For watch enthusiasts like myself, Rolex (and to a lesser extent Omega) is basically the epitome of the materialistic superficial ‘nouveau rich’; They buy it because its a status symbol. Its not that Rolex doesn’t make great watches – they certainly do – but there are certainly more historical brands that produce more exclusive pieces.
Rolex is the common man’s idea of a luxury watch, just like Porsche is for sports cars, or Tiffany’s is for jewelry. Rolex markets so effectively, the average person would probably think that Rolex is the best luxury watch out there.
But there are certainly more prestigious brands out there.
For most watch enthusiasts, Patek Phillipe is the king of the crop
Patek Phillipe produces far fewer watches than Rolex does. Rolex is actually the most prolific luxury watch maker and make roughly 2,000 watches a day; Patek produces some models in the single digits per year. This makes Patek watches far more exclusive, expensive, and prestigious.
How about Vacheron Constantin a watchmaker that has roots dating back to the 1700s that was worn by such men as Napoleon? Far more exclusive than Rolex.
Or the engineering of A Lange & Sohne, a German brand that produces top notch watches that some put on par or even above the Pateks:
Or Breguet, a brand that dates back to one of the greatest watchmakers ever, Abraham Louis-Breguet in the 1700s, that catered to such clientele as Marie Antoinette?
Or Jaeger LeCoulture a company with a heavy history of continuous innovation from the 1800s to the present day
In short, Rolex is the common person’s idea of a luxury watch; those in the know, know that there are many more luxurious brands. We don’t wear these super exclusive brands to be cocky or materialistic either; the average person doesn’t know these watch brands or the history behind them; rather we wear them because we appreciate them and their history. All the watch brands I posted here are much more expensive on average and have a much more storied history than Rolex does.