Inside The Rolex Book Made For Luxury Watch Fans

This striking coffee table tome offers a fascinating look at rare Rolexes.

rolex the impossible collection book spread

The luxury Swiss watch industry is among the countless businesses that have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, and the current state of the economy has certainly dampened demand in the high-end watch market. But regardless of whether they actually intend to buy a Rolex, admirers of superior watchmaking will appreciate Assouline’s newly-reprinted 2018 book, Rolex: The Impossible Collection.

The 194-page coffee table stunner, which comes in a handcrafted leather clamshell case with metal plaque, spans the complete history of the world’s most revered watch brand, from its founding by a young Hans Wilsdorf in 1905 to Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona triumphantly selling for a record-breaking $17.8 million in 2017. 


Throughout Rolex’s more than 100-year existence, the brand has marked multiple horological milestones, including the first waterproof watch, the first self-winding mechanism, the first wristwatch to fly over Mount Everest, the first diver’s watch that was waterproof to 100 meters and the first watch to descend the Mariana Trench. 

Rolex: The Impossible Collection celebrates that storied legacy by featuring timepieces selected by Rolex specialist Fabienne Reybaud, including rare images of the first Rolex Oyster Perpetual from 1931, the Rolex Explorer worn during Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, and even the Rolex Submariner worn by obscure 007 actor George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. 

Check out some of the book’s visual highlights of little-seen Rolex imagery in the slideshows above, and go here if you’re interested in purchasing a piece of brand history that will liven up any living room table.