Rolex marks movement maker’s 125th Anniversary

Upscale Swiss watch brand Rolex S.A. is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its movements manufacture division with a gala dinner for hundreds of Swiss dignitaries and the opening of the newest addition to its production complex outside Biel, Switzerland.

The movement division is older than Rolex itself. It was founded by the Aegler family in 1878, 27 years before Hans Wildorf, a German citizen, co-founded in 1905 the watch company he renamed “Rolex” in 1908. He used Aegler movements exclusively in his watches (beginning in 1905) and years later bought the Swiss company, adding it to Rolex’s operations.

On Oct. 2, Manufacture des Montres Rolex S.A., headquartered in Geneva, officially opened the 140,000-square-meter green granite and smoked glass exterior “Building VI,” at its 10-year-old industrial and administrative complex in Les Champs-de-Boujean, east of Biel, Switzerland. The event marked the end of the transfer of activities in recent years to Les Champs-de-Boujean from Rolex’s former, long-time site in Biel, in La Haute-Route, overlooking the city center.

Rolex S.A. has a total work force of some 1,500 people and produces around 700,000 watch movements annually.