Rolex honestly isn’t always like some other Swiss made dive watch watch emblem. In reality, the privately held, independently run entity isn’t always like maximum other corporations. I can say this now with plenty greater clarity than the majority due to the fact I become there.
Rolex hardly ever permits every person into its hallowed halls, however I was invited to visit their 4 manufacture locations in Switzerland and revel in first-hand how Rolex makes their well-known watches.
Rolex is a universe of its personal: reputable; trendy; valued; and acknowledged across the globe. Sometimes I sit lower back and consider all that Rolex is and does and find it difficult to consider that at the stop of the day, they simply make watches.
Rolex does simply make watches and their timepieces have taken on a role beyond that of mere timekeeper. Having said that, the purpose a “Rolex is a Rolex” is due to the fact they’re good watches and inform pretty good time. It’s taken me over a decade to completely appreciate the logo, and it will in all likelihood take longer earlier than I study the whole thing I’d like to know approximately them.
The motive of this article is not to present you a completely inside have a look at Rolex. That is not viable due to the fact as of now there’s a strict “no pictures” policy at Rolex. There is a totally actual mystique in the back of the manufacture due to the fact they may be surprisingly closed and their operations are not public. The emblem takes the concept of Swiss discreetness to a new stage, and in lots of ways that is right for them. So in view that we can not show you what we noticed, I’d want to proportion with you some interesting statistics that every Rolex and watch lover must recognise.
1. They Use An Expensive And Difficult To Machine Steel Because It Looks Better
Many watch enthusiasts are acquainted with the truth that Rolex makes use of a type of metal that no person else uses. Stainless metal is not all the identical. Steel is available in numerous sorts and grades… And most metal watches are crafted from a kind of stainless steel referred to as 316L. Today, all of the metallic in Rolex watches is crafted from 904L metallic, and as some distance as we recognise, quite a great deal nobody else does. Why?
Rolex used to use the equal metal as every person else, however in round 2003 they moved their whole steel production to 904L metal. In 1988 they released their first 904L metallic watch with some versions of the Sea-Dweller. 904L metal is extra rust and corrosion resistant, and is particularly tougher than other steels. Most vital to Rolex, is that 904L metallic, when worked well, is able to take (and preserve) polishes highly nicely. If you’ve got ever noticed that metal on a Rolex watch seems different than other watches, it’s miles due to 904L steel, and how Rolex has learned to paintings with it.
A herbal query is why does not everyone else in the watch enterprise use 904L metallic? A exact bet is due to the fact it’s far extra luxurious and much extra complicated to machine. Rolex needed to replace most of their metallic working machines and tools to deal with 904L steel. It made feel for them because of the quantity of watches they produce, and because they make all their components in-residence. Most different brands get their instances crafted from outdoor providers. So despite the fact that 904L metal is higher than 316L metal for watches, it’s far extra steeply-priced, requires unique equipment and competencies, and is average extra difficult to paintings with. This has prevented other manufacturers (up to now) from taking benefit of it, and is something special that Rolex has. The gain is plain once you deal with any metallic Rolex watch.
2. Rolex Has Its Own Science Lab
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Given the entirety Rolex has done through the years it should not come as a surprise that they have got an inner Research & Development branch. However, Rolex takes it properly beyond that. Rolex has not one, but several one of a kind varieties of extraordinarily properly-geared up expert technology labs at their numerous centers. The motive of those labs is not just to analyze new watches and things that may match into watches, however also to research greater powerful and efficient production techniques. One way of looking at Rolex is that they are an extremely equipped and nearly obsessively prepared production employer – that just occurs to make timepieces.
Rolex labs are as numerous as they’re first rate. Perhaps the most visually thrilling is the chemistry lab. Full of beakers and tubes that convey liquids and gases, the Rolex chemistry lab is complete of incredibly skilled scientists. What is it in the main used for? Well one aspect that Rolex stated is that the lab is used for developing and learning oils and lubricants that they use in machines during the producing process.
Rolex has a room with multiple electron microscopes and a few gas spectrometers. They are capable of take an extremely close study metals and other substances to investigate the results of machining and production strategies. These large areas are extremely spectacular and are used significantly on a regular foundation to remedy or prevent viable troubles.
