Rolex debuts GMT-Master, Day-Date and Milgauss Models Between 1955 and 1956

4:06 PM

The world changed dramatically in the 1950s, and Rolex changed with it. Many of the models that Rolex in best known for today were introduced in this decade. The Explorer and Submariner models made their debut in 1953, and following them was the GMT-Master. 
First Rolex GMT-Master Model 1955
First Rolex GMT-Master Model, 1955
The first GMT-Master model was released in 1955 to meet the needs of airline pilots who were having difficulty keeping track of time and dealing with jet lag while operating transatlantic flights for airlines like Pan American World Airways. It became the official watch of several airlines, including Pan Am.

The GMT-Master solved the problem of dealing with two timezones at once by adding a 24 hour hand and a rotating 24 hour bezel that would allow the wearer to set the time at home and wherever their adventures would take them.
first rolex day date model 1956
First Rolex Day-Date Model, 1956
In 1956, Rolex released the first Day-Date model, which featured a window on the dial that displayed the day of the week written out, a first in the wristwatch industry. This model was fitted with their patented Cyclops lens that magnified the date display on the crystal and the President bracelet.
First Rolex Milgauss Model 1956
First Rolex Milgauss Model, 1956
Finally, the Milgauss model was debuted in 1956 to meet the needs of scientists working in the atomic age. The Milgauss was developed for nuclear scientists, like those who worked for the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), who were exposed to magnetism at their job sites. Magnetic energy can affect the precision of a mechanical watch as most of the parts of the movement are made of metal, so Rolex created anti-magnetic technology to protect their movements.

The 1950s saw the birth of Rolex's 'tool watches' which now form part of their professional watch collection. The company released more new models in this decade than in any other, most of which are still available today.

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