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The Rolex Effect

The iconic Swiss watchmaker celebrates decades of cinematic collaboration

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Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Paul Newman as hustler Fast Eddie Felson in The Colour of Money. Bill Paxton descending to the ocean floor as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic. What do these movie legends have in common? It’s all in the wrist, or more specifically, around it. Glance at the hands of each of these stars and you will see them graced by the unmistakable signature of a Rolex watch. 

A golden Oscar stands at the entrance to the Rolex Greenroom at the 2021 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

The choice of timepiece in these and other prominent blockbuster scenes was neither coincidental nor a product placement. It was a deliberate statement by the producers to convey a set of character traits that have grown to be associated with the iconic Swiss brand: strength, power, sophistication, and of course, a superior sense of style. The connection is the result of a longstanding relationship between the luxury watchmaker and the world of cinema that goes back decades. At its core is a deep history and a shared mission: a commitment to the preservation and celebration of a timeless masterpiece, be it a cinematic marvel or an exceptional wristwatch. 

Rolex’s appreciation of the storytelling inherent in film is reflected in its own storyline developed over a century of innovation. One example is the 1926 Rolex Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, which reimagined a whole new adventure-filled lifestyle for its wearers. The Rolex team and some of the world’s greatest filmmakers were brought together by the process itself: creating a work that was visionary, relevant, and withstood the test of time. 

World-renowned directors Martin Scorsese is one of the mentors for young filmmakers through Rolex’s Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

As the official sponsor of the Academy Awards and a partner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Rolex’s role in the world of cinema is continuing on through multiple facets that range from hosting the Oscars Greenroom to supporting the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, set to open in Los Angeles this September. The company is also contributing to film legacy with the Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, which brings emerging young filmmakers together with renowned masters such as James Cameron and Martin Scorsese for mentorship and collaboration. 

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 107

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