Chopard VS Rolex
These two brands constitute 50% of the 4 most recognized and valuable Swiss watch brands on this planet. Let’s see which best suits your lifestyle and unique needs. Will it be Rolex or Chopard?
We are often asked “Which is better, Chopard watches or Rolex watches?” and without understanding the context of the question the answer is not so straightforward. This is why this article was created. It services those who wish to learn the differences between these two watchmakers and help provide valuable information to help you decide which is best for you. Click on any of the questions below to jump to the answer section."What's better?" can mean any of the following:
That said, let’s address each of these questions to give you a better picture of how you can compare Rolex VS Chopard watches to see which is the best option for you and your unique needs. Shall we?
In the watchmaking industry, this is called ‘chronometry’ which is defined as the science of accurate time measurement. The Swiss Institute of Chronometry (known by its original French name ‘Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres’) or COSC for short is the industry standard for testing movements to ensure high precision.
Once they pass a series of tests, the mechanical movement (also known as a caliber) is then awarded the designation of ‘Chronometer’ and receives a COSC certificate attesting to its accuracy. The mechanical caliber must achieve an accuracy of no less than -4/+6 seconds of acceptable daily deviation.
Both watchmakers in this comparison have watches that come with a COSC certificate and will have the designation of Chronometer proudly displayed on the dial. Rolex, however, will have an extra word attached to this designation; 'Superlative' Chronometer. This means that after COSC issued their certificate Rolex conducts further testing until it reaches a much higher rate of precision.
Both watchmakers showcase their new designs at the largest watchmaking shows such as Baselworld in April and SIHH in January of each year and have large followings. Chopard is a privately held, historically rich watchmaking company headquartered in Geneva and has been manufacturing watches since 1860. For over 160 years, in addition to timepieces, Chopard also manufactures high-end jewelry for the rich and famous. Is Chopard a luxury brand? Yes, their brand is very similarly positioned with brands such as Cartier and Harry Winston; both of who make watches but are even more famous for their fine jewels. Additionally, their watches have been featured in major Hollywood films such as 6 Underground which further popularized them. Rolex had their watches featured in major films and put in the spotlight. In fact, President Dwight B Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and many other world leaders and high-profile individuals have been seen wearing them. However, unlike Chopard, they are strictly in the watch business and haven't indicated that they will be making jewelry any time soon.
According to a recent report by Interbrand, an agency that evaluates Swiss companies and brands and ranks the top 50 Swiss brands (many that are big players in the watch industry), Chopard is the 4th most popular Swiss watch brand in the world with a brand value of 1,098 Million CHF. The only Swiss watch brands that outrank them on this list are, Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe; in that exact order. Of course, there are also Swiss chocolatiers and Swiss banks in the mix too but in terms of watchmakers, they are #4.
Rolex has the coveted #1 position in the world in terms of luxury watch brands. They have 100% brand recognition and that is quite an achievement. They have steadily positioned their brand as the watch that can handle just about anything and have manufactured many types of watches; each that serve their own purpose and function. Another name in the Rolex watchmaking family is called Tudor and is a more affordable watch, often with a similar design and style.
Rolex is also privately held and has a rich history. It has become a household name that everyone rich and poor knows. While Chopard is up there too, they are not necessarily known as well as a watchmaker as much as they are known for being a high-end exclusive master-jeweler.
Is Chopard better than Rolex? Chopard has made some advancements in their craft over the last century and a half. While they do have a few in-house movements that they create that are quite impressive, most of their movements are not made entirely by Chopard. They are either ébauche calibers which are "outsourced" movements usually from ETA which may or may not then be built-up in-house using various modules. They also have many watches that use Quartz movements which are ridiculously more affordable compared to mechanical movements.
Rolex doesn't use quartz movements at all. They did try one at one point during the watchmaking industry's quartz crisis. It was called the Oysterquartz but they quickly scrapped that idea before it hurt their brand. Furthermore, Rolex doesn't use ébauche movements either and manufactures all their movements in-house. They did use them in the past such as the iconic El-Primero chronograph movement which once powered the Rolex Daytona but have since changed their manufacturing to do everything in their own factories.
Rolex has also taken watchmaking to a whole new level and they hold many patents for innovations that they have made to watchmaking. It was, in fact, a Rolex engineer who perfected the self-winding rotor system used in the automatic watches that we use today. They have developed a reputation for improving things that other watchmakers thought not possible.
Rolex has also had their watches go to the highest mountain peaks and the lowest depths of the ocean and seabeds just to prove that their watches are up for the challenge. They are durable and rugged, yet show that they are still stylish and classy. Their ads often say that no human can withstand the testing that their watches go through but they do it anyway. While this sounds like a bunch of marketing mumbo-jumbo; it is not. Rolex owners for a long time will attest to this.
In terms of durability, a Rolex watch, (especially a sports model such as the Submariner with their famous Oyster case that they share with many other models) is built tougher and are more equipped to handle day-to-day wear than just about any Chopard watch. A Chopard is more of a refined classy watch and therefore not subject to the scrutiny of those that want a watch that can take a beating.
Many watch collectors will use a Rolex as their "beater" watch. They have incorporated their patented Paraflex shock absorbers into many of their models and their Oyster cases with their screw-down crowns are excellent for submersible situations. Which is a great segway to our next topic; Water Resistance.
While Chopard makes some excellent watches such as the L.U.C. Quattro with its 9-day power reserve shown in the main article image at the top of this blog post, Chopard doesn't make diving watches. Water-resistance is pretty basic on Chopard watches which are typically either classy dress watches or racing watches such as their various chronographs.
It’s also quite important to get a realistic idea of what the water-resistance on a watch means regardless of what brand it is and learn how to take proper care of any watch, diving watch or not to ensure the longevity of the watch's life and ensure you will keep the warranty intact.
Rolex, on the other hand, has many diving watches suitable for anyone from an amateur diver to even a seasoned professional such as James Cameron. It was in fact a Rolex that went down with James Cameron to the deepest depths of the earth's waters known as the Mariana Trench. Rolex commemorated this achievement with the Rolex Deepsea; a diving watch that has 3900m/12800ft of water resistance.
Rolex has the best average resale value in the industry. So if you are looking to build a strong collection and may consider trading in a watch for a better one, Rolex will on average give you back more of your principal than any other brand. Of course, resell value is largely dependant on a number of variables such as the condition of the watch, the model itself, how rare it is, whether or not it includes all original documents and boxes, whether or not it is still under warranty, and other things.
Is a Chopard watch a good investment? What about Rolex? It's important to note that a watch is not an investment and it is rare when a watch winds up being worth more than what you paid for it. While these things do happen, they are rare and should not be considered as an investment such as proper securities. Investments are designed to go up in value after purchasing while consumer products are designed to do the opposite. They do have some tangible value that can at times (albeit rare) appreciate, but please don't bet on it. You can compare them to a consumer product like a car in the sense that as soon as you use it, some of its original value is lost.
Both are considered luxury watchmakers. You can pick an entry-level Chopard model for just above $5,000 at full retail price for a men's model and just under $5,000 for a ladies' model. Rolex has a slightly higher price point for its entry-level models which start at a full retail price of $5,700 and has also increased their retail prices between 3%-6% on some of their top models in 2020, one more reason to despise that year.
Between these two brands, you'll find that Rolex has a better warranty. Chopard only offers a 2-year warranty but that is considered a pretty standard warranty duration for a luxury watchmaker. Rolex, on the other hand, offers a 5-year warranty period which is definitely above average. While it's not every consumer that thinks about the warranty period when making a purchase there are those that do think that far ahead and may consider it a deciding factor when making a purchase decision.
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