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History of Rolex

The Rolex story begins in 1905 with the brand’s visionary founder, Hans Wilsdorf. Having set up a timepiece distribution company in London, Wilsdorf began dreaming of the possibilities of a wristwatch that not only looked elegant, but was equipped with features and functions that would excel its performance potential too. 

So that’s what he did. He began his conquest by pairing quality wristwatch designs with precise movements that were being manufactured in Bienne, Switzerland. His performance-focused approach aimed to convince consumers of the reliability of these new wrist accessories. In 1910, Wilsdorf struck success as a Rolex became the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne.

Shortly after, Rolex was moved to Geneva, where its headquarters are still based today. 

From here, the brand continued to innovate its designs and became a key contributor to the advancement of the watchmaking industry. For example, in 1926, Rolex produced the Oyster, the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch. This was a claim that was not only made by the brand as a marketing ploy, but rather a tried and tested feature of the watch. In fact, in 1927, the watch was worn by a young English swimmer named Mercedes Gleitze while crossing the English Channel. 

In the decades that followed, Rolex solidified its position in the market through the design, development and production of various patented inventions, including the world’s first self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor, which would go on to sit at the heart of all modern day automatic watches. 

As well as this, the brand began expanding its collection of tool watches, with models now being used by professionals in aviation, racing, diving and more. Rolex’s contribution in this area was so notable that its timepieces were coined the watches for achievers. 

In 1953, the Submariner was released, and the brand’s successes reached new heights once again. This watch was the first of its kind proven to be waterproof to depths as deep as 100m. It was also one of the first to help align the brand with popular culture, with a Submariner model gracing the wrist of Sean Connery in some of the first James Bond films. 

Following this, Rolex began laying the foundations for many more of its cornerstone collections, including the Explorer, Milgauss, Daytona, Sea-Dweller and more. This was supported by a number of sponsorships and partnerships with sporting events, professionals and milestone expeditions. 

As a reward for its continuous contributions and consistent high quality output, Rolex has risen to the top of the luxury brand leaderboard. Today, Rolex is a household name with its pieces associated with prestige, status and power.

But rather than simply basking in its much deserved glory, Rolex continues to reinvent the wheel and perfect its already-precise timepieces. Consequently, there are a number of watch models that remain highly sought after among collectors and enthusiasts, but have been discontinued by the brand. Many of these pieces can now only be found for sale on the second hand Rolex watch market.

What makes Rolex watches desirable?

Our collection of Patek Philippe cufflinks holds pieces that are perfect for everyday wear, regardless of the occasion.

Rolex has a rich history that has been built on visionary design and innovation, and high quality standards. Therefore, every one of its watches, no matter how old, benefits from these core values that sit at the heart of the luxury brand. This is precisely what makes second hand Rolex watches desirable.

These qualities have also enabled Rolex to build a prestigious reputation within the watch world. Any piece that possesses the coveted Rolex crown is viewed with such reputation and associations in mind. But with a pre-owned Rolex watch on your wrist, you also get the charm and character that can only come from the timepiece’s past life and its place in the brand’s history.

Therefore, a Rolex watch is a great investment piece. It’s common for the value of older timepieces to increase over time as their history strengthens and becomes ever more significant in the watchmaking industry.

Pre-owned men’s Rolex watches

As Rolex continues to develop its men’s watch collection, it is common for some popular models to be discontinued. Therefore, searching within pre-owned Rolex watch collections is a great way to find sought after timepieces that you can no longer buy brand new. This can include notable original models within the Submariner, Daytona and even Oyster collections, which helped form the strong foundations the brand enjoys today.

Pre-owned ladies’ Rolex watches

Having produced ladies’ luxury watches for many years, the second hand Rolex watch collection for women also offers an extensive range of options. These can include models which belong to original collections, such as the Lady-Datejust and the Pearlmaster, for example.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why buy used Rolex watches?

There are a number of reasons why one may choose to buy a used Rolex watch. Firstly, the brand’s high quality standards ensure timepieces are designed to last, so no matter how old a piece is, if it has been carefully maintained, it is likely to remain in pristine condition.

These watches help tell the story of the acclaimed Rolex brand, which also explains why older models are extremely popular among collectors and luxury watch enthusiasts. As well as this, many popular models were limited in production, or have been discontinued. So, those after a specific Rolex model often turn to pre-owned collections for a second chance of buying their desired watch.

What is the best way to buy a second hand Rolex?

The best way to buy a second hand Rolex watch is to purchase it through an authorised and trusted retailer. As Rolex watches are not cheap investments, you will want to be sure that the seller you are buying from is firstly, selling you an authentic piece and secondly, offering you the best deal depending on the condition of the timepiece.

As Hamilton & Inches are an authorised UK stockist of Rolex watches, our experts are able to authenticate and accurately value timepieces. Therefore, we ensure that every second hand Rolex watch is in pristine condition and fairly priced. We can also arrange for an in-person viewing of the Rolex model you are considering at our showrooms. This way, we give our customers additional peace of mind and confidence in their high value purchase.

Are pre-owned Rolex Models high quality?

All pre-owned Rolex watches available at Hamilton & Inches are guaranteed to possess the same high quality as the luxury brand intended when sold brand new. Our team of in-house watch experts are specialists in Rolex watches, so are able to accurately assess every watch’s internal and external condition, to ensure you get a complete view before making a purchase. 

We also offer a two year warranty with every second hand Rolex watch purchase, and our in-house watchmakers are experts in servicing and caring for the intricate details of the luxury timepiece. Therefore, you get even greater peace of mind with the assurance of an excellent after-sales service. 
Should you have any questions regarding the quality or condition of a pre-owned Rolex watch you see in our collection, please do not hesitate to get in touch.