Three luxury watch brands to try instead of a Rolex
- Rolex is by far the dominant luxury watch brand, with around a quarter of the global market.
- Classic watches are prized by collectors, but other brands are more exciting for watchmakers.
- Chrono24 CEO Tim Stracke shared three of his top picks at three different price points.
Since Rolex actually invented the category of wristwatches over a century ago, the Swiss brand has been a leader among collectors and watchmakers.
Even now, the company has a 25% share of the luxury watch market, nearly three times that of its closest rival, Omega, which has less than 9%.
Rolexes can hardly be found in new, while in the secondary market, the already high prices for watches are quickly reaching astronomical levels.
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So if you’ve decided to put a small fortune in a luxury watch and are open to Rolex alternatives, Insider asked Chrono24 CEO Tim Stracke to share some of his favorites.
For $ 3,500, you could get a Datejust…
Originally launched in 1945, the Datejust is about as classic of a watch as you can find. This entry-level Rolex has a classic silhouette and the heritage adorning some of the most distinguished wrists in history.
… Or a Nomos Club Sport
Nomos is a new watchmaker from Glashütte, Germany, which in-house produces movements with a Bauhaus aesthetic.
“If you like the simplistic design, I think this is the one for you, and I’m pretty optimistic that this is a brand that could be around 100 years from now, too,” Stracke said.
For $ 35,000, you could get a Yacht-Master II…
The Yacht-Master II has mechanical memory and a 10 minute countdown timer so you can make sure your sailboat is positioned to cross the start line at the perfect second. Not only is this a bold statement, but it’s also useful!
… Or an Antarctic Czapek
“Czapek was the guy who built watches over 100 years ago with another man named Patek,” Stracke said.
The separation of Czapek and Patek led to the legendary Patek-Philippe partnership, and now Czapek’s legacy is given new life as the brand was relaunched in 2015.
“I love the design, it’s a beautiful piece of incredible quality and more affordable [than Patek]”Stracke said.” Still expensive, but much more affordable. “
For $ 350,000, you could get a Daytona Platinum…
The Rolex Daytona is one of the most sought-after watches, period. Some options for the line include a platinum case with the glacier blue dial, a bezel with a rainbow of gemstones, or the legendary Paul Newman in gold and black Daytona.
… or a Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes
“Greubel Forsey has probably the most exquisite pieces on the market right now,” Stracke said.
Stracke says the founders told him “We are targeting people who own a yacht and they are bored because of the yacht.”
“This is probably the best of what you see in Swiss watchmaking today,” he added. “I don’t have one, but he’s on my Grail Watchlist.”