Excellence is a term that has become synonymous with Rolex across the globe. In keeping with that legacy of exceptional achievement, the brand has been a patron of several sports, including tennis, golf, motor racing, yachting and equestrian, and a sponsor of sporting events for decades. Proclaiming its affiliation with sport on its website, Rolex claims to be ‘associated with the quest for excellence in sport’.
The pioneering watchmaking maison’s relationship with tennis, the sport of kings (fitting, keeping in mind the crown logo of the brand) goes back 40 years, to 1978 when Rolex became the official timekeeper for Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and arguably still, the most prestigious.
Wimbledon embodies the delicate balance between holding on to tradition and keeping up with innovation, an ideal shared by Rolex and demonstrated through the evolution of their sought-after master timepieces like the classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Rolex clocks meticulously keep time inside the historic Wimbledon Arena, both on and off the courts.
Partners in Excellence
In addition to Wimbledon, Rolex has been the official timekeeper for the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam, since 2008. The Nitto ATP Finals, and the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, two more of Rolex’s outstanding tennis partnerships bring together the 8 best male and female players in the world for an exciting series of singles and doubles matches.
The Geneva based maison has also sponsored the Davis Cup since 2007 and is a founding member of the new Laver Cup, two of the tennis world’s premier men’s team competitions.
Other representations of Rolex on the global tennis circuit are the glamourous Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in April, the Rolex Shanghai Masters, which has, since 2009 been termed the Masters 1000 Tournament of the year and the Rolex Paris Masters. The brand is also closely associated with, and is a constant presence at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, the Miami Open, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, and the Rogers Cup in Canada.
Tributes and Trophies
In addition to its superior patronage of tennis as well as other sports, Rolex has long maintained an impressive roster of brand ambassadors from the sporting arena. Termed as Testimonees for the brand, Rolex brand ambassadors include tennis greats such as Rod Laver, Björn Borg and Chris Evert, all members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Possibly Rolex’s most widely recognized and accomplished testimonees is Roger Federer. The Swiss tennis phenomenon, knows as the Greatest Player of All Time, has been a testimonee of the brand almost consistently since 2001 and continues to support the brand and it’s superlative products both on and off the court. The on-court legend remembers the day he broke the world record for the maximum number of Grand Slam wins in 2009, and says ‘When I was finally able to life the trophy, I was wearing my Rolex on my wrist. When I look at the watch, I remember that day very vividly’.
Li Na from China, Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Milos Raonic, Garbiñe Muruguza, Angelique Kerber, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martín Del Potro are also amongst those tennis stars who have been associated with Rolex for many years.
Game, Set and Match
Rolex’s legacy for excellence and its support of outstanding performance, both in fine watchmaking and in the world of competitive tennis is destined to continue for years to come. As the brand scales newer heights with its horological offerings, its respect for the time-honoured traditions of sport and the reliability that the Rolex name has come to signify will resonate in the minds and hearts of watch aficionados and sports fans everywhere.