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Switzerland

Rolex, Making Of A Worldwide Reputation From A Swiss Backyard

Rolex watches on display in Basel, Switzerland
Rolex watches on display in Basel, Switzerland
Valère Gogniat

GENEVA — At a time when trust and truth are under attack, it's somehow comforting to see that some reputations can still go untarnished.

For the third year in a row, Swiss company Rolex has earned the designation as the company with the world's best reputation, as awarded by the Reputation Institute, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The timeless watchmakers beat out (in order) LEGO, Google, Canon and the Walt Disney Company to the top spot.

"How do they do it? That's the million-dollar question," said Carsten Wegmann, director of the Reputation Institute. "Rolex has quality in their blood, from their highest director to their first apprentice." Part of maintaining high global standards is to keep operations close to home: all Rolex watch models continue to be developed and manufactured between Geneva and Bienne.

We noticed a decline in trust across the board.

In terms of methodology, the Reputation Institute contacted more than 230,000 people from 15 countries. The selected companies must meet three criteria: Have a "significant" presence in the countries surveyed, an "above average" reputation in their home country and a "global familiarity" of more than 40%.

Dominique Turpin, a professor at the International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, believes this methodology "holds up." He stresses the infinite difficulty of accurately measuring one's reputation. "The public is fond of it and we are doing it today for just about everything. Even here at IMD, for example, we have a ranking of competitiveness that works very well. But, in the end, it allows the company that produces the rankings to become recognized."

Tennis champion Roger Federer playing in the Shanghai Masters — Photo: Fan Jun/ZUMA

Reputations, overall, took a hit in 2017. "This past year, we noticed a decline in trust across the board. Large companies are more easily criticized and challenged. But Rolex has never been in the spotlight for a misstep," said Wegmann.

"This ranking demonstrates the know-how and expertise that we can have in Switzerland with an international reputation," Rolex said in response to their victory.

Their expertise no doubt also includes smart marketing, and it should be noted that Rolex is the "Official Timekeeper" at Wimbledon, and the company sponsors fellow Swiss icon, tennis champion Roger Federer, who has 20 Grand Slam tournament titles over the past 15 years — and counting. That's the kind of quality you can set your watch to.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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