A watch for all seasons (particularly rainy ones)

2 minute read | Share

Rolex has spent over a hundred years perfecting the art of keeping its watches dry.

Back in the mists of time, the pocket watch was well sheltered from the elements. But as lifestyles changed, people found that the pocket watch was not as practical for sports or outdoor pursuits.
Watch maker Hans Wilsdorf – the future founder of Rolex – realised this and set himself the task of creating a watch that could be worn on the wrist for convenience, and would be able to withstand dust and moisture.


Rolex Submarine 1922

Finding an oyster

“We must find a way to create a waterproof wristwatch,” Wilsdorf wrote in 1914 and by 1922, Rolex did just that with the launch of the Submarine which took a significant step in the quest to develop a completely sealed watch. Four years later, in 1926, the Oyster case was introduced; its inner and outer cases meant, like an oyster, “it can remain [for] an unlimited time underwater without detriment to its parts”.


Rolex First Oyster Octagonal 1926

Under pressure

Just being waterproof was not enough for the brand, however, and by the 1950s the iconic Submariner was introduced; a watch for deep sea divers that could be guaranteed as waterproof to 100 metres, complete with a rotatable bezel to help divers monitor their time underwater. By the 2000s the technology had progressed to enable the Rolex Deepsea to handle extreme water pressure to a staggering 3,900 metres. And in 2012, an experimental Rolex diver’s watch went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench; a depth of 15,000 metres where the water pressure on the watch was equal to a weight of 20 tonnes.

Cheltenham jeweller Martin & Co’s Rolex ambassador Jake says: “Some of our Rolex customers do go diving but perhaps not to that depth! For divers and non-divers alike, knowing that all Rolex models are completely waterproof to at least 100 metres offers peace of mind whether scuba diving in the English Channel, or simply forgetting to take your watch off in the shower.”


Rolex First Submariner 1953

Find your Rolex

You can choose your very own waterproof Rolex from the brand’s range available from Martin & Co who are also authorised to take care of your Rolex watch for servicing. With the necessary knowledge, skills and technical know-how, Martin & Co can advise on all the technical aspects of Rolex watches.


Martin & Co Cheltenham Rolex Area