Geneva, July 2024 – For more than 160 years, The Open has been one of the ultimate tests for the world’s finest players and a stage where golf’s history is writ large. To succeed at the sport’s oldest major championship requires skill, patience and adaptability in the face of demanding links courses and unpredictable weather. The fourth and final men’s major championship of the year, The Open, takes us back to the roots of the ancient game, evoking the sport’s core values: respect for tradition, humility and integrity. Rolex has been Official Timekeeper at the prestigious Championship since 1981 and Premier Partner since 2018.
Golf’s original major, The Open, is staged on the world’s outstanding links courses across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This year, The 152nd Open will take place at one of the most fabled links courses, at Royal Troon in South Ayrshire, Scotland, from 14–17 July.

Since 1872, the winner of The Open has been awarded the famous Claret Jug and is named the Champion Golfer of the Year. To win this Championship requires tackling not only the weight of history but also the forces of nature in the form of formidable links courses, characterized by undulating surfaces on the windswept fairways and greens.

Succeeding at The Open has been the crowning achievement for some of the game’s greatest players, including ‘The Big Three’ – Arnold Palmer (1961, 1962), Jack Nicklaus (1966, 1970, 1978) and Gary Player (1959, 1968, 1974) – and fellow Rolex Testimonees Tom Watson (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983) and Tiger Woods (2000, 2005, 2006). Palmer and Watson enjoyed particular success at Royal Troon, having triumphed there in 1962 and 1982, respectively. By winning in 1962, Palmer secured his second consecutive title, finishing six strokes ahead of the second-place finisher, while setting what was then a 72-hole record at The Open of 276.

Other members of the Rolex family to have triumphed at The Open in more recent years include Jordan Spieth (2017), Francesco Molinari (2018), and Collin Morikawa (2021). By winning in 2017, Spieth joined Nicklaus as the only golfers to win three different major championships before the age of 24.

Reflecting on this achievement, Jordan Spieth said, “This is something that is very special. I did not really think of the historical significance of the achievement at the time because it was such a crazy final round at The Open. It also occurred in the middle of a season, where I was in pursuit of the FedEx Cup, so there was a lot going on. It was when I looked back at my achievements that I started to process the historical relevance of it. To be placed in a category with or linked to Jack Nicklaus is pretty amazing. Mr. Nicklaus is not only a legend on the golf course, with his record for the most major championships, but he is also such true a gentleman off the course.”

By winning in 2021, Morikawa claimed his maiden title at The Open and second major crown. Commenting on the significance of this, Collin Morikawa said, “Winning one major championship is a hard target in itself, but to win two is special. It places you in another club, and being part of this shared history, and the names that you will be associated with for the rest of your life, is so special. It cannot be taken away from you. It really is hard to describe.”

In 1981, Rolex clocks appeared on a championship golf course for the first time, at Royal St George’s for The Open, and they have adorned courses hosting the championship every year since. The Open is organised by The R&A, who, together with the United States Golf Association (USGA), govern the game of golf worldwide. Associating with The R&A marked a pivotal moment in Rolex’s relationship with golf, and the forging of this early partnership showcased the brand’s commitment to the sport, founded on mutual respect, integrity and competitive spirit.

Founded in 1878, Royal Troon is one of the great links courses, a stern test of even the best golfers, where accuracy is essential when battling the elements. In 2024, it will host The Open for a tenth time, having previously staged the Championship in 1923, 1950, 1962, 1973, 1982, 1989, 1997, 2004 and 2016.

The course is designed in the traditional out-and-back manner of the Old Course at St Andrews, the home of golf. Royal Troon’s test begins with a gentle opening through striking links land and concludes with a back nine as tough as any finish in the world. The course is steeped in history and famous for its 8th hole, named the “Postage Stamp”. The tee is on high ground and a dropping shot is played over a gully to a long but extremely narrow green set into the side of a large sandhill. Many top players have struggled on the shortest hole in the history of The Open. The 11th hole, aptly named the “Railway” due to the railway line running alongside, presents another stiff challenge and was rated the most difficult hole at The Open in 1997.

Rolex is committed to the permanent quest for excellence in all its endeavours and has been a long-term supporter of golf in its pursuit of the same. The brand’s enduring relationship with the sport began almost 60 years ago, in 1967, when Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. Known together as The Big Three, these legendary players changed the face of golf forever, and their partnership with Rolex marked the beginning of a relationship based on the shared commitment to continuous improvement and unwavering precision. Since then, the affiliation has grown and flourished, permeating every level of the game worldwide. From elite players and golf legends to all the game’s Major championships, where success represents the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, as well as the foremost professional tours and worldwide amateur championships, Rolex is ever-present.
Rolex is deeply committed to the amateur game, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the ground-breaking Augusta National Women’s Amateur launched in 2019, The British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, European Amateur Championship, Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. Rolex also supports the leading amateur team competitions, the Arnold Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and World Amateur Team Championships. The Swiss manufacturer’s support for the game is built on a strong sense of integrity and respect for tradition that promote the continuity of expertise and transfer of knowledge, and an understanding of the importance of investing in the sport’s development for future generations.
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 Perpetual 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 600 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.