There are several exclusive watch brands out there that are hard to ignore. There’s always something special that they have to offer. Two of the biggest watch brands today are Audemars Piguet and Rolex. These two brands’ recognition is one thing that draws people’s attention to these brands. Their customers are those with the highest taste in watches. However, it can be tricky to discern the better option between both brands. The Audemars Piguet vs Rolex debate has been going on for many years.
You can make your decision if both brands are compared side by side. This is a guide covering both companies’ history and the qualities they have to offer. It will help you realize the essential attributes that each brand offers. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to determine which one is better for you. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Audemar Piguet’s History
Audemars Piguet is famous for its focus on complications. Complications are the functions beyond simply telling time. On Audemars Piguet’s website, they clearly state their value in complications as a company. Out of over 1,500 watches produced by the brand, over 80% of them included at least one complication. In most instances, there were several complications for buyers to enjoy. Audemars Piguet was the first watch brand to release a minute repeater wristwatch. In 1899, the company released an ultra-complicated ‘Universelle’ pocket watch. Over the years, Audemars Piguet has continued to release a series of world’s first. The first perpetual calendar wristwatch that includes a leap year display is one of them. They also released a self-winding tourbillon wristwatch.
Audemars Piguet made history in 1972 when they made a significant shift with the release of Royal Oak. This was a solid steel sports watch that only displayed date and time. The Royal Oak was a significant deviation from their usual complicated watches. Surprisingly, it was a major hit and became one of their most iconic watches. Today, the Royal Oak collection has several complex models like the Royal Oak Grande Complication and several other options.
Today, Audemars Piguet has many collections like the Millenary, Jules Audemars and Classique. Few watches are as expensive as Audemars Piguet watches. They’re a favorite for most watch collectors. However, the company’s real pride is in the Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Offshore collection.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Rolex History
Rolex is a famous watch brand whose focus is on waterproof watches. The brand makes this clear on their website, where they made it clear that creating the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926 marked a significant step forward for the brand. The watch, Oyster’ came with a hermetically sealed case that ensured maximum protection for its movement. However, Rolex is more than just a waterproof watch company. The company has produced varying practical watches for different purposes and niches.
One of them is the Datejust, the first self-winding wrist chronometer; this watch also indicates the time. Additionally, there’s the Submariner (1945), which is the first diver’s watch. It was waterproof to the depth of 100 meters. Another Rolex watch was the GMT-Master which could track two times zone. The brand designed this watch specifically for commercial pilots. Rolex created Milgauss for scientists in 1956; this watch could withstand up to 1000 gauss of a magnetic field. Several other watches are designed for sailors, race car drivers, and more people.
Most watch enthusiasts refer to Rolex as a workhouse. However, most people who carry out an Audemars Piguet vs Rolex comparison believe Rolex doesn’t produce complications. This is entirely wrong because Rolex has a couple of complications, although their selection is not as comprehensive as Audemars Piguet. One of their exciting complications includes the Sky-Dweller, which features an annual calendar. Another complication from Rolex is the Yacht-Master II; this watch has a regatta timer. The GMT-Mater II has a GMT function that includes a jumping hour hand. These are just a couple of the complications that Rolex has to offer.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex: A Detailed Comparison
Several factors differentiate the two watch brands. These factors will help you distinguish the brands and determine which is better. Keep reading this Audemars Piguet vs Rolex comparison to find out how the brands differ.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Brand Recognition
Rolex is a luxury watch brand that’s recognized internationally. However, Audemars Piguet is not a household name that most people would recognize. Most consider Audemars Piguet a better brand in the watchmaking community because of its exclusivity. However, an average man might not be able to recognize that your AP watch is superior to Rolex. What’s unique about Audemars Piguet? While you can wear a watch to impress, it’s important to note who you’re trying to impress. Most watch enthusiasts know Audemars Piguet as one of the big three in the watchmaking industry. While Rolex never made the Big 3. It is still the most recognized luxury watch brand globally. Both brands make excellent watches regardless.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Craftsmanship
Another factor that differentiates Rolex and Audemars Piguet is the craftsmanship of each watch brand. These two watch brands have spent decades of history perfecting the art of watchmaking. After over a hundred years, both brands are still in business for good reasons. Rolex is known for the accuracy and durability of its watches. On the other hand, Audemars Piguet’s focus is on its brand's artistic nature and precision. It’s pretty clear to see the difference between both brands when you compare their movements.
