This is a rather loaded question. But in reality, comparing Patek Philippe and Rolex is like comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they are both traditional Swiss brands with iconic designs and produce some of the best movements in the world. However, Patek Philippe produces far less than Rolex – one of the most recognizable brands on the planet – despite creating some of the world’s most complex movements. So, can you really put them in competition with each other?
Because fake Patek Philippe watches are so expensive, people tend to just assume they are better. However, while Patek Philippe and Rolex are both luxury watch makers, they operate in different markets in the luxury segment and produce very different quantities.
While neither Patek Philippe nor Rolex publicly release sales or production figures, industry statistics estimate that in 2017, Patek Philippe produced approximately 58,000 watches per year, while Rolex produced approximately 1 million watches. This puts the two brands in completely different markets – Patek Philippe’s market relies on extreme exclusivity, while Rolex’s is driven by mass demand. However, we should point out that certain models and reference numbers of Rolex are produced in smaller and more exclusive quantities than others, and that despite Rolex’s high production volume, demand still greatly exceeds supply.
There is a reason behind the exclusivity of Patek Philippe. While both companies produce exceptional Swiss timepieces known for their design and accuracy, Patek Philippe focuses heavily on haute horlogerie, grand complications and elegant dress exact replica watches. The uniqueness of Patek Philippe is directly related to the fact that it takes a lot of time to make these highly complex watches.
Rolex, on the other hand, is better known for its highly functional and iconically designed sports and tool watches-think Daytona, Submariner and Explorer. of course, Rolex also produces formal watches, and its sports watch collections often feature gold and two-tone designs that offer more stylistic versatility without sacrificing any functionality. However, some of Rolex’s most popular models are the stainless steel sports watches, popular for pairing luxurious finishes with durable, accurate and proven components that will last for years.
We could also point out that Patek Philippe has its own sports watches, such as the ultra-exclusive and fan-favorite Nautilus. But at the end of the day, Patek Philippe is more focused on luxury, complicated dress watches, while Rolex has a much sharper eye for luxury sports watches. The two brands have completely different specialties (and price points), so it’s hard to say that one is “better” than the other.