FAQs

The FAQs will clarify some of the questions that arise from ranking watch makers.  Undoubtedly some will be surprised and some disappointed to see their watch ranked lower than where they thought it would be.  On to some of the questions:

First of all a movement is referred to a watch’s motor that makes it function (gears, springs, circuitry, etc).  An in-house movement is defined as a movement that is built by the same brand that sells it as opposed to using an external 3rd party movement.   It is also worth mentioning that using an in-house movement is generally desirable over using 3rd party movements because it strengthens the brand’s sophistication and capabilities.

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Watch-Rankings.com analyzes the watch brands by researching the brand’s website, history, heritage and product catalog.  We research industry journals and blogs, consider where the watches are sold, read reviews and feedback on websites like Amazon or various internet boards.

We also factor in resale value on eBay or Chrono24. We take note of brands that attend and produce innovations at watch shows such as Baselworld.

We rank on a combination of the following criteria:

  • Typical price point
  • Quality
  • Craftsmanship
  • Brand heritage
  • Innovation
  • Exclusivity
  • Materials
  • Serviceability

Update 12/5/2020 – Below is an example of how a brand is ranked:

1. The Omega website is accessed to view the collection which as of this date contains 79 current watch models: https://www.omegawatches.com/en-us/suggestions/omega-mens-watches?product_list_order=price. They are exported finding the cheapest Prestige at $3,750 with the outlier Tourbillon at $176,500. The Tourbillon is excluded as outlier because that’s not the “Typical” watch that the brand makes. The watch before the Tourbillion is the $42K Seamaster which sports the “Typical” Co-Axial movement that Omegas have. The average retail price for the 78 watches (excluding the Tourbillon) is $9,002.60. A sample of that data is below.

$3,750.00
$3,750.00
$3,850.00
$3,850.00
$3,850.00
$4,900.00
$4,900.00
$4,900.00
$4,950.00
$5,200.00
$5,200.00
$5,200.00
……
$7,450.00
$7,600.00
$8,300.00
$8,750.00
$8,750.00
$8,750.00
$8,900.00
$9,000.00
$9,100.00
$9,600.00
$9,700.00
$9,750.00
$9,950.00
$10,500.00
$10,500.00
…….
$12,600.00
$13,400.00
$13,400.00
$13,800.00
$16,200.00
$17,050.00
$20,650.00
$21,400.00
$30,700.00
$42,000.00
$176,500.00

This creates a starting point to place Omega into the 3-Star Luxury Watches (Swiss) category $5,000 – $10,000. I know from experience that Omega’s advertised retail prices, like Rolex, are real. They are not inflated like lesser brands. I’ve gone to local stores myself and have seen the same prices. So I know that that’s how much they sell for.

2. Let’s check whether the other attributes match for that category:

$5,000 – $10,000 – Yes
Respected Heritage/Pedigree – Yes
High resale values – Yes
Mass Production, some rare pieces – Yes
Quality Automatic Movements, some In-House – Yes
Great Craftsmanship – Yes
Some Precious Metals and Stones – Yes
Sapphire Crystal – Yes

I could just stop there but, let’s have a look at the other markets like eBay and/or Chrono24.

3. Chrono24.com indicates 34,697 Omegas as of 12/5/2020 at 7PM https://www.chrono24.com/omega/index.htm?dosearch=true&query=Omega. Of those, I use the price filter to look at the distribution. Here’s what I find:

$0 to $1,000 = 2,010 watches (some of these are parts or vintage so take this with a grain of salt)
$1,001 to $5,000 = 15,664 watches (a lot of these are used)
$5,001 to $1,0000 = 10,322 watches (a lot of these are used)
>$10,001 = 4,364 watches (these are precious metals or special movements, etc)

Note: Those add up to 32,360 while overall the site showed 34,697 Omegas. This is a problem with the site’s filters.

I observe that most of their watches, 27,000 or so are indeed within the less than $10,000. This tells me that their watches typically don’t sell at more that $10K which would be the next level up.

While there are 15,664 watches between $1K and $5K, there are 4,364 that cost more so really the average should be somewhere between $5K and 10K. This once again confirms that in the market Omegas are typically between $5K and $10K.

The Rankings has this delineation between Swiss or Other Countries. The alignment is done by current ownership country and not by where the watches are typically made (i.e. Swiss Made) or where the brand was first started.

By the way, the reason the brand is aligned with the current country of ownership is because that’s more important than the original country. It’s sort of like a citizenship status. A brand can change country of ownership over time many times. What’s important is the current country. But I recognize the original country as well because that’s also sometimes important to know.