Audemars Piguet pays careful attention to every detail in the finishing and movement of their watches. They aim for perfection that Rolex doesn’t even compare to. A Rolex caliber is top-quality mechanical machinery. However, it misses that extra detail and perfect finishing that you would find in an Audemars Piguet watch. Rolex watches also miss the engravings that are popular with Audemars Piguet watches. Most Rolexes feature solid case backs that do not allow buyers to see the watch’s action or movement.
On the other hand, Rolex stands out in craftsmanship when it comes to durability. The Rolex Explorer collection is a watch the brand tested by taking it to the harshest conditions to see if it will withstand extreme conditions. Most watch enthusiasts believe that Rolex watches survive conditions humans cannot. It’s a watch that you can wear for a long time without worrying about its durability.
Therefore, which brand is better in this Audemars Piguet vs Rolex comparison? Audemars Piguet takes the crown when it comes to finesse, complication, and attention to detail. However, Rolex has the upper hand regarding durability and the ideal watch for everyday use. Most people consider Audemars Piguet advanced craftsmanship among the finest luxury watches.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Accuracy
Rolex seems to be taking the lead as they’re famous for this feature regarding accuracy. The ‘Superlative Chronometer’ they put on their watches indicates that their watches are regulated and tested to an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds each passing day. To date, every manufactured Rolex watch meets this high level of precision.
On the other hand, Audemars Piguet doesn’t advertise the accuracy of their watches the way Rolex does. This is because the brand has no standard precision like Rolex. The accuracy of their watches usually depends on their movement, the model, the servicing, the wearer’s activity, and how they place it when it is not being worn. If you’re into accurate watches, then Rolex is your safest bet. Audemars Piquet is more mechanical than accurate.
Audemars Piguet vs Rolex – Price
This Audemars Piguet vs Rolex comparison won’t be complete without comparing their prices. Audemars Piguet is significantly more expensive than Rolex. Rolex has a lower entry-level price than Audemars Piguet. This is mainly because Audemars Piguet is an upper-market watchmaker compared to Rolex. Audemars Piguet is a prestigious watchmaker and doesn’t manufacture as many watches as Rolex each year. Rolex also has a lower market brand called Tudor that provides buyers with affordable entry-level prices. It offers many designs that are pretty similar to that of Rolex.
Resale and Investment Value
After considering the price in the Audemars vs Rolex comparison, one must wonder about the resale and investment value. Audemars Piguet and Rolex are both excellent investments, and they hold their value very well. The only other brand with a high resale value like these brands is Patek Philippe. However, not all their watches hold their value. There are more Rolex watches with a high resale value than Audemars Piguet.
Most would agree that Rolex holds its value better than every other brand in the watch industry. Rolex collectors are crazy about the brand, and that’s why there’s a high demand for their word. The brand’s recognition is high, leading to a high resale value. Rolex has such a high demand that their rare watches usually increase in value as the years pass by. The most expensive Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak Complication, and it sold for $869,000. On the other hand, Paul Newman’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona sold for $17.8 million. Therefore, if you’re looking for an option with a significantly higher resale value, Rolex is your best bet.
Although Audemars Piguet has been around for three decades before Rolex, both brands seem to have the same level of success in the watchmaking industry. This Audemars Piguet vs Rolex comparison explores some of the most critical factors and how each brand differs. It should be easier to determine which one is better. There are many advantages to owning a Rolex watch. The brand has worldwide recognition. Therefore the average man would be sure to recognize the value of your brand. Rolex watches are also highly durable and hold their value longer than other watch brands. The Daytona, GMT-Master II, and Yacht-Master are all safe Rolex investments with a high resale value. They are built to offer the wearer a lifetime of accuracy.
Both brands, due to their unique craftsmanship, represents examples of high quality watchmaking, whereby preference depends ultimately on personal taste.