Hans Wilsdorf

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Birthday
22, 1881
Birthplace
Germany
Death Date
Jul 6, 1960 (79)
Birth Sign
Aries
Birthday
22, 1881
Birthplace
Germany
Death Date
Jul 6, 1960 (79)

About

Notable for founding the world-famous Tudor and Rolex watch brands, this German entrepreneur later established an eponymous foundation that guaranteed that a portion of Rolex's profits would be donated to charity in the decades and centuries after his death.

Before Fame

Early in his life, he was employed by a Swiss watchmaking company in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Trivia

When he learned that members of the Royal Air Force who owned Rolex watches were being forced to turn over their timepieces to their captors at World war II-era POW camps, Wilsdorf offered to replace the soldiers' watches for free (until the end of the war, when the former POWs would be expected to pay for their Rolexes).

Family Life

A native of Kulmbach, Bavaria, he later operated his famous watchmaking businesses out of his adopted home city of Geneva, Switzerland. Before settling in Geneva, he co-owned a London-based watch imports company with his wife's brother, Alfred Davis.

Associated With

He and Frenchman Dominique Loiseau were both successful twentieth-century watchmakers.