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Avaunt Issue 5


Par Pip Harrison, Illustration: Señor Salme - 7 mn

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Against wind and tide

Rolex has been championing innovation through their awards programme for 40 years. Avaunt meets the latest winners to discover the ingenious ideas that will come to shape the world of the future.

The world’s first waterproof wristwatch was designed in 1926 by Hans Wildorf, the founder of Rolex. The Oyster represented a breakthrough in both horological invention and advertising: over the following decade it swam the English Channel with Mercedes Gleitze (on a cord around her neck), flew over Mount Everest in a Westland PV-3 biplane and set a land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats around the wrist of Sir Malcolm Campbell. In the Oyster, Wildorf had created not just a waterproof wristwatch but a timepiece that could accompany the most daring and adventurous as they pushed themselves to their limits.

In 1976, 16 years after Wildorf ’s death, Rolex chose to celebrate the Oyster’s 50th anniversary with an awards programme that honoured its founder’s spirit...

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