Rolex Oscars® Film
Rolex and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are united by a pursuit of excellence and a mission to preserve and celebrate the creation of extraordinary works – masterpieces. Whether crafting a groundbreaking timepiece or an Oscar® – winning film, the goal for a watchmaker like Rolex and great filmmakers is to forge an unforgettable work, one that never loses its relevance and stands the test of time. This is the subject of a film that is being shown during this year’s Oscars® ceremony and is an ode to the visionaries and craftspeople in watchmaking and filmmaking that illustrates the parallels between the two disciplines.
The Academy’s annual celebration of the best in cinema, the Academy Awards® – more commonly known as the Oscars® – is a showcase for the supreme talent who make films. These scores of directors, actors, technicians, engineers and people of all descriptions push the boundaries in a seamless blend of art and science like that which constitutes a precision Rolex watch. Each and every one of these individuals plays a crucial part in a complex mechanism to bring a visionary idea to life.
This year the primary venue for the Academy Awards® is the historic Union Station Los Angeles. The magic of the film industry’s night of nights takes place when the nominees walk away with a life-changing Oscar®.
Rolex has been Exclusive Watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Proud Sponsor of the Oscars® since 2017, but its history and synergy with film extend back for decades.
A Rolex watch makes a strong statement and Rolex has always had an authentic and strong presence in the most iconic Hollywood films. It is inextricably linked with the world of cinema through the symbolism of its game-changing products: When Marlon Brando played Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now,
he was wearing a Rolex watch. In The Color of Money,
Paul Newman sported a Rolex as he reprised his pool hustler character Fast Eddie Felson. And in Titanic,
Bill Paxton, as treasure hunter Brock Lovett, was wearing one as he descended to the legendary wreck in a submersible.
The appearance of these watches was not the result of product placement. Rather, the watches were the personal choice of directors to subtly portray fortitude in their characters − a sense of toughness and control, along with a sense of sophistication and style.
Every Rolex tells a story and Rolex appreciates storytelling in film because it has its own great story to tell, one that encompasses more than a century of innovation. In 1926, Rolex produced the world’s first waterproof watch, the Oyster, which was an undisputed masterpiece that changed the course of history. For the first time, people could go to remote places, such as mountain tops, with a reliable, precise, robust watch. The extraordinary level of innovation that Rolex has achieved – with more than 500 patents – was made possible by a quest for perpetual excellence. This is Rolex’s ethos, instilled by the founder of the company, Hans Wilsdorf; it is the force that drives Rolex whether it is creating the finest timepieces or supporting outstanding achievement in sport and in the arts, including cinema.
In addition to being Exclusive Watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Proud Sponsor of the Oscars® since 2017, Rolex also became sponsor of the Academy’s annual Governors Awards that honour life achievement in film the following year.
Since 2016, the company has designed and hosted the Greenroom, where presenters and special guests mingle before going on stage at the Oscars®. The Greenroom’s theme and decor change annually; this year it is being held at Union Station.
in the transmission
Over the decades, Rolex has also made a unique and lasting contribution to culture by assisting in the transmission of knowledge across generations as part of the company’s legacy.
Rolex is a Founding Supporter of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opening in Los Angeles in 2021. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum and hub for film lovers will have 50,000 square feet (about 4,650 square metres) of exhibition galleries and a 1,000-seat theatre, among other facilities. As the largest institution in the United States devoted to moviemaking, it is destined to be the world’s pre-eminent film museum, helping people understand the arts and the sciences that create movie magic. Rolex will host a gallery retracing the history of film where the brand has played a role. Through the museum, Rolex aspires to assist in the preservation of film history, as well as transmitting knowledge from one generation to the other.
With the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative established in 2002, Rolex supports emerging filmmakers through mentorship, contributing to culture by helping to ensure the world’s artistic heritage is passed on. Martin Scorsese, who along with explorer and film director James Cameron, is currently a Rolex Testimonee, has mentored a protégée within this programme, which identifies gifted young artists in a variety of disciplines from all over the world and brings them together with artistic masters for a period of creative collaboration. Other mentors in film have included directors Alfonso Cuarón, Stephen Frears, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mira Nair, Zhang Yimou and film editor Walter Murch. Spike Lee is the current film mentor.
- Exclusive Watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2017
- Proud Sponsor of the Oscars® since 2017
- Founding Supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures since 2017
- Sponsor of the Governors Awards since 2018
- Host of the Greenroom since 2016
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture.
Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.
The word “Perpetual”
is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 500 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.
What does it take to make a masterpiece? Rolex has made a film for the Oscars®, more formally known as the Academy Awards®, describing the parallels between filmmaking and watchmaking. For both endeavours, a masterpiece is a piece of work of outstanding artistry and skill that captures a moment in time, unleashing raw emotion and forever inspiring people to see the world with a new lens. It is nothing less than a force for change, one that does not lose its power. As a celebration of humanity’s creativity, it stays relevant, no matter how many years have passed. But to achieve a masterpiece of timekeeping or a film classic demands more than just vision and a strong creative idea. It takes a team of technicians, engineers and artisans, each with a crucial role in a complex mechanism. In their pursuit of excellence, watchmakers and filmmakers instil precise detail at every level of their work in a seamless blend of art and science.
For decades, Rolex has been linked to the world of cinema: from appearances of its watches in iconic films to the brand’s support for young filmmakers through its mentoring programme.
The Rolex in film story started spontaneously, as the first great actors who wore the brand’s watches did so completely informally because they lend their power and their notion of success.
