The Rolex Forums   The Rolex Watch


Go Back   Rolex Forums - Rolex Watch Forum > Rolex & Tudor Watch Topics > Rolex Reference Library

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 24 October 2018, 05:43 AM   #1
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
powerfunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Real Name: Rob
Location: Boston, MA
Watch: 1530
Posts: 3,453
Every watch brand ever made by Rolex/RWC

While most Rolex collectors know that Hans Wilsdorf registered a hodgepodge of trademarks, I hadn't seen a coherent list of brands that he actually used. Here's my attempt at a list of every brand of watch that was ever been made by Rolex/Rolex Watch Co. I am not counting co-brandings like this "Dunklings Rolex" as separate brands; see this thread for co-branded dials.

Most of the dates listed here are estimates and many were gotten from Mikrolisk. For most of these brands I'm going off of very little info; if anyone has any corrections or additional knowledge I'd love to hear it!

Rolex (1908 - Present)

Always a flagship brand, Rolex almost always used Aegler movements. Aegler even registered at least one Rolex trademark on Wilsdorf's behalf, bailed out Rolex with a loan during the Depression, and has pretty much been indistinguishable from Rolex for 80 years, although Rolex didn't formally buy Aegler S.A. until 2004.

Marconi (1909 - 1920's)

Many people assume this was Wilsdorf's first attempt at a downmarket brand, but I'm not convinced it was a downmarket brand. While many Marconi watches have "Rolex" improperly painted on later, some Rolex Marconi watches are totally legit. The fact that he'd put Rolex and Marconi on the same dial, and in some cases even on the same movement, indicates to me that Marconi was on a higher plane than some of these other brands. I don't believe I've ever seen a Rolex-signed movement on any other Rolex-owned brand. I've heard Marconi was the "Tudor of South America" before, but I don't buy it because some Marconis exist that are co-branded by British retailers like James Walker. I don't think the standalone Marconi brand lasted past the 1920's, but there are some "Oyster Marconi" watches from the 1930's that I believe are the last Marconis. But are they really Marconi Oysters, or are they Oyster Marconis? :)

Unicorn (1919 - 1933)

Unicorn is probably the most common early Rolex Watch Co. brand besides Rolex itself. I've seen it described as a replacement for the Marconi brand, but I don't agree with that. First of all, the brands overlapped for at least a few years, and as I mentioned I don’t believe Marconi was a downmarket brand. We do know that Unicorn and Rolco were always designed as cheaper options, however, as evidenced by this old ad stating that the Rolex Oyster was "also made in Unicorn and Rolco quality in Snowite metal at £5." The Unicorn Watch brand must have had some value because watch company and movement maker A. Schild bought the brand from Rolex in 1933. You will often see post-1933 Unicorns on eBay incorrectly linking them to a Rolex history, but anything with this logo has nothing to do with Rolex. That logo is an A. Schild trademark, not a Rolex trademark. The brand name "Unicorn" was too generic to trademark on its own, which is why Wilsdorf had to register "Unicorn Lever" in 1919, and then "Unicorn Watch" in 1923.

Rolco (1927 - 1930's)

Comparable brand to Unicorn.

Rolwatco (1922 - Mid-1920's)

I have never seen a men's Rolwatco watch, so I suspect it was specifically a brand for ladies' watches. Wilsdorf & Davis used Rolwatco branding on some cases as well as movements of watches with sanitized (unbranded) dials. But, there are also a few watches with Rolwatco on the dial. Most of these, if not all, seem to have cases made of 9k gold. Note that Rolwatco was registered before Rolco; don't forget Wilsdorf started as a ladies' watch specialist! According to, "as far forward as the late 1920s, the vast majority of the watches offered for sale in Rolex advertising of the time were intended for female use."

Genex (1920-1933):

Genex was registered in 1920 but I'm not sure it was used until the first Oysters came out, like the one above. It didn't seem to last long. It is my opinion that the Genex brand was sold to A. Schild in 1933 along with Unicorn. Genex watches exist from the 1950's that clearly look like A. Schild products.

