Since founder Hans Wilsdorf fulfilled his dream of creating an accurate and elegant wristwatch at the beginning of the 20th century – a period when the pocket watch was the norm − Rolex, the Swiss watch brand, 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 large variety 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 cultural Testimonee. Over the years, this commitment has developed to embrace many other leading artists, prestigious institutions and festivals.
Included among the 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 foremost cultural institutions from around the world such as the legendary Teatro alla Scala in Milan, London’s historic Royal Opera House, the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera – dubbed “The Met” – in New York, the impressive Opéra National de Paris and the famed Vienna Philharmonic.
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. The partnerships have flourished as they are based on common values and a shared appreciation for 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.