Patek Philippe vs Audemars Piguet: Brand comparison

Patek Philippe, established in 1839, crafts classic, intricate timepieces that are investments as much as heirlooms, with prices starting around S$26,600.

Audemars Piguet, founded in 1875, is synonymous with bold innovation and modern luxury, offering slightly more accessible entry points from S$22,600. 

Both brands boast watches that hold their value and can appreciate over time, making them coveted assets for collectors. 

This comparison explores their heritage, iconic designs, and the tangible investment value they offer, providing insights for enthusiasts.

Comparison Table

Feature

Patek Philippe

Audemars Piguet

Brand Recognition

Holds the 3rd place for most recognized Swiss luxury watch brand

Ranked as the 7th most recognized Swiss watchmaker

Signature Collection

Famous for their elegant, classic designs including the Nautilus collection

The Royal Oak series is highly sought after for its luxury sports watches

Water Resistance

Ranges from 60 to 120 meters in the Nautilus model

Up to 50 meters in the Royal Oak model

Price Range

Entry-level pieces starting from approximately S$26,626, known for their prestige pricing

Entry-level watches start at around S$22,632; recognized for slightly more accessible pricing

Heritage

Dating back to 1839, revered for tradition and exclusivity

Founded in 1875, known for innovation and craftsmanship

Market Position

Holds a long-standing reputation with collectors and connoisseurs of classic watch styles

Popular among newer generations seeking contemporary design

Entry-level Pricing

Entry-level watches tend to be more expensive compared to Audemars Piguet

Generally the entry-level watches cost less by a few hundred dollars

Patek Philippe, esteemed for its heritage since 1839, is celebrated for classic designs like the Nautilus and boasts high brand recognition.

Audemars Piguet, known for innovation since 1875, captivates with the Royal Oak’s luxury sports appeal and offers more accessible pricing. 

Both brands exhibit excellence in craftsmanship yet cater to distinct audiences: Patek Philippe attracts traditionalists, while Audemars Piguet appeals to a contemporary, design-forward demographic.

Brand History and Recognition

Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are two of the most prestigious names in the Swiss luxury watch industry. Both have histories dating back over a century, marking them as titans in the realm of horology.

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe (formerly Patek, Czapek & Cie), established in 1839 by Polish businessman Antoni Patek and Czech watchmaker Francois Czapek, is the world’s third most recognized Swiss luxury watch brand.

The two founders constantly disagreed and decided to part ways. Czapek went ahead to form Czapek and Cie on 1 May 1845. Meanwhile, Patek met his new partner, Adrienne Philippe, in 1844 in Paris during the French Industrial Exposition when he won a bronze medal award for his keyless winding and hand-setting system.

The new team formed Patek Philippe, but it wasn’t until 1851 that the brand’s name officially changed to Patek, Philippe and Cie- Fabricants à Genève. Its reputation has been built on a foundation of innovation and excellence in watchmaking. 

Its memorable marketing slogan, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation,” has resonated with customers since 1966, underlining the brand’s legacy and enduring value.

Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet, founded slightly later in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, is the seventh most recognized Swiss watchmaker. Known for its precision craft and bold designs, it has carved out a significant place in the luxury watch market, especially with its iconic Royal Oak model, which is a benchmark of modern luxury sports watches.

Both brands command significant respect and recognition within the industry for their commitment to quality and the art of watchmaking. Their names are often associated with timeless design, intricate mechanics, and investment-worthy pieces that signify status and taste to aficionados and collectors across the globe.

Brand Value

Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe hold esteemed positions in the Swiss luxury watch market, with brand recognition playing a critical role in their valuation. 

Patek Philippe is often cited as the third most recognized Swiss luxury watch brand globally. This distinction reflects a strong brand presence built over generations, enhancing its value among collectors and enthusiasts.

Although positioned as the seventh most recognized Swiss watch brand, Audemars Piguet embodies a unique blend of innovation and tradition, contributing to its substantial brand value. 

Its marketing slogan, known since 1966, encapsulates the brand’s ethos of timeless inheritance, whereby each watch is considered a treasure for future generations.

