Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

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Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by koimaster » March 14th 2021, 8:13pm

One of the things about the world of watches is that there are certain subjects that though they come up time and again, never seem to lose their ability to arouse controversy. Date windows are one subject, limited editions are another and of course, pretty much anything Rolex is a lightning rod for comments and often, acrimonious backs-and-forths between otherwise civil enthusiasts. Another such subject is the question of the so-called "Big Three" of Swiss watchmaking: Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe (you can say "Holy Trinity" too; some people do).


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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by bedlam » March 14th 2021, 10:31pm

Would they even make the top 10?
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by iwasbanned » March 15th 2021, 9:18am

Whether they make the top 3 or top 10 or whatever, really depends on criteria. if you want iconic designs with robust movements and reliability you don't get better than Rolex. There are probably a whole bunch of other combinations of criteria where Rolex finishes at the top. One can say it's all marketing, but that's not realistic, they've been doing it for so long that there absolutely has to be something to their watches, otherwise the marketing would have been copied already by everyone under the sun. Some have tried already.

For me, what sets Rolex apart from everyone is their designs. No one has as many iconic designs as Rolex. They are easily the most copied brand in the world for a reason.
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by boscoe » May 8th 2021, 9:19pm

I still have nightmares about a Rolex worshipper at a forum in another Galaxy far, far away.
For years, soured me on a very fine brad - with the patented Air of Superiority, koi notes.
But in my dotage, I've come to like Rolex despite the snob stuff. The designs and movements are classic and they hold their value, which I find very attractive.
I don't pay attention to AP or VC. Patek has replaced Rolex on my loathe list after they were caught manipulating Antiquorium auctions to boost the price of their old pieces as a marketing ploy.
Rolex ain't necessarily the bees knees, but the company does make a dependable watch that can take a whipping. I'm not sure there's a brand I like more.
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by Pubbie » May 9th 2021, 2:54am

Because Lange, which already has the measure of the Big Three, doesn't kill the Rolex, it doesn't even know what Rolex is. Here is a Rolex (excellent for mass production finishing), GS (just as good but actually hand finished and with a finished movement too) and a Lange. Sit down for the Lange!

https://youtu.be/hKrJOMaFuyA

But in terms of new-investor flexing and stockholder returnz, Rolex wins out :)
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by DoctorIvey » May 9th 2021, 6:08am

I think I can answer this question. In any field, there is a market leader, and an absolute best. I don't care if you're talking about watches, shoes, suits, bicycles, or barbecue grills. In order to be a market leader you have to make a certain amount of product, in order to have entered the consciousness of the general public.
Now, consider this: large production and absolute best rarely go hand in hand. Thus, you end up with, inevitably, two camps. That's why one brand can have virtually all of planet earth believing it is the best, while a handful of true snobs disagrees vehemently.
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by boscoe » May 9th 2021, 7:37am

Well said, Doctor Ivey.
Rolex is, indeed, a quality mass produced brand, not necessarily the best watch on the planet.
@jason: Yes Timex takes a whipping and keeps ticking. Let's remember, watches are functional jewelry these days. You can buy stuff at Kay Jeweler's but it's not the same quality as Tiffany even when you take away the blue box, Same with Rolex. Quality work. Price and relative value are entirely different subjects.
(God, I can't believe I'm actually saying positive things about the brand.)
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by jason_recliner » May 9th 2021, 8:34pm

boscoe wrote:
May 9th 2021, 7:37am
Well said, Doctor Ivey.
Rolex is, indeed, a quality mass produced brand, not necessarily the best watch on the planet.
@jason: Yes Timex takes a whipping and keeps ticking. Let's remember, watches are functional jewelry these days. You can buy stuff at Kay Jeweler's but it's not the same quality as Tiffany even when you take away the blue box, Same with Rolex. Quality work. Price and relative value are entirely different subjects.
(God, I can't believe I'm actually saying positive things about the brand.)
Oh look, I'm not saying Rolex is anything like the same quality as Timex. They are very high quality mass-produced goods, no doubt. The issue for me is that they're priced like something far more special - up there with high end luxury watches and even haute horology - when they are merely well made basic functional watches. I like high quality mass-produced goods - who doesn't? - but I like them to be priced accordingly.
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by jason_recliner » May 9th 2021, 11:15pm

DoctorIvey wrote:
May 9th 2021, 8:41pm
You can't blame Rolex though. The market, to a large extent, dictates the price. Check this out:https://www.watchuseek.com/threads/fs-r ... t-53434427
Rolex sells this watch for $5,600, and this bloke is selling it for $16,200.
Yep. I don't blame Rolex. I don't blame the people selling Pokemon cards for $50k either. But it doesn't interest me much.
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Re: Why Isn't Rolex One of The Big Three'?

Post by DoctorIvey » May 10th 2021, 7:07am

It is amazing what people will pay for things, isn't it? The art world is especially baffling.
Consider this though: as late as 1975 a guy (in Berkeley California) bought a Ferrari GTO for thirteen thousand dollars. Fast forward to 2018 and the guy who owns Weathertech (great floor mats, by the way) bought one for seventy million dollars. That's $70,000,000 U.S. dollars. (I am not wealthy, and I know i'm a bit cheap, but that seems like a lot of money to me.) Conjurer informs me that's about three years accrued GDP, or over six hundred trillion of your dollars. And I have it on good authority that guy in Berkeley got an ear full from his wife when he spent the thirteen grand.
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