Rolex and cinema: A time-honored connection

Ever since founder Hans Wilsdorf invented the Oyster in 1926, Rolex has been an active and tireless participant in cinema’s history, artistry, and technical excellence. 

Timekeeping and filmmaking share an intertwined and intimate relationship.

Both technological advancements were born in the same era, and share a close connection throughout their respective histories.

It should come with no surprise then that Rolex and cinema share the same tight and symbiotic connection throughout nearly a century, with both being the children of science and the arts.

A match made in “cinematic heaven”

A previous Rolex campaign puts together directors Martin Scorsese (Raging BullGoodfellas), Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt LockerZero Dark Thirty), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (BirdmanThe Revenant), and James Cameron (TitanicAvatar). 

Ever since the Swiss watch designer and manufacturer’s founder Hans Wilsdorf invented the Oyster in 1926, Rolex has been an active and tireless participant in the history, artistry, and technical excellence of cinema. 

Over the decades, it has supported the next generation of filmmakers while partnering with some of the world’s most talented artists and institutions. 

Rolex watches have appeared on the wrists of actors in numerous films such as Network, Apollo 13, The Usual Suspects, While We’re Young, among many others.

Then the pairing reached new and historic heights when in 2017, in their unremitting dedication to culture, Rolex and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) forged a partnership that focuses on “the perpetuation of knowledge, the preservation of the art, the fostering of new talent, and the celebration of excellence.” 

It’s a match that has taken a century in the making, but one that’s made in what Vanity Fair calls “cinematic heaven.”   

“A work done handsomely”

If there’s one statement that can define the profound relationship between the esteemed timepiece and cinema, it would have to be Wilsdorf’s favorite expression: “a work done handsomely.”

This philosophy speaks to both the artistry and talent needed not only in film, but in crafting an exquisite timepiece as well.

As said earlier, the histories of both Rolex and film run parallel with each other. Throughout the years, Rolex has pioneered watchmaking innovations, registering over 600 patents. 

Rolex and filmmaking continuous to shared a deep and time-honored relationship.

Filmmakers, meanwhile, have produced innumerable movies guided by their technical expertise and creative thinking. 

Rolex and cinema then simply make sense together: “Exceptional work recognizes and supports other exceptional work.”

Helping raise the profile of the arts

By supporting prestigious institutions and major cultural events in the fields of filmmaking, music, and architecture, Rolex helps “raise the profile of the arts,” while ensuring the preservation of legacy and transmission of knowledge and expertise.

It continues to promote a flourishing cultural life around the world, largely by supporting artists through its Rolex mentoring program.

Through its various efforts in the promotion of the arts, it inspires future generations, encourages excellence, passes on a passion for the arts, and safeguards a dynamic culture.

Going beyond the awards night

The partnership, however, extends beyond the glitz and glamor and the flashing cameras of the Oscars. 

As a founding supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Rolex helps protect, preserve, and propagate the legacy of cinema’s past, while offering inspiration and encouragement for its future. 

Rolex is a founding supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Museum in Los Angeles, California. Photo from Rolex

The Renzo Piano-designed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Museum which opened in Los Angeles in September 2021, for instance, shines the spotlight on the long history, cultural impact, and even the science of filmmaking. 

It’s the largest museum of its kind in the United States and a true testament to and celebration of cinema’s enduring impact.

A hero’s ally

Its watches have played their own roles on the wrists of many an unforgettable character, embodying their desires, dreams, and passions.  

Every hero needs an ally and Rolex has proven itself an ally for the cinema over the years.

In the years and decades to come, Rolex commits to stand alongside the people who perpetually reinvent cinema as it has done so for almost 100 years.

As part of its Perpetual Arts Initiative and long-standing association with cinema, Rolex is a partner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Proud Sponsor of the Oscars®.

The new lifestyle.