Since Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf fulfilled his dream of creating an accurate and elegant wristwatch in the early part of the 20th century – a period when the pocket watch was the norm − the Swiss watchmaker has always encouraged individual excellence and the pursuit of perfection. In furthering this long-standing tradition, the company makes a significant contribution to the arts through its patronage of a wide range of programmes and activities.
Rolex’s commitment to the arts dates back to the 1970s when New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa became the brand’s first arts Testimonee. Over the years, this partnership has grown to include many other leading artists, prestigious institutions and festivals.
Among these artists are Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim, Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo, Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann and Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva.
Rolex also supports the foremost cultural institutions from around the world, such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, London’s Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera (The Met) in New York, the Opéra national de Paris, the Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) in Buenos Aires, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2012, the brand was delighted to incorporate the highly acclaimed Salzburg Festival into its cultural portfolio and became Exclusive Sponsor of the Whitsun Festival, directed by Cecilia Bartoli. These flourishing partnerships are based on a mutual commitment to excellence.
Rolex remains increasingly active in the arts with the aim of helping to perpetuate an artistic heritage and make a unique and lasting contribution to culture around the world.