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Rolex and Cartier are two of the most well-known Swiss watchmakers in the world. Rolex is recognized for producing extremely high product quality, while Cartier is renowned for its impeccable sophistication, art influence, and quality.
But, which of the two watch brands do you think is the best? If you’re asking for advice on choosing between Rolex and Cartier, look no further. We created an in-depth comparison of the Rolex vs Cartier for you to decide.
This Rolex vs. Cartier comparison presents you with the information you need to help you decide which brand suits your particular needs.
In-Depth Comparison of Rolex vs Cartier Watches
Rolex is usually the first brand that comes to mind when people think of Swiss luxury watches. And that’s for a good reason. Interbrand, an agency that measures top Swiss companies’ brand value and popularity, considers Rolex the most recognized watch brand worldwide.
The British-founded Swiss watch manufacturer and designer has put much effort into achieving success in the watchmaking industry. And as a result, it was able to redefine winning as one of the world’s most reputable brands.
Cartier, on the other hand, is also an esteemed brand. With its strong impact on high fashion, Cartier produced many famous collections. One of those collections is their iconic Tank series.
The French luxury goods company developed not just watches but a whole range of luxury collections. That includes leather goods, accessories, fragrances, and high-end jewelry. But for this comparison, we’ll focus on their watches.
As a fashion brand, Cartier made wristwatches famous at a time when people carried pocket watches. And the watchmaker has, since then, produced many popular timepieces.
The Interbrand listed Cartier as one of the best global brands in 2021. It may not be as popular as Rolex, but it did achieve an amazing accomplishment. You can also expect people to turn heads everywhere with your Cartier.
Perpetual is the spirit that defines Rolex. Perpetual is the movement that operates on the energy generated by the wearer’s wrist movements rather than manual winding.
Accuracy – Rolex watches
Rolex uses its accuracy testing protocol called the Superlative Chronometer Standard. Once labeled as Rolex, that watch is guaranteed accurate (-2/+2 seconds per day.) Even their purely mechanical watches (driven by a mainspring and periodically would by a hand) lose only a third of a second every day, which is remarkable.
Accuracy – Cartier watches
Cartier has an accuracy of about -3/+7 seconds per day, although it still depends on the watch model. Newer Cartiers keep better time as they use manufactured movements. But whatever Cartier model you plan to buy, all of them are pretty good at keeping time.
And even if you observe that your Cartier watch is regularly slow or fast, a Cartier master watchmaker can carry out small adjustments to it to restore it. Both brands – Rolex and Cartier – are well recognized for being precise.
Read Next: My Rolex Date Doesn’t Change At Midnight
Now let’s go to other features, especially their water resistance.
Rolex has gone the extra mile with its water-resistance feature, especially in its Deepsea series. Would you believe it has up to 3,900 meters or 12,800 feet of water resistance? Extreme depth ratings of 1,000m and more are available only on hardcore dive watches, and Rolex meets such criteria. This fact alone makes a Rolex dive watch a worthy investment.
A system of seals ensures Cartier watches. Due to natural wear and tear, these seals can be placed under pressure. Cartier also guarantees optimal security of their watches in normal wearing conditions.
Cartier owners can have their water-resistance seals replaced once every two years (same period for a battery replacement if you use quartz watches). Its Calibre de Cartier Diver ADLC features 30 to 300 meters of water resistance. Both Rolex and Cartier produce excellent diver’s watches with great water-resistance features.
Style and Wardrobe Perks
Rolex has some of the most favored watches in terms of style. This brand has produced a combination of vintage and modern timepieces. Its 41 mm Rolex Submariner, for instance, has thinner lugs, a unidirectional rotatable bezel, and is virtually scratchproof. In addition, its color is unaffected by chlorinated water, seawater, and ultraviolet rays.
Rolex also uses high-quality leather or Role Oystersteel as their watch strap. The leather is designed to match seamlessly to various cases, while the Oystersteel is highly resistant to different forms of corrosion.
Meanwhile, Cartier produced truly stunning timepieces. Most of these watches are even ideal for any occasion. The Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch, for instance, has been dubbed the first pilot watch. It has exposed screws (a feature used by Cartier in its jewelry collection) and a geometrically-inspired shape.
Some Cartier models have a crown set, stunning sapphire crystal, and an 18-karat gold case. The Cartier Tank Française Watch uses a steel case with striking blue hands and 26 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Regarding watch straps, the alligator is king in Cartier watches. Most of its fantastic watches are fitted with a durable strap made from such material. They also have iconic watches made of high-quality stainless steel that are both durable and stylish.
Cartier’s designs often have unique configurations that set them apart from the crowd. With timepieces in every possible taste and shape, you can find Cartier watches that speak to your style preferences.
Rolex watches are pricey because they possess every attribute of a good watch. A Rolex watch can range anywhere between $6,500 to $75,000. Several factors affect a Rolex price, including complications, collection popularity, new movements, and materials.
Cartier also makes the best investment. Even an entry-level Cartier watch holds value, which may increase even if newer models are released. Cartier can range anywhere from $6,000 to $120,000.