Of direction Rolex also makes use of its science labs at the watches themselves. An thrilling room is the pressure check room. Here watch moves, bracelets, and cases undergo simulated wear and abuse on custom-made machines and robots. Let’s just say that it might not be unreasonable to count on your typical Rolex is designed to remaining a life-time (or two).
Three. Their Movements Are All Hand-Assembled And Tested
One of biggest misconceptions about Rolex is that machines construct their watches. The rumor is so pervasive that even human beings at aBlogtoWatch believed it to be generally real. This is because traditionally Rolex didn’t speak a good deal in this topic. Well the truth is that Rolex watches are given all of the arms-on human interest that you’d like to assume from a exceptional Swiss made watch.
Rolex uses machines in the manner for certain. In reality, Rolex easily has the maximum sophisticated watch making machinery in the international. The robots and other automatic tasks are definitely used for responsibilities that human beings aren’t as excellent at. These include sorting, filing, cataloging, and very delicate methods that contain the kind of care you want a device to deal with. Most of these machines are still human-operated though. And everything from Rolex actions to bracelets are assembled by means of hand. A system but facilitates with doing matters inclusive of applying the right pressure whilst attaching pins, aligning components, and pressing down hands. Having said that, all Rolex watch hands are still set through hand through a trained technician.
It could be an understatement to signify that Rolex is obsessive approximately first-class control. A predominant topic in the manufacture is that things are checked, re-checked, after which checked again. It feels as though their aim is to ensure that if a Rolex watch fails, it does so earlier than it leaves the manufacturing unit. Large groups of watchmakers and meeting people work on every single movement that Rolex produces. This is before and after their movements are sent to COSC for chronometer certification. And on top of that, Rolex re-checks their moves for accuracy after they are cased for several days at the same time as simulating wear before they are sent out to shops.
4. An In-House Foundry Makes All Their Gold
Rolex makes their own gold. While they’ve a small handful of providers that send them metal (Rolex nonetheless works the steel in-residence to make all the components), all of the gold and platinum is made in-house. 24k gold comes into Rolex and it’s far become 18k yellow, white, or Rolex’s Everose gold (their non-fading version of 18k rose gold).
Large kilns beneath hot flames are used to melt and mix the metals which are then became instances and bracelets. Because Rolex controls the production and machining of their gold, they’re able to strictly make certain now not only excellent, however the first-class looking elements. To our information Rolex is the simplest watch manufacture that makes their own gold or even has a real foundry in-house.
5. Technology Is A Watchmaker’s Best Friend
The philosophy at Rolex seems to be very pragmatic, if a human does it higher, then permit a human do it, if a gadget does it better, then let a system do it. In reality the purpose extra watchmakers don’t use machines is two-fold. First of all machines are big investments and many times maintaining human beings around to do it’s far less costly. Second, they don’t have the production demands that Rolex does. In reality, Rolex is fortunate to have the ability to equip its centers with robot assist in which needed.
The epicenter of Rolex’s automation prowess is the master supply room. Massive columns of elements are attended to with the aid of robotic servants that keep and retrieve trays with parts or complete watches. A watchmaker desiring elements should truely area an order with the system, and it’s miles added on a chain of conveyer structures to them in approximately 6-eight minutes.
Robotic arms populate the Rolex manufacture places while it broadly speaking comes to repetitive or distinctly detailed obligations that require consistency. Many Rolex parts are given an preliminary machine polish by a robot, however amazingly they may be hand-completing and polished as nicely. The fact is that at the same time as modern-day technology is a big part of the “Rolex production gadget,” robot equipment is there to assist what’s a very real, human watch making operation.
6. Fort Knox Has Nothing On Rolex
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It isn’t always surprising that Rolex is keen on protection. At their foundry for instance, I become given a bar to hold around that weighed in at simply over $1,000,000 really worth of Everose gold. There is lots greater of that, in addition to precious completed watches that need safekeeping. Rolex employs a chain of extremely meticulous security tests and that they had a James Bond-fashion secure this is placed a few flooring underground.