The History of and Story Behind the Iconic Rolex Logo

Rolex Logo

A logo will affect how customers perceive the company and its product or services; thus, you will find that companies will keep changing until they find the right one. There have been a few failures even by major brands, but a business will strive to incorporate the main characteristics of a good logo: simplicity, scalability, impact, versatility, and relevance. Rolex considered all these factors to end up with the five-pointed crown logo that has also become part of their slogan. The current logo dates back to 2002, and the company has not dared to make massive changes since the first version was designed more than a century ago. Let’s delve into how Rolex came to be and the reasons behind the iconic crown.

Establishing the brand

Hans Wilsdorf was an ambitious young man who was ready to cross borders to make a living. Therefore, after growing up in Germany where he was born, he moved to Switzerland and got a job at a watch exporting company. He gathered enough experience in the watch export industry, enabling Hans to move to London to establish his own business. In 1905, with the help of his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, Hans founded Wilsdorf and Davis, a company specializing in importing Swiss movements to England. They would then place the movements in watch cases made by renowned brands such as Dennison. By 1908, the partners were making watches branded “W&D,” and they even opened an office in La Chaux-de Fonds in Switzerland.

As the brand grew, Hans figured it was time to change the name, and in 1915, Wilsdorf and Davis became Rolex. According to the Watch Company, the decision to change the brand was because they needed a name that was easy and short to remember. Besides, Hans also needed one that would look good on the dial. However, the name “Rolex” has never been known where it originated because Hans never revealed the source.

He did say that he had tried combining different letters of the alphabet, but each time he ended up with a name that did not feel right. After the many attempts, he claimed a genie whispered “Rolex” to him in his ear as he was out in London, and it was perfect because it was easy to pronounce in all languages and would fit well on the face of the timepieces. As intriguing as the story is, some people believe that the name originated from the sound watches make as they are wound while others think Hans was inspired by a French phrase “Horlogerie Exquise” which stands for “exquisite watchmaking.”

Coming up with a logo

Given the success of the company, coming up with an ideal logo was the next step since engraving “W&D” in watches was not appealing. Hence in 1925, the five-point Rolex crown logo was trademarked. Like with the brand name that remains a mystery to date, the meaning of the crown logo is yet to be known; Hans was elusive about its symbolism. As Xupes explained, whenever the watchmaker was asked about its meaning, he never provided satisfactory answers; hence many theories have been floated.

For instance, some speculate that the five points represent the five fingers of the human hand on which the watch is worn, perhaps the ring at the bottom representing the wrist. Others think that since “Rolex” has five letters, the five points represent each of them. Another group of theorists claims the points are representative of five tree branches studded with pearls. The only theory that makes sense is one regarding the wealth and status associated with the brand. Crowns are worn by people in positions of authority and power; thus, the crown logo represents the power one commands when wearing the watch plus the feeling of royalty one gets from owning the luxurious timepiece.

Changes in the logo

Hans did not change the logo much since the company was founded. Between 1905 and 1965, the five-pointed crown was in gold, and on the ring at the base were two points on the left and right side. Below the crown was “ROLEX” in green but with a golden outline. In 1965, they decided to modify a little, with the crown going from gold to bronze, and the two points at the base were removed. The font of “ROLEX” below the five-point crown also changed while the color of the letters went from green with a gold outline, to blue-gray only. This logo represented the company for nearly four decades until 2002, when minor adjustments were made.

In 2002, the five-point crown remained the same in its shape and size; the only change was in the color that went from bronze to gold again. As for the “ROLEX,” the adjustment was only in color, which remains green to date. The font was constant, and it is said to be a slight modification of the Garamond typeface. Rolex never bothers to clarify the meaning of its logos and colors, and as always, people come up with their own ideas of what the colors mean. Logo My Way thinks that the green in “ROLEX” is used to represent the color of money while gold stands for prestige and luxury because the company uses precious metal in making the watches.

Incorporating their logo into a slogan

Slogans are meant to remain engraved in customers’ minds, and Rolex has managed to do that with theirs. By having “A crown for every achievement” Rolex not only managed to meet its mission statement which is to manufacture, distribute and service high-quality watches, the watchmaker also encouraged its customers to celebrate their achievements with the watch. Since the logo has a crown, it entices buyers to crown their accomplishments with the exquisite timepieces. It is, therefore, no wonder that successful people hold Rolex watches in high regard; even Jay-Z used them as invites to the first Shawn Carter Foundation Gala.

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