Rolex watch deal was 'first ever endorsement'

First published: 16-12-2009

Rolex watches have always been seen as providing the best quality of timekeeping - something which was no doubt boosted by an occurrence in the earlier part of the 20th century, it has been said.

Mercedes Gleitze, who swam across the English Channel in 1927 to make her the first woman to complete the feat, was doubted by critics and so attempted it again two weeks later, with Hans Wildorf - the creator of Rolex watches - asking her to take the timepiece with her, the Star Online explained.

The watch had been patented as waterproof just a year earlier, meaning that it was a proving mission for both Rolex and Miss Gleitze.

In a front-page story for the Daily Mail after her successful second crossing, she proudly declared that the Channel swim proved the Rolex watch as both "reliable and accurate" in its timekeeping.

Miss Gleitze added: "This is to say nothing about the sustained buffeting it must have received. Not even the quick change to the high temperature of the boat cabin when I was lifted from the water seemed to affect the even tenor of its movement."

Endorsements involving Rolex continue to this day, most notably as the official timekeeper of Wimbledon.

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