Ongoing Research and Development
Most businesses have their own research and development departments that enable them to improve processes and ensure they are using the best materials. Rolex is no exception and even has several professional science labs at their disposal. These labs have full teams of highly-trained individuals working to always improve and perfect the manufacturing techniques put to use, and the materials used to create their classic timepieces.
Rolex is so committed to creating some of the finest timepieces that they even research and develop the oils and lubricants used in their manufacturing equipment. Their equipment is so precise and specialized that it requires a high level of care in order to operate properly and create stunning and accurate watches.
Long Time Coming
It takes about one year to make Rolex watches. Most of the parts are manufactured in-house, and many components of the watches are assembled by hand. Rolex creates about one million watches each and every year. While Rolex is always looking for ways to improve efficiency, they are not willing to sacrifice quality.
Quality control is a recurring theme throughout the entire manufacturing process at all Rolex facilities. Components are continually tested several times at every stage of production to ensure absolute quality in the finished product.
The Best Steel
Rolex watches have a unique look about them and seem to always feature a high polish. This comes down to the type of steel used in the manufacturing of these watches. While most other high-end watchmakers use a type of steel known as 316L, Rolex watches are made using 904L stainless steel. Rolex first tested out 904L steel in 1988 with select models. They realized they were on to something and began exclusively using 904L stainless-steel around 2003.
This type of steel is harder than most steel varieties, as well as being corrosion- and rust-resistant; 904L also accepts and maintains a polish very well. It is notoriously challenging to work with 904L stainless-steel, and it is also significantly more expensive. Rolex completely overhauled their production facilities when they made the switch and became the masters of working with 904L. This dedication to using a quality product helps set Rolex watches apart.
Rolex actually has a foundry which they use to make all of their gold and platinum. Metals are melted and mixed and transformed into bracelets and cases. Producing and machining their own gold provides an extremely high level of quality control and ensures that all pieces and components meet the very strict Rolex standards.
More and more businesses are implementing automation into their manufacturing processes to quickly turn out increased volumes and improved consistency. Rolex certainly uses machinery and robots during the assembly process, but a lot of the work is done by hand. Watch hands are set and tested by human hand, movements are hand assembled, and even bracelets are hand assembled.
Generally, when any type of robotics is used during the manufacturing process for Rolex watches, it is done because the machines can deliver greater precision and consistency than even the most highly trained human could. All machinery is human operated, so there is always a human element to every part of the process.
Gemologists at Work
Rolex employs specialists at every stage of production, and their gemologist department is no exception. Highly trained gemologists purchase, test and hand-set precious stones, like diamonds into select Rolex watches.
All gemstones go through rigorous testing to ensure they are real and meet the high standards set by Rolex. For instance, all diamonds are x-rayed to ensure they are real. After testing about 20 million diamonds, Rolex only found two fakes. However, they continue to check each and every gemstone to ensure only the finest materials are used in their watches. Diamonds must maintain an IF in clarity, and D-G in color in order to make the cut.
Find Your Rolex
The level of attention and detail that goes into Rolex watches helps them stand apart from other timepieces. Handcrafted details, high-quality materials like 904L stainless-steel and the finest diamonds and gemstones make Rolex watches exquisite timepieces that are functional and stunning. When you understand the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into each and every Rolex, you can appreciate these beautiful watches even more.
Are you ready to pick out the right Rolex for you? We carry a selection of previously owned Rolex watches so that you can avoid the high markups of a retail store. All of our watches have been checked for authenticity and condition. Set up an appointment or stop by to see our selection of Rolex watches, so you can find the right timepiece to adorn your wrist.