Their ranks signal the prestige associated with owning a timepiece from either brand. This prestige attracts a dedicated customer base willing to invest in their intricate watchmaking and heritage.

Several other factors contribute to their value:

  • Heritage and History: Both luxury watch brands have a rich history. Their long-standing tradition of watchmaking excellence and innovation has contributed significantly to its esteemed reputation.
  • Exclusivity: Both (especially Patek Philippe) produce a limited number of watches each year, which adds to their exclusivity and desirability. This scarcity factor often leads to high demand and long waiting lists for specific models.
  • Craftsmanship and Quality: The two brands are renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship, attention to detail, and use of high-quality materials. Their watches are often considered works of art and are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Innovation: Both brands (again, especially Patek Philippe) have a history of pioneering new watchmaking technologies and complications. PP holds numerous patents for its innovations and complicated watches, contributing to its prestige and value.
  • Resale Value: Patek Philippe watches tend to retain their value over time and, in many cases, appreciate. This is especially true for rare or limited-edition models, which can fetch high prices at auctions.
  • Brand Prestige: The brands are often associated with luxury, sophistication, and status. Owning either is seen as a symbol of success and discerning taste.

Customer loyalty to these brands is fueled by the perceptions of exclusivity and status, with both companies maintaining a strong commitment to craftsmanship. 

A Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet watch isn’t a mere accessory but an asset meant to appreciate over time, both in monetary and sentimental terms.

Iconic Designs and Collections

Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe are titans in the world of horology, boasting collections emblematic of their craftsmanship and aesthetic philosophy.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet

The Royal Oak is one of AP’s most famous collections (along with the Royal Oak Offshore) due to its contribution to the brand’s success. Let’s have a closer look at it:

It’s one of the most iconic and influential watches in the history of horology. It was designed by the renowned watch designer Gérald Genta and first introduced in 1972, not welcomed warmly at first with good reason.

It was the first luxury sports watch made from stainless steel, a material traditionally considered inferior to precious metals like gold. This marked a significant shift in the perception of luxury watches and set a new trend in the industry.

Design Elements

It features a distinctive octagonal bezel secured by eight hexagonal screws, giving it a unique and instantly recognizable appearance. The bezel is inspired by the portholes found on traditional diving helmets.

Additionally, it has an integrated bracelet, which means the bracelet is seamlessly connected to the case, enhancing the overall aesthetic and comfort.

Finally, it has a “tapisserie” dial, characterized by a waffle-like pattern. This intricate guilloché pattern adds depth and texture to the dial, contributing to the watch’s luxurious appeal.

Appeal

The RO challenges traditional watch design, becoming a staple for sports watches with luxurious appeal.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5970

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe also has several mouth-watering models that have catapulted it to the top over the years, but we’ll focus on the Nautilus.

It’s another iconic luxury sports watch that has become a symbol of elegance and sophistication in the watch industry. It was also designed by Gérald Genta and was introduced in 1976, four years after the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. 

Design Elements

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is characterized by its rounded octagonal bezel, inspired by the shape of a porthole found on transatlantic ocean liners. This design element gives the watch a unique and recognizable appearance. The bezel is gently curved, providing a subtle contrast to the angular edges.

Like the Royal Oak, Patek’s Nautilus features an integrated bracelet. This design enhances the watch’s aesthetic and provides a comfortable fit on the wrist.

It also boasts a horizontally embossed dial, which creates a distinctive texture and adds depth to the watch’s face. The dial is typically available in various colors, with the blue variant being one of the most popular.

Appeal

The Nautilus typifies elegance and has become a status symbol for collectors who appreciate its detailed craftsmanship.

Design Elements: At a Glance

Here’s a summary of the watches’ main design features:

Feature

Audemars Piguet

Patek Philippe

Bezel

Octagonal, with eight hexagonal screws

Gently curved

Bracelet

Integrated

Integrated

Dial

Features a ‘tapisserie’ pattern

Has a horizontally embossed pattern

Both manufacturers have consistently pushed boundaries. Their design elements—such as Audemars Piguet’s pioneering of luxury sports watches with the Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s expertise in combining sportiness with luxury in the Nautilus—have garnered worldwide acclaim. 

