Have you ever looked at a more affordable version of a product you love and compared the two against one another? You may have realized that the less expensive alternative offers similar properties or characteristics to the one you always buy. But you still go with the product marked with a recognized logo – the one associated with quality and reliability. That’s because we hold so much value to a brand name and logo, and no other logo is more recognized within the watch industry than the five-pointed crown.
Rolex is considered the king of the watch world. The crowning jewel to every timepiece they make showcases the instantly recognizable crown logo upon its dial. The symbol is synonymous with luxury, performance, and quality. The logo is also engraved on the bracelet and etched into the surface of every watch’s winding crown.
But what is the story behind the Rolex symbol? What does the crown logo mean? Well, even the most dedicated of Rolex watch collectors can’t say with 100% certainty why the symbol was chosen to represent the brand. There are a few differing theories. And just like the Swiss watch company’s heritage, the logo has a prosperous story to tell too.
The history of the Rolex name and symbol
When 24-year-old Hand Wilsdorf founded the company in 1905 with his brother-in-law Alfred Davies, a path was already carved out for the company. Wilsdorf wanted to create exceptionally stylish timepieces that wouldn’t compromise on performance. The company took its name from its founders: W&D (Wilsdorf & Davis). The name, however, was too long for Wilsdorf’s liking. He wanted it to be punchy and memorable.
He wanted it to roll off the tongue and be easy to pronounce on a world-wide scale. Aside from these specifications, one of the most important aspects of choosing the brand name was that it had to look well balanced and good on the dial of every watch. In 1915, the company name was changed to “Rolex.”
There are many theories as to why Rolex was chosen to be the name of the company. Some believe it was inspired by the term “Horlogerie Exquise,” meaning “exquisite watchmaking” in French. The brand whimsically claims that the name was whispered into the ear of Wilsdorf like a genie, as he mulled over the entire alphabet in his head one day, trying to come up with a suitable name.
Others simply believe that the sound a Rolex watch makes as its crown is wound echoes the same sound. In 1925 Wilsdorf and Davis hand-designed the crown logo that would accompany the brand name. Penciled out as an original sketch, the crown symbol, which has always represented royalty and prestige, would be the fitting accompaniment for the brand name, and would sit perfectly above it on every Rolex dial.
Just like the name “Rolex” this crown symbol has been dissected over and over by fans of the company – many of whom believe it had a hidden meaning. Some believe the five points on the crown represent five branches of a tree, each one adorned with a pearl. For others, it represents the five fingers of a hand. Rolex has been somewhat discreet about the message behind the crown and what its symbolic meaning is, if any. Maybe that’s what adds to the brand’s allure? An unknown and hidden inspiration behind some of the world’s most functional and beautiful wristwatches.
One thing that seems poignant about the crown, however, is that its five points are matched with five letters in the Rolex logo. Its coronet shape depicts a sense of honor, encapsulating core values of excellence and rarity. Each Rolex is made to exacting standards, after all.
All that Rolex reveals about the logo is a message that underpins their entire portfolio of masterpieces – “A Crown For Every Achievement.” And who can argue with that? Every special occasion in life warrants a Rolex watch. As well as a name that’s easy to remember, the unmistakable crown logo is both distinguishable and memorable – a fine example of a prestigious brand that utilizes its marketing to the max.
Since the point of its design, the Rolex crown has undergone as little as two changes. In 1965 the brand decided to change the color of its logo and crown. The brand name would change from its instantly notable green shade to greyish green. The crown was changed from gold to bronze. 2002 would mark the next change, where Rolex decided they would revert to the original colors of the logo and symbol.
How is the Rolex symbol used?
Rolex chose two bold colors for the brand name and logo. The name itself was created in a stunning Cadmium Green (#006039) shade and the crown in a Metallic Sunburst (#A37E2C) tone. Together the two colors worked in complete harmony with one another. Gold is an important color chosen by Rolex, as it represents several important values. Firstly, gold is associated with luxury and wealth: the clientele that the company gears its exquisite timepieces towards. Secondly, gold signifies a material that has been widely used by Rolex throughout all of its popular core lines. Rolex produces in-house gold alloys along with several other materials. The green shade of the company name itself symbolizes wealth and money. The crown is associated with honor and royalty, a symbol that not only grants Rolex the recognition they deserve as a company but also translates onto the wrist of the owner when they experience wearing a Rolex on the wrist.
How important is the Rolex symbol?
