In a span of 5 years from 1926 to 1931, Rolex and Hans Wilsdorf would create and patent two major horology milestones, which would forever set Rolex apart; the Rolex Oyster waterproof watch-case, and the Rolex Perpetual Movement. In 1925, Rolex would also create and register their famous trademark logo of the Rolex five-point logo crown.
The Art-Deco era was a time of tremendous growth for Rolex, so much so, there are many art-deco elements which remain today as part of their current design language.
The Rolex Oyster is perhaps the most revolutionary and profound development in watch history. The following patent application was filed by Hans Wilsdorf on behalf of Rolex in 1926:
How Does A Rolex Oyster Case Work?
The next photo perfectly illustrates how the original Rolex Oyster case was designed, constructed and assembled. Notice the fluted bezel, just like with the one on the previously examined hermetic case, screws down onto the inner-case as does the case-back. The actual Oyster case itself, was milled from a solid piece of gold, as all Rolex Oyster watch cases are to this day.
Was it the first professional dive watch in history? In many ways yes and in many way no, as we will soon see. More than anything it was a watch you could take swimming without damaging.