Founded in 1905 by 24-year-old Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex created a completely new type of wristwatch when it introduced the world’s first waterproof watchcase: the Oyster case, which still endures as a symbol of solid manufacturing. Since the 1950s, Rolex has continued to lead the watch industry by launching a wide range of models, including the Explorer, Submariner, Milgauss, and Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. While a number of brands such as Seiko counterattacked with electronic watches, Rolex has adhered to its original brand values by continuing to produce mechanical watches.

Welcome to the 41st issue of B.

A number of brands are described as premium. Being expensive and high-end does not always mean a brand is good, but premium is a position that many brands aspire to occupy. The brands that succeed in becoming premium brands are objects of desire for consumers.

Personally speaking, I am not particularly fond of luxury brands, but I cannot help having the utmost respect for the paths they have trodden and their skills to give consumers sufficient reason to pay handsomely for their products. Among luxury products, there is a lot to say about watches. Wristwatches are one of the most clearly branded items people wear, so it is no wonder that financial affluence leads to the desire to wear a premium wristwatch.

In fact, the wide range of wristwatches cannot be simply categorized as good or bad. Wristwatches are the direct reflection of the values of their wearers. In terms of function, watches are all the same in that they tell the time, but it is not always the case that a more expensive wristwatch is better. As such, wearing a costlier wristwatch is not always more appealing. The ideal watch is the one that best fits the wearer’s thoughts and values.

In this issue, we introduce Rolex, a Swiss watch brand that was established in 1905. It is such a well-known premium watch brand that even people who know nothing about watches would have heard the name. Behind the extravagant, premium image of Rolex lies a commitment to greater functionality that has brought about groundbreaking advances such as water-resistance and unparalleled sturdiness. The brand’s famous Oyster line was named in reference to the shell of an oyster that does not allow water to leak inside. This offers a hint of the brand’s priorities. Based on a pride in technological prowess, Rolex has retained simple, basic forms, establishing itself as a classic brand, but also one which never ceases to be dynamic and appealing.

While examining Rolex for this month’s issue, I found a Rolex model that I would like to own. A Rolex might seem less interesting than the Apple I currently wear, but Apple watches are obsolete as soon as the next model is released. A Rolex might ultimately be the less expensive option, since it can be handed down from generation to generation.

PublisherSuyong Joh

http://www.johsuyong.com

Intro


Publisher’s Note


News

Rolex news and rumors from press around the world


Pros and Cons

Comments on Rolex made by watch specialists


Opinion

Sungwon Jang, watch repair craftsman


Lineup

Rolex watches categorized by symbolism and function


Lineup

Rolex watches categorized by symbolism and function


Signatures

Some of the signature elements of Rolex watches that define modern watches


Versus

Comparisons of Rolex models that set standards for functionality and the market


Opinion

Shigeharu Aritake, antique watch dealer


Second Handr

Selling vintage Rolex watches


Inspiration

The sublime symbolism of a Rolex goes beyond that of a simple wristwatch


Critics

Perspectives on the values that Rolex has established as a brand


B's Cut

Standard

Images of Rolex watches as a timeless standard


Brand Story

Rolex, the first brand to introduce modern watchmaking technology, has enjoyed worldwide recognition


Manufacturers

Rolex’s four manufacturing facilities embody the essence of the brand’s technology


Word of Mouth

Interesting rumors about the highly secretive brand


Films

Rolexes in movies boast a classic image and a diversity of usage


Communications

Rolex advertising campaigns by category


Market

Footsteps of the three big players leading the global high-end watch market


Facts

The growth of the Swiss watch industry and Rolex’s brand power in numbers


Figures

Rolex’s production and operations in numbers


From the Editor in Chief

Rolex’s core values defined by the Editor in Chief


Outro



PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher
Suyong Joh

Editor In Chief
Taehyuk Choi

Senior Editor
Eunsung Park

Editors
Jaewoo Seo, Bora Nam, Yeongmin Kim

Translation Editor
Heejean Kim

Translation
Hyunkyung Yoo, Rancy Kim, Seongae Yang, Soonok Hwang

Copy Editing
Eugene Larsen-Hallok

Proofreading
Sarah Kessler Jang

Designer
Ayoon Jung

Filmmaker
Sukwang Baak

Distribution
Tony Song

Correspondents
Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Jungho Lee (New York), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)

Publishing
JOH & Company

Printed in the Republic of Korea

ISBN
978-89-98415-84-6 03050

REFERENCES

The Rolex Encyclopedia
Rolex Jubilee Vade Mecum
The Rolex Magazine
Official Facebook page
HODINKEE
Rolex Presents: South Face Annapurna