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Audemars Piguet VS Rolex

Audemars Piguet VS Rolex

Join us as we analyze and review two of the fanciest brands in watchmaking to decide which brand is best for you.

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

Audemars Piguet VS Rolex: A Precise Comparison & Review

To begin, we need to find out what motivated you to choose 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 identification you would get wearing one of their watches? Are you looking to achieve 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 luxurious watch and you may affect any one of them or even all of them.

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

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


Although Rolex is the most internationally known luxury watch brand, AP is not an everyday name to your average layman. AP is absolutely known 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 better than a Rolex.

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


These two brands took lots of time through the history of the watchmaking industry to perfect their art. There's proof they're still in business after over 100 years in operation. Rolex takes pride in the accuracy and durability of their watches while Audemars Piguet is less focused on precision and more creative with their craft. You can obviously see the difference between the two by comparing any of their movements.

AP pays detailed 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 unique detail, that fine finishing that you will find in an AP watch such as the motifs, the carving 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 action or its movement.

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

Which is better: Rolex or Audemars Piguet? Rolex is better on the outside part of the watch when it comes to everyday usage and durability Audemars Piguet has the advantage on the inside of the watch when it comes to sophistication, attention to detail, and of course, high complication watches to impress watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs. 


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 crossing the level of premium precision.

Audemars Piguet, on the other hand, is not promoting precision as Rolex does and this may be because they don't have a standard minimum precision the way Rolex does. The precision of AP watches count on several things: the model of the watch, the actions, how long has it been since it was serviced, the activity level of the person wearing it, how the watch is placed when it's not worn. There are several reasons here as you can see.   

The truth is, if you want the most authentic 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 accuracy that is simply unattainable by mechanical watches.


Which is the more expensive Rolex or Audemars Piguet? This is an easy one. AP is pretty more expensive and Rolex has a much lower entry-level price than AP. This has not to be a surprise since AP is a more upper market brand compared to Rolex. AP is a more famous watchmaker and they don't manufacture nearly as many watches per year as Rolex. 


Is Audemars Piguet a good investment? A lot of 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 significant investments 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 strongest of the two watchmakers when it comes to average resale value. In some cases, albeit unique, 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 famous watchmaker; Patek Philippe. Do Audemars Piguet watches hold their value? Yes, they hold very well their value and more than many other watchmakers but on average they hold less value compared to Rolex or Patek.


  1. Just about everybody knows the Rolex brand. You don't even need to be a watch fan to be familiar with them. This type of recognition comes in handy when it comes to a pre-owned market.
  2. Rolex is famous for holding 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 retailed for more than their listed selling price indicating very high demand which also positively affects the resale value.
  4. Their watches are very solid and can theoretically last forever if properly maintained.


  1. Audemars Piguet watches are a different brand of a watch than your average luxury watch.
  2. Wearing an AP is symbolic of a real watch nerd who can also talk. Most people that are not horology fans have no idea who Audemars Piguet is in the world of watchmaking. Yet, they are considered one of the BIG 3 which contains AP, Vacheron & Patek.
  3.  Everyone and their neighbor isn't wearing AP watches. This is a more exclusive and famous brand.
  4.  It's the type of watch that people can enjoy wearing all on their own without any need of some stranger's recognition.  
  5.  The real happiness comes when socializing in those inner circles of watch authority and seeing a watch nerd geek out over the watch.
  6.  The craftsmanship of an AP is also a diverse type of grade. 
  7.  This is more of a family heirloom type of watch brand with a more specialized clientele.
  8.  A great reason to buy an Audemars Piguet is if you enjoy complexity, you'll find it in an absolutely high-end mechanical watch. We're talking about tourbillons, perpetual calendars, moon phase, retrograde, minute repeaters, chronographs, dual time zone/GMT, and more mechanical features that offer more function than just telling you the time. Rolex is a forward-thinking brand and may have several tricks up their sleeves but Audemars Piguet has been making magic with their movements for a relatively long time and has quite a few more tricks up their sleeves.
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