Ask anyone around you to name a watch brand, and it's a safe bet that they'll say "Rolex". And alongside the icons that are the Daytona and the Submariner, the most emblematic model of the manufacture is probably also the most sober: the Rolex Oyster Perpetual which has an incredible history.
Portrait of a legend of luxury watchmaking...
Until 1926, no watchmaker had yet bothered to make his watches water-resistant. That year, Rolex pioneered a screw-down crown case concept called the Oyster. The invention made history a year later when a woman, Mercedes Gleitze, swam across the English Channel wearing a Rolex Oyster on her wrist. When she came out of the water some fifteen hours later, the watch had kept all the elements it protected dry and was working perfectly.
Following this sporting and technical feat, it was in 1931 that the brand, having chosen a crown as its symbol, presented the first model in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection.
A synthesis of all the know-how acquired by the Manufacture since its creation in 1905 by the German Hans Wilsdorf, this wristwatch was distinguished by the way in which the case, crystal, and crown were assembled to form a totally hermetic "shell".
But the technological breakthrough didn't stop at water resistance (although all Oysters in history have always prided themselves on being waterproof to at least 100 meters). For example, the first model from 1931 had a rotor mechanism that could rotate freely in both directions. The movement was, therefore, wound up automatically by the movements of the wrist.
Over the decades, the automatic movement of Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches has never ceased to improve, incorporating the latest technological advances resulting from research and development by the Swiss manufacturer.
The Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified on the dial means that the movement has withstood a long series of grueling tests, attesting to its extreme precision.
While the Rolex Oyster Perpetual range includes models with a diameter between 26 and 39 mm, for men or women, all versions have one thing in common: their case is made of the highest quality stainless steel (904L).
And if the look has been subtly modernized, the mechanics improved again and again since 1931, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual has kept its soul and its character to impose itself among the most famous watches in the world.