Which Swiss Watch is Worth Buying?
Within the world of fashion and luxury aesthetics, a watch holds a significant amount of power in completely elevating one’s outfit. However, what most individuals find difficult is selecting the right watch, and with the thousands of different watch brands out on the market, it can be quite overwhelming to find the right one for you. Luckily there are 4 main luxury Swiss watch brands that are definitely a cut above the rest, and those four are: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars, and Richard Mille. Though all four hold a significant amount of weight in terms of brand name, they each have their own personality and aesthetic value, making them a must buy for any watch enthusiast. And with each brand comes a long tested history of ingenuity, artisanship, and marketing that truly makes them unique.
Rolex is probably the most popular luxury watch name out of the four listed, and for good reason too. Not only does this rather expensive and luxurious watch brand utilize higher quality steel to manufacture each and every single watch, they also meticulously craft each individual watch by hand. Even the parts of the manufacturing process that require machinery are still human operated, giving each watch the attention it deserves. Really the only input from automated machinery comes in when it’s time to sort and file various components, or during extremely fine and precise operations that humans simply wouldn’t be able to control. But other than these instances, a human is constantly involved in the developing and putting together of each individual watch. Needless to say, the high human involvement assures outstanding quality control at every single step of the watch being made, ensuring that buyers are not only satisfied with the quality of their watch, but also with the amount of care and precision that was involved in creating that watch.
Aside from Rolex’s impeccable quality control, what many individuals in the world of fashion and timepieces value about Rolex is the fact that they have their own science labs. Though these labs play a huge part in researching and developing various features to be put into the vibrant watches, they also play a quintessential role in developing efficient manufacturing processes that are not only quick but also undeniably reliable. In conjunction with this research, the labs are also used continuously to look at the effects of manufacturing on metals, and also stress-tests each watch to ensure they last a lifetime.
Thirdly, almost each custom made part is made in-house, excluding some of the sapphire crystals and dial hands. This feature that Rolex has up-held for years is a key factor that many watch owners look for in terms of a high quality watch; in addition, because virtually everything is made in house, their watches are truly one of a kind and unable to be replicated by any other watchmaker in the world. These unique factor has led to Rolex being one of the largest watchmakers in the world, and has truly risen the bar in terms of what a watchmaker should do to ensure a product that is timeless and beautiful.
Lastly, the most important feature of any watch are the precious stones utilized in those watches. Afterall, a stone is usually the centerpiece of a watch, a focal point that truly gives the watch its value. As such, Rolex takes their gems and precious stones seriously, so much so that they have their own gemologists on site, actively buying, testing, and setting diamonds and other stones in various Rolex watches. This means that each stone is guaranteed to be real, utilizing various imaging systems to ensure diamonds are not fake. Diamonds and other stones are also handset, giving a lot of value to the craftsmanship that Rolex has employed for over the years.
Having been in the watch market for close to 200 years, Patek Philippe carries a long standing history of tradition and spectacular craftsmanship. And with that experience, they have truly perfected almost every aspect of watchmaking. Everything from their impeccable design and artisanship, to the very manufacturing and delivery process, Patek Philippe continually creates a memorable experience with each piece. Also, what many love about Patek Philippe is the fact that it is one of the only independent, family owned watchmakers in the world. This means they are not at the whims of shareholders or other corporate higher-ups; instead, they are free to let their creativity and ingenuity flourish through their craft unaltered. Much of their widespread success has risen from this fact and is surely a trend that they will be following for many more years to come.
For the watches themselves, it takes about nine months to create even the most basic Patek watch, a timespan that involves hours upon hours of testing, examination, and design; however, more expensive and complicated timepieces can take an upwards of 2 years. These massive amounts of time required to create each watch leads to a notable scarcity of Patek Philippe watches on the market; needless to say, the fewer the number of Patek watches on the market really adds to the value and collectability of each Patek watch, making them a great choice for collectors around the world.
