The Rolex Awards were created in 1976 to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Oyster wristwatch

Supporting pioneers

From the start, the Awards were designed to fill a void in corporate philanthropy by supporting exceptional individuals around the world, pioneers who had no or little access to traditional funding and were responding to major challenges with original and innovative projects that advance human knowledge and well-being.

Applications flooded into Geneva from around the world and, due to the extraordinary response, the first five Laureates received their awards in 1978. More than 34,000 applications have been received since the programme’s launch, and 140 Laureates from all walks of life have been selected for an Award.

Millions of people have benefited from the work of Rolex Laureates around the world

Global impacts

The support given by Rolex to Award winners since the launch of the programme has had a catalytic impact and has in many cases transformed lives and communities. It has also stimulated new ways of thinking about common problems in areas as diverse as creating technologies that improved lives, saving endangered ecosystems, protecting the oceans, exploring new frontiers on the planet, or pioneering advances in science and health.

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