Growing Together: Rolex and Cinema

By The Time Place Magazine

With a parallel history, Rolex and cinema are continuously in motion, evolving together to shape the future of film.

Rolex is undeniably one of the foremost watch brands in haute horlogerie. This is thanks to its resolute founder, Hans Wilsdorf, who created the Oyster, a revolutionary waterproof wristwatch, in 1926. Parallel to this development, the world of cinema was also growing with the release of the first ever talking motion picture, “The Jazz Singer”. A couple of years later, in 1931, Rolex followed up its inaugural product with the first waterproof, automatic-winding wristwatch, the Oyster Perpetual, while cinema afforded viewers with visual vibrancy by adding colour to its big-screen offerings.

Over time, the worlds of Rolex and cinema would further collide as renowned actors were seen wearing a Rolex onscreen. Because of its popularity and the prestige of its watches, more actors and directors would choose to wear Rolex watches on their wrists.

United by their shared quest for excellence, innovation and progress, the worlds of Rolex and cinema would indelibly be linked from then onwards. In 2017, Rolex took on a leading role when two major events cemented its association with the film industry. First, director Martin Scorsese joined James Cameron as a Rolex Testimonee. And in the same year, the brand sealed its partnership with the film industry’s highest authority, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy’s missions include the promotion of excellence in film and the preservation of its legacy for future generations, which are in line with the very same values upheld by Rolex.

As a testament to the partnership between the two behemoths of cinema and watchmaking, Rolex became the Exclusive Watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Proud Sponsor of the Oscars® and Exclusive Sponsor of the Governors Awards. Furthermore, Rolex extended its backing by being a Founding Supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures which opened in Los Angeles in September 2021. In addition, the brand encourages the preservation and transmission of the cinematic arts with its Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

A Collaborative Effort

Similar to other endeavours, the making of watches and the production of films are marked by the cooperation between two or more parties. Since the beginning of its partnership, Rolex and the film industry have worked together to further the advancement of motion pictures.

Marking the beginning of the Oscars® season, the Governors Awards, together with Rolex as exclusive sponsor, celebrates long-standing contributions to cinema. Because of the pandemic, however, the 2021 Governors Awards were presented last March 2022. Danny Glover received the 2021 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, while actress Liv Ullmann, screenwriter, filmmaker and actress Elaine May, and actor Samuel L. Jackson, were the recipients of the 2021 Honorary Awards. The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, on the other hand, was not given in 2021.

This was followed by the much-awaited highlight of the film season: the Oscars®. A celebration of inspiration and emotion, the event also pays tribute to the production process, the technical expertise and everything else that goes into the making of a film. To quote Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, it is an ode to “a work done handsomely.” For the sixth consecutive year, Rolex was a proud sponsor of the Oscars® ceremony held at the Dolby® Theatre, Hollywood, on March 27, 2022.

In addition, Rolex served as official host of the Greenroom, the antechamber of the Oscars®. Nominees and presenters gather inside this lounge before and after stepping onto the stage at the Oscars® ceremony, some returning with a coveted statuette. Each year, the brand provides Hollywood’s elite with a unique immersive experience, as well as new décor. For 2022, Rolex honoured legendary Hollywood movies and highlighted the coming-together of cinema and the art of watchmaking. Decorative wall panels in an Art Deco style adorned the premises, which wonderfully showcased elements from Rolex watches, while replicas of Hollywood landmarks were meticulously sculpted and sheathed in leather.

A key witness to the perpetual movement of cinema, Rolex is steadfast in its commitment to the preservation and transmission of the cinematic arts. Together, Rolex and cinema ensure the continuance of moviemaking magic.

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