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Internationally recognized as the premier luxury timepiece, Rolex, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, has an unrivalled reputation for quality and craftsmanship. After obtaining the first official chronometer certification for a wristwatch in 1910, Rolex went a step further and introduced the first truly water-proof, pressure-proof and dust-proof case in 1926, fittingly named the Rolex Oyster.
Since 1927, Rolex has been associated with the quest for excellence inherent in sport, when it placed a Rolex Oyster on the wrist of a young swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, as she swam across the English Channel. In 1933, Rolex began to sponsor Himalayan and polar expeditions, including the first successful ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.
Rolexʼs presence in motorsports began in the 1930ʼs with Malcolm Campbell. While wearing a Rolex Oyster in 1935, he was the first person to drive an automobile over 300 miles per hour, setting a new land speed record. Rolex truly solidified its position in the sport in 1959 when they began an association with the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and later became the title sponsor of its preeminent endurance race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in 1992. It was shortly after is initial affiliation with the race track that Rolex introduced a watch designed for lovers of speed, the Cosmograph Daytona, which allowed its wearer to clock elapsed times and calculate average speeds.
The presence of the Rolex brand in automobile racing has grown steadily over the years and currently two key figures in the sport are among the Rolex Testimonees: Sir Jackie Stewart of Scotland, and the American Roger Penske. At present, Rolex is involved in sponsorships three areas of the motorsport industry: endurance races such as the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Les 24 Heures du Mans, the Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series; historic races such as the Goodwood Revival, the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races and Historic Sportscar Racing; and finally, concours events such as The Pebble Beach Concours dʼElegance, the Pebble Beach Tour DʼElegance presented by Rolex, and The Quail, a Motorsport Gathering.
Today Rolex supports top sporting and cultural events all over the world. It is present at more than 150 events in the realms of golf, yachting, tennis, equestrian events, motorsports, culture and the arts, as well as philanthropic awards programs. Because of the commitment and continuity of these relationships, Rolex is seen as not only a sponsor... but as a real partner.