Audemars Piguet VS Rolex

Join us as we compare and review two of the most coveted brands in watchmaking to determine which brand is best for you.

Let's face it, there are many exclusive watch brands out there and frankly, there have almost always been. After carefully considering every one of them you can literally find something special in just about every single one of them. Which is better Rolex or Audemars Piguet? The big question is which one is the best for you specifically. Today we will do an AP Rolex comparison; two of the top brands in watchmaking.

Audemars Piguet VS Rolex: A Detailed Comparison & Review

To start, we need to find out what motivated you to decide to buy a watch from either of these brands. Is it the look of their watches? Is it the reputation of their brand? Is it the recognition you would get wearing one of their watches? Are you looking to acquire what will one day become a treasured family heirloom?

As you can see there are a number of motivating factors why people would spend a lot on a really prestigious watch and you may relate to any one of them or even all of them.

Depending on what factors you relate to you may want to compare these brands from different angles.

For example: let's say you just want to make a statement with what you are wearing on your wrist. You may want to make that statement to a select few …or even to everyone. In this type of situation, you want to compare the two in the context of brand recognition.

Rolex VS AP Watches

BRAND RECOGNITION

Whereas Rolex is the most internationally recognizable luxury watch brand, AP is not a household name to your average layman. AP is certainly recognized in the watchmaking community as a better brand than Rolex but because of the exclusivity of the AP brand, the average layman will not realize that your watch is superior to a Rolex.

What is so special about Audemars Piguet? You can use a nice watch to dress to impress, but you need to figure out who you are trying to impress first. Audemars Piguet is considered one of the 'big three' or as many call it, the 'Holy Trinity of watchmaking'. Rolex never made it to the Big 3, yet Rolex is still the single most recognized luxury watch brand in the world (according to a recent report by Swiss brand valuation agency Interbrand) and makes excellent watches regardless.

*Source: Most Valuable Swiss Brands by Interbrand, an agency that measures brand value.

CRAFTSMANSHIP

These two brands took lots of time throughout the history of the industry to perfect the art of watchmaking. There's a reason they're still in business after over 100 years in operation. Rolex prides itself on the accuracy and durability of their watches while Audemars Piguet is less focused on precision and more artistic about their craft. You can clearly see the difference between the two by comparing any of their movements.

AP movementAP pays meticulous attention to every single detail in the movement and finishes them to perfection in a way that Rolex doesn't even compare.

While a Rolex caliber is a very high-quality piece of mechanical machinery, it's missing that extra detail, that superb finishing that you will find in an AP watch such as the motifs, the engraving which you will rarely if ever find in a Rolex. In fact, most Rolexes have solid case backs that won't even let you even see the movement or its action.

However, where Rolex stands out in terms of cratsmanship is that they produce highly durable watches. Their Rolex Explorer collection, for example, is a watch that was taken to some of the harshest conditions known to man to see if it will withstand the extreme conditions. It’s said that in the extreme conditions in which Rolex watches are tested, no human can survive. It's the type of watch you can certainly wear every day and not have to worry about.

Which is better Rolex or Audemars Piguet? Rolex has the upper hand on the outside of the watch when it comes to everyday use and durability AP has the advantage on the inside of the watch when it comes to finesse, attention to detail, and of course, high complication watches to impress watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs. 

ACCURACY

Rolex watches are known for their accuracy. Specifically, since they've been putting the words Superlative Chronometer on their watches which means that the watch was regulated and tested to an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day. To date, every new Rolex manufactured besides their Cellini collection is meeting this level of superior precision.

AP, on the other hand, is not advertising the accuracy the way Rolex is and this may be because they don't have a standard minimum precision the way Rolex does. The accuracy of AP watches depends on a few things: the model of the watch, the movement, how long has it been since it was brought in to be serviced, the level of activity of the person wearing it, how the watch is placed when not being worn. There are quite a few variables here as you can see.   

The truth is, if you want the most accurate watch, you shouldn't be looking at mechanical watches at all but rather, the less expensive (to say the least) quartz watch which is battery powered and has a level of precision that is simply unattainable by mechanical watches.

PRICE

Which is more expensive Rolex or Audemars Piguet? This is an easy one. AP is significantly more expensive and Rolex has a much lower entry-level price than AP. This should not be a surprise since Audemars Piguet is a more upper market brand compared to Rolex. AP is a more prestigious watchmaker and they don't manufacture nearly as many watches per year as Rolex. Rolex also has a lower-market brand called Tudor with a more affordable entry-level price and many have designs that are of that similar Rolex style.

RESALE VALUE

Is Audemars Piguet a good investment? Most people don't think of selling something before they even buy it. Some people, on the other hand, take more into account than others when making a significant purchase which often pays out if in the future there ever was a decision to sell the item purchased. That said, resale value is sometimes a consideration worth mentioning, and Rolex is the stronger of the two watchmakers when it comes to average resale value. In some cases, albeit rare, Rolexes have even appreciated in value after purchase and this is not something that most watchmakers can brag about. In fact, Rolex has the highest average resale from all other Swiss watchmakers, a close second is another prestigious watchmaker; Patek Philippe. Do Audemars Piguet watches hold their value? Yes, they hold their value very well and more than many other watchmakers but on average they hold their value slightly less compared to Rolex or Patek which are the top two when it comes to holding value.

REASONS TO BUY A ROLEX

  1. Just about everybody and their Uncle know the Rolex brand. You don't even need to be a watch nut to be familiar with them. This type of popularity comes in handy when it comes to a pre-owned market.
  2. Rolex is known to hold its value better than any other watch brand out there.
  3. This year even the new Rolex sports watches such as the stainless steel Daytona, Submariner models, GMT Master II, Yacht-Master, and such have been selling for more than their listed retail price indicating very high demand which also positively affects the resale value.
  4. Their watches are built very solid and can theoretically last forever if properly maintained.

REASONS TO BUY AN AP

  1. Audemars Piguet watches are a different breed of a watch than your average luxury watch.
  2. Wearing an AP is indicative of a real watch nerd who can also talk the talk. Most people that are not into horology have no idea who Audemars Piguet is in the world of watchmaking. Yet, they are considered one of the BIG 3 which include AP, Vacheron & Patek.
  3.  Everyone and their neighbor isn't wearing AP watches. This is a more exclusive and prestigious brand.
  4.  It's the type of watch that the wearer can enjoy wearing all on his own without any need of some stranger's recognition.  
  5.  The real pleasure comes when socializing in those inner circles of watch connoisseurs and seeing a watch nerd geek out over the watch.
  6.  The craftsmanship of an AP is also a different type of grade. There are more bells and whistles such as intricate finishing processes involved in AP's and they are not mass-produced like Rolex watches.
  7.  This is more of a family heirloom type of watch brand with a more exclusive clientele.
  8.  Another excellent reason to buy an Audemars Piguet is if you enjoy complications, the kind you find in a really high-end mechanical watch. We're talking about tourbillons, perpetual calendars, moon phase, retrograde, minute repeaters, chronographs, dual time zone/GMT's, and more mechanical features that offer more function than just to tell you the time. Rolex is a forward-thinking brand and may have a few tricks up their sleeves but Audemars Piguet has been making magic with their movements for significantly longer and has quite a few more tricks up their sleeves. 

After comparing Rolex VS Audemars Piguet VS watches, which do you feel is the right brand for you?

Let us know in the comment section below

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