Initially founded in London in 1904 as Wilsdorf and Davis, Rolex has become a staple of quality watchmaking in its 112 years of existence. Started by German watchmaker Hans Wilsdorf with the help of his brother-in-law, Alfred James Davis, Rolex and the Rolex logo are unlikely to be forgotten by our civilization any time soon.
Rolex Logo Design Elements
The Rolex logo itself has two main design elements – the crown insignia and the Rolex text logo. Each of the Rolex logo’s design elements stands for a different aspect of the company’s image. The logo has been perfectly designed to emulate the brand as it is. The golden brown crown in the Rolex logo stands for exclusivity and refinement. The Serif font used for “Rolex” is clean and neat, in a deep green shade that is elegant and timeless.
Changes and Evolution
While the Rolex logo has changed a couple of times over its more than 110 years of existence, the changes have been minor.
Some sources place the first logo as being designed in 1908, while others claim it was 1925. However, it’s most likely that 1925 is merely the year when the Rolex was trademarked by Davis and Wilsdorf. Regardless, it’s unanimously acknowledged that the Rolex logo only changed twice – in 1965 and in 2002.
In its first incarnation, the Rolex logo had a golden crown and a green text with a golden outline. In 1965, the crown was made more bronze-ish, the text was made a grayish blue, and the green outline was fully removed. The current version of the Rolex stems from 2002. The crown was changed back to gold, and the font was made the same shade of green as the one in the first logo.
The shape of the Rolex logo consists of a coronet insignia with five points, meant to symbolize excellence, quality, and exclusivity. There have been many theories over the years as to the origination of the Rolex emblem. Some imply that the logo resembles either a human hand or five tree branches topped with pearls. However, Rolex never even mentioned these origin stories, so they are merely fan theories.
The Rolex crown logo perfectly represents the company’s values – honor, excellence, and prestige – but it also stands to compliment the brand’s slogan – A Crown for Every Achievement. The Rolex symbol is as famous as some other iconic logos, such as Mercedes, Apple, IBM, or Marvel.
The gold and green colors in the Rolex logo represent the watchmaking company’s values. The golden color of the crown in the Rolex logo is generally used for its precious metal qualities. It is meant to represent passion, wisdom, and illumination, as well as wealth, prosperity, glamor, and grandeur. These are all qualities associated with the Rolex brand.
While green is most often used to suggest a connection with nature, in this case, the color is used in a somewhat different manner. Green is also the color of money, so it is frequently used in association with Wall Street and greed. However, in the case of Rolex, green is used to stand for ambition, richness, uniqueness, and prosperity.
Featuring a somewhat modified version of the Garamond typeface, the font in which the Rolex watches logo is written has gone through a few minor changes. These are mostly related to the serifs present in the font, as they have undergone several very minor changes over the course of logo’s existence.
It’s a very elegant, yet minimalistic font. Despite being very highly serifed, the font still keeps a strongly professional look. It may not be as instantly recognizable as the crown part of the Rolex logo, but it’s just as important to the company.
Inspiration and Trivia
While the Rolex name has been believed for quite some time to come from the French expression “houloguorie exquise”, that theory has been denied. The real story behind the Rolex name is that the watchmakers wanted a name that was easy to pronounce in most languages, as well as one which was hard to misspell thanks to its phonetic nature. This is how Rolex came to be in 1915.
Other false theories had the Rolex name come from the sound of a watch winding, and even from the combination of Timex and Rolls Royce. However, those are as untrue as the “houloguorie exquise” theory.
Products sporting the Rolex logo have also been involved in a number of impressive international events, such as the escape of a number of prisoners of war during the famous Great Escape, as well as in solving the famous Albert Johnson Walker series of crimes which culminated in the murder of Ronald Platt.
Belonging to one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in the world, the Rolex logo is designed perfectly to evoke and complement the image and prestige of the company. It is unlikely, even if the company were to go out of business, that the Rolex logo, brand and name will be forgotten anytime soon.