Rolex & The Open: Golf’s Oldest Major

Just an hour and a half drive from Long’s Newbury Street Rolex Boutique is the home of the Newport Rhode Island Golfing Club where the first precursor to the USGA was formed in 1894 – just a few years after Thomas Long, a Massachusetts native, opened his Boston-based jewelry business in 1878.

But the history of the sport goes much further back. The game originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland back in the 15th century. And every July the biggest names in golf return to the United Kingdom to participate in the Open Championship. 

The Long’s Team are great fans of golf but are especially invested in this tournament because of our valued history with Rolex. For more than 40 years, as part of its association with the sport, Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper of this Major, and since 2012, Presenting Sponsor of the Senior Open Championship. 

If you're going to be a player people will remember, you have to win The Open at St Andrews. And when you achieve a major milestone in your life, there’s no more emblematic timepiece than the Rolex Day-Date. Since 1956, it has graced the wrists of the sport’s most celebrated visionaries, virtuosos and pioneers.

Let’s take a look at the links between some of golf’s leading lights and Rolex.

Traditionally contested in the United Kingdom during the third week of July, The Open is the fourth and final men’s Major. Associated with this competition since 1981, Rolex is today a privileged partner of world golf.

The partnership between Rolex and golf began in 1967 when Arnold Palmer became the sport’s first Testimonee. Since then, the brand has become Official Timekeeper and is a principal partner of many leading events and stakeholders in the game.

Inaugurated in 1860, The Open is played every year on a rotating roster of historical courses in the United Kingdom. The 151st edition takes place at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

A renowned course

Located on the shores of the Irish Sea, the course first played host to the tournament in 1897, with this year marking the 13th time it stages golf’s original Championship. Rolex Testimonee Tiger Woods won his third Open there in 2006.

Steeped in elegance and tradition

Tradition has it that The Open is always played on a links course; that is, one located by the sea, featuring sandy soil and few water hazards or trees. Unpredictable weather conditions mean the 156 players competing in the tournament each year need their fair share of fighting spirit, self-control and humility given the potential for heavy showers, strong wind gusts and even heatwave conditions.

Unforgettable moments

With its unique past, the wild beauty of the coastal courses where it is played and its knowledgeable fans, The Open is forever etched in the history of world sport – from the duels of Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen in the 1920s to the battle between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977, or the tears of Tiger Woods upon winning his third trophy in 2006.

Rolex and golf: partners for more than half a century

Rolex enjoys a privileged relationship with golf, one founded on shared values: respect for tradition, responsibility, technical precision, the elegance of movement, the perpetual quest for excellence and a commitment to future generations.

Today, the partnership between Rolex and golf extends to many areas of the sport: with governing bodies and world rankings, with the greatest names in international golf, and with the Major tournaments and global circuits – both men’s and women’s, professional and amateur, at senior and junior levels.

Moreover, the brand has also championed the creation of the Rolex Series, the finest tournaments on the DP World Tour; the Rolex Player of the Year Award which recognizes the best woman golfer on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) circuit; and the Rolex Junior Players of the Year awards, which honour players aged 18 or younger, boy and girl, who perform best in a given season. Undeniably, Rolex has become “the partner watch of world golf”.

Rolex Testimonees and The Open

Among the many great golfers who belong to the prestigious family of Rolex Testimonees, several have won The Open: Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari and Collin Morikawa.

Famous for being the “presidents’ watch” of the past and inspiring the leaders of the future, the Day-Date has graced the wrists of such exceptional men and women. And while golf has been around for centuries, the Day-Date remains at the cutting edge of modernity.

The Long’s team invites you to visit one of our locations in Boston, Braintree, Burlington and Peabody in Massachusetts, and Nashua in New Hampshire to discover which model best connects with you. As an Official Rolex Jeweler, we are the only retailers allowed to sell Rolex watches. With the necessary skills and technical know-how, we will help you make the choice that will last a lifetime.