These collections have become more than mere timepieces; they’re a testament to the brands’ commitment to perpetual innovation and adherence to their rich legacies.

Price, Resale Value, Investment

When considering luxury timepieces from brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, price, resale value, and investment potential are significant factors.

Patek Philippe watches generally command a higher initial price point, with entry-level models like the Calatrava starting at approximately S$26,626 and high-end pieces reaching well over S$2 million. 

Due to their exceptional craftsmanship and limited production, Patek Philippe watches often retain their value and, in some cases, appreciate over time. Their timepieces are regarded as a stable investment, and some models, especially limited editions, can have substantial resale values.

On the other hand, Audemars Piguet also has a significant presence in the luxury watch market. While it may have a slightly more accessible starting price, its top-end models can still command lofty prices. 

Audemars Piguet’s sportier designs, like those from the Royal Oak collection, are particularly sought after in the secondary market, fetching high resale values, similar to or sometimes surpassing those of Patek Philippe, depending on the model.

Both brands are seen as sound selections for those looking to invest in a timepiece with the potential to maintain or increase in value over time. Their long-standing heritage, limited editions, and perennial popularity contribute to this potential, making them favorites among collectors and watch enthusiasts.

Brand

Initial Price Range

Noted For

Patek Philippe

$26,626 – S$2 million+

Stability & Limited Editions

Audemars Piguet

$22,632 – S$1 million+

Sporty Design & Strong Resale

Celebrities Who Wore Patek Philippe and AP

Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are prestigious watch brands often seen on the wrists of celebrities. With their exquisite craftsmanship and design, it’s not unusual that these timepieces are a part of celebrity culture.

In 2021, Audemars Piguet released a limited edition Black Panther watch that was notably admired by many celebrities. Patek Philippe watches also made quite an impression with pieces like the Tiffany Blue Patek Philippe, which stood out.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran, a renowned singer-songwriter, boasts a collection featuring both brands, including an esteemed Patek Philippe World Time valued at around $53,252.

Jay Z

Rapper and music mogul Jay-Z was seen sporting a S$214,339 Patek Philippe studded with nearly 60 diamonds.

Odell Beckham Jr

Athlete Odell Beckham Jr. wore an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, clearly enjoying the model’s unique blue ceramic case and perpetual calendar.

The fascination with these high-end timepieces among celebrities underscores their status as symbols of luxury and exceptional taste.

Comparison Table

Model 

Launch Price

Current Retail Price

Pre-Owned Price

Cartier Ballon Bleu Ref. W3BB0009

S$14,800

S$7,911

S$9,024

Cartier Panthere de Cartier Ref. W2PN0007

S$11,600

S$9,282

S$10,700 – S$13,800

Cartier Pasha Ref. W3140001

S$9,562.38

S$7,920.07

S$3,404.07

Cartier Tank Francaise Ref. W4TA0008

S$10,300

S$6,794

S$7,462

Cartier Clé de Cartier Ref. WA501010

S$22,491.99

S$12,404

S$13,810

Cartier Ballon Bleu Ref. WJBB0010

S$15,366.29

S$13,013

S$14,830

Cartier Panthere 18K Rose Gold Ref. WJPN0020

S$37,900

S$28,487

S$30,494

Final Word

For potential buyers, the choice between Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe ultimately depends on personal taste and the values they hold dear. Those preferring a bold, contemporary aesthetic may lean towards Audemars Piguet. 

Collectors who prioritize traditional craftsmanship and the allure of passing a timepiece through generations could find a Patek Philippe watch more aligned with their philosophy. 

Key Takeaways

  • Both timepieces are quality picks as they enjoy global recognition, a rich heritage, exclusivity, brand prestige, and quality craftsmanship.
  • Audemars Piguet is celebrated for its modern and sporty designs, making a statement with the Royal Oak line. In contrast, Patek Philippe is synonymous with classic designs and the art of complications.
  • Patek Philippe watches are generally more expensive than Audemars Piguet watches, retaining their value and even some models appreciating in value. However, some of AP’s top-end models can also command lofty prices.

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