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Luxury watch vs smartwatch (plus which one to buy)

Luxury watch vs smartwatch (plus which one to buy)

luxury watch vs smartwatch audemars piguet

Luxury watch vs smartwatch, that is the question. Now that smartwatches are becoming more and more popular as the industry continues to grow this is a frequently asked question. When it comes to investing in a watch there are quite a few things to consider. But with technology entering the space it changes up the whole game. So when it comes to a decision, luxury watch vs smartwatch how do you choose? Well first there is the question of why. Why are you interested in buying a watch? What do you hope from the watch? Is it for your collection, whether that is a burgeoning one or well established, is it an item you want to keep for posterity, do you intend to use it as a tool for sports and the likes, or are you looking more for a luxury accessory? As you can see there are many questions!

What is unique about smartwatches though is that they combine design and technology. Meanwhile a luxury watch combines haute horlogerie movements, its own kind of technology, with fine design. There are unique differences too though when it comes to luxury watches vs smartwatches. The one that features most prominently being of course the longevity of the watch. A smartwatch is similar to a cell phone or laptop in this way. Meanwhile a luxury watch is much more similar to jewelry. For both of them there will always come a time when it will no longer be the newest, latest edition. A newer model will always be introduced. The difference is in how the watches keep up with the times, literally. Over time as this happens will the watch’s value increase or decrease? Will the watch continue to form a meaningful part of your collection or will it be forced aside?

luxury watch vs smartwatch audemars piguet

Luxury watch vs smartwatch

Ok so let us break it down. Luxury watch vs smartwatch what are the differences? Are smartwatches replacing luxury watches? Is one better than the other? If it is your first time buying a watch which should you buy? Or what if you are an avid collector do you go for another luxury watch or a smartwatch? First let us take a look at what each one of these watches really are, what they represent and how to compare them.

Luxury watch and smartwatch comparison

  • Maintenance (battery life)
  • Longevity or meaningfulness
  • Resale value

From this criteria how do the luxury watches from iconic brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Phillippe and the likes compare to tech company watches from brands like Apple and Samsung.

luxury watch vs smartwatch presidential rolex yellow gold in box

Luxury watches:

  • Due to their rich history these watches are operated by either manual wound mechanical movements, quartz that can keep your watch ticking on time for up to 5 years, or automatic calibers that as long as you wear it the watch will run.
  • A life milestone event is usually marked by a fabulous gift. One that will always hold the memories of that day and symbolizes the meaning of the occasion. Luxury watches are adept to this as many times a watch can be passed down from one family member to the next. Carrying with it significance and family tradition.
  • Pre owned high end watches and vintage or antique versions of luxury watches are well loved and have high resale value. The market is robust and a well maintained watch can achieve high resale value.


  • As any piece of modern technology requires a smartwatch is just a wearable version of tech. You are going to need to charge it with a charging cable. Depending on which smartwatch and how intensely you use it you may need to charge it once or more a day.
  • Just like your television, cellphone, or computer the longevity of a smartwatch is more or less limited to the first or second iteration. As newer versions with better microchips, screen displays and the like are released the longevity of a smartwatch fades.
  • It is very difficult to resell a smartwatch. As a piece of technology the resale value is linked to the point above, its longevity. If the watch has several newer models available it may be almost impossible to resell.luxury watch vs smartwatch rolex rose gold

So when it comes to comparing the two, a luxury watch meets the top three criteria much better than a smartwatch. That is because luxury watches are like jewelry. They are hand made by master craftsmen using techniques that are traditional to the industry. Although do not get us wrong there is a lot of innovation happening in the luxury watch space as well, it is an accessory that exudes history and tradition. Many of the luxury watch brands have been around for hundreds of years. Their commitments and ethos build into each of the small movements within a piece.

Meanwhile smartwatches are tools just like your laptop or cellphone. Sure it is a cool trend and depending on what you are looking for a watch for it can be a great option. However when it comes to buying a meaningful piece that you can add to your collection, its luxury watches. It is the only accessory outside of jewelry deemed precious enough to gift someone at significant life occasions.  

Luxury watch vs apple watch

So now that you have a top level view of luxury watches vs smartwatches let us take a look at one specific smartwatch, arguably the most popular, the Apple watch. The Apple watch has a few different editions. There are also a few different colors you can choose from, not too different from the cell phones that Apple also sells. Now the differentiator when it comes to these watches is really internal. What is going on inside. However when it comes to the case you are pretty limited. You can of course add your own watch faces and change it up like that. However when it comes to the body of the watch what you see is what you get. When it comes to the straps Apple has come out with some luxury versions even pairing up with the renowned luxury house Hermes to produce some leather bands.

luxury watch vs smartwatch presidential rolex yellow gold on wrist

Although they are classic looks the bands really cannot make a smartwatch look like a traditional luxury watch. After all there is a screen on your wrist! Most significantly though as well to consider is that an Apple watch may be a great choice if you are looking for a sport watch to track your running or heart rate. In that case it outdoes a luxury watch which is not equipped with a heart monitor. But then it really does come down to why you are in the market for one of these watches. Is it aesthetics? Are you passionate about watches and want to see what all the hype is about? Well not to disappoint but unless you are looking for a sport tool (of which there are many not just smartwatches) or a purely tech point of view these smartwatches fall short of luxury timepieces.

