Vita of the founder of Rolex
Vita Hans Wilsdorf
Hans Wilsdorf was born on 22 March 1881 in Kulmbach (Franconia) and died on July 6th, 1960 in his summer residence “Escale – Fleurie”. His parents, Johann Daniel Ferdinand Wilsdorf, born on 29.09.1846 in Kulmbach and his mother, Anna Maisel, born on 25.07.1855 in Obernsees, were the owners of today’s Eisenhandlung Heinlein in Kulmbach.
Hans Wilsdorf had 2 siblings, Karl Wilsdorf born 18.06.1879 and Anna Wilsdorf, born on 10.09.1882, both were born in Kulmbach.
At the age of 12, Hans Wilsdorf became full-time. His mother died at the age of 36 on 27.03.1892 in Kulmbach and the father shortly thereafter on 16.10.1893 at the age of 47 years in Bayreuth.
The grandson of Anna Wilsdorf, H.H. Kübel was marketing director of the world famous company.
After the death of his parents, Hans Wilsdorf met a young Swiss at his boarding school in Coburg, where he came to La Chaux-de-Fonds at the age of 19, where he discovered the watch industry, his passion and vocation.
In 1903, at the age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf became the watch importer of the Swiss watchmaker Aegler, based in Briel, in order to start selling the company. (Until the merger of the two companies Rolex Geneva and Rolex Briel, the latter was owned by the Aegler and the Borer family.)
There everything probably started and the foundation for a “never ending story” was laid.
Hans Wilsdorf founded his first company with the watchcase builder Alfred James Davis, “Wilsdorf & Davis” 1905 in London and brought the first watch on the market. This he did at a time when the pocket watch absolutely dominated the watch market, and no one had ever thought of wearing a watch on his wrist. Davis built the watchcases and Wilsdorf got the Movements.
Hans Wilsdorf was the pioneer who introduced the world’s first waterresistant wristwatch. He built his watch empire “step by step” and brought his brand to the leading, if not the leading, watch brand in the world.
Since the introduction of the watch, the precision, perfection and research is the golden rule in the home Rolex.
Hans Wilsdorf is the inventor of the watertight and the self-winding wristwatch.
(Emile Borer has developed the self-hoist on the drive of Hans Wilsdorf)
Rolex “Oyster Perpetual” is one of the best watches in the world. This watch has been designed for all manufacturers of waterproof and automatic watches.
The pursuit of perfection is the Rolex tradition that Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf began at the beginning of the last century and which is still lived by Rolex.
He recognized very early the need for a sophisticated watch built to the highest standards of accuracy and durability.
After the death of his wife Hans Wilsdorf decided to transfer his life work of the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.
Hans Wilsdorf had no children.