Admiralty / To The Admiralty (1914 - 1923):

This is one of the toughest RWC brands to figure out. Several watchmakers have been writing "to the admiralty" and "for the admiralty" on watches since Dent made the Standard Astronomical Clock for the Admiralty 200 years ago. I've found many "Admiralty" or "To/For the Admiralty" pocket watches co-branded by Northern Goldsmiths or James Walker. I believe most of the Admiralty watches out there have nothing to do with Rolex, but I'm 98% sure the one pictured above is an RWC product (based on the numeral font, its half-hunter movement, and the fact that James Walker was a Rolex retailer).

The "Admiralty" brand may have been used most often by Rolex on movements of watches with sanitized dials. Sometimes the movement says "Admiralty 2" for some reason. I wonder if Wilsdorf had trouble keeping "Admiralty" as a trademark because he wasn't the first/only one to use it, so he tried using "Admiralty 2" before giving up on it altogether? Just a hunch. Keep in mind Wilsdorf was the kinda guy who registered the trademark "Omigra" because it sounds like Omega (he never released watches under that name, though).

Lonex (1915-1920)

Short-lived pocket watch brand.

Viceroy (Mid-1920's):

We know that by 1934 Rolex was using Viceroy as a model name. But before that, there were some trench-style watches like the one above, with RWC on the caseback and Viceroy as the brand.

Hans Wilsdorf Geneva (1935-1940):

Not much is known about this brand, but it seems ol' Hans only used his name on watches with Oyster cases.

Aqua (1927 - 1959):

In 1922, "Aqua" was an alternative model name for Rolex's first attempt at a waterproof watch in 1922, the "Submarine." The Oyster case truly got it right in 1926. Shortly thereafter Rolex begin to use "Aqua" as a brand.

"Solar Aqua" watches made for Eaton's department stores in Canada are the most common, but there are also watches simply branded "Aqua" as well as some that say "Lund & Blockley Aqua." There are some rare "Aqua Patent" crowns equivalent to the old "Oyster Patent" crowns, too.

Tudor (1926 - Present)

According to Tudor's website, the first Tudor branding appeared in 1926, and Tudors began flowing into Australia in 1932. Tudor was firmly established as a proper international brand by 1946, at which point Rolex stopped messing around with other brands (with the exception of Solar Aqua and ¼ Century Club watches which they kept making for Eaton's until about 1959).

"Commonwealth market"-only RWC brands (meaning mostly Canada but possibly Singapore/India etc.)

Oyster (1930's - 1940's)

Oyster was used as a standalone brand (mostly in Canada) for about a decade, but by the time Rolex began marketing in the USA, the word "Oyster" would only be on Rolex and Tudor watches. Click here for a thread about every model name released under the Oyster brand.

Victory (Post-WW2):

This seems to have been a short-lived brand, celebrating the victory of the Allies in WW2. Probably a Canada-only (or at least Commonwealth market-only) creation.

Neptune (1930's):

I don't know much about this one. Most likely a Canadian-only branding exercise? You can tell by the crown these are clearly Oysters.

Buick (1940's):

This is the only "Buick" watch I've ever seen but it looks legit. Another obscure Canadian-market thing similar to Neptune I presume.

Unbranded (a.k.a. sanitized) dials (1910's-1920's):

Some unbranded RWC watches have movements branded Unicorn, Rolco, Admiralty 2, Genex, Rolex, etc.

Made by RWC for other brands:
Eaton ¼ Century Club (1930's-1950's)

For almost 3 decades, Rolex made watches for Eaton's department store in Canada to award employees for 25 years of service.

James Walker Ltd, London (1920's):

James Walker was a London retailer who sold Rolex and Marconi watches. This is the only watch I've seen with a fully signed Rolex movement and just the name James Walker London, without any Rolex Watch Co. brand, on the dial.

Wilson & Sharp Edinburgh (1920's):

Ingersoll (1920's)

In their heyday of about 1895-1915, Ingersoll was famous for selling a quality watch for $1. According to Wikipedia, they sold 40 million watches in 20 years! Check out this ad from 1914. As with other American watch companies, their heyday didn't last forever, and they were bankrupt by 1921. These RWC creations are definitely from after 1922, when the brand was purchased by a British company--Waterbury Clock Company. I don't know much about the Ingersoll-RWC connection; some collectors are skeptical. But to me the silver sunburst guilloche pattern on the dial above is unmistakable 1920's Rolex, not to mention the other example shown with an RWC-branded caseback.

