Rolex Perpetual 1908: The First Self-Winding Wristwatch in History

Rolex perpetual 1908

The Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a watch that has captured the attention of watch enthusiasts and collectors alike. This timepiece is a perfect example of cutting-edge classicism that combines the brand’s historic codes with numerous innovations in watchmaking. It was created in 1908 by Hans Wilsdorf, who transformed the history of watchmaking with his innovative vision for a precise and reliable wristwatch. Today, the quest for excellence continues, and Rolex is still improving the superlative performance of its watches.

The Perpetual 1908 is a dress watch that comes in 18k yellow gold or 18k white gold and is available on an alligator leather strap with a double-folding Dualclasp. The watch is powered by the new Rolex Caliber 7140 with Syloxi silicon hairspring, which has a power reserve of approximately 66 hours. It also houses a Syloxi hairspring, an advancement on Rolex’s staple Parachrom number with updated (and patented) geometry for more regularity across positions. Combine that with the Paraflex shock absorbers and Chronergy escapement, and you have yet another horological ante upped.

The Perpetual 1908 has a water resistance of 50 meters, making it suitable for everyday wear. The new automatic caliber 7140 can be seen through a sapphire caseback, which is a first for Rolex. The watch is elegant, classic, and decidedly contemporary, and it immortalizes Rolex’s age-long daring spirit. Inheriting the brand’s historic codes as much as its numerous innovations in watchmaking, the watch marks a new milestone in the brand’s pursuit of excellence.

History of Rolex Perpetual 1908

Rolex is a Swiss luxury watchmaker known for its high-quality and precision timepieces. The company was founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England. In 1908, Rolex introduced its first wristwatch with an automatic movement, the Rolex Perpetual.

The Rolex Perpetual was a groundbreaking invention that revolutionized the watchmaking industry. The automatic movement was powered by a rotor that would wind the watch as the wearer moved their wrist. This eliminated the need for manual winding, making the watch more convenient and reliable.

The first Rolex Perpetual was housed in a small, rectangular case and featured a simple, elegant design. Over the years, Rolex has continued to innovate and improve the Perpetual, adding new features and designs to meet the changing needs of its customers.

The latest iteration of the Rolex Perpetual is the Perpetual 1908, which was introduced in 2023. The watch features a 39mm-wide case in 18k yellow or white gold, a polished finish, and a fluted bezel. It is a dress watch that is both elegant and contemporary, embodying Rolex’s commitment to excellence and innovation.

Features of Rolex Perpetual 1908

The Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a timepiece that combines classicism with modernity. It features a 50m water-resistant case crafted in yellow or white gold, with a polished finish. The bezel is domed, similar to the original Oyster Perpetual, and adds to the watch’s aesthetic appeal. The watch’s dial is based on a vintage model from 1931, and it features a classic design that is both elegant and timeless.

The movement of the Rolex Perpetual 1908 is powered by the Calibre 7140, a self-winding mechanical movement that is both precise and reliable. The movement is visible through a sapphire crystal back, showcasing the intricate details of the watch’s inner workings. The movement also features mechanically applied Côtes de Genève and an 18k gold oscillating weight, adding to the watch’s luxurious feel.

The Rolex Perpetual 1908 also boasts exclusive watchmaking innovations, such as a Parachrom hairspring that is resistant to magnetic fields and temperature variations. This hairspring ensures the watch’s accuracy and reliability, even in extreme conditions. Additionally, the watch’s Oyster case provides excellent protection for the movement, making it highly durable and resistant to shocks and vibrations.

Other features of the Rolex Perpetual 1908 include:

  • Chronometer certification, guaranteeing the watch’s accuracy
  • Superlative Chronometer status, indicating that the watch has passed rigorous tests for precision, performance, and reliability
  • Hour markers and hands coated with Chromalight, a luminescent material that provides excellent legibility in low light conditions
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, ensuring that the watch’s dial remains clear and easy to read

Overall, the Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a masterpiece of watchmaking that combines classic design with modern technology. Its exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious materials, and innovative features make it a highly sought-after timepiece for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Value and Rarity of Rolex Perpetual 1908

The Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a highly sought-after watch due to its rarity and value. The watch is only available in precious metals, which makes it a luxurious timepiece. The Perpetual 1908 is available in 18k yellow gold and 18k white gold, with prices starting at $22,000 for the yellow gold version and $23,300 for the white gold version.

Compared to other high-end watches, the Perpetual 1908 is relatively affordable. Patek Philippe’s new Calatrava 6007G costs $37,850, and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s comparable watches are priced lower than the Perpetual 1908. The Perpetual 1908 is a dressy watch that exudes elegance and sophistication, making it a popular choice among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

The Rolex Perpetual 1908 is also rare, which adds to its value. Rolex only produces a limited number of Perpetual 1908 watches each year, making it a highly coveted timepiece. The watch’s rarity and exclusivity make it a valuable addition to any watch collection.

Additionally, the Perpetual 1908 is equipped with a high-quality movement caliber 7140, which adds to its value. The movement is precise and reliable, ensuring accurate timekeeping. The watch’s sleek dial draws inspiration from the original Oyster Perpetual watches of 1931, showcasing Rolex’s mastery of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

In conclusion, the Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a rare and valuable watch that is highly sought-after by watch enthusiasts and collectors. Its luxurious design, affordability, and exclusivity make it a popular choice among those who appreciate fine timepieces.


The Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a stunning dress watch that combines classic design elements with modern technology. The collection pays homage to the brand’s rich history, while also introducing new features that make it stand out from other dress watches on the market.

With a 39mm case size and a relatively thin profile, the Perpetual 1908 is a great option for those who want a dress watch that is both elegant and practical. The watch is available in yellow gold and white gold, with prices starting at $22,000 and $23,300, respectively.

The Perpetual 1908 features a sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock, which adds a touch of complexity to the otherwise simple design. The watch also has a water resistance of 50m, which is more than enough for everyday wear.

In conclusion, the Rolex Perpetual 1908 is a beautiful dress watch that is sure to impress anyone who sees it. While it may not be the most affordable option on the market, its combination of classic design and modern technology make it a great investment for anyone who wants a high-quality dress watch that will stand the test of time.

Written by Worthly