Rolex and In­spir­ing Women

HK Golfer - - Feature -

Ev­ery woman who wears a Rolex has an in­spir­ing story. Lead­ing the way are Rolex Tes­ti­monees, pi­o­neer­ing spir­its whose achieve­ments have of­ten cre­ated his­tory, set­ting new stan­dards of per­for­mance. The Rolex they proudly wear is an em­blem of those who meet chal­lenges head-on with courage, pas­sion and an un­wa­ver­ing quest for ex­cel­lence.

THE FIRST ROLEX STAN­DARD-BEARER

Women have been at the heart of Rolex’s suc­cess since the com­pany first opened its doors. When Rolex founder Hans Wils­dorf cre­ated the ac­cu­rate, re­li­able and ro­bust wrist­watch to suit the ac­tive life­styles of the 20th cen­tury, he set out to de­sign the mod­ern time­piece for both gen­ders. The swim­mer Mercedes Gleitze typ­i­fied his recog­ni­tion of pi­o­neer­ing women. She ef­fec­tively be­came the first Rolex Tes­ti­monee in 1927 when she swam the English Chan­nel wear­ing the new Oys­ter, the world’s first wa­ter­proof wrist­watch and a foun­da­tion stone for Rolex’s suc­cess.

In hon­our of her coura­geous sport­ing achieve­ment, she was cho­sen as the pub­lic stan­dard-bearer for the Oys­ter watch and be­came the first in a long line of tal­ented Tes­ti­monees in the arts, ex­plo­ration and sports. They up­hold the brand’s val­ues, com­bin­ing ex­cel­lence and el­e­gance in their en­deav­our.

Golfers An­nika Sören­stam and Ly­dia Ko are ex­cep­tional in­di­vid­u­als who have each be­come a ref­er­ence for out­stand­ing skill. Each in her own way ex­em­pli­fies the re­mark­able qual­i­ties that de­fine Rolex Tes­ti­monees.

LY­DIA KO

When Ly­dia Ko turned 20 in April 2017, her achieve­ments were al­ready ground­break­ing. In 2015 she be­came the youngest World No. 1 in men’s or women’s golf, tak­ing the top rank­ing aged 17 years and nine months. She then be­came the youngest win­ner of a Ma­jor, at The Evian Cham­pi­onship, and was the youngest Rolex Player of the Year. Ko claimed back-to-back Ma­jors in win­ning the 2016 ANA In­spi­ra­tion, a vic­tory that paved the way for her to fin­ish the year as the re­cip­i­ent of the pres­ti­gious Rolex AN­NIKA Ma­jor Award.

“Peo­ple say I have too much fun. Golf is known to be quite se­ri­ous. It’s a big goal of mine to keep hav­ing fun and be pos­i­tive,” an at­ti­tude that has most cer­tainly helped keep this ac­com­plished Rolex Tes­ti­monee at the top of her game. “I stay fo­cused on the shot when I’m about to hit it, but out­side of that I’m try­ing to en­joy it the most I can.”

AN­NIKA SÖREN­STAM

Ac­claimed as the best fe­male golfer of all-time, leg­endary Swedish sportswoma­n An­nika Sören­stam has rewrit­ten the record books, win­ning count­less awards and chang­ing the way women’s golf was played. Her 16-year, Hall-of-Fame ca­reer took root in her child­hood love of sports and her tal­ent for golf, nur­tured by her par­ents when she was 12. Among her many achieve­ments were 89 ca­reer vic­to­ries, 72 LPGA Tour ti­tles and 10 Ma­jor cham­pi­onships. Painfully shy as a child, Sören­stam con­fi­dence grew in tan­dem with her suc­cess on the course.

“In 1995 I was Rookie of the Year. First of all, I didn’t know if I was ever go­ing to win a sin­gle golf tour­na­ment, so I didn’t re­ally pic­ture my­self with any qual­ity spon­sors. And all of a sud­den, Rolex and I built up a friend­ship and a part­ner­ship. Ob­vi­ously, to be picked up by some­body of that cal­i­bre gave me a con­fi­dence boost, and I am still to this day very proud to be an am­bas­sador. For me per­son­ally, it was like, ‘Wow, this is val­i­da­tion.’”

Sören­stam stepped away from pro­fes­sional, com­pet­i­tive golf at the end of 2008 and since then has pur­sued a va­ri­ety of busi­nesses as well as phil­an­thropic in­ter­ests. Cre­ated in 2007, the AN­NIKA Foun­da­tion teaches chil­dren the im­por­tance of liv­ing a healthy, ac­tive life­style through fit­ness and nu­tri­tion, and of­fers as­pir­ing ju­nior golfer op­por­tu­ni­ties to pur­sue their dreams. Hailed in 2015 as the Top Swedish Fe­male Ath­lete of All-Time, An­nika has made a habit of ex­cel­lence, in­spir­ing and help­ing oth­ers.

PI­O­NEER­ING SPIRIT

Th­ese Rolex Tes­ti­monees are chang­ing the world, and the way the world sees women. They share a pi­o­neer­ing spirit, achiev­ing great­ness through ded­i­ca­tion and a com­mit­ment to ex­cel. Their courage and per­se­ver­ance are an ex­am­ple to all, in­spir­ing both men and women of all gen­er­a­tions to great­ness.

In hon­our of Mercedes Gleitz’s coura­geous sport­ing achieve­ment, she was cho­sen as the pub­lic stan­dard­bearer for the Oys­ter watch and be­came the first in a long line of tal­ented Tes­ti­monees

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