Founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis, Rolex moved its base of operations to Geneva, Switzerland in 1919.
The company is owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a family private trust.
One story, never confirmed by Wilsdorf, recounts that the name came from the French phrase horlogerie exquise, meaning “exquisite clockwork”.