Rolex SA, a Geneva, Switzerland based watch company, founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis was originally established in London, England in 1905 as Wilsdorf and Davis but registered the the brand name now known worldwide as simply Rolex in 1908. In 1915 the brand became know as Rolex Watch Co Ltd.

It was in 1919 that operations were permanently moved to Switzerland to avoid heavy taxation as a result of Britain’s post-war recovery efforts. In 1920 Hans Wilsdorf registered Montres Rolex SA in Geneva as the new company name which evolved into Rolex SA years later.

Another turning point for Rolex was in 1944, when Wilsdorf’s first wife passed away, he, having no descendants, decided to setup a legacy for the brand. And so, in 1945, Wilsdorf established The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation and transferred his 100% ownership of shares in Rolex SA to the foundation. In 1960, upon Hans Wilsdorf’s passing, the company has been owned by The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a private family trust, which still operates under the wishes of its founder, in Geneva.

The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation is active in the fields of social action, training and culture. The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation supports social institutions active in Geneva and helps public and private social services on behalf of people facing financial difficulties. The Foundation grants scholarships to students with the financial means and it contributes to Geneva's cultural offerings by supporting various institutions, in the fields of music, theater and visual arts.