Another aspect that helps Patek Philippe stand out from the crowd, is the fact that each watch is hand-finished, a great attention to detail that adds considerable value to each watch. And though this fact can only truly be admired by a true watch collector, even the everyday person can’t help but notice the intricate designs and just overwhelming beauty that each watch offers. Everything from hand placements to dial designs to even the spectacular bands, each aesthetic feature of Patek Philippe watches is a showstopper.
For Audemars, their history began very early in 1873, when Edward Auguste Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars decided upon opening a watch factory. Though the initial opening was something neither of the two believed to be a big deal, the following years would put their brand on the map as being one of the most premier watches on the market. The initial watches the factory released displayed an immense level of craftsmanship and exemplary quality; and these features are pretty much a hallmark of Audemars watches even to this day.
What sets Audemars apart from many of the other luxury watch brands is the number of achievements this company has held. In the earlier days when the businesses first set foot in the market, the company would produce the world’s most portable pocket watch, a watch that many aristocrats at the time valued. On 1928, the company would also create the world’s first skeleton watch, a watch that allowed the user to see the internal workings. This watch in particular was something that created a lot of conversation in the community as it allowed even the average, everyday person to truly appreciate the craftsmanship and mechanical ingenuity that is needed to create a more than perfect watch.
However, what truly put Audemars Piguet on the map was the introduction of their Royal Oak watch, a high quality sport watch with a sophisticated, modernized look that many felt was new and fresh when compared to the rather formulaic watches that competitors were creating. And along with this beautiful display of aesthetics came high quality materials to match.
The company does not cut corners when it comes to quality, only using materials that have been thoroughly tested and verified to be authentic. On top of this, they pay extra attention to even the smaller details like screws and watch hands, ensuring that even these tiny pieces gave a vibrant, modern feel.
Needless to say, this company has used many of its achievements not only to show off to the world, but has used them as stepping stones in further improving each watch.
Richard Mille watches are perhaps the most expensive watches out of the 4 brands listed. The lowest priced watch can cost an upwards of $500,000 with some of the more luxurious watches costing an upwards of 20 million dollars, definitely putting it apart from the competition in terms of price and accessibility. But why are Richard Mille watches just so expensive?
The well the sheer price doesn’t even start with the internal mechanisms itself, but from the case. Because of Richard Mille’s unique styled cases, this is probably the most expensive and extremely hard to produce. The first thing you’ll notice upon seeing a Richard Mille watch is the distinctive curved decks and bezels which make them extremely difficult to put together. On top of this, the curved nature makes it also difficult to properly polish the curved surfaces, requiring complex techniques such as ultrasounding in order to properly polish the watch.
Another aspect that leads to the rather futuristic and post-modern look of these watches is the unique set of materials that are used in each watch. Everything from carbon fused with gold to nanotubes are utilized in these watches, offering not only a visually pleasing watch, but also one that is unbelievably sturdy. Therefore, it is no wonder that these watches last a lifetime (maybe even 2!).
Apart from the exterior finish and look, there is also a lot of complex mechanisms running inside each watch, and these movements are not the typical movements that are seen in so many other watches. According to Mille who wanted a much more modernized outlook in terms of movement, his watch movements are coated in Titalyt, something that is not often used in other watch brands. The parts are also a mix of titanium and other metals that have been specifically picked to create Mille watches.
Overall, each aspect required years upon years of intensive research to properly select a design and materials to create a unique watch that is unlike any other. And this amount of research and ingenuity has required multiple teams of engineers and professional watchmakers to perfect.
There goes an incredible amount of thought and detail into any watch, but these four brands have truly mastered the art of watchmaking. Everything from marketing, to design, to the metals used, to even the internal mechanisms that make each watch operate have been thoroughly tested and are unique aspects for these four watchmakers that truly make them the best watches to own.
As such, it is not at all surprising to see the rather high price tag when taking into consideration the amount of meticulous work and dedicated research that goes into creating a long-lasting and beautiful timepiece. So the next time you’re on the market to purchase a reliable, beautiful, and unique watch, be sure to check one of these 4 Swiss watchmakers.