Another thing to look for is how the brand fared through world wars or the quartz crisis. Many brands went bankrupt during those times and when they were resurrected sometimes, they were not the same brand after. An example is Universal Genève which was a 3 Star Luxury Swiss brand and became a 2 Star Basic Luxury ranking after it was resurrected by a Hong Kong company Stelux Holdings International, Ltd. In 1989. So we literally have the brand listed twice with the year annotation to differentiate before and after.

So let’s break down Omega.

4. I look at the brand’s own history/heritage information. As expected Omega has a solid history with a Chronicle starting in 1848 all the way up to 2020 here https://www.omegawatches.com/en-us/chronicle. While that’s impressive, the presentation is more of a marketing tool and hard to extract the actual details.
So I looked at the Omega Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_SA and found that the brand nearly went bankrupt in World War 1. They merged with Tissot to form the SSIH Group. Then in the 1980’s quartz crisis they once again merged with ASUAG which eventually became the famous Swatch Group.

Sometimes the website doesn’t is elusive about the ownership or country so more research is needed but Omega is pretty straight forward.

So Omega is part of the Swatch Group which is a Swiss company therefore Omega is a Swiss brand. It gets placed into the Swiss Watch group and since it’s owned by an umbrella company that gets noted as well.

CONCLUSION:  I conclude that Omega is in the 3-Star Luxury Watches (Swiss) category $5,000 – $10,000. In addition the brand gets the red heart symbol because of the credibility, their style, their heritage, movements, quality, etc. It’s a solid brand.

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As our watch ranking indicates Patek Philippe is in a whole different category when compared to Rolex.  While Rolex is the most well known watch brand in the world, Patek Philippe is at a whole different level of sophistication and class.

 

Rolex is great because it makes everything in its watches in-house and at the highest level of quality.  They achieved remarkable quality levels even though they mass produce watches.  They build a great product and were very successful to market their brand name worldwide.

 

Patek Philippe also makes its parts in-house, but they go the above and beyond.  Patek Philippe’s watches are much more refined in terms of detail in the movement and in complications.

 

For example they polish every part in their movement whether it is visible or not.  Also, they’ve kept records of every watch they made and as a result are the only manufacturer who can restore any of thir watches – even those dating as far back as 1839.  With a Patek Philippe you know you’re getting the finest possible craftsmanship.

 

While everyone in the world knows about Rolex only those with some horological knowledge know about Patek Philippe.

 

 

  • If you look at the website, yes, but try actually buying the model you want. Unless you’re, like, the Pope or something, good luck.

  • If you want a rare model yes, you need to be loaded and special. But, Patek makes a lot of models and for the most part if you have $50K you can buy one on Amazon.com or other online retailers. Most people won’t know a) what a Patek is and b) how much it cost and c) not know if it cost $50K or $500K.

    • My favorite. I would buy one but, unfortunately, im poor. If someone who is filthy rich could find it in their heart to bless me with one I would graciously accept and be most appreciative.

  • I personally would rather buy the Patek Philippe over the Rolex. Why? Well, first, everyone and their brother has a Rolex, especially where I live. Those in the know will recognize what I’m wearing and quite honestly, I’m wearing it to please myself, I couldn’t care less about what others think. Buy what makes YOU happy, life is too short to worry about what others will approve of.

    • Why do you want a Patek over a Rolex again? Read your answer & you’ll see that you care about what others think, like most people.

  • I own a patek Philippe watch that I was presented when I lived in Saudi Arabia in 1978.
    I need to know its value today. Who should I ask for it’s model and serial number. It is a mechanical watch with a moon phase. I live in Canada.

  • Patek IS in the Ultra luxury Category. Some of their watches sell for millions. There is nothing more refined than a Patek Philippe.

    • While we agree that Patek Philippe is probably the best watch brand in the world making refined quality time pieces second to no other manufacturer, the brand does not get awarded the Ultra Luxury 5 Star ranking due to the number of watches that they make. In other words, it’s due to the lack of exclusivity.

      Specifically, visiting https://www.patek.com/ and clicking “Collections” you will find that there are 9 which is not a lot but factoring in the Models under each collection you’ll find that there are a total of 173 Models. That’s a lot.

      If you were to spend $500K on a watch, how “special” or “exclusive” would you feel if presented with this catalog? https://www.patek.com/en/collection/all-models (keep scrolling down what seems to be a never-ending page)

      Compare that experience with a catalog like a Bexei watch (http://www.bexei.hu/) or a R. W. Smith (http://www.rwsmithwatches.com/watches/ where they only make a few timepieces per year.

      One has to know about what is a quality horological timepiece and be able to both afford the cost of an Ultra Luxury watch and value exclusivity in order to buy an Ultra Luxury watch.

      Put another way, at a social engagement an Ultra Luxury watch will stand out from among the Patek Phlippes that others may wear. Chances are that there won’t be another watch like yours. And for the statistically remote chance that there is another, you’ll both be top dogs and everyone else will not.

