At some point in his life every man with an interest in watches will want to buy a Rolex. The famed Swiss firm founded in 1905 simply makes the most impressive timepieces on the planet. Acquiring one may be an expensive investment at first, but properly maintained it’s something you’ll have for life; a future heirloom, or, should you decide to sell in a few years (or longer), even a source of profit. Rolex resides in a very exclusive bracket that other brands have done their best to imitate with little success, and with a century and more under their belt the desirability of their watches has never been stronger. It has even made them quite hard to come by in certain places.

These days the appeal of the Rolex has truly gone global while the brand has proved itself immune to fads and trends. That has also spawned a whole market for watches that merely look like Rolexes, but they’re strictly the province of second-raters and almost-rans. A genuine Rolex is and always has been a major measure of success both for the men who choose to wear them and those who will merely cast covetous glances at them. The question for most men with any interest in watches is not in fact whether they can afford a Rolex but when. At age 20 you may set yourself a goal to be wearing one by age 30. And should you manage to achieve it before then the accomplishment will be all the sweeter.

As Rolex, founded in 1905, steams into its second century with no sign of relinquishing its status or standards, it consistently wins awards as the most reputable company in the world. Privately held, independently owned and immensely profitable, Rolex does not need to make any concessions to the market.

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