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A mutual pursuit of excellence forged links between Rolex and CERN, the European particle physics laboratory, that date back to the late 1950s.

In a quiet suburb of Geneva, the building blocks of the universe are being unlocked by CERN using particle detectors and accelerators, including the world’s largest accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, which sits in a 27 kilometre underground tunnel.

Established in the post-war period to further the cause of science for peace, CERN has 22 member countries and has become world renowned as a scientific powerhouse. The World Wide Web was invented there, and in 2012, to great fanfare, the laboratory announced the discovery of a new particle.

In the 1950s, engineers and technicians found that magnetic waves disrupted the functioning of their mechanical watches. Responding to the problem, Rolex created the Milgauss watch in 1956. It was designed to withstand powerful interference of up to 1,000 gauss, hence its name.

Rolex asked CERN if its scientists could subject the Milgauss to strong magnetic disturbances. The scientists confirmed the magnetic resistance of the watch, which has a patented magnetic shield protecting the movement.

Today, more than 60 years on, Rolex continues to partner CERN by supporting its scientific conferences and outreach events. The permanent Universe of Particles exhibition at the Globe of Science and Innovation, the organization’s emblematic building, was also sponsored by Rolex.

Rolex and CERN are closely associated through their shared values, united by a passion for science, as well as a commitment to rigour and excellence.

Perpetuating Knowledge