Exactly 106 years ago..
On 2 July 1908, Hans Wilsdorf officially filed and registered “ROLEX” as a brand name in Switzerland – a master stroke that would shape the company’s future.
A veritable visionary, Hans Wilsdorf was truly ahead of his time in terms of intel- lectual property. After having protected the name, Hans Wilsdorf had another challenge before him: to convince the retailers to include “ROLEX” rather than their own name on the watch.
At the time, each jeweller or watchmaker wanted to place his own name on the dial and not reveal the name of the supplier or manufacturer. Hans Wilsdorf proceeded a step at a time, as related in his memoirs. “At first I ventured to inscribe ‘ROLEX’ on one watch in every six, hoping that this watch would get through and be sold. Gradually, I dared to put it on two out of six, and later it appeared on three.”
In 1926, the year of the launch of the Rolex Oyster waterproof wristwatch, Hans Wilsdorf vowed that, from that date forth, no single watch would be delivered without the “ROLEX” brand name figuring on its dial, case and movement.
There was no turning back.