Turtle (1930's - 1942)

Turtle was a trademark of Zell Brothers, a retailer in Portland, Oregon. Oregon is pretty close to Canada; supposedly the Zells were impressed with the Oyster watches being sold in Canada, and convinced RWC to make some with Turtle/Zell branding. Turtle Timer, Turtle Deluxe, Turtle Perpetual, Turtle Lipton, and Turtle Royal are the 5 model names I'm aware of.

All RWC-made Turtle watches have reference numbers equivalent to the Canadian Oysters of the time (mostly 3478 and 2764). Turtles were the first RWC watches to be sold in the USA! Rolex had not yet entered North America in full force, because they had an agreement with Gruen not to sell Aegler-based watches there. By 1943, though, Turtle watches were being made by Movado instead of RWC.

Used as movement branding only:

Hofex (1920's):

Wintex (1920's)

Rolex sold the Wintex brand in 1958.

Lusitania, League of Nations, Lexis, Rolexis, Omigra, Queen Alexandra Lever, Irex, Incognito, Golden Rock, and countless others.
powerfunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24 October 2018, 09:02 AM   #2
Old Expat Beast
TRF Moderator & Harrods SGE Giveaway Patron
Old Expat Beast's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Real Name: Adam
Location: Hong Kong
Watch: Seiko
Posts: 23,000
Thank you for another outstanding thread Rob
Old Expat Beast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24 October 2018, 09:25 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: In Motion
Watch: my wrist presence
Posts: 7,441
I never knew most of this at all... Thank you very much
for sharing...
superstarmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27 October 2018, 02:05 PM   #4
"TRF" Member
Bent_remy's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: DFW Metroplex
Watch: On the waitlist
Posts: 11
This is a pretty impressive look at history.
Bent_remy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 November 2018, 05:57 AM   #5
Swiss Mad!
"TRF" Member
Swiss Mad!'s Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2017
Real Name: Max
Location: Sheffield,England
Watch: Various
Posts: 3,231
Awesome piece, and a very interesting read, thanks for sharing.

I have heard/read somewhere that Rolex sometimes re use old names/references that have been dormant/redundant for a number of years.

With that in mind I wouldn't be at all surprised to see 'Rolexis' appear somewhere in the future as a term to describe a new type of alloy they invented..


instagram: max.parkin
Swiss Mad! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 November 2018, 10:11 PM   #6
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
Toony's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Real Name: Tony
Location: Gatchaman
Posts: 1,699
Fantastic stuff. Thanks.
Toony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 November 2018, 10:52 PM   #7
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Here
Watch: Sub 114060, 216570
Posts: 2,083
Wow how educational is this?
crazymcmichael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 November 2018, 07:18 AM   #8
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Sheffield, AL USA
Posts: 33
Thanks for your efforts on TRF's behalf!
AQBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 November 2018, 07:26 AM   #9
2020 Pledge Member
Jcp2448's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Miramar
Posts: 67
Great information, fantastic job. Thx.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Jcp2448 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18 November 2018, 11:45 PM   #10
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Blyth
Posts: 17
Great Post!
cjs1992 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 November 2018, 12:19 PM   #11
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
powerfunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Real Name: Rob
Location: Boston, MA
Watch: 1530
Posts: 3,453
Thanks guys! Glad some of the info has been helpful!

Sent from my SM-J337P using Tapatalk
powerfunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27 November 2018, 09:04 PM   #12
"TRF" Member
gerrym's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Real Name: Géraud/Gerry
Location: London
Watch: Breguet retrograde
Posts: 44
I would love to also know about the brand they contributed to and/or manufactured movements for (Panerai etc)

Super interesting thread, thanks Rob
gerrym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28 November 2018, 01:31 AM   #13
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
powerfunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Real Name: Rob
Location: Boston, MA
Watch: 1530
Posts: 3,453
Originally Posted by gerrym View Post
I would love to also know about the brand they contributed to and/or manufactured movements for (Panerai etc)

Super interesting thread, thanks Rob
Thanks! Of course, how could I forget the Rolex-made Panerais? That certainly counts as a watch made by RWC for another brand! They made the cases too, not just the movements.

