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Do you know where the name of “Rolex” come grom?

Here’s where the name ‘Rolex’ really came from


Does the name ‘Rolex’ actually mean anything?

Rolex is a storied brand — one of, if not
the most notable in the watchmaking world.

So it’s surprising how relatively little there is to know about the beginnings of the 100-plus-year-old brand. Even something as simple as where its name came from is shrouded in mystery.

Rolex, for its official brand story, plays it pretty simple. According the brand’s official website, founder Hans Wilsdorf wanted his new brand of watches to have a short name that could be said in any language.

Most importantly, he wanted something that looked good on the watches themselves, and that was symmetrical in capital letters.

“I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way,” Wilsdorf supposedly said, according to Rolex. “This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”

Rolex watch

If that seems incomplete to you, you’re not alone. Adding a bit of colour to the story is an essay in NYU’s Stern Business School newsletter, written by adjunct professor of management David Liebeskind, who claims that Wilsdorf also thought “Rolex” seemed like an onomatopoeia of a watch ticking.

So, basically it doesn’t really mean anything. (Some have suggested that it’s short for “horological excellence,” but there’s no proof that Wilsdorf ever claimed that.)

It also hides the brand’s English roots, as the brand began in London in 1908 and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1919.

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Limited-Edition Panerai | New Luminor Submersible

Panerai may trace its roots way back to the 1860s — and its modern collection, to the iconic pieces it developed for the Italian Navy in the 1930s — but the Florence-based, Swiss-made watch brand has officially embraced the digital age, announcing this week its first “e-commerce first” watch — the new Panerai Luminor Submersible Automatic Acciaio – 44mm, limited to 100 pieces and offered to online customers in Panerai’s e-boutique.

Panerai Luminor Submersible Acciaio LE - soldier
The new Luminor Submersible Automatic Acciaio

Manufactured at Panerai’s manufacture in Neuchâtel, the Luminor Submersible is the company’s most professional-grade divers’ watch — water-resistant to a depth of 300 meters, with a unidirectional rotating bezel for calculating dive times. (Panerai’s other main collections, the Luminor and Radiomir, while replicating the design of watches made of Italian navy frogmen of the 1930s and ’40s, are not equipped with the latter feature, regarded as a requirement on modern watches for diving.) The watch’s 44-mm case is made of AISI 316L stainless steel and features the patented, lever-like crown-locking device that secures the screw-down crown and ensures the case’s water-resistance.

Panerai Luminor Submersible Acciaio LE - side
The crown-locking lever device helps ensure the Luminor Submersible’s 300-meter water resistance.

The watch’s dial is a deep blue color, with applied hour markers (including applied Arabic numerals at “12” and “6”) and hands treated with a bright green Super-LumiNova for maximum low-light (or deep underwater) legibility. Above the dial is a domed sapphire crystal that features a magnifying lens over the date window at 3 o’clock. Directly across from the date display at 9 o’clock is a small seconds subdial, also with green Super-LumiNova accents, that lets the wearer know at a quick and easy glance, even in darkness, if the watch is functioning. Inside the case is Panerai’s self-winding OP XXX caliber, providing a 50-hour power reserve after being fully wound. A set of blocky, curved lugs attach the watch to its black rubber strap, which is designed to be easily swapped out with the additional strap provided with each watch.

Panerai Luminor Submersible Acciaio LE - dial CU
Green Super-LumiNova accents and a magnifying lens over the date aid in underwater legibility.
Panerai Luminor Submersible Acciaio LE - angle
Panerai Luminor Submersible Acciaio LE – angle

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