Rolex Patents the Oyster Perpetual in 1931

10:48 AM

In 1910, a Rolex wristwatch was the first of its kind to receive a First Class Chronometer Certificate from the Horological Society of Switzerland. A few years later, the company moved production to Bienne, Switzerland and by 1915 officially changed its name to The Rolex Watch Company. 

first swiss chronometer certificate awarded to rolex wristwatch
First Chronometer Certificate Awarded to Rolex in 1910 (image: Rolex) 
The iconic crown logo was registered in 1925 and by this point Alfred Davis, who founded Wilsdorf & Davis with brother-in-law Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, is no longer a part of the company. The first waterproof Rolex Oyster case was patented the following year. In 1927, a Rolex Oyster crossed the English Channel with swimmer Mercedes Gleitze, the first Englishwoman to accomplish the feat unaided. 

Rolex's First Perpetual Movement Patented in 1931 (photo: ablogtowatch.com)
It was 1931 when Rolex developed and patented the first automatic rotary winding mechanism known as the Oyster Perpetual. The movement, photographed above, harnessed the energy generated by the movement of the wearer's wrist to power the movement. A half-moon shaped oscillating weight on a axle would wind the mainspring and provide a constant source of energy to the movement without the need to wind it up manually. The principals used to develop the original Oyster Perpetual are still at work in the movements Rolex uses today.

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