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Which one have the best luxury appeal? Cartier or Rolex?

Cartier vs Rolex:

There are a few differences to note about Rolex and Cartier even though they both share a high level of recognition and respect within the watch industry. Cartier has created several quartz watches, unlike Rolex watch who don’t create any quartz models today. Rolex watches are almost double the price of a Cartier watch. They’re also COSC-certified and promise excellent resale value compared to Cartier watches – but it’s not always about how much money you can make from a watch. Cartier watches are loved for their uniqueness and the company’s luxurious approach to watchmaking Here’s a comparison guide to help you decide which watch brand is best? Rolex or Cartier.


Rolex was founded in 1905 by a young man with a clear vision. Hans Wilsdorf wanted to create wristwatches with incredible accuracy and a stylish look. He focussed his efforts on developing accurate timekeeping movements. In 1926 the first automatic waterproof watch was developed – the Oyster watch. It provided the backbone to almost every Rolex watch made thereafter. Rolex watches have been utilized by professional divers as well as motorsport racing drivers and adventure-seekers pursuing the likes of Mount Everest and the Mariana Trench. Rolex created the first automatic watch to display the date in 1945 – the Datejust, followed by the iconic Submariner in 1953, which has since become a solid investment.

French company, Cartier was founded in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier who specialized in both watches and jewelry. In 1904 the brand created the world’s first pilot’s watch which would go on to set benchmarks for all watch manufacturers to follow. The Santos de Cartier watch took its name after the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont of whom it was made for. It combined a legible dial with precise timekeeping. The design could also be worn on the wrist as opposed to holding a pocket watch in the hand. In 1917 Cartier created the Tank watch which instantly gained a cult-like following. Its design was inspired by the mechanized military equipment used on the Western Front in World War I.

Popular Rolex collections:

Rolex Submariner Date:

Rolex created the Submariner in 1953. It combined the iconic Oyster case (a monobloc steel middle with screw-down crown) with a dynamic, modern-looking diver’s dial accompanied by luminous markers and hands. The younger generation of Rolex Submariner’s feature Cerachrom ceramic unidirectional rotating bezels and Oystersteel bracelets with Glidelock extension mechanisms. The innovative feature enables you to don the watch over the top of heavy diving gear by expanding the band in 2mm increments.

Our Pick

Rolex Submariner Date

Reference: 16610

Case/Dial: 40mm Steel, Black
30 bar (300 metres / 1000 feet)

Movement: 3135, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar, 48h power reserve

Strap: Steel

Style: Elegant

Rolex Sea-Dweller Two toned :

Sea-Dweller watches by Rolex are extreme diver’s watches. Some models from the range offer incredible 1,120-meter water resistance. Others are equipped with a 70-hour power reserve and a helium escape valve with ceramic bezel, making them suitable for saturation diving. The Sea-Dweller was first introduced in 1967 – the prototypes of which are now rarities in the watch world. Current models are crafted from Rolex’s most expensive 904L stainless steel and feature a date aperture under a cyclops lens.

Our Pick

Rolex Sea-Dweller Two toned

Reference: 126603

Case/Dial: 43mm Ceramic, Black
120 ATM (1220 metres / 4000 feet)

Movement: 3235, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar, 70h power reserve

Strap: Gold/Steel

Style: Elegant

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph:

Like Cartier’s Drive watches, Rolex also has a heritage that pays homage to the automobile industry. The Cosmograph Daytona was originally developed in 1963 and named after the famous racetrack in Daytona Beach, Florida. When star icon, Paul Newman began sporting the Daytona on his wrist it revolutionized the collection. Paul Newman's very own wristwatch – the Daytona ref. 6239, (a gift from his wife Joanne Woodard), sold for an incredible 17.75 million USD at auction just three years ago.

Our Pick

Rolex Daytona Cosmograph

Reference: 116500LN

Case/Dial: 40mm Steel, Black
10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet)

Movement: 4130, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Chronograph, Tachymeter, 72h power reserve

Strap: Nylon fabric strap

Style: Chronograph

Popular Cartier collections

Cartier Tank Solo:

Worn worldwide by men and women, the Cartier Tank is the mist recognized watch of all. Its collection has extended into other lines like the Tank Anglaise, the Tank Francaise, and the Tank Americaine. If you’re a fan of vintage timepiece the Cartier Tank may appeal to you with its distinctive rectangular case design and a choice between automatic movements, quartz movements, and colorful straps. The cases are developed from steel, palladium, yellow gold, rose gold and white gold.

Our Pick

Cartier Tank Solo

Reference: W5200027

Movement: 049, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar, 42h power reserve

Strap: Black leather

Style: Classic

Cartier Santos:

A square case, Roman numerals and a set of blued steel hands under a sapphire glass are distinguishable features of the Cartier de Santos watch. The designs can be enjoyed in 18k gold for an unmistakable look on the wrist. There are also steel models with matching steel bracelets that donate a sportier feel to the wrist, known as the Santos Sport.

Our Pick

Cartier Santos

Reference: WGSA0009

Case/Dial: 39.8mm Yellow gold, Silver
10 ATM (100 metres / 330 feet)

Movement: 1847 MC, Self-winding

Functions: Date, Calendar

Strap: Brown leather

Style: Classic

Cartier Roadster:

The Roadster watch from Cartier has a distinctive barrel-shaped case. The models come in a choice of classic three-handed dial designs and sportier-looking chronograph versions, with cases crafted from white gold, yellow gold, stainless steel, rose gold or a bi-color version combining steel and gold. The collection launched in 2001 and features wristwatches that can be enjoyed by both men and women thanks to a variety of different case shapes that span from 20mm to 49mm.

Our Pick

Cartier Roadster

Reference: W62026Y4

Movement: 688, Quartz

Functions: Date, Calendar

Strap: Gold/Steel

Style: Classic


An entry-level watch from Rolex is almost twice the price of an entry-level Cartier watch. This makes a Rolex less attainable to some but more appealing to others. You can purchase a Cartier Tank watch for as little as $3500 yet some of the most expensive watches can stretch right up to $58,000, especially those crafted from palladium like the Tank MC. Mid-range watches from Cartier’s catalog include the Ballon Bleu and the Roadster which can be purchased at around $4-5000. The most expensive range from Cartier is the Santos 100 which starts at around $4,500 and reaches up to anywhere in the region of $117,000 with the Santos 100 Flying Tourbillon XL in rose gold. Mid-range Rolex watches are those like the Submariner which start at around $7-8,000. They can reach up to prices of $11,000 - $16,000 for the Hulk and Kermit variations. Top-end Rolex watches include the Daytona and the Day-Date models which start at around $20,000 - $30,000.


Are you wanting a watch that will strike up an instant conversation with a total stranger? If so, Rolex’s 100% brand recognition will certainly earn you a compliment or two when entering a room with one strapped to your wrist. On the other hand, some individuals like to avoid this kind of attention. They prefer a watch brand whose prestige and reputation is built on solid foundations of quality and performance without the name recognition. Cartier is a brand associated with luxury and refinement. Their time-honored manufacturing methods promise utmost accuracy, combined with Swiss technique. First, ask yourself what is important to you in owning a luxury watch, then look at which brand specializes in the features you want most in a timepiece. The rest is easy.

For more information about Rolex click here and for Cartier click here

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