Who Owns Rolex?

Rolex is one of the most iconic watch brands in the world. Established in 1905, Rolex has become a global symbol of luxury and quality. As such, many people are curious about who owns the company, especially given its extensive and expensive product range. To answer this question, we must look at both the history and current ownership of Rolex Watches.

In this article from the experts at CALIBRE, we will discuss who owns the iconic Swiss watch brand, with an explanation of their ownership and everything you need to know about the legendary luxury watch producers.

Who Founded Rolex?

Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, founded the company in London, England in 1905. 

Initially operating under the name “Wilsdorf and Davis,” the duo eventually settled on the iconic brand name “Rolex” in 1908 for its watches, and by 1915, the company became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. Today, Rolex is considered one of the most prestigious watch brands globally, offering a wide range of exquisite timepieces that cater to the diverse needs of its discerning customers.

The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation

Hans Wilsdorf The Rolex Founder

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The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation is a charitable organisation established by the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf.

Since Wilsdorf did not have any heirs, he set up the foundation in 1945 to ensure that the company he founded would be well taken care of even after his passing. The foundation’s primary objective is to promote and support scientific research, education, and culture, with a particular emphasis on the fields of medicine, technology, and the arts.

The foundation also oversees the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, a prestigious program that recognises and supports innovators and pioneers in various fields who are working to create a better world. Today, the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation is a testament to the enduring legacy of the man who founded Rolex and his commitment to philanthropy and social responsibility.

Who is the CEO of Rolex?

Jean-Frédéric Dufour - CEO - and Mokobé

The current CEO of Rolex is Jean-Frédéric Dufour. Dufour joined the company in 2014 after a successful tenure as the CEO of Zenith Watches, and since joining Rolex, Dufour has been responsible for driving the company’s continued success and growth. 

Dufour is well respected in the luxury timepiece industry, and he has been instrumental in creating new designs, expanding the brand’s global reach, and maintaining Rolex’s reputation for quality and precision. Under Dufour’s leadership, Rolex has continued to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of its customers, ensuring that it remains a leader in the luxury watch industry.

Do Rolex own Tudor?

Tudor is a Swiss luxury watch brand that is often associated with Rolex, and many people wonder if Rolex owns Tudor. The answer is yes; Rolex is the parent company of Tudor. Hans Wilsdorf, who founded Rolex, established Tudor in 1946 as a more affordable alternative to Rolex watches. While Tudor operates independently of Rolex, it shares the same commitment to quality, precision, and innovation.

Tudor watches are designed to be robust, reliable, and functional, with a focus on technical excellence and durability. Over the years, Tudor has established itself as a brand in its right, with a loyal following of enthusiasts who appreciate its unique style and heritage. So while Rolex owns Tudor, each brand has its own distinct identity and approach to watchmaking.

Where is Rolex Located?

Rolex Headquarters in Geneva

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The company’s headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland, where Rolex has been based since 1920.

The headquarters, known as the Rolex Building, is an impressive architectural masterpiece and a landmark of the city. The building features a unique spiral staircase and is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, making it a must-visit destination for watch enthusiasts and visitors to Geneva alike.

Despite its global presence, Rolex remains firmly rooted in its Swiss heritage and its commitment to the highest standards of quality and precision.

What Watches does Rolex Currently Produce?

Rolex Submariner divers watch

Rolex currently produces an extensive catalogue of watches, each with unique designs and practical features. 

One of the brand’s most iconic collections is the Oyster Perpetual, which features a variety of models ranging from classic to sporty, all of which are equipped with the brand’s signature self-winding movement. 

The brand also makes some of the best professional watches on the market, including the Submariner, Sea-Dweller, and GMT-Master, which are all highly sought after for their amazing functions. Rolex also produces dress watches, such as the Cellini collection, which feature elegant designs and refined details. Additionally, Rolex is known for its limited-edition and special-edition watches, which are released periodically and often incorporate unique materials, designs, and features.

How Many Watches does Rolex Make a Year?

While Rolex does not release official production figures, estimates suggest that the company produces around 800,000 watches each year.

This number includes all of the brand’s collections, from the classic Oyster Perpetual to the professional-grade models such as the Submariner, GMT-Master, and Daytona. Rolex’s commitment to quality means that each watch undergoes rigorous testing and inspection before it is released to the market, ensuring that it meets the brand’s standards for accuracy, durability, and reliability. Despite the relatively low production numbers, Rolex watches remain in high demand around the world, making them some of the most sought-after timepieces on the market.

Who Owns Rolex: Final Thoughts

To conclude, it is clear that the ownership of Rolex watches has undergone a dramatic shift over the last decade. From its beginnings as a luxury item for the wealthy, Rolex has become an icon of success and status, prized by celebrities and everyday people alike. By understanding who owns Rolex watches, we can gain insight into our society’s evolving tastes and values.

Other Rolex and Watch Guides at CALIBRE

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