Should I buy a Rolex or an AP (Audemars Piguet)?
This is a very popular question we get on a daily basis from customers that visit our store. Even though there’s really no right or wrong answer to it, there are important points to consider before picking one luxury brand over the other.
In the first video of our new “Watch Your Style” series, our very own “Fake Watch Buster” Eric Rivera provides invaluable advice to new watch customers and experienced connoisseurs alike regarding the Rolex vs. AP debate.
Eric starts the video by introducing the two specific models he’ll be comparing: the stainless steel, 42mm AP Royal Oak Offshore and the all-gold 40mm Rolex Submariner.
He explains that even though both the AP and Rolex can be worn with either formal and casual attires, the all-gold Sub is a watch that’s a lot more noticeable, so people who want to stand out in the crowd might gravitate towards it. This is generally true with first time, luxury watch buyers or nouveau wealth. The stainless steel AP, on the other hand, is a more subtle watch that more experienced buyers can sport when they want to look good, but not be noticed so much. Eric makes this point clear when he cleverly states, “Some…might even think it’s a Michael Kors.”
Eric goes on to explain further that some inexperienced consumers might be a bit shocked once they discover that the Audemars is in the same price range as the Rolex ($16k to $18k). When referring to the stainless steel AP, he mentions, “It’s not gold. It’s priced the same. People are wondering…how can a steel watch be the same price as a gold Rolex?” As Eric explains, the price of the AP can be justified by the uniqueness and quality of its design.
When discussing the investment merit of both watches, Eric mentions that both Rolex and AP are well-established, traditional brands and that each watch should hold its value over time (especially when purchased pre-owned at an attractive price). He says, “When it comes to investment, these are both safe investments.”
Regarding the AP, Eric does point out something that he considers a slight disadvantage: the watch’s proneness to scratches. He mentions, “Now one thing I don’t like about the AP Offshore is that it’s very scratch prone. It’s not a good watch for the first time wearer.” Due to a lack of experience, he fears that new luxury watch buyers might easily get their AP timepieces scratched up if they opt for the watch as an initial purchase.
Eric feels that both watches are solid choices for any luxury watch buyer. However, given that he’s more of a seasoned veteran in the watch industry, he does prefers the “understated” Royal Oak Offshore over the Sub. He says, “This stainless steel AP is one of my favorite watches.” He continues, “AP is the next level after Rolex and I would definitely go with the Offshore.”
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