100 Years of Rolex

George Hewitt & Son are proud to celebrate one hundred years as purveyors of Rolex watches.

Let us lead you through a pictorial journey of the early years.

The original shop at No. 80 Victoria Street

This black and white image shows how the original G. Hewitt & Son shop looked. It was based at number 80 Victoria Street - just down the road from where the current shop is today.

George Hewitt Portrait

George Hewitt, founder of G. Hewitt & Son

G. Hewitt & Son was founded by local farmer and renowned horseman George Hewitt in 1871.

It is now a fifth generation family business run by Jonathan Hewitt and assisted by his daughter Christina and Manager Peter Booker FGA.

George Hewitt Portrait

Hans Wilsdorf, co-founder of Rolex

Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis founded Wilsdorf and Davis in London in 1905.

The Rolex brand name, trademarked by Wilsdorf in 1908, quickly became synonymous with wristwatches of superior quality and precision.

A Rolex watch we sold in 1919

This is the watch that proves we have been selling Rolex watches for at least a century. It is dated 1919 and has the retailer's name on the dial, so we can categorically state that we have been selling Rolex for 100 years. It may have been even longer.

The world's first waterproof watch, the Rolex Oyster, 1926

The Oyster case, invented by Rolex in 1926, was the world's first waterproof case for a wristwatch, thanks to its patented system of screwing down the bezel, case back and winding crown against the middle case.

Mercedes Gleitze wore a Rolex Oyster when she swam the English Channel, 1927

Fittingly enough, the world's first waterproof watch played its part in another slice of history in 1927. English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze wore an Oyster as she became the first woman to swim across the English Channel and the watch was still ticking when she reached the other side.

Self Winding Rolex Oyster, 1931

Many watchmakers had tried to create a self-winding watch, but Rolex's ingenious solution changed the game, with the creation of their perpetual rotor mechanism in 1931. The original design has been refined throughout the years, but it is still used as the basis for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual to this day.

Rolex, Hewitt pocket watch, 1933

This Rolex pocket watch was sold by G. Hewitt & Son circa 1933, making it another historic part of our relationship with Rolex. Current owner Jonathan Hewitt still uses the pocket watch as part of his outfit for the Goodwood Revival.

Sir Malcolm Campbell wore his Rolex Oyster during his land speed record, 1935

Having braved the icy waters of the English Channel, the Rolex Oyster proved that it was up to speed on the racetrack in 1935. Sir Malcolm Campbell wore his as he broke the land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, becoming the first man to exceed 300mph in an automobile.

The Shop Today

Here is the G. Hewitt & Son shop in Grimsby today, situated at number 10 Victoria Street - a stone's throw from where it all began for us nearly 150 years ago.

We proudly remain the Official Rolex Retailer for Lincolnshire.

Explore the collection

The Shop Today