The Rolex symbol will always carry the utmost significance and importance. The success of Rolex is embodied within the design of the crown. It’s ingrained into the minds of everyone who has once owned a Rolex watch or aspires to own one someday. Or even those who continue to collect them. Outside of the watch world, the Rolex crown sits up there with the Mercedes Benz logo and Apple.
The Rolex symbol has a huge part to play in enhancing the indulgent and very unique experience of wearing a Rolex on the wrist. It’s also one of the first design features that any experienced collector or non-experienced buyer will check before purchasing a Rolex watch. The symbol cements meaning and value to the wrist. It embodies authenticity. The successful branding that goes with every Rolex watch has enabled the company to keep that recognition and respect going strong throughout the entire watchmaking industry.
The Rolex crown has anchored itself within the sports industry, too, particularly in areas like golfing, tennis, and yachting. Not to mention, water sports and motorsports. Many sporting personalities have stylized the iconic look of a Rolex on their wrist, as well as the 007 agent himself, James Bond. One of the most well-known Rolex watches of all was the Day-Date owned by John. F. Kennedy. It was gifted to him from Marilyn Munroe in the year 1962, bearing the inscription: “Jack, with love, as always. Marilyn’ upon its surface. No one actually saw Kennedy wear the watch, and it disappeared for years until it was auctioned off in 2005 for a considerable sum. These are just a few examples of how Rolex has used its branding to create a ripple-like effect en masse throughout the entire watch-loving community.
What does the Rolex crown represent?
Over the decades, the Rolex crown has become a cherished symbol of value and quality – the piece de resistance to every design. Its five golden points have represented several highly coveted timepieces from Rolex’s innovative catalog. The Submariner, for example, became the first diver’s watch to offer a water resistance of 200 meters. The iconic green dials of the Hulk and Kermit variations contrast beautifully against the gold Rolex crown, becoming a signature color palette that is loved in all four corners of the globe, not to mention the model’s stealthy black dial variation. The 6538 model was donned to the wrist of famous Hollywood actor Sean Connery in the “Dr. No” James Bond film.
The only Rolex watch that has kept the original brand logo color and the signature green Rolex lettering intact as it was once designed, is the Rolex Air-King. Its simplified dial design with an Oyster case and matching Oyster bracelet remains one of the least expensive models developed by the famous company. As seen in many other Rolex watches, the Air-King sports Chromalight dial appliques to assist with time reading in light-limiting conditions and is powered by a reliable in-house movement.
The Rolex crown is, of course, incorporated into iconic models like the GMT-Master collection too. Emblazoned onto the surface of every dial, these models, tailored towards the needs of the frequent traveler, combine a two-color bezel with a second-time zone that is referenced in conjunction with an arrow-tipped second hand. Marlon Brando wore the 1675 model in the film, Apocalypse Now.
It’s clear to see how the Rolex crown has become attributed to all of the brand’s iconic achievements over the decades. The emblem is as recognizable as the company lettering itself adorned to every dial at the 12 o’clock location. The compact design of the crown and the brand name allow for a more spacious dial design. This design feature goes hand-in-hand with Rolex’s clutter-free approach to watchmaking.
Their timepieces have never been about busy, technical-heavy complications. In fact, one of the best things about Rolex as a brand is that it doesn’t need to push itself out of its comfort zone to achieve ultimate success. Sometimes less is more, and Rolex’s methods of manufacture, with simple yet professional looking displays, prove successful time and time again.
The crown will forever cement that feeling of authenticity onto the wrist. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a connoisseur with many Rolex watches in your collection, nothing beats wearing the five-pointed golden crown upon your arm.
The Rolex crown is quite often the sole reason that someone invests in a timepiece from this successful and widely-known manufacturer. A Rolex watch is a symbol of success and an expression of someone’s exquisite taste in style. Many invest in one because they enjoy the attention and the comments it gets from fellow connoisseurs or envious admirers.
Others invest in one because they appreciate the craftsmanship behind the brand’s reliable and robust designs. The Rolex crown is a true representation of this authenticity. Like any reputable manufacture, you pay for the brand name because you want your taste to be recognized, whether for its design or the brand’s philosophy.
Rolex’s slogan is; “A crown for every occasion,” and this makes perfect sense when you consider all the most important milestones, events, and situations a man may wish to wear his Rolex to. More often than not, however, any owner will want to wear his Rolex every day. Not only does that crown support the brand’s slogan quite aptly, but it reflects the perfect design of every Rolex to come. They’re timepieces that are both highly functional and durable, made by a manufacturer that will continue setting benchmarks within the watch industry for many years to come.