If you are torn between investing in an Audemars Piguet watch and a Rolex watch, you may want to identify what’s important to you as a buyer. Is it the style of a watch? Is it the brand recognition that draws you to one particular brand over the other? Or is it about how others will perceive your taste in watches? There’s no right and wrong answer in terms of what value you should hold the highest when weighing up the pros and cons of the “Rolex vs AP” debate– it’s all about personal preference. But comparing the two brands side-by-side is a good way to help you realize what the most important qualities in a watch are. Here’s an introductory guide outlining both companies, their heritage, and their most popular lines to help you decide which watch is best for you.
Audemars Piguet’s history is 30 years longer than that of Rolex. The company was founded in 1875. Just a few years later AP created the first minute repeater wristwatch, followed by the world’s first perpetual calendar which featured a leap year and a self-winding tourbillon. Throughout this time and the years that followed, Rolex was focussing carefully on creating exceptionally robust watches, like the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch – the Oyster, and the iconic Submariner, which borrowed from the Oyster’s solid design. Rolex also created masterpieces like the first mechanical wristwatch to display a date feature- the Datejust, and a rugged traveler’s timekeeping tool that displayed two time zones – the GMT-Master. Today, the Submariner is one of Rolex’s most recognizable watches compared to AP’s instantly distinguishable Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore watches with eye-catching octagonal-shaped cases.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak:
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch is characterized by its famous octagonal-shaped case created by talented designer, Gerald Genta. It also showcases 8 hexagonal-shaped screws bolted onto the surface of the watch’s chunky-looking bezel. These hefty-looking watches are designed for wrists that can handle a watch whose design creates the impression of a much broader watch than its true size. The Royal Oak was crowned the first stainless steel sports watch. Its price far exceeded gold watches on the market when it launched in the ’70s.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Bleu
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore:
The advantage of owning a Royal Oak Offshore watch is that it will guarantee you the precision of an exceptionally crafted in-house caliber, combined with an instantly recognizable design that has the potential to grow in value as an investment piece. These are some of the most elegant watches in the high-end sector of the market. Some include tourbillons and perpetual calendars, and all boast the recognizable octagonal-shaped-case shared with the rest of the Royal Oak line.
Ademars Piguet Royal Offshore
Audemars Piguet Millenary:
Featuring an elliptical highly-polished bezel, the Millenary watches from AP appear a lot different from the iconic look of the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore timepieces. The watch was first released in 1995 and limited edition models from this line feature off-centered dials for an alternative way to read the time. They also expose the balance wheel through their dial side, offering you a unique glimpse into the exquisite craftsmanship behind an Audemars Piguet watch. If your soft spot for a high-end watch is its sapphire-backed cases, you’ll be instantly drawn to the technical mastery put on a show in a Millenary watch.
Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater
The Rolex Submariner:
Compared to the Royal Oak Offshore Diver watch which provides the same 300-meter water resistance - the Submariner looks completely different from AP’s diving tool. It will certainly appeal to you if you prefer the classic look of a conventional diving watch. Its Cerachrom ceramic bezel, which prevents color-fading, is circular shaped as opposed to the octagonal shape of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver, but it’s certainly more affordable. The bracelet of the Rolex Submariner features a Glidelock system on its Oyster bracelet, enabling you to extend the bracelet in 2mm increments up to a total length of 20mm over the top of diving gear.
Yacht-Master watches from Rolex come in a choice of stainless steel, platinum or gold designs, yet the company also produced an exclusive material for this collection – Rolesium – crafted from a mix of platinum and stainless steel. There are models for men and women from this category, spanning from a discreet 29mm to a confident 40mm. The model premiered in 1992, displaying strong links to the iconic Submariner that debuted in the ’50s. The Yacht-Master’s bezel is bidirectional, allowing you to calculate the sailing time between two buoys, for example.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42
You can pick up a Royal Oak Day-Date model from the pre-owned market for around $9000 – substantially cheaper than some Rolex Day-Date models, yet the latter remains so expensive because people are willing to pay that much for it. The addition of the day feature alongside the date does not reflect the price jump from the $7000 Datejust, moreover, it is the style and instantly recognizable look of the Rolex Day-Date that has become so highly coveted amongst elite watch collecting circles.
Rolex Day-Date 40
Royal Oak watches by Audemars Piguet are hands-down the most expensive of their entire catalog. You can look to spend around 60,000 dollars on one with a perpetual calendar feature. Saying that other models from the Royal Oak collection like the chronograph versions can be purchased for a mid-range price, costing around $23,000. If you’re a first-time buyer, Royal Oak Offshore models can make for a nice starter watch, costing you around $21,000. Generally speaking, Rolex models are pitched a little lower than Audemars Piguet. Timepieces at Rolex’s top-end price range, like the Daytona and Day-Date models, cost around half the price of the top models from the Royal Oak collection. The Submariner costs between 8-9000 dollars, whereas the Explorer and Air-King are considered the more affordable wristwatches from Rolex, costing around $6000.
There are many advantages to owning a Rolex watch. They are globally recognized for one, so your watch is certain to get a few compliments wherever you wear it to. Rolex watches are also known to hold their value longer than any other watch brand in the industry. The Daytona, Submariner, GMT-Master II and Yacht-Master will always remain safe investments. Rolex watches are solidly built, guaranteeing you a lifetime of accuracy on the wrist. Lovers of Audemars Piguet watches are normally those enthralled by exclusive and prestigious watch brands. If you like socializing in inner circles of watch lovers, you’ll have hours of discussion ahead of you once you invest in your first AP watch. The craftsmanship of an Audemars Piguet watch is different than that of a Rolex watch. They aren’t mass-produced, giving them an exclusive feel when worn, making for the ideal heirloom to hand down the family line.