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Rolex is the exclusive partner of the Vienna Philharmonic, which will perform in Hong Kong in October as part of the orchestra’s Asia tour. Photo: Rolex

POST EDIT: Rolex’s support of artists, from the Vienna Philharmonic to Michael Bublé, makes it more than a luxury watchmaker

  • The Vienna Philharmonic, playing in Hong Kong in October on its Asia tour, is among the musical partners with which Rolex has fostered long-term collaborations
  • For over 50 years the Swiss brand has made musicians working in all genres its ambassadors, from Michael Bublé to Yuja Wang and Jonas Kaufmann

Since it was founded in 1905, Rolex has been known for its unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

For more than 50 years, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has upheld distinction in the arts by partnering with some of the most talented artists and leading cultural institutions around the world.

With the goal of perpetuating artistic heritage, Rolex has fostered long-standing collaborations with both individuals and organisations in the arts and culture sector, especially in the field of music.

New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa was announced as Rolex’s first music “Testimonee” – ambassador – in 1976.

Rolex Testimonee Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Photo: Rolex

Since then, singers, conductors and instrumentalists representing the entire musical spectrum – opera, jazz, classical music and world music – have also been named as Testimonees, including Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli (1994), who became the artistic director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in 2012, and from 2023 will be the director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the first woman to hold the post.

Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, who won the Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition at the age of 15, became a Rolex Testimonee in 2009.
Rolex Testimonee Cecilia Bartoli. Photo: Rolex
Chinese pianist Yuja Wang, who won the Aspen Music Festival’s concerto competition at the age of 15, became a Rolex Testimonee in 2009. Photo: Rolex
Other Testimonees include German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel and Canadian singer Michael Bublé.
To further its goal of supporting the arts, Rolex has partnered with well-known institutions, opera houses, concerts and orchestras, including the annual Salzburg Festival, in Austria.
Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bublé became a Rolex Testimonee in 2006. Photo: Rolex

Since 2008, the watchmaker has been the exclusive partner of the Vienna Philharmonic; it has also been the exclusive sponsor of the orchestra’s famous New Year’s Concert since 2009.

Widely considered to be among the great orchestras of the world, the Vienna Philharmonic was founded in 1842. Its New Year’s Concert traditionally showcases the music of Johann Strauss and his family.

Each year, the concert is broadcast live from Musikverein, in Vienna, to millions of people in more than 90 countries, ensuring that classical music is accessible to all.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Concert traditionally showcases the music of Johann Strauss and his family. Photo: Rolex

Another concert that has been presented annually by Rolex since 2009 is the orchestra’s Summer Night Concert, for which about 100,000 people gather in Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace grounds to watch an open-air performance.

On October 24 and 25, the Vienna Philharmonic will be performing in Hong Kong, marking the first time an international orchestra has visited the city since the pandemic began.

Under Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, the prestigious orchestra will perform music by Richard Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Antonín Dvořák and Richard Wagner, before travelling to Taiwan and South Korea for its tour of Asia.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s Summer Night Concert, held at the Schönbrunn Palace, has been presented annually by Rolex since 2009. Photo: Julius Silver

Aside from music, Rolex has also championed other art forms such as cinema and architecture in its collaborations with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Under Rolex’s Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative programme, established in 2002, dozens of up-and-coming artists have received mentorship from veterans in the fields of music, the visual arts, theatre, film, dance, literature and architecture.

Arts, music and culture have long been considered instruments for the enrichment of life.

In establishing and fostering relationships with renowned musicians and institutions around the world, Rolex has shown its lasting commitment to supporting global culture and, as always, the pursuit of excellence.