Once Upon A Time – The Story of The Rolex Logo
At the age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis founded a company in London with the intention of manufacturing and distributing innovative timepieces. The year was 1905. At the time (pun intended), Wilsdorf had a dream to create a portable watch that could be worn on the wrist. The wristwatches of the day were not very accurate and he saw an opportunity to introduce a more reliable option.
In fact, Wilsdorf used small and very precise watch movements in his design that was made by a Swiss watchmaking company. The products being produced by Wilsdorf and Davis were nothing short of spectacular. Their wristwatches were elegant, stylish and luxurious. However, they were being marked with “W & D” rather than with an actual product name.
In 1908 the pair decided that they needed to brand their popular, high-end watches with a name but not just any name. Wilsdorf wanted a short name. That way it would be easy to say and easy to remember. Plus, it had to be a short enough name that it would be the same in any language. One final requirement was that the name had to look good on the watch movements and dials.
Wilsdorf took on the task and eventually tried combining letters of the alphabet in every possible combination.
“This gave me some hundred names,” he explained at the time.
“But none of them felt quite right.”
Then inspiration arrived in a tiny voice. Wilsdorf says that one morning he was riding in the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus in a section of London when he heard a voice.
“A genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”
And as they say, time stood still.
Well, for a few moments at the very least.
Now armed with a great name for their wristwatch product, the next plan was to design a Rolex logo to fit the name and image the partners were trying to project. It wasn’t until 1925 when they trademarked the five-pointed coronet insignia which has become an iconic symbol of excellence and exclusivity.
Rolex Logo – A Crowning Achievement
The Rolex crown logo has been dissected frequently by those who feel there is a hidden meaning or two buried within the design. The five points of the crown could represent the five fingers of a hand. For others, the crown represents five tree branches with pearls on the tops of each. Rolex cleverly sidesteps the theories and stays focused on their product. In fact, the company slogan says little more than, “A Crown For Every Achievement.”
I think they hit it on the head with the name and the Rolex logo.
Great marketing comes from brand names that are easy to say and remember as well as logos that stand out from the rest. Rolex does achieve both and at the same time, the name and logo seem to fit the overall image of their products.
I know when I see the name and crown I know they represent quality. In a way, you could say that the branding of these watches truly represents timeless quality.
About The Author
Hi, I’m Toni Marino. Award-winning Freelance Graphic Designer, writer and digital marketer. Forward thinking clients from various industries worldwide have enlisted my help to support the growth of their brands. Whether your part of a multi-national company, an independent business venture, or something in between, I would love to hear from you and together we can earn the trust of your future business prospects.