Among the most iconic features of the Rolex brand is the oyster case. By 1926, the company had developed a waterproof case. For over 90 years, it has served as the backbone of the company's watch production. Everyone from every walk of life will benefit from this accessory. A watch like this is protected from the elements, making it suitable to be worn during physically demanding occupations or activities. As ubiquitous as they are now, oysters serve as a reminder of how well (and for how long) they have done their job.
In 1926, Rolex released its first Oyster watch. Depending on the size, either an octagonal or cushion-shaped case could be ordered, both taking stylistic cues from the Art Deco movement.
Mercedes Gleitze wore one while swimming the English Channel in 1927. Despite 10 hours submerged in ice water, it worked perfectly. The watch was so good that Wilsdorf bought a front page photo of the swimmer and his watch together for the Daily Mail newspaper one month later.
Over the last nine decades, this design has hardly changed. A tube attached to the side of the case has a threaded crown that screws into it. Few years after the Oyster was introduced, the internal spring design was slightly modified to allow for disengagement of the stem as it was screwed down. In contemporary Rolex watches, the crown arrangement consists of about ten different parts and, depending on the type, either creates two sealed zones (Twinlock) or three sealed zones (Triplelock). The case, on the other hand, has significantly advanced. Originally, the movement was not attached directly to the case; this was done with a metal ring, which included the dial and hands as well.
The Oyster watch has evolved over time as Rolex refined its design. Further seals were added in 1953 in order to improve water resistance. As an alternative to a rotating bezel, they introduced a simplified case. As part of their most iconic collection, the Rolex Submariner, Rolex continued to use the water-tight Oyster case.
As early as 1970, a new type of winding crown was introduced with a tube-mounted O-ring seal.
On Rolex's original Sea-Dweller, it was a revolutionary feature, and it is now found on a range of their professional watches, including the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT-Master II.
All Rolex watches - including the dressiest of Explorer IIs and Day-Dates - are water resistant to a depth of 100 meters thanks to their Oyster case and twinlock crown.
One of Rolex's best-selling dive watches is the Rolex Submariner
Recreational diving led to an increase in the popularity of diving watches after World War II. In the 1950s, Rolex Submariner helped to popularize diving watches.
Rolex released one of the first sport watches commercially available at the time: the Submariner. Water-resistant watches were created because of research on commercial divers in deep ocean. Rolex manufacture became determined to achieve this goal. COMEX provided support for experiments in the extreme deep sea as part of its research into diving.
The Submariner is capable of 300m of depth, the Seadweller is 1,220m of depth, and the incredible Deepsea reaches 3,900m of depth.
For nearly a century, Rolex and the sea have inspired each other. ROLEX SUBMARINEER OYSTER PERPETUAL is the ideal watch companion for the scientific adventure of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE.
Rolex has always been synonymous with push the limits of human achievement and discovery, an idea instilled by its creator Hans Wilsdorf.
The 20th century was an exciting period for Hans Wilsdorf as he guided the Rolex company through a period of exploration of the world and big technological advances.
A Rolex watch was also used on the deepest dive in the world, and has proved to be incredibly durable, accurate, and reliable.
Without a doubt, Rolex Oyster cases are among horology's most important innovations. In terms of water resistance for watches, this was a completely new development. Due to Rolex's innovation, timepieces that perform in harsh environments were introduced. It also retained its leading position in a fiercely competitive market.
The Oyster case, first pioneered by Rolex, has become virtually ubiquitous. In modern times, Rolex is recognized as one of the most prestigious brands in water-resistant watches. It is still regarded as a classic example about how simple ideas work best, and even though it has continued to evolve over the years, the industry would look very different today if it weren't for Oyster.