The longtime relationship between Rolex and the golf world was on full display at this year’s Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.
Celebrating half a century of partnerships in professional golf, the ties between the game and the Swiss watchmaker run deep.
Nowhere was Rolex’s long-running association with professional golf more apparent than at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia this spring, where Rolex (rolex.com) has been a key sponsor since 1999. While the world watched the electrifying sudden-death victory of Spaniard Sergio Garcia over Brit Justin Rose, guests of Rolex enjoyed prime viewing opportunities; unmatched hospitality at the Rolex House near the first hole; as well as the company and insight of some of the game’s legends, who stopped by during the tournament. The scene was as dramatic as you might expect—chock full of exciting moments and memories. “When I was coming up,” former Masters champion Tom Watson shares, “I always admired the gold Rolex watches of the top players.” The famously humble golfer, who won in 1977 and 1981, adds: “My goal was to treat myself to a Rolex after I made a million dollars in winnings.” Gary Player, the South African golf legend who was the first non-American to win the Masters in 1961 (he won again in 1974 and 1978), recalls: “Back then, I was taking on Arnold Palmer in his own house, so to speak, and the fans were—understandably—not in my corner.” Still, Rolex was always a welcoming presence for the feisty champion. While the Rolex-golf connection runs deep, some of the watchmaker’s most recent models unveiled at the Baselworld watch and jewelry show in Switzerland seem particularly apt for the links. New versions of the iconic Sky-Dweller, with its masterful fluted bezel, are now available in a white-gold bezel, steel and yellowgold combinations. Rolex’s beefy Sea-Dweller dive watch receives significant updates as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. With a new 43 mm size—sporting the iconic Rolex Cyclops date magnifier for the first time and a Cerachrom bezel—and waterproof to an astounding 4,000 feet, this timepiece can stand up to any wear and tear you might put in on the greens.
“When I was coming up, I always admired the gold Rolex watches of the top players.” –TOM WATSON
Clockwise from left: Winner of the 1977 and 1981 Masters Tournaments, Tom Watson; with his 1961 win, South African Gary Player became the first foreign-born player to win a green jacket; Sky-Dweller timepiece in steel and yellow gold, $17,150, and Sea-Dweller timepiece in steel, $11,350, both at Sidney Thomas Jewelers.