Both brands are major players in the watch industry. So, they generally command money at resale. Watch collectors likewise prefer watches made in limited editions because they are harder to find in the next ten years. After all, not everyone would want to resell their beloved time-edition timepiece.
The resale value is something you have to consider when buying an expensive watch. Of course, Rolex and Cartier won’t disappoint you in this area.
Rolex shines brighter than Cartier or perhaps other watch brands. The reason is that Rolex has the “brag” in the watch industry. It is a luxury watch brand with the highest resale value worldwide. For example, on average, the Rolex GMT-Master II timepiece holds up to 118% resale value.
That doesn’t mean Cartier’s resale value isn’t good. Depending on the model, you can fetch a higher than average resale value for your Cartier watch. The Cartier Ballon Bleu has a resale value of $5509 on Chrono24. We understand why Cartier holds its value. After all, it’s known as the king of jewelers.
To maximize the potential resale value of your timepiece, keep the recipes, boxes, and paperwork of when you purchased the watch for the first time. These items can help make an accurate assessment of the timepiece’s value.
Is it worth it?
Both Rolex and Cartier watches are worth it – for many reasons. From the perspective of someone considering the opportunity to own any of these models (meaning these people have an open mind), we can say the two brands make a good investment. These brands don’t quickly lose their value over the years. They increase their worth over time, especially the Rolex watches.
Rolex Submariner is a timepiece to aspire to while Cartier’s Panthère watch showcases pure elegance. There are, of course, other watch models from these two brands. But looking at the two incredibly stunning timepieces, you know they are highly collectible and respected.
Read Next: Why Are Rolex Watches So Expensive?
Best Rolex Watches (Luxury Watches)
These Rolex watches were not designed just to look good but to last a long time. Some are even designed for adventurous purposes.
- Rolex Watch – Submariner
- Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
- Rolex GMT Master II
- Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 (2020)
Best Cartier Watches
These Cartier watches are known for their proportions, sleek aesthetic, and minimalism. They are among the favorites among men and women alike.
- W5200014 Tank Cartier Watch for Men
- Cartier Men’s W31077U2 Pasha Seatimer Automatic Watch
- Santos de Cartier Large
- Calibre de Cartier
- Ballon Bleu de Cartier
Who is it Best for?
Rolex is best for people searching for high-caliber watches – show time accurately and are reliable, robust, and sturdy. Most people who wear Rolex are detail-oriented men and women, with an average monthly net income of $9,000 to $10,000.
The brand founded by Louis Francois Cartier is best for people who value the highest quality in materials and watch craftsmanship. This long-established brand has been seen on celebrities’ wrists, like Anne Hathaway, Sienna Miller, and Dua Lipa.
Most people who wear Cartier are high-powered in their respective industries or earn a high income. Cartier watches have various materials, shapes, sizes, color selections, and designs. So, they have specific versatility that can fit people on different occasions.
People buy these watches to celebrate a major milestone in life or a big investment/ business deal.
What Do People Say About it?
A buyer of the Cartier Men’s W5200014 Tank Solo Large Stainless Steel Watch reviewed, “It’s a good buy. [It’s a] very nice watch – classy and neat.”
Another watch junkie, who purchased the W31077U2 model, wrote, “The Cartier watch I purchased was a splurge for me, a splurge I’ve waited and squirreled away money to purchase for many years. When I saw this new model in the Pasha line, I knew the time had come to act. I am happy I purchased it because the watch has a unique look.”
The DubaiExpat purchased the Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN. He reviewed, “The dimensions are perfect for medium wrists like I have. But you can also get away with it on bigger or smaller wrists. This is cool. [It features] one of the best bezels I know.”
Hodinkee wore for one week the 2018 Cartier Santos and said, “I like the mixture of brushed and polished finishes throughout [the watch.] The polished facets [added] some visual definition to the shapely case.”
On Reddit, one user explained why Rolex is highly valued. He wrote, “Almost every [Rolex] watch is COSC-tested to keep outstanding time. What you end up with is something you can count on to be incredibly reliable and durable.”
In another Reddit thread that asked about people’s opinion on Cartier, one shared, “I have an older Cartier Santos Galbee, and I love it. I don’t believe Cartier still relies on quartz movements, but that is the only gripe I’ve ever had with my watch—taking it off to shower and, consequently, remembering to put it back on.”
Final Verdict: Which Should You Buy?
Rolex and Cartier are excellent brands, not just because of their marketing. These watchmakers have gone above and beyond to meet the highest standards and deliver precise timepieces.
As to which brand holds its value the best, we would select Rolex. The process of designing and manufacturing a watch by Rolex is awe-inspiring. And each Rolex has numerous parts that are mostly created in-house. Even if Rolex uses components made by a third party, they only accept the best.
Rolex is the only watch company that everyone knows. The brand name has become a byword for exclusivity and luxury. Wearing a Rolex does not mean just wearing a watch. It’s a statement of prestige and power.
Of course, the thoughtfulness of Cartier’s design speaks for itself too. Cartier is centered around flash and fashion; every watch has the highest quality materials. Whatever brand you prefer, both guarantee star quality and reliability.
To learn more about watches, read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com.
My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.