Rolex has always been associated with exploration of the planet’s most extreme frontiers and pushing the limits of human endeavor, in keeping with the spirit instilled by its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. He led the company through the most adventurous decades of the 20th century, a period marked by discovery of the world about us and immense technological progress.
The Swiss watchmaker has, in particular, nurtured a special relationship with the sea and its deepest reaches from the very beginning. Rolex is simply the natural partner for DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a scientific expedition that heralds the beginning of a new era in marine exploration.
Robust, precise, and highly reliable Rolex Oyster watches have not only accompanied the Trieste on the world’s deepest dive. They also equipped the expedition by Sir John Hunt, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Tenzing Norgay to the top of the world in 1953–leading to the pioneering ascent of Mount Everest–and Chuck Yeager when he broke the sound barrier in 1947.
The Piccards, Don Walsh, and their bathyscaphe followed in the steps of those adventurers, providing the ultimate test for Rolex technology and the experimental Deep Sea Special watch during the 1950s. After the Trieste surfaced from its record dive in 1960, a cable was sent to Rolex headquarters: “HAPPY ANNOUNCE TO YOU YOUR WATCH AS PRECISE AT 11,000 METRES AS ON SURFACE. BEST REGARDS JACQUES PICCARD.”
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