Rolex has long rallied behind female competitors to help them excel in domains often dominated by men. Melissa Twigg profiles three incredible women blurring gender lines
Rolex has long rallied behind female competitors to help them excel in domains often dominated by men. Meet four incredible women blurring gender lines
Since its inception, Rolex has been widely celebrated for its powerful ties with some of the greatest athletic talent the world has ever produced. Not so widely known, however, is the tale of how the luxury Swiss watchmaker has championed women from diverse fields, sponsoring and supporting them so they could achieve greatness on an equal footing to their male peers.
This quest for excellence is reflected in the watches themselves, which may be beautiful and delicate but function perfectly even in the most challenging of environments, whether deep beneath the sea or on the world’s highest peaks. The following extraordinary brand ambassadors, or Rolex testimonees, have no doubts about the benefits.
The Deep-sea adventurer
Sylvia Earle has gone deeper into the sea than any woman on the planet. And with headlines like “Her Deepness” in the New Yorker, “Hero for the Planet” in Time magazine, and “Living Legend” at the Library of Congress, this oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer is undoubtedly a woman to admire.
She has led 100-plus expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours under the sea, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970, in which they worked in a cramped underwater laboratory for an extended period. To top that off, she set a women’s depth record of 381 metres in an open-ocean dive in an atmospheric diving suit, and has since descended as deep as 1,000 metres in submersibles she and her husband design and operate.
Her constant companion on her ever-more daring feats has been her Rolex watch, a brand with which she first became acquainted when Rolex equipped the diving crew of the Tektite II. “I’ve had the joy of spending thousands of hours under the sea,” Earle says. “I wish I could take people along to see what I see and to know what I know.” While she may not be able to take the public, at least she can always be accompanied by her Rolex Oyster.
The Wimbledon Champion
Playing on the centre court at Wimbledon had always been an ambition of fresh-faced Spaniard Garbiñe Muguruza. But even in her wildest dreams, she could not have predicted that one day she would beat Venus Williams—one half of the most famous tennis siblings in history—at the Wimbledon final.
The 23-year-old Caracas-born player has always been extraordinarily talented and this year, under the watchful eyes of the Spanish and British royal families, she showed exactly how brilliant she is, becoming only the second Spaniard to win the woman’s title.
The victory in July confirmed her as a natural partner for Rolex, a brand that has long supported women who epitomise passion, performance and precision.
Muguruza’s Rolex has been part of her rollercoaster of a ride, sitting comfortably on her wrist for nearly every game. “When you’re playing a match, you only ever have one chance to make the shot,” she says. “So many factors have to come together to make it happen.” And hopefully her timepiece is one of them.
The all-american alpine racer
Lindsey Vonn looks like the kind of perfect Californian blonde the Beach Boys were singing about all those years ago. But this world champion alpine skier is far from just a pretty face. One of the most successful skiers of all time, she has won two World Championship gold medals, four World Cup overall championship titles, and a women’s record of 77 World Cup races.
On her path to becoming one of the most awe-inspiring skiers of our era, she came to realise the challenges women in sport continue to face, from a lack of recognition and support to smaller sponsorship deals and less award money. So to help young women navigate those difficult early years, she launched the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, which supports girls through scholarships, education and athletics.
“It’s not about what everyone else says; it’s about what you do and how you do it that matters,” says Vonn. “That’s why I’ve aligned with Rolex for so many years—because they have a similar motto. They carve their own path. They do their own thing. And they help others achieve the same. It’s what denotes the best from the rest.”
ocean deep Sylvia Earle on one of her diving expeditions and (right) wearing the Oyster Perpetual Datejust by Rolex
winning form Garbiñe Muguruza wears the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 by Rolex and (inset) in action at Wimbledon in July
uphill trajectory Lindsey Vonn wears a Pearlmaster in Everose gold by Rolex and (top) on the slopes