The brand with the crown is recognized worldwide as an invaluable sports implement and luxury product. In little more than one hundred years, it has become one of the most successful and innovative watch brands on the planet. Rolex manufactures more than a half a million wristwatches per year while maintaining an outstanding reputation and near-perfect quality. From the beginning, the sponsorship of statesmen, movie stars, and athletes has driven its success, but the company has expanded to include more than just the rich and famous. The Rolex Oyster became the first watch to defy the elements when, in 1927, Mercedes Gleitze wore one while she swam the English Channel. In 1933, the company patented the first automatic winding mechanism. Learn more about this history and read updated reports written about new Rolex ideas and performance tests featured in the German watch magazine Armbanduhren (Wristwatch) from the past 15 years.