Why buy a luxury watch?

So in the end those are the differences between luxury watches and smartwatches. But now why buy a luxury watch? Well if you are looking for a quintessentially masculine luxury accessory that has a high resale value, longevity and better maintenance (battery life) the answer is simple. More than that though luxury watches are like jewelry. Boasting a rich tradition, strong community and presence at elite events like Basel World it is clear that luxury watches have a life of their own. A collectors item and a tradition that tends to be passed down from one generation to the next luxury watches are as much a part of our history as the men who crafted their innovations.


luxury watch vs smartwatch rolex rose gold

Rolex 116505 Daytona 18k Rose Gold Tachymeter Bezel Watch

First an 18 carat rose gold tachymeter beauty. This Daytona Rolex features a striking black dial.

luxury watch vs smartwatch presidential rolex yellow gold

Rolex 228238 Day Date Presidential Champagne Dial Watch

Next, an iconic Day Date Presidential champagne dial gold on gold watch. Called Presidential for its associations to the White House over decades and decades this is a classic men’s luxury watch.

luxury watch vs smartwatch Rolex yachtmaster

Rolex 116655 Yacht Master 18k Rose Gold Black Dial On Rubber Strap Watch

For a more modern take an 18 carat rose gold Yacht Master on a rubber strap. This masculine modern watch is sportive and robust with hard lines and a large face.

luxury watch vs smartwatch rolex batman GMT II

Rolex 116710 Master GMT II “Batman” Stainless Steel Watch

Finally, a Master GMT II for a gentleman taking to the skies. This special edition “Batman” stainless steel watch features a unique color combination.

Audemars Piguet

luxury watch vs smartwatch audemars piguet

We all know how well known the Swiss are for their watch making abilities. Now Audemars Piguet is a Swiss luxury watch in its own league. After all these watches are crafted by some of the world’s finest craftsmen. A sportive and powerful watch these are not your average luxury timepiece. With an absolutely inimitable design and look these watches stand out. Every part of these watches is an impressive combination of powerful machination and movements with impeccable design and aesthetics. They have the octagonal bezel with eight visible accent screws that instantly mark it as an AP. Audemars Piguet is one of the most innovative luxury watch brands. Their watches are truly a feat of design and engineering capabilities. Always pushing the limits and boundaries their watches combine some of the finest in horlogerie to be precise down to the millisecond.

luxury watch vs smartwatch audemars piguet

Strongly masculine with the straight hard lines all across these watches are gorgeous. They are also timeless as you see across the decades the shape of the AP is consistent. Also as time goes on the older models tend to become rarer and much more coveted for their unique capturing of a by gone time. Impeccable design make these watches instantly recognizable and dually desired. From the lovely details of a fine watch to the dial (like the Audemars Piguet iconic waffled dial) every part and corner are a story in and of themselves. From the valleys of Switzerland to the top of the world the Audemars Piguet watches are a collector’s favorite marking their rightful place in the luxury watch industry. There is no competition for a smartwatch against an Audemars Piguet, even though we are now seeing luxury brands come out with smartwatches themselves too like Tag Heuer.

Where to buy a luxury watch? Diamonds by Raymond Lee in Boca Raton, South Florida

luxury watch vs smartwatch rolex yachtmaster on wrist

Our family has been selling, caring for and buying luxury watches for the last three decades. It is a tradition as much as it is our family business. We love the meaningful stories behind these watches. It is why we do what we do. And we hope to continue serving the South Florida community for the next three decades to come as well. We are committed to providing superior service and excellence in quality. For each step of your journey into fine and luxury watches we are here to support you. If you want to check out any of the watches featured here yourself we would love to welcome you into our conveniently located stores. Our watch experts and even our craftsmen would be delighted to show you around and help answer any questions you might have. Whether it is regarding a specific watch or about luxury watches in general.

There is no better way to find the perfect watch for you and your collection, or a dear gentleman in your life, than to see the watches in person. We can help guide you in your purchase and compare the different options. If you are still not sure about whether to get a luxury watch or smartwatch after reading this article let us know in the comments. We will try to give you a deeper look into the reasons why. Also let us know if you like any of the Rolex and Audemars Piguet watches featured here. We want to know which watch is your favorite and if there are any that you want to know more about. We also have a vast curated collection of special edition and limited edition luxury watches too. From vintage and antique pieces to the latest models we can help you find the ideal.

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