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Rolex is not the last word for wrist watches!

Updated on July 30, 2016

The stainless steel model Date Just which was sold for around US $900 in 1981, rose to US $2350 by 1991!

Rolex- The brand name!!

Rolex is surely the most popular and best known watch brand ever! It may be because they invented the very first 'certified chronometer', first 'effective water-proof' and dust-proof casing, and first wrist watch with automatic date changing. Their techniques of mass-manufacturing premium watches are also outstanding. It was in 1980's that they got reputation because of the young affluent people who themselves considered to be a part of the newly found status so called 'yuppie'. It gave name to the brand, and Rolex became a common term indicating luxury! Also, within a decade its prices took a stellar rise to match their popularity. The stainless steel model Date Just which was sold for around US $900 in 1981, rose to US $2350 by 1991! The fact to be noted is that there were only nominal changes in the model.

But, have you ever thought about the need of buying a luxury watch? It depends on your perceptions, needs, and what you want to achieve by owning a fine wrist watch. Rolex are extremely good watches. But, just understand that there are various other alternatives which are equally fine. Price is not a criteria to value the craftsmanship. Highly crafted watches with comparatively less money are also available. The best purchase decision requires a lot of research. Even this is not an accurate guide to choose your favourite brand. All the articles with the 'Top Ten' title are also meant only to be a 'specimen' for your research.

Myths on Rolex Watches

1) Rolex watches are individually handmade. So,it takes an year to make one watch.

Rolex has highly efficient and patented machines to make 1,000,000 watches a year. There are of course, some rare models to the high end that are hand made.

2) Rolex are the most accurate.

Completely untrue! Even a Casio of $25 can do the same, but not as luxuriously! The money you spend is for the jewellery features used in it, and not for the accuracy of time.

3) Rolex watches have a high resale value.

They do have higher percentage of resale value compared to many other brand, but that doesn't mean they are the safer investment. You will lose money in all brands.

Why no other luxurious brands are as popular as Rolex?

Popularity is the indicator of superiority! Usually in the case of any product, the common people is aware only about the most popularized brand. We think that the popular brand would probably be the one most approved in quality and durability. If you ask an average person on the street, he would say watches range from Timex and Casio ending up at Rolex. In every kind of product there would be some popular names dominating the market. They might be having quality for sure, but might not be the only superior choice. But, if you want to impress the public the only choice is to buy something that has a name familiar to them!! If your idea is to pass on the product to the next generation as a heirloom, you must be a connoisseur to choose the best one yourself.

Lets take a look at the ranges of luxury watches available.

Luxury Watches

When you need a recognised name, quality and durability. These can be resold after years, if in good condition.

Pseudo Luxury Watches

When you expect a better watch, spending not so much

High-end Luxury Watches

Refined watches with good craftsmanship, exclusive designs and newer features. Available in small number and only within specialized dealers.

Brand Name
Price Ranges
High end luxury
A.Lange and Sohnne, Audemars Piguet, Albert Silberstein, Breguet, Frank Muller, JLC, Patek Phillip,
Steel models- from $5,000, Gold case with leather strap- from $10,000, Gold case with gold bracelet- from $20,000, Highly distinctive models- up to $2,000,000!
Breitling, Cartier, Ebel, Omega, TAG Heuer
Steel models- from $1000 to $4,000 Gold case with leather strap- from $ 2,500 to $8,000 Gold case with gold bracelet-from $5000 to $20,000
Pseudo luxury
Baume & Mercier, Raymond Weil,
Steel from $500 to$2,000 Gold from $750 to $4000

Here I present some of the great brands that come under the high end category. I have not included Rolex among them, as it is a 'name' you are already familiar with!

Richard Mille RM027

Richard Mille RM027 Rafael Nadal
Richard Mille RM027 Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille RM027 Rafael Nadal

This was actually designed for Rafael Nadal's wrist to be worn while playing tennis! It weighs less than 20 gm. In order to make it light, Richard Mille had to use plastic instead of crystal that would double the weight.

Approximate MSRP: $525,000

A.Lange and Sohne Tourbograph "Pour Le Mérite"

A.Lange and Sohne Tourbograph "Pour Le Mérite"

Its quickly gaining popularity, even on par with Patek Philippe. In 2006, the tourbograph won the Special Jury Prize at the watchmaking Grand Prix. It has an incredible A.Lange tourbillon coupled with a split- second chronograph capable of measuring 1/6th of a second. It uses a fusee and chain transmission.

Approximate MSRP:$500,000

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe

This brand owns a lot of luxury watches. Sky moon tourbillon is at the pinnacle of the Patek range. The sky moon is so rare and valuable that just three pieces are produced every year. So, there is no actual retail price! If this is not luxury, what else is?

Approximate MSRP:$1.3 million

Breguet LA Tradition Fusee Tourbillon

Breguet LA Tradition Fusee Tourbillon

Breguet is known as the master of tourbillon. It has a silicon balance wheel that is impervious things like gravity. It uses a chain and fusee system that is rarely found in wrist watches.

Approximate MSRP: $158,550

MB&F HM3 Frog

MB&F HM3 Frog

It is the most playful of the luxurious watches. Called the 'frog' because of the two large crystal and aluminumm domes that protrude from the case like the eyes of an amphibian from the water. The real fun is in explaining what it is to the common people who might not recognise it as a watch!!

Approximate MSRP:$100,000

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grande Complication

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grande Complication

This has sporty and classic oak case. It tells the time by hitting of a cathedral gong inside the case. It also has a calendar, that tracks time, date, month, year and moon phase for 100 years without being reset.

Approximate MSRP:$702,000

Jean Dunand Palace

Jean Dunand Palace

It features a flying tourbillon, and even the chain that drives it is designed to look like that on a vintage motorcycle. The palace was inspired by a handful of landscapes and structures to create impressive and complicated pieces of watch.

Approximate MSRP:$410,000


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