Rolex has forged a privileged relationship with yachting out of a natural af nity with this dynamic nautical sport and its time-honoured values. Today Rolex is the committed partner of the most prestigious yacht clubs, institutions and regattas in the world, sharing the highest standards of excellence with the custodians of yachting’s nest spirit.
From the very beginning in 1905, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf set out to make wristwatches that would suit the increasingly active and sporting lifestyles of the modern world. Nine years later, in 1914, Rolex brought the then unrivalled and observatory-certified precision of the marine chronometer clock, a vital naviga- tional instrument, to the wristwatch for the rst time.
By 1926, Rolex had invented the world’s rst waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster, and, in 1931, the rst wristwatch self-winding system with a free rotor, called the Perpetual. These patented innovations and landmarks in watch- making formed the foundations for today’s Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master and Yacht- Master II. Rolex used the world as a real-life proving ground for the Oyster, demonstrating time and again its reliability in the most extreme conditions, at sea, in the depths of the ocean, on land, in the air and on the tallest peaks.
By being associated with so many achievements, Rolex watches established themselves as a trusted reference. Waterproof, robust and accurate, Rolex Oyster Perpetual chronometers are uniquely suited to life at the helm.
Rolex naturally became associated with activities that shared its excellence, precision and team spirit. The brand gravitated toward the elite world of yachting, forming a rst alliance in the late 1950s with the New York Yacht Club, a founding father of the America’s Cup, along with the Royal Yacht Squadron in Great Britain, and a creative in uence on the sport of yacht- ing and its rules. These include “One-Design” racing for eets of virtually identical boats, which allows the skill of the crew to make all the difference. This principle bred advanced regattas such as the highly competitive Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
YACHT CLUB TIES
The seminal partnership with the NYYC shaped Rolex’s involvement in the sport. Yachting is steeped in tradition, nurtures a spirit of fair play and thrives on a congenial atmosphere. Yet, racing is also ercely competitive and technical, demanding mastery, split-second precision, resilience and the nest teamwork. For over half a century, Rolex has harnessed the passion for yachting and its pop- ularity by establishing deep-rooted ties with in uential yacht clubs across the globe, where sailing enthusiasts rub shoulders with hard- core racers and elite skippers. A dozen clubs now anchor a series of partnerships which give Rolex title sponsorship of about 15 major races in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Pacific basin.
This circuit ranges from the two leading offshore classics, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race – which test Corinthian (non-professional) and professional crews to their limits – through the powerful action of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup on the latest majestic yachts, to the pageantry of the glamorous Giraglia Rolex Cup between Saint-Tropez and Genoa.
Rolex’s dedicated yachting timepieces, the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II, a regatta chronograph with an innovative mechanical countdown timer, are imbued with the rich heritage and experience of sailing’s elite, as well as the elegance, performance and innov- ation of Rolex watchmaking. They reward the very best in yachting competition and symbolize the enduring bond between Rolex and the maritime world.
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