When Marlon Brando played his legendary role as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now,
he was wearing a Rolex watch. In The Color of Money,
Paul Newman sported one as he manipulated a pool cue as Fast Eddie Felson. And in Titanic,
Bill Paxton, as treasure hunter Brock Lovett, was wearing one as he descended to the infamous wreck in a submersible.
The appearance of these watches was not the result of product placement, as Rolex has never involved itself in this kind of marketing. Instead, the watches were the personal choice of directors using the brand to subtly portray fortitude in their characters − a sense of toughness and control, along with a sophisticated sense of style.
in recognizing excellence
In 2017, Rolex entered a formal partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and also became Proud Sponsor of the Oscars®. The two organizations are united by a sense of history, a pursuit of excellence and a mission to preserve and celebrate the creation of extraordinary works – masterpieces. This long-term partnership promotes excellence in the film industry and the transmission of its heritage for future generations. It is manifested in many different ways.The Oscars®
Every year, the finest actors, filmmakers and technicians are presented for judgement by their peers at the Oscars®, one of the most widely anticipated events in the world. The Academy Awards® have a key purpose – the recognition of excellence, which is supported by Rolex as Exclusive Watch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year the primary event is being held at the Union Station Los Angeles.The Rolex Greenroom
Union Station, a historic landmark and one of the last great train stations in the United States, is also the venue for the 93rd
Oscars® Greenroom. Rolex, which has hosted the Greenroom since 2016, has created an intimate setting under the vaulted ceiling of one of the station’s wings where guests can relax while respecting social distancing. Walls are adorned with fabric replicating the motif of Union Station, with a “green wall”,
comprised entirely of foliage, bringing a touch of nature to the interior. A selection of photographs pays tribute to the creation of masterpieces, displaying emblematic watches and the making of unforgettable movies.The Governors Awards
The Governors Awards presentation is an annual award ceremony hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honouring life achievement in film. Rolex has been sponsor of the annual Governors Awards since 2018.The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
To assist in preserving film heritage for future generations, Rolex is a Founding Supporter of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles that is scheduled to open in 2021. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum and hub for film lovers will have 50,000 square feet (about 4,650 square metres) of exhibition galleries (one hosted by Rolex exploring its own relationship with cinema), and a 1,000-seat theatre, among other amenities. The facility, which will be the pre-eminent film museum in the world, will help people to understand the arts and the sciences that create movie magic.
James Cameron and Martin Scorsese – who are Rolex’s film Testimonees – have redefined the art of masterful storytelling. They both personify excellence in their craft and are committed to passing on their knowledge and wisdom to young filmmakers. As directors, they recognize the importance of capturing moments in time, with their works serving as an artistic interpretation of the world around us.James Cameron
JJames Cameron is an acclaimed filmmaker and explorer. As director, writer and producer, he is responsible for some of the most memorable films of recent decades: Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Abyss (1989), Terminator 2: Le Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997)
andt Avatar (2009).
Cameron’s films have blazed a trail for their artistic realization and advanced visual effects, setting numerous performance records in the United States and internationally. Titanic
held the record for the highest grossing film for 12 years, only surpassed by Avatar,
which maintained that record for another decade. His films have also earned numerous nominations and awards. Most notably, Titanic
received 14 Academy Award® nominations and won 11 Oscars®, both records, including Cameron’s three Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing. The Award-winning Canadian filmmaker delights in precision; attention to detail in films, he believes, helps to transport viewers into the world a movie presents. Cameron has worn a Rolex for several decades. The brand’s watches appear organically in his films, including in Titanic,
for which he gave the late actor Bill Paxton a Rolex Submariner to wear during filming.
Martin Scorsese is a towering figure in the history of cinema, a director, as well as producer and screenwriter, whose career spans more than 50 years and an extensive body of work that includes some of the greatest films ever made. His lifelong passion for the cinema has helped raise our own awareness of the crucial need to preserve our cherished films. Scorsese grew up in New York’s Little Italy and made his first films in the late 1960s. He redefined our ideas of what was possible in movies with such classics as Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976)
and Raging Bull (1980),
Scorsese’s unique combination of artistry, charisma and generosity continue to inspire filmmakers and audiences all over the world. Details play a crucial role in telling a story on screen and, in many of his most iconic films, Scorsese has chosen to feature Rolex watches, with a preference for the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. Martin Scorsese has had a profound effect on the art form that became his vocation at an early age.
and protégé arts initiative
The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative is a programme that was set up to make a contribution to global culture. The programme seeks out gifted young artists from all over the world and brings them together with artistic masters for a period of creative collaboration in a one-to-one mentoring relationship. In keeping with its tradition of supporting individual excellence, Rolex gives emerging artists time to learn, create and grow. Since 2002, Rolex has paired mentors and protégés in dance, film, literature, music, theatre, visual arts and architecture. The mentoring programme has evolved into an enriching dialogue between artists of different generations, cultures and disciplines, helping ensure that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on to the next generation. Mentors in film have included directors Alfonso Cuarón, Stephen Frears, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mira Nair, Martin Scorsese, Zhang Yimou and film editor Walter Murch. The current mentor is director Spike Lee.
Perpetual is inscribed on the dial of every Rolex Oyster. But more than a word on a dial, it is a philosophy encompassing the vision and values of the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, and is the force that drives Rolex today. It represents the company’s engagement with the world, from helping to protect the environment to deepening knowledge and its transfer, sports achievement and entrepreneurial spirit. It is why Rolex has developed a partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Forming long-term partnerships with individuals and organizations that recognize and uphold excellence is part of the company’s ethos.
Over the decades, Hans Wilsdorf’s legacy has also permitted Rolex to make a unique and lasting contribution to culture by assisting in the transmission of knowledge across generations. This takes many forms and is an important aspect of its relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy Awards®.