On the surface, this may seem like a simple question, but it doesn’t have a simple answer. Rolex’s first-ever watch is the real explanation, and there are several factors to consider. You could say this is the original model made by the founder of the company, or the first model named Rolex, or the answer could be a model that contains all, or most, of the internal components; In this case, depending on how picky and downright pedantic you want to be, it might have been technically just a few years ago. The company that would become fake Rolex was established in 1905 in Hatton Gardens, London. At first, they just observed importers, buying models of different qualities from other sellers, and selling them to jewelers. Many of these products have no trademarks at all, so retailers have to put their names on them. As Wilsdorf & Davis was a totally commercial business at that time, and one not creating any of the parts for the watches themselves, it is hard to think of these as being ‘made by Rolex’ – particularly as the name was yet to be thought up. However, W&D’s top-of-the-line pieces came from a Swiss manufacturer called Aegler, who specialized in using calibers with lever escapements, a superior setup to the cylinder escapements common in cheap replica watches. Even more importantly than that, the movements were rather small, allowing them to fit in perfectly with Wilsdorf’s efforts to produce highly reliable and accurate wristwatches for men. At the turn of the 20th century, the pocket watch was the only way for a gentleman to tell the time, with wristwatches, commonly famous as wristlets, the unique preserve of a female audience. Wilsdorf & Davis had already placed the biggest order for wristwatches ever seen with Aegler soon after setting up in business, and it was the beginning of a relationship that would continue for generations. Whichever it is, it is down to the vision of Hans Wilsdorf and his willingness to take a bet on the wristwatch that we have the models we have today – and those models remain some of the most recognizable and important pieces ever made. Besides, it was Wilsdorf’s plan of acquiring suppliers that set the standard for modern vertically-integrated luxury brands across all industries.