      Hope this explanation helps.

      • I do not understand what you are trying to point out. A Patek was made for the person to wear so to know the time by a nearly flawless mechanical mechanism. All this vain talk about Luxury and here Ultra Luxury only cheapens the watch and insults the watchmaker who made it. A Patek as well as a Breguet, Rolex, Seiko, and Timex are horological time pieces to be respected as such – nothing more except if you need something for a purpose such as the Rolex Explorer or Submariner/Seadweller, etc. In 1978 my $550.00 Rolex DATE (some call entry-level Rolex) together with a brass sextant, without flaw, aided in my navigation under sail across the North Atlantic from Cape May to Den Helder and I admit the Submariner would have been a better choice due to wrist band security and crown protection. But the DATE 15000 chronometer inside her oyster case did the job which has been serviced only once in 1990 by Robert Mills in Philadelphia and still keeps under two seconds – slow per day nearly fully would. Yes, I have a collection of Rolex’s as well as the Patek Calatrava’s and a Breguet that are necessary to a collection that I hardly consider luxury.

  • Justice Roberts wore one, while he was at Trump Impeachment hearings at the US Senate. Any details? He is a public figure.

  • I found Patek Phillipe Geneve in an old small wooden box. I went to your website but could not find a price on it. It was given to me as a gift by my husband in about 2010 or early 2011. Could anyone tell me what it might be worth? I plan on keeping the watch. In fact I am wearing it right now.

    • I do not know why you would want to know what your Patek is worth except for estate valuation and insurance purposes. But if you insist – the best market for anything like a Patek would be by your better auction houses such as Christies or Sotheby’s – get their sales catalogs for past and upcoming auctions and make your comparisons, or they may conduct an appraisal for a fee. If you plan to sell your watch – GO TO THEM or even Tourneau, and not a fly-by-night outfit for there are many. Have your watch serviced (cleaned and oiled and replace any worn parts) only by PATEK – see their YouTube production on this. You WILL pay a lot but what you will get back is a practically brand-new watch – fully warranted by Patek. Then, along with Patek’s service papers and receipts take it to any of the world-class auction houses and insist on the better price for what you invested. But I can not see why you would want to part with that special watch your husband gave to you.

      • Thank you Matthew. This is wonderful advice that most of us would not be aware of. We are grateful to you. But may I ask, is it possible to provide it without judgement? Not all of us understand the value of heirlooms, or perhaps, may have come on hard times and are considering exchanging prized possessions for basic needs. A desire to share knowledge does not always go hand in hand with kindness, though it most often should.

    • I recommend you do some research for the exact model. Depending on how rare it is it may be difficult to estimate it. If the watch is genuine you should contact Patek Phillipe to register the watch. Patek Phillipe is the only brand that keeps owner records. It has services that other brands don’t. Enjoy your quest. Post back what you find.

  • Many watches get stolen.sophisticatoon is a state of mind.wearing designer clothes doesn’t make you sophisticated.even lifeless dummies in the window wear designer clothes.I dated an Italian women many years ago.alone,aloof, unparalleled.she had many Patel Phillip timepieces which I never noticed until she told me it makes her feel like a lady.so if it makes you feel your best and it’s already a cut above the rest then wear with pride that’s sophistication.Going everywear pompous,and telling everyone that your a lady means your not?some things in life are just so refined but not all people pecieve them .Patek phillipe is unequivocally a master piece of design ..better to buy old masters they fetch much better than old mistresses!

  • I do not understand what you are trying to point out. A Patek was made for the person to wear so to know the time by a nearly flawless mechanical mechanism. All this vain talk about Luxury and here Ultra Luxury only cheapens the watch and insults the watchmaker who made it. A Patek as well as a Breguet, Rolex, Seiko, and Timex are horological time pieces to be respected as such – nothing more except if you need something for a purpose such as the Rolex Explorer or Submariner/Seadweller, etc. In 1978 my $550.00 Rolex DATE (some call entry-level Rolex) together with a brass sextant, without flaw, aided in my navigation under sail across the North Atlantic from Cape May to Den Helder and I admit the Submariner would have been a better choice due to wrist band security and crown protection. But the DATE 15000 chronometer inside her oyster case did the job which has been serviced only once in 1990 by Robert Mills in Philadelphia and still keeps under two seconds – slow per day nearly fully would. Yes, I have a collection of Rolex’s as well as the Patek Calatrava’s and a Breguet that are necessary to a collection that I hardly consider luxury.

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    While Patek Philippe has some of the most expensive watches in the world the brand fails in the exclusivity category.  Even though Patek Philippe has some of the most, perhaps the most rare, distinguished and desirable time pieces they also mass-manufacture many time pieces which knocks them one level below makers that have full lines of rare watches

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