When you hear of high-end watches, Rolex easily comes to mind. But there are other contenders in that space that can provide the level of style, elegance, functionality, and quality expected of a luxury brand, and one of them is Cartier.
It would be interesting to see how Cartier would do against Rolex, especially if you’re looking into buying either from these brands. Here’s a benchmark that will help you decide which watch brand is more suited to your style and budget.
Cartier is a renowned jeweler before it dived into the watchmaking industry. It’s hailed as one of the best high fashion brands, according to Forbes’ list. As a fashion brand that started in 1847, it is one of the pioneers that helped popularized wristwatches when pocket watches were the trend.
Cartier used to be considered as a fashion brand and not a luxury watchmaker. However, by developing numerous horological innovations and iconic watch models, they’ve been elevated to a prestigious status worldwide.
The Tank and the Santos collections are two of the oldest products of Cartier that remain to be relevant and widely popular to this day.
- Watches come in a variety of shapes and sizes for men and women
- More affordable compared to Rolex watches
- Cartier produces both mechanical and quartz watches
- Not as easily recognizable as Rolex
- Not as accurate as a Rolex watch
- Lower resale value
Rolex was established in 1905 by Hans Wildorf but the company didn’t start producing wristwatches right away. It may have taken them a couple of decades before they released a wristwatch, but the moment they did, they got the attention of the whole world.
In 1926, Rolex released one of the world’s first water-resistant watch. This was followed by the production of the company’s first in-house movement. Several years later, the company churned out several timepieces under the banners Datejust, Submariner, Deep Sea, and GMT Master. All these and more remain to be the most iconic watches to this day.
- High accuracy on watches
- Higher resale value
- Large selection of fine watches
- Variants look almost the same except for a few color changes
- Expensive for the basic features of the watch
- You’re stuck with a circular shape watch
Compare Cartier vs Rolex
Here are the major points between Cartier and Rolex to consider before buying any of their products.
Movements and Quality
Rolex continues to be praised for decades for the accuracy of their watches. Each product they release undergoes rigorous testing to attain very high precision standards. Their COSC-certified chronometers have an accuracy of -/+2 seconds per day, and there’s nothing that can beat this record among mechanical movements.
Cartier doesn’t have the same focus for precision as much as Rolex does, but their watches have an acceptable movement accuracy. Cartier also uses quartz movements which might turn off some enthusiasts, given that luxury timepieces should be fitted with mechanical calibers expected of their price range.
In terms of steel quality often used in cases, nothing tops Rolex’s 904L stainless steel alloy that’s resistant to corrosion and scratches. But that doesn’t mean Cartier is less sturdy since every watch they create is designed to withstand typical bumps and drops.
Style and Variety
When it comes to style, Rolex has a sportier look with an ostentatious twist. Many Rolex watches make use of components made of gold, precious gems, and other flashy materials. Most of their watch models are also versatile, allowing you to wear them for casual and formal use.
Cartier has dressier watches that are perfect for formal use. Many of their creations have a more peculiar look compared to other timepieces, and this gives them a trademark style that other fail to offer. So, in terms of variety in shape, Cartier has more to offer than Rolex.
Rolex is the most prominent and easily recognizable Swiss watch brand in the world, and it has always been this way for decades. The brand itself is associated with luxury, so wearing a Rolex is a statement of your status in life.
Cartier is also a high fashion brand that has a solid reputation in the industry. Cartier obviously loses in popularity compared to Rolex, just like any other brand would.
Rolex has a five-year warranty on its watches. The guarantee excludes theft, loss, damage from misuse, or natural wear-and-tear.
Cartier, on the other hand, has at least a two-year warranty. It can be extended up to 8 years if the watch is registered with Cartier Care.
The cheapest Rolex watch you can get your hands on is the Oyster Perpetual which costs around $5,000. On the other end, Cartier, which is open to using quartz movement on their watches, has watches that cost a lot cheaper than Rolex. Cartier’s most affordable model will cost you only around $2,100.
Rolex has always been a conversation-starter, thanks to its undisputed reputation as one of the best high-end brands in the market. If you want the attention associated with the luxury and elegance of wearing a Rolex, then choose this brand by all means.
Cartier, on the other hand, exhibits subdued elegance. Not many will recognize a Cartier which is okay for those who don’t want to call too much attention to what they wear. If you prefer to wear an elite timepiece that will make you feel more exclusive without bragging it, a Cartier watch will be the best choice.