Audemars Piguet VS Patek Philippe
These two highly prestigious watchmakers go head to head in our expert comparison…but which brand makes the watch that is best for you?
This comparison of Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet encompasses two-thirds of the "holy trinity" of watchmaking with the only excluded party being Vacheron Constantin; the oldest of the three watchmakers. Inform yourself using our detailed comparison.
Audemars Piguet is a Swiss watchmaker that has been making history with its high-end watches for over 140 years (since 1875). Their brand recognition is primarily amongst watch collectors and horological connoisseurs. They are the 7th most recognized Swiss watch brand in the business. Their brand value is currently estimated at 961 million CHF. They have many iconic watches including the famous Royal Oak series with the waffle-patterned Tapisserie dial which was designed by the legendary Gerald Genta. If you prefer slim, this collection also has an ultra-thin perpetual calendar Royal Oak. You will find other popular series include the automatic Royal Oak Offshore diving watches, the classic looking Jules Audemars collection which includes chronographs, grand complications, their many new limited editions, and of course, their oval-shaped Millenary collection. This brand is always making exciting news in the watch business.
- An entry-level AP at list price, costs slightly less than a Patek Philippe. Both brands have an entry-level piece at as low as around the $12k marker with AP being only a few hundred dollars less.
- Resale Value
- AP watches have excellent resale values compared to most other watch brands. Some AP's have a higher resale value than certain Patek Philippe watches and vice versa. Aside from the specific model, the resell value also depends on other factors such as the condition of the watch, if it's still under warranty as well as if it has the original box and all original documentation.
- Audemars Piguet has a very large selection of watches that are in production and many more that are on the open market. A considerable amount of the still trending Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches can be found compared to other models from different AP collections. An AP is also (in most cases) slightly easier to come by than a Patek Philippe. Of course availability also highly depends on the model of the watch, the season as well as supply and demand.
- If you're looking for a more interesting looking watch, AP has many especially in the sports watches in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collections. These come on a rubber or leather strap, a steel bracelet, and even a precious metal bracelet. Patek Philippe is more conservative and classic on the design front, whereas the very popular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches are more out of the proverbial box when it comes to design with their octagonal shapes and avant-garde look.
- Brand Recognition
- Audemars Piguet is the 7th most recognized Swiss luxury watch brand in the world, whereas Patek Philippe is the 3rd most recognized Swiss watchmaker.
- Audemars Piguet is considered one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world and as mentioned earlier, is one of the "holy trinity" of watchmaking. However, Patek Philippe is held to a slightly higher standard than AP. Patek Philippe is an older company with several unique watchmaking achievements including the fact that they literally invented the wristwatch. For those in search of a museum piece, Patek Philippe also developed many horological innovations and produced one of the world's most complicated watches.
Patek Philippe Watches
This is a Swiss watchmaker that has been making high-end watches for over 178 years (since 1839). While the difference in age is only 36 years, a lot can happen in the world of watchmaking during that time. Patek Philippe is the 3rd most recognized Swiss watch brand in the industry. Their brand value is currently estimated at 1.885 billion CHF making Patek the 7th most valuable Swiss brand in the world. They have many popular watches such as the ladies Twenty-4 watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the classic Calatrava watches, the Nautilus, and the Grand Complications series with models such as the 5159j-001 which boasts a Perpetual Calendar, Moonphase Retrograde, and a hunter's hinged case back which lets you peek at the movement and cover it to protect it. Their complicated watches really showcases their horological superiority amongst other brands.
- Brand Recognition
- Patek Philippe is the 3rd most recognized Swiss luxury watch brand in the world, whereas Audemars Piguet is the 7th most recognized Swiss watchmaker. Their marketing slogan since 1966 is also one of the most memorable in the business. "You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation."
- Patek Philippe is held to a slightly higher standard than Audemars Piguet for several reasons. They are an older company with several unique watchmaking achievements including the fact that they literally invented the wristwatch. Patek Philippe also developed many horological innovations and produced one of the world's most complicated watches.
- Patek is more conservative and classic on the design front, which is great since most people looking for a Patek are looking for a dress watch. Audemars Piguet, on the other hand, is more out of the proverbial box when it comes to design with several very sporty looking collections.
- Resale Value
- Patek Philippe watches have a very high resale value compared to most other watch brands ( besides Rolex). Some Patek Philippe watches have a higher resale value than certain Audemars Piguet watches and vice versa. Aside from the specific model of the watch itself, the resell value also depends on other factors such as the condition the watch is in, if the watch is still under the manufacturer's warranty as well as if it has the original OEM box/case and all papers such as warranty, manual, original documents, etc. While this is great news for those looking to sell their watch one day, the bittersweet side is that it makes it harder to find a great deal on one in the preowned market.
- An entry-level Patek Philippe watch at list price costs slightly higher than an entry-level Audemars Piguet watch. Both brands have entry-level watches starting at around the $12k marker with AP being only a few hundred dollars less.
- Patek Philippe has a smaller selection than Audemars Piguet and Pateks are also slightly harder to come by than an AP watch. Of course, availability depends on other things as well, such as the model of the watch, the season, and of course, supply and demand.
Which of these brands is best for you?
Making a choice between these two brands is quite tricky since these two brands are so evenly matched. The best course of action is to determine what about a watch is more valuable to them. Choosing functionality over a brand first is always a safe way to go. Either way, you look at it, a savvy watch collector would recognize these two brands instantly. In terms of price, the watches from both brands begin at more or less the same price point so the value is pretty balanced. The demand for both watches is also almost the same.
In terms of prestige, Patek Philippe would be a great choice but in terms of what is more at the moment fashionable, AP is slightly ahead thanks to several very high profile celebrities such as Jay-Z and Arnold Schwarzenegger singing the praises of the Audemars Piguet brand and their iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches which used Gerald Genta designs. Then again, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is also a Geral Genda design, and Patek has a different approach where it doesn't worry about what is hip at the moment, since you're merely holding on to the watch for the next generation...and who knows what that will bring?.
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