Rolex celebrates six decades of partnership with equestrian excellence as it continues to drive support for top riders and rising newcomers in the field.
Dynamic, graceful and precise – the Olympic disciplines of showjumping, dressage and eventing conjure many of the qualities that we associate with horology. Rolex’s long history of supporting athletic lifestyles dates back to 1927, when the company’s founder Hans Wilsdorf invited swimmer Mercedes Gleitze to don a Rolex Oyster during her attempt to become the first British woman to swim across the English Channel.
After successfully completing the 10-hour crossing, Gleitze effectively became the first Rolex Testimonee, kicking off the watchmaker’s lifelong legacy of keen involvement in sports and support for athletes across numerous disciplines.
Rolex appointed its first equestrian Testimonee in 1957, when British showjumper Pat Smythe joined the illustrious ranks of Rolex-endorsed athletes. The athlete wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual while jumping, skiing and sailing and spoke of her fondness for the world’s first waterproof wristwatch.
Six decades on, Rolex’s partnership with the elite world of equestrianism is stronger than ever.
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