Pulled from the frigid waters of the English Channel after swimming 10 hours, Mercedes Gleitze lay paralyzed with exhaustion. In contrast, the Rolex watch she wore around her neck suffered no ill effects from exposure or duration of the trip.
That was 1927, a year after Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf patented a breakthrough watertight case and christened it “Oyster” based on his experience of trying to pry open stubborn mollusks at a dinner party.
Eighty-four years later, Leeds & Son Jewelers on El Paseo in Palm Desert handles new Rolex Everose timepieces with white gloves. Terry Weiner, CEO of the Swiss company’s only authorized dealer in the Coachella Valley, points out that you could “buy a Rolex watch in 1970, proudly wear it every day, and sell it now for six to 10 times the original price.”
More popular now than yellow gold in top-of-the-line watches, rose gold captures the hue of the skin for a lustrous effect. Rolex adds a platinum alloy so the color remains permanent — hence the name “Everose.”
In Across the River and Into the Trees, Ernest Hemingway compared the human heart to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual. (Perpetual refers to the self-winding mechanism.) “The trouble is that you cannot send [the human heart] to Rolex when it goes wrong,” he wrote.
But if 10 hours in the English Channel long before today’s technological wizardry proves anything, it’s rare for anything to go wrong with a Rolex. If that rarity does occur, no worries: Leeds & Son has Rolex-trained technicians on staff.