Two watch brands immediately come to mind when looking for luxury watches: Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. These two Swiss watchmakers are well known for their exceptional quality and superior design with excellent art and craft. The two watches have gained loyal followings from collectors and watch enthusiasts.
There are three renowned watchmakers, known as Holy Trinity Watches. Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are among the three top watchmakers. Vacheron Constantin completes the list, but we will focus on Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.
They achieve high standards in style through innovation-based competition. This post compares Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet to help you choose one that suits your taste, style, and budget.
History of Patek Philippe
It all started in 1839 when Antoine Patek and Francois Czapek partnered to make pocket watches. From this time, their main focus was to make watches for the elite and royal members of society.
Later in 1884, Patek encountered Andrien Philippe, who had received an award for creating a keyless hand watch setting system. In one year, the two became great business partners, leading to the rise of the famous Patek Philippe watch brand.
Patek Philippe's Development
In 1845, they made the first pocket watch which featured Philippe's keyless winding hand-setting system.
Later, Patek thought of growing their company to serve a wider market. He went to the United States in 1851 and partnered with Tiffany & Co. (This partnership is still active to date.) The brand took part in an exhibition in New York City and came in second place in its category. Two years later, it also became position two at the World's Fair, performed in New York.
Patek participated greatly in traveling through the states of America to collect orders and ensure continued partnership with Tiffany & Co. Conversely, Philippe ensured that he made watches in the best style and design.
In 1863, Philipe created the first pocket watch named Tourbillon. The brand continued to grow, and in 1868, it made the first wristwatch with a chronograph, perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, and a split second hand.
The two friends continued to work together until Patek died in 1877. Philippe brought his son Emile Joseph into the business. After training his son for a few years, Philippe passed away in 1894, and Emile Joseph took the company.
To maintain his father's legacy, Emile Joseph partnered with a wealthy American Banker. This partnership gave the brand name immense recognition, ensuring the brand stays on top of the watchmakers' list.
Patek Philippe's Today
Patek Philipe has made luxury watches for famous people from around the world, including royalty and influential individuals. One Patek Philippe watch can take one to two years to make. Producing fewer models makes having a Patek Philippe special.
History of Audemars Piguet
The watchmaking company was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875. The two childhood friends reunited and started a business, leading to the famous Audemars Piguet watchmaking company.
Audemars was more technical and dealt with the production part of the watchmaking process. On the other hand, Piguet dealt with the regulatory sections. He checked each part of the watch, made changes if needed, and put everything together to create a whole watch.
Audemars Piguet Evolution
The creation of a minute repeater wristwatch in 1892 was groundbreaking. Years later, they produced a "Grande Complication" pocket-size watch. It continued selling well until Piguet died a year after Audemars died.
Audemars Piguet's Today
Even after many years of producing quality watches, Audemars Piguet continued developing new inventions and innovations. The Royal Oak collection has helped Audemars Piguet's maintain their legacy.
Patek Philippe vs. Audemars Piguet
1. Price and value
Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet provide entry-level watches that sell at almost similar prices. Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet have an entry price of $12,000. The Audemars Piguet watches cost just a few hundred dollars more than the Patek Philippe in some cases.
The two watch brands hold their true value very well. It is important to note that all the brands have, over the years, added value. This increase in value has enabled several vintage Patek Philippe watches to sell for millions of dollars at auctions.
2. Resale value
When you compare it with other brands, you will note that Audemars Piguet resales at good value. Patek Philippe watches also have a higher resale value than most of the other watch brands.
Typically, the resale value of most watches depends on the state of the watch at the resale time. Other factors like warranty, presence of the OEM box, availability of manual papers, warranty forms, and other factors also count.
3. Craftsmanship and Quality
Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are renowned for their superior quality. All the watches are handmade to ensure precision. Since everything is assembled by hand, it can take up to a year to produce one watch.
Both Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watchmaking companies use high-end materials to assemble the watches. You can get watches of gold, sapphire crystals, or diamond-cut materials and complexion. While designing, every company has a culture of using an in-house production pattern without necessarily comparing it with other watchmakers.
Audemars Piguet has many watch options available for purchase, both currently in production and already being sold worldwide. The most known and highly valued Audemars Piguet line of watches is the Royal Oak. It is easier for you to get an Audemars Piguet watch than a Patek Philippe watch brand.
Another factor determining the selection of either an Audemars Piguet watch or a Patek Philippe watch is the availability during the search. Availability greatly depends on the market season, the exact watch model, and the demand and supply rate.
While it is clear that selections depend on availability, it is also notable that the two watchmaking companies do not produce watches to fill the market. For this reason, finding a brand line to select from may not be as easy as it seems.
The two brands are both old and have attained great watchmaking legacies. These achievements have enabled the companies to grow quickly and gain prestige compared to other watchmakers. Both companies have managed to produce the world's most complicated watches.
Both watches are considered prestigious, but Patek Philippe is slightly above Audemars Piguet in terms of prestige. Patek Philippe is believed to have been the first company to invent a wristwatch, bringing about great development in the entire watchmaking industry.
Regarding design, Patek Philippe is highly conservative and has great design on the front. Most people who wear Patek watches always match them with their clothes. On the contrary, Audemars Piguet has a very sporty design. Most of its collections are sporty and very suitable for sporting activities.
7. Brand recognition
Patek Philippe has higher world market recognition compared to Audemars Piguet. As the Patek Philippe watch ranks as the third best among Swiss luxury watches, Audemars Piguet ranks seven. However, finding an Audemars Piguet watch is easier than finding a luxurious Patek Philippe watch brand. Patek Philippe has a unique marketing slogan: "You never actually own a Patek Philippe; you merely look after it for the next generation," which makes it a high-quality and memorable brand.
So Which Is Best: Patek Philippe vs. Audemars Piguet
Truthfully, deciding which is best when comparing Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet depends fully on individuals' preferences. However, if you want a modern and boldly designed watch, you can confidently go for Audemars Piguet.
On the contrary, Patek Philippe will serve you best if you are looking for a classic and timeless design. If you are unsure which of the two timepieces fits you, you can seek help and get the best watch for your taste.
The good thing is that both brands will provide exceptional craftsmanship. The decision is yours, but either way you can be confident in getting a good quality watch brand.
Choosing between Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watches can be tough as they are both well-known and respected brands. While they both have pros and cons typically, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The fact that there is very little disparity in terms of quality, design, and comfort; you can simply choose any.
Reach out to G&G if you need help deciding what luxury watch is best for you!