I believe the 3646 was the first Panerai (other than the prototype 2533), and there are 7 known variants of the 3646 made from the late 1930's through the early 1950's. Kirill has one listed for just shy of a hundred stacks:

powerfunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2 December 2018, 02:43 AM   #14
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 23
How many brands in total have been made by rolex?
Gwatch555 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 December 2018, 03:18 AM   #15
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
powerfunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Real Name: Rob
Location: Boston, MA
Watch: 1530
Posts: 3,453
Originally Posted by Gwatch555 View Post
How many brands in total have been made by rolex?
Well, it depends how you count them. They appear to have used at least 17 of their own brands, and made watches for at least 6 other brands. They also made unbranded watches and apparently used at least 2 brands (Hofex and Wintex) on movements only.

Does "Solar Aqua" count as a separate brand than "Aqua?" If so, add 1, etc. So it's definitely not a known definitive number. Plus, I'm sure there are some that I don't know about. Wilsdorf registered a ton of brands he never used; I wasn't sure he ever used Lonex until I saw one on this forum, for instance.
powerfunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 6 December 2018, 02:39 AM   #16
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: DC
Posts: 4
This is a great post! Very comprehensive, thank you!
MaryKendall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 December 2018, 11:56 AM   #17
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Coogee NSW
Posts: 1
Ive got what looks like an old Rolex that has a flip face and back, it has a code 908543 stamped into the inside back casing. There is no Rolex on the face dial, Ive searched for the code but cant find any reference to it.
Windowman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 January 2019, 02:08 AM   #18
2020 HARRODS SGE Pledge Member
powerfunk's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Real Name: Rob
Location: Boston, MA
Watch: 1530
Posts: 3,453
Looks like Sky-Rocket was used as a standalone brand in Canada too:

More commonly Sky-Rockets will be branded as Rolexes.
powerfunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16 January 2019, 07:22 AM   #19
James Taylor
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: johannesburg
Posts: 101
Thanks so much for this information, continuously learning new things on this incredible forum
James Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 March 2019, 08:25 AM   #20
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 19
Very interesting, a few names I've seen pop up and thought nothing of! I'm sure those unbranded ones must get sold for pennies all the time from people not checking the movement.
Jakku is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 March 2019, 09:10 AM   #21
"TRF" Member
AntoMeRolexPassion's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2019
Real Name: Antonio
Location: Messina - Italy
Posts: 107
Great topic, many thanks
AntoMeRolexPassion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 March 2019, 02:21 PM   #22
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: US
Posts: 227
wow great info!
3581512 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17 June 2019, 06:18 PM   #23
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: dubai
Posts: 1
how old these watch, i have never see before.
davidluo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29 June 2019, 08:49 AM   #24
2020 Pledge Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Real Name: Jose
Location: Philly.
Watch: Air King, DJ41 Blu
Posts: 993
Great pics...
jrubero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29 June 2019, 09:27 AM   #25
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 444
If there was a contest for best thread of the year I would vote for this one. TRF!!!
T4ME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 September 2019, 10:14 PM   #26
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: EU
Posts: 1
Any info about this one?

What year/ model is it...?

Attached Images
File Type: jpg rolex1.jpg (189.8 KB, 647 views)
palkosel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25 September 2019, 08:35 AM   #27
"TRF" Member
kwcsports's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Real Name: Kevin
Location: N.S. Canada
Posts: 559
Thanks Rob, enjoyed it.
kwcsports is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 November 2019, 06:51 AM   #28
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 100
This is really impressive and helpful
TMEwatch11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21 December 2019, 05:31 PM   #29
"TRF" Member
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: India
Posts: 2
I found an Rolex oyster royaL about 35 years ago . Being lying inside a locker Since then . Wish to get it working . Seems I would have to get to Geneva ( from india ) to the Rolex facility there . Any suggestions ..
Servocontrol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 February 2020, 02:13 PM   #30
2020 Pledge Member
sgwatchguy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Real Name: J
Location: Lion City
Watch: Rolex AP
Posts: 4,047
Thanks again Rob. I’ve read about Rolex so many places but I had never come across their fascinating history with multiple brands and work with other brands. HW was a marketing genius, he seemed to have been a very busy man and accomplished building a global business even in that day and age.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
sgwatchguy is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

*Banners Of The Month*
This space is provided to horological resources.

Copyright ©2004-2020, The Rolex Forums. All Rights Reserved.


Rolex is a registered trademark of ROLEX USA. The Rolex Forums is not affiliated with ROLEX USA in any way.