesy of OceanTime, and it shows a Rolex DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER (44MM) next to its bigger brother, the Rolex DEEPSEA CHALLENGE.

Rolex's Ocean Conquest

The section above tells the story of Rolex's conquest of the ocean, which is just one small part of their amazing history of making tool watches that have deeply inspired and allowed many explorers to push the limits of what was previously thought to be possible.

Rolex used to brag in magazine ads about how it took a year to build an average Rolex watch, and all of a sudden, about 30 years ago they stopped.

Many people assumed this was because Rolex had achieved economies of scale that sped-up the manufacturing and assembly process, but in my tour of Rolex I was shocked to see how much handwork goes into making Rolex watches today. I think Rolex stopped talking about how long it takes to make a watch since it is so challenging to quantify and measure objectively. 

Rolex still hand-assembles all the watch parts, including the movement, and bracelets, and still attaches the watch hands by hand. I know about the hands because Rolex allowed me to attach a set of hands, which included the hour, minute and second hand to a Rolex Submariner in their factory, so somebody in the world will enjoy a Rolex I installed the hands on ;-)

This story I just shared about how Rolex conquered the Ocean and Deep Sea really speaks volumes about their technological and manufacturing prowess. There are many other amazing stories, and you can find them in the Library of, but I though I would share this one to offer broad context for the unparalleled heritage of Rolex.

Table Of Contents

Exploring The Wonderful World Of Rolex In Switzerland