The name Rolex has symbolized fortune, prestige, and influence for decades. The watch has been linked with some of the biggest names in societies past and present. In fact, it has been famously said that the watch doesn’t just tell time, it tells history.
There isn’t an industry that hasn’t been touched by this impressive watch brand. From movie and music stars to political figures and ingenues, Rolex connects them all.
Over the years, there have been various Rolex collections designed and worn by men with a taste for the finer things in life. Each documented picture or story of a celebrity or high-profile person wearing a Rolex complemented with a luxury strap has raised their status more impressively than it already was.
Yes, there’s something about a Rolex that says all you need to know about a man’s character. Here are 10 of the most famous Rolex wearers of all time, and what their watch choice says about them.
- General Henri Guisan (Commander in Chief of the Swiss Army – 1948) – General Guisan was famously quoted as saying, “Allow me to tell you of the great delight I am having with this remarkable Rolex timepiece of such high precision and outstanding features.” Even back as far as 1948, when so many countries were rebuilding after a world war, the Rolex was well-known and coveted. Guisan’s role in protecting the Swiss people from the invasion of the Nazis didn’t go unrewarded. He was given the Rolex’s 50,000th Officially Certified Swiss Chronometer.
- Paul Newman – Movies, racecars, and salad dressings barely touch the figure of Paul Newman, but no matter where he was seen, he was wearing his Cosmograph Daytona Rolex. Why Daytona? Newman’s hobby of race car driving took him to the Daytona tracks many times, but he wore his Daytona proudly regardless of the time of year. In addition to his reputation on the tracks and in front of the big screen, Newman was also famous for his Rolex. Auctioned at Phillips Auction House in 2017, the watch sold for $17.8 million, the most expensive watch ever sold.
- JFK – One of the most beloved presidents of all time, John F. Kennedy’s Rolex had a bit of a scandal behind it. Gifted to him by Marilyn Monroe for JFK’s 45th birthday, the president couldn’t wear his Rolex Day-Date because of the personalized inscription, stating “with love as always” from the famous bombshell movie star.
- Barack Obama – In tradition with some of the most influential presidents, Barack Obama had a Rolex, too. When he appeared in public, he generally wore a Jorg Gray. Since the end of his presidential term, he now opts for the Rolex Cellini, a less ostentatious version for a classy, subtle look. Rolex Presidential watches are popular with movie stars, sportsmen, and those who want to make a sophisticated impression.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower – Eisenhower was another influential president who changed America during his terms. While in office, he was gifted a Rolex Datejust, of which he was quoted in 1951 to say, “My Rolex Datejust has brought me a great deal of satisfaction.”
- Warren Buffett – Moving away from famous presidents (although there are many more who wore/wear Rolexes) brings us to Warren Buffett. The third richest man in the world, Buffett has been given the label “The Oracle of Omaha” for his status as the most successful investor of his time. He owns multiple companies, and many business people have attempted to copy his methods. They should all start by investing in a Rolex Day-Date, one of Buffett’s very few splurges.
- Winston Churchill – Politics and Rolexes seem to go hand-in-hand. Winston Churchill was one of the most famous British Prime Ministers in history, mostly due to his role in overseeing the allies’ victory in World War II. Because of his importance, Churchill was chosen by Hans Wilsdorf to receive Rolex’s 100,000th certified chronometer. This was an 18-carat gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust, and Sir Winston was quoted in 1948 to say, “ My Rolex is a continual pleasure, and works admirably.”
- Bob Hope – Easily one of the most beloved men in the film industry, Bob Hope proudly wore his Rolex, but he didn’t do it to show off. Instead, he was quoted in 1960 as saying, “Leaders in all walks of life acknowledge that pride of Rolex ownership starts conversations…makes strangers friends and distinguishes each as a person of taste and judgment.” Hope knew that an impressive Rolex showed class and style, but more importantly, was a conversation starter that could bridge gaps between people and create friendships.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. – Talk about a man who knew the importance of establishing friendships. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led us to the Civil Rights Movement and showed the world that nonviolent resistance was the key. In some of the most popular photos of this famous leader, King was wearing a Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet. Where he got them is a mystery, but it makes sense that a man with such a refined take on life would wear a Rolex that matched his character.
- Tiger Woods – We have film stars, politicians, and reformists on our list. Our final famous Rolex wearer is famed golfer Tiger Woods. Renowned as one of the top golfers in the world, Woods won the U.S. Masters at only 21 years of age in 1997. He then became the first person in history to win the four majors in a row and continues to hold that title. Along with his golfing fame, he also wears Rolex’s Sea-Dweller Deepsea, the most advanced diving watch on the market. Since he’s passionate about being on the ocean and having the best of the best gadgets, it’s a fine statement that his Rolex goes with him everywhere.
The list doesn’t end there. On top of these famous politicians, athletes, business moguls, and movie stars, you’ll also see a Rolex on the wrist of singers, directors, and other respected and influential individuals. The Rolex is classic, timeless, and versatile, and its reputation makes the person’s character just as much as their character enhances the Rolex.
Published by HOLR Magazine.