All three of these watchmakers are recognized and well respected. They each have a long history in watchmaking and in addition to being a luxury watchmaker, Cartier has also been known as the “Jeweler of Kings” with their very exclusive diamond and precious gem-encrusted jewelry.  Rolex is the most recognized luxury watch in the world.  Rolex watches go through very rigorous testing to provide above and beyond accuracy compared to most mechanical watches including the already highly-respected COSC chronometers.  Rolexes have excellent resale value and a higher average resale value compared to any other brand.   Talk about a long term investment for future generations begins right here.   The name of the game is always the bottom line; the price that you can sell these watches for is very high and will only get higher through the years.  Especially the price for selling your Rolex; that is always done at a premium.

Cartier was a world-renowned jeweler before being recognized as a major player in the watch industry. Their brand is listed as one of Forbes’s top brands worldwide and with their strong influence in high fashion they made wristwatches mainstream at a time when everyone carried pocket watches. Since then the watchmaker has produced many popular collections such as their iconic Tank series.

Many consider Cartier as more of a fashion brand than a luxury watchmaker and perhaps it’s because they are more famous as a ritzy jeweler and they just love bejeweled watches with diamond bezel designs. However, Cartier has made moves to change their opinions about their watchmaking skills with numerous horological innovations and iconic watches.

Quality is the most precious resource at Patek Philippe. The entire company is designed to support it. With the introduction of the Patek Philippe Seal in 2008 the company imposed rigid standards that often exceed normal industry standards. But the commitment to quality does not just apply to the watches themselves.

For the most part, every modern Rolex uses a round case shape. Any other shaped Rolex is very rare. Rolex used to make a few square-shaped watches such as ref 4470 and many of the older Cellini models were in fact square or rectangular in shape. At this point, almost all the modern Rolex watches are round, whereas Cartier has many case shapes from round and oval to cushion-shaped, tonneau, and of course, the many square-shaped or rectangular-shaped Tank watches.

Cartier watches come in many sizes from the very tiny 28mm for ladies to the oversized 44mm for men, Rolex, on the other hand, does have smaller watches but they start at a slightly larger size of about 31mm and go up to about 42mm. In the safe zone when it comes to size.

Cartier watches come in just about every available shape so in terms of variety, there are plenty of variations from which to choose.  Cartier watches are significantly more affordable when compared to Rolex. Although both brands have watches that have a list price below the $6,000 price point, a Cartier can be bought at full MSRP for under $3,000 compared to the cheapest new Rolexes with $5,700 list prices.

Quartz Watches

Rolex doesn’t produce Quartz watches anymore. Years ago they gave it a go and decided against it after most likely realizing it would hurt their brand. Quartz models are for those that don’t care about the esotericism and micromechanics of a complicated mechanical watch and prefer the highest accuracy possible. A quartz (battery-powered) watch will be more accurate than a mechanical watch. Cartier produced many beautiful luxurious quartz watches as well as mechanical watches.

Brand Recognition

Basically, you’ll get more comments and turn more heads with a Rolex. Rolexes have a distinct look. It’s very easy to spot one whereas Cartier makes so many different styles, shapes, and sizes that it’s often harder to recognize. Cartier is a very well-known brand but can’t really compare with Rolex who is the world’s most recognized luxury watch brand. A lot also has to do with their brand positioning and production figures vs huge demand.


Is Rolex more expensive than Cartier? An entry-level Rolex has a list price of over twice the price of an entry-level Cartier watch, making them more exclusive and less attainable to some.

It’s no surprise that many people looking at the so-called menu of watchmakers highly consider these big top three super-brands when shopping for a high-end, flashy timepiece.  Not only is it a self investment, but it is really an investment for your future generations and at times it can become nearly invaluable.

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