In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf founded Wilsdorf and Davis in London. In 1908, he registered the Rolex brand name and opened an office in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1919, he transferred Rolex to Geneva, where it became "Montres Rolex S.A.".
1910 Rolex obtained the first official chronometer certification awarded to a wristwatch.
1926 Invention and patent of the Oyster, the first truly waterproof watch case. When Mercedes Gleitze swam the Channel in 1927, she wore a Rolex Oyster.
1929 Launch of the Prince model.
1931 Invention and patent of the first rotor-wound water-resistant wristwatch, precursor of today’s self-winding wristwatches, and launch of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual.
1945 Creation of the Date Just, the first ever self-winding, water-resistant wrist-chronometer to show the date.
1953 Creation of the Submariner, the first wristwatch to guarantee water-resistance to 100 metres.
1954 Creation of the GMT Master, the first self-winding, water-resistant wristwatch to display time simultaneously in any two time zones.
1956 Creation of the Day-Date, the first ever wrist-chronometer to display the date and spell out the day in full, in 26 languages.
1960 A specially-developed Rolex Oyster, attached to the outside of the Trieste bathyscaphe, withstood pressure of more than one tonne per sq. cm. at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
1961 Launch of the Cosmograph Daytona, the first Oyster chronographs.
1971 Creation of the Sea-Dweller 2000 (2,000 feet), the first diving watch with guaranteed water-resistance to 610 metres. Its helium valve meant the watch would decompress as quickly as the diver when resurfacing.
1975 The first Rolex Oyster Chronometer Daytona with water-resistant, screw-down pushbuttons.
1980 Creation of the Sea-Dweller 4000 (4,000 feet), the first diving watch with guaranteed water-resistance to 1,220 metres.
1988 Unveiling of the self-winding Cosmograph Daytona.
1991 Launch of the Oyster Perpetual Date Yacht-Master chronometer.
2005 Launch of the Prince model, inspired by the 1929 original.