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Top 10 Widely Recognized Luxury Watch Brands
And what brands are in each range? How do the major watch brands compare to each other? The actual relationships and who exactly is better than whom is highly debated among wristwatch aficionados. There are so many different attributes of each and so many different things that are important to each buyer or owner that a simple list of "the best" or attempts to rank the brands in detail would be fruitless. So this guide is merely a starter to help the beginning watch buyer understand the range of brands available. Rolex is covered in more detail here, because they are the single brand that has the broadest public perception of excellence. They have become the yardstick by which most watch layman discussions of the high end watch brands go by. Any mentions of specific brands in particular categories is intended as a general guide to get you started looking, but is in no way a definitive guide to all these brands have to offer. Beyond that, you will have to do more detailed research on the specific attributes of the watch and watch companies you find of interest to determine which are better for your specific wants and needs. Aren't Rolex the best watches in the world? Rolex is clearly the best known and most popular fine watch brand in the world. Rolex has long been known as a maker of superior watches. They pioneered and invented several major watch concepts, such as the first "certified chronometer," the first effective "waterproof" and dustproof watch casing, the first wristwatch with an automatic changing date, and the techniques used in mass-manufacturing of premium watches. It was in the 's that their reputation went from stellar to astronomical from being broadly publicized as the luxury wristwatch of choice of the so-called 'yuppie' movement of young, affluent people who enjoyed conspicuous consumption as a indication of their newfound status. Both the people who embraced and those who decried the yuppie image were very effective in making the name of Rolex a household word. In that time, Rolex prices took a stellar rise to match their popularity. Models in finer metals took even more dramatic increases, leaving many existing owners to joke about the newer models now being made of "unobtanium. Rolex are individually handmade watches--Most Rolex watches are mass-produced by highly efficient factory machines using a number of techniques pioneered and patented by Rolex. Rolex makes in the vicinity of 1,, watches a year. They do have some very high end models and special editions that are handcrafted. Rolex are the most accurate watches in the world--Completely untrue. Spending thousands of dollars on a watch buys you the additional jewelry features of the watch. It does not buy you a more accurate timepiece. A Rolex watch takes a year to make--While Rolex has claimed this in their advertising, they have never explained any tangible basis for this claim. This is meaningless advertising fluff to give the romantic illusion that there is a craftsman laboring over your watch for a year to bring it to perfection. This is intended to obscure the fact that they are really mass-produced. Rolex watches are a good buy because they have a high resale value--While they do sell used at a higher percentage of their original retail price than many other brands, that does not mean they are always good investments or safer purchases than other watches. For more information on this, read the article in the Buyer's Guide section titled Watches with a good resale value are a good investment, right? So are Rolex the best? That depends entirely on your needs, perceptions, and what you want to get out of owning a fine watch. Rolex are extremely good watches with immense popularity and recognizability. But they are not clearly the best watch, best investment, or only fine choice you can make when purchasing an expensive wristwatch. Understand that you do have a number of fine alternatives ranging from comparable quality for a lot less money on up to infinitely more complicated handcrafted timepieces for even more staggering prices. The best watch purchase decision is one where you research all the pertinent information, but in the end make the decision based on what you feel most comfortable with. The truth is that there are millions of happy Rolex owners, as well as millions of happy owners of other high-end watch brands. If Rolex is not the only superior watch brand, why haven't I heard of these other watches? Popularity is only one indication of a superior product. In most cases, the general public knows only certain brands which were well publicized as the 'best of the best' and may be totally unaware of other equal or superior products that are available. If you asked the average person-on-the-street about watches, they would probably tell you the market starts with Timex and Casio, moves up to Seiko, then TAG, and reaches its epitome with Rolex. Yet the most popular or well known choices frequently are not what the true aficionado would select. I'm sure you would find your man-on-the-street sample would also be unaware of the true collectors' choices of wines, cigars, audiophile equipment, sports cars, or writing instruments. In many products, the well-known brands like Bose, MontBlanc, Sony, and Rolex dominate their markets from global name recognition. While they do have quality products, they are not always the only superior choice. Success can spoil the innovation, the competitive edge, and the uniqueness that was what built the reputation these companies and products enjoy today. Sure, if you want to impress the general public, you buy names anyone will recognize--sometimes even without regard to outrageous premium prices or quality and features that are less than one would expect from their "leader of the pack" reputation. What are the ranges of luxury watches available? What should I expect to pay and get within each range? This table is intended only to show very broad, general groupings of brands based on what each of these brands are most known for and what the bulk of their product lines represent. Many brands have a few special higher-end collections and some have lower-end models. High-End Luxury There are always superb options when money is no object. A particularly refined watch recognized only by people "in the know. In short, these are the Rolls Royce class of timepieces. Examples of Brands in this Range: Expect Retail Prices To Be:
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