Rolex Inventions and Innovations – List of Rolex Inventions

Rolex Inventions – 8 Impressive Feats

Rolex is one of the most well-known and prestigious watch companies in the world. Rolex is known for its meticulous way of doing things, and for satisfying with nothing but perfection, and this is what Rolex calls ”The Rolex Way”.

The company’s pursuit of perfection has led it to come up with a number of inventions throughout its history. Some of these Rolex inventions have really played an important role not only for Rolex but for the whole watch industry. Rolex has patented hundreds and hundreds of inventions throughout the years, both small and large.

Let’s look closer at some of the most important inventions that Rolex has come up with.

The first waterproof wristwatch

This is likely one of the most important feats for wristwatches, ever. Rolex achieved the first waterproof wristwatch thanks to its Oyster case in 1926. At its release, it was an extremely impressive and important invention since it had never been done before for a wristwatch.

The Oyster case featured flutings on both the bezel and casebook to ensure they could be screwed down to the middle case and thus making it waterproof.


Rolex Easylink clasp

A clever invention by Rolex is the Easylink system. The 5mm comfort extension system allows the earlier to increase or reduce the size of the bracelet by 5mm. This clever invention was invented by Rolex due to the fact that the wrist shrinks or swells depending on the conditions. As such, to ensure the watch sits comfortably on the wrist at all times, Rolex came up with this link that enabled the wearer to adjust the size in a few seconds without the use of any tools.


Rolex Oyster Bracelet

Another invention that allows the wearer to adjust the size of the bracelet is the Glidelock clasp, invented and patented by Rolex. The Glidelock clasp is used on the Submariner and the Sea-Dweller. The clasp allows for size adjustments of 2mm increments without the use of any tools within seconds. The Glidelock clasp on the Deepsea allows for a total of 20mm extension.

Rolex Datejust

Rolex invented the Datejust in 1945. This made it the first wristwatch to display the date. Today, the Rolex Datejust has become an icon in the world of watches and being an inspiration for the rest of the watch industry.

Photo: Rolex.

Rolex Day-Date

Rolex invented the Day-Date in 1956. This was the first wristwatch to display the day and date simultaneously. Thanks to these practical functions, the Day-Date became popular amongst several of the world’s leaders, not to mention presidents.

Helium escape valve

Rolex invented the helium escape valve in the 1960s, together with Doxa.

The helium escape valve first saw the light of day in the Rolex Submariner, Rolex Sea-Dweller, and the Doxa Conquistado.

Many watch companies use the helium escape valve today to ensure full water-resistance at deeper levels in the ocean. But as with many things, Rolex was first.

Perpetual rotor

Rolex invented the perpetual self-winding rotor in 1931. The rotor is integrated into the movement and rotates as a result of gravity. The rotor rotates and generates energy to the mainspring, thus allowing the movement to operate without having to be manually wound.

Rolex was the first to use a 360° winding rotor in its wristwatches, and this technology has since become a standard feature of all automatic wristwatches.

GMT function

In 1954, Rolex came up with yet another invention – the GMT watch.

At the request of Panam, Rolex developed a timepiece that would be able to display two timezones simultaneously. The result was the GMT-Master reference 6542. Yet another invention and innovation from Rolex.


Looking at the number of patents and innovations, Rolex is certainly one of the leaders in the watch industry when it comes to innovation. Rolex invests heavily in research and development, and this generates results. The company has hundreds of patents under its name, and one thing is certain, which is that it hasn’t stopped there.

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