Marketing and Rolex go hand-in-hand. As exquisite as their watches, Rolex advertisements are just as stunning. This month Rolex posted on their YouTube channel three 30-second advertisements showing the amount of detail that go into their watches.
Stuffed into these 30-second spots are tidbits of detail and behind the scene glimpses of Rolex watch manufacture and assembly. Each video juxtaposes Rolex’s modern machinery and robotic automation with some type of human interaction such as hand fitting the balance spring, or the hand installation of the Rolex crown on the dial. Each of the videos highlights the “The Rolex Way” theme.
The Tested to Extremes video clip focuses on quality control and testing that goes into each Rolex design. “Nothing can endure this kind of torture,” opens this clip with robotic machinery spinning and swinging various Rolex watches. Rolex utilizes actual finished product in each of their tests, fully cased with bracelets. The watches highlighted range from a two-tone Rolex DateJust to an Explorer I, BLNR GMT II, and DeepSea Sea Dweller. “No one will ever test a Rolex like Rolex” illustrates how the company’s surpasses other Swiss watch manufacturers. Although not referenced in the video clip, Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf always wanted a durable wristwatch to surpass the prevailing thinking at the time that pocket watches were superior. This clip would have made Hans Wilsdorf proud.
“The Rolex Way” video clip intends to illustrate how there is “no dictionary definition” as to what Rolex does. Timelessness over tradition, limits over being limitless, endurance over fads, innovation as a starting point, and a company ethos that is beyond craftsperson titles are what this particular clip highlights. In a mix of manufacturing video clips interspersed with Rolex craftsmen and designers creates a mental image that Rolex is not defined by a dictionary term, but rather as “way” of doing things that only Rolex makes the effort of doing. By omission, this Rolex clip has a subtle dig towards other manufacturers who claim to test and have quality control, but who don’t go to the extent of Rolex.
The last video, “The Rolex Way – Made in Switzerland” is my favorite of the three. Using similar video images as the other two clips, the Made in Switzerland clip highlights how every Rolex watch is designed in-house, and how every part is manufactured in-house. Rolex’s utilization of gold smelted in-house, manufacturing of hairsprings (a highly complicated process normally outsourced by other manufacturers) manufactured in-house, and the hand assembly of Rolex dials are some of the video images used in the clip. These images combined with the narration leave the viewer with a positive impression of the Swiss watch industry and of Rolex.
Each of these videos are narrated by the same person who has a European accent indicative of a person whose first language is not English. The narrations, background sounds, combined with the video imagery leave the viewer on YouTube or the television a grand feeling about Rolex. I don’t know if it was intentional for these Rolex ads to go public a week prior to all the noise about the Apple Watch, but the two unanswered questions at the Apple Watch announcement on water resistance and battery life are resoundingly answered in the ads about Rolex.
These videos are worth seeing and can be easily viewed on the Rolex YouTube channel at
and individually here:
The Rolex Way – Made in Switzerland
The Rolex Way – Tested to Extremes
– Sheldon Smith