Rolex was founded in 1902 by Hans Wilsdorf together with his brother-in-law Alfred Davis under the name Wilsdorf and Davis. The company was set in London and started by importing Hermann Aegler's watch innards, to then put them into high quality casings and distribute these to various companies who put their name on them and resold them. Some of the earlyest watches still have a W&D stamp on the inside of the case referring to Wilsdorf and Davis.
In 1908 the name Wilsdorf and Davis was officially changed to Rolex. Around this time they also opened their first office in Switzerland. The idea behind the name Rolex was that it was easy to pronounce so everyone around the word could say the name. He also felt that the name Rolex sounded very much like winding a watch.