To celebrate the monumental milestone, Brian Duffy, CEO of the Watches of Switzerland Group and Richard de Leyser, Managing Director of Rolex hosted a prestigious event last night at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to commemorate and thank its loyal North East clients and businesses, and fundraise for The Prince’s Trust.
Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge illuminated green and fireworks lit up the famous quayside while British Soul and R&B Singer Lemar provided an exclusive set for guests.
As part of its centenary year, the Watches of Switzerland Group have partnered with Rolex to provide 100 watches each with a commemorative engraving to mark the anniversary.
The Watches of Switzerland Group and Rolex will each donate £1,000 for every watch sold which will be donated to support The Prince’s Trust, a charity working with young people aged 11 to 30 across the UK.
The money raised will help inspire young people on The Trust’s educational programmes, to live, learn and earn, with specific funds set aside to support young people in the North East, where aspirations and educational attainment is at its lowest.
Founded in London by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the Rolex Watch Company moved to Geneva in 1919, a city renowned internationally for watchmaking. It was first stocked by Northern Goldsmiths, situated on the corner of Pilgrim Street and Blackett Street, the most long-standing store in the Goldsmiths estate which features its very own Rolex shop-in-shop. Goldsmiths also represent Rolex in Eldon Square and Metro Centre.
Today, the Watches of Switzerland Group are the largest Rolex Distributor in the UK with over 40 Rolex agencies located across key cities in the UK. The Group also represents Rolex in the US.
The 24-carat gold leaf Rolex “kissing clock”, adorned by the golden lady Venus, which is located outside the store has served as a romantic proposal spot throughout the last century and is a symbolic reminder of the rich history Goldsmiths shares with the Rolex brand.
Craig Bolton, Executive Director for Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths, said: “We’re truly honoured to have partnered with Rolex for 100 years, it’s a huge part of Goldsmith’s history and a significant milestone and privilege for our Group.
“Northern Goldsmiths has a special place in the hearts of people in the North East and we look forward to continue welcoming Rolex customers for years to come.”
Clare Crabb, North Regional Director at The Prince’s Trust, said: “We help young people to succeed in education, whatever barriers they may have faced, and donations such as those from The Watches of Switzerland Group and Rolex help The Prince’s Trust to extend our reach in Newcastle and further afield. This enables more young people to live, learn and earn, and we are very grateful for the support. We also look forward to welcoming The Watches of Switzerland Group’s colleagues to our volunteering community very soon.
"Through the support given to our education programmes, alongside dedicated time spent mentoring young people, The Trust will be able to give more students the tools they need to raise aspirations during their educational journey and learn new skills for their future careers."