The Origin of Rolex and the British Open

Rolex has an established partnership with the sport of golf spanning more than five decades. One of their longest-standing relationships has been with the British Open, also known as The Open Championship. The first British Open debuted in 1860, making it the oldest of the four major golf tournaments and the only one played outside the United States. For over 30 years, Rolex has proudly served as the Official Timekeeper for the prestigious event as well as sponsored many of the players who have taken home the coveted Claret Jug.


As Official Timekeeper, Rolex helps track and supervise the official rules of golf set forth by the iconic Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. You might notice reference clocks placed throughout the green to assist with monitoring the game. This year’s 147th Open Championships is taking place at Carnoustie on Scotland’s Angus coast. This particular course is one of the toughest and longest in the world, measuring more than 7,400 yards in length.

The Most Esteemed Players of Rolex

Rolex’s strong presence at the British Open is not just as Official Timekeeper. They also sponsor a number of top golfers participating in this year’s event. We can’t officially say that a Rolex brings good fortune to a given player. However, Rolex ambassadors have a strong track record of taking home a victory at The Open.

Gary Player

british open - gary player

At the infamous Carnoustie course 50 years ago, golf legend Gary Player hit one of the greatest shots of his career to land his second Claret Jug. He went on to take home a third six years later in 1974. Player was raised by a single dad who worked as a gold miner. Early in his career, his father told him, “you keep working hard like this, and one day, you might even buy yourself a Rolex.” And, that’s just what he did after scoring his first British Open win in 1959. As he’s enjoying retirement, you can still find him sporting a Rolex, a President to be exact.

Tom Watson

british open - tom watson

Tom Watson is another powerhouse force at The Open. He’s won the illustrious Claret Jug an impressive five times in a span of just nine years and is competing once again in this year’s tournament. Watson vowed to treat himself to a Rolex after he earned a million dollars in winnings, and he became an official ambassador for the brand in 2011. See if you can spot him wearing a Daytona in post-game interviews.

Tiger Woods

british open - tiger woods

Image Credit: Pixabay

Famed golfer Tiger Woods is also no stranger to victory at the British Open. He’s taken home the title three times, in 2000, 2002, and 2008, and he’s playing the tournament again this year. Woods has had a longstanding relationship with Rolex and recently he has been sporting a Sea-Dweller or Deepsea.

Phil Mickelson

british open - phil mickelson

Phil Mickelson has been a top player in the game for decades. However, he didn’t take home his first Open Championship victory until 2013. Unlike most golfers who only wear a watch off the course, Mickelson is famous for playing in his Rolex. His model of choice is a Cellini Danaos.

Jordan Spieth

british open - jordan spieth


Finally, up and coming golfer and member of Rolex’s distinguished New Guard Jordan Spieth took home the Claret Jug at last year’s British Open. This year, the young player will be competing again, hoping for his fourth major championship win. Be sure to check out his writs and see if you can spot his Explorer II or Daytona.

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Caitlyn is the founder of Grey Ghost, a New York City-based boutique content marketing agency with a passion for artists, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups. She believes in quality over quantity, creative thinking, and, above all, using language as powerful tool to build lasting connections.

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