Blancpain vs. Rolex: Which is the Better Luxury Watch Brand?
Two giants of the watchmaking industry go head to head in this close comparison to decide which one tops each department of the complicated and sophisticated timepiece manufacturing. Watchmaking is an art, a feeling, and a way of living that comes from within.
Centuries ago, wearing watches was a style of the elite and the people who loved luxury. For years, brands like Rolex and Blancpain have developed watches to exceed the expectations of the wearer. These two brands’ success speaks for itself, and the fact that they are now known as two of the most premium luxury watchmakers around the globe is no hidden fact.
Over the years, both brands have manufactured timepieces with class, history, elegance, and sophistication. Both are a significant part of the perimeter brand list of the foundation of Haute Horlogerie, the most accepted organization for promotional and other purposes of Swiss watches.
As Rolex states, it is the Masters of Fusion, creating perpetual movements. On the other hand, Blancpain is a timepiece universe where different stars work together to fabricate the most luxurious time tracking galaxies. One can dive deep into this universe only to know it contains the most refined luxury watches complementing different lifestyles and preferences.
Luxury watchmaking is an art that not everyone can perfect; however, both have incorporated technology, art, and innovation in their watchmaking with these two brands under comparison. To compare these two, we need to cover each aspect and then decide the better one between the two.
Blancpain and Rolex are both dominant in horology, providing features above and beyond just time tracking. These complicated mechanisms bring out the best of the calibers from both brands. As Rolex has been at the heart of everything luxury, they take pride in creating each timepiece with utmost perfection and absolute fine craftsmanship.
Every watch is put together by people who are devoted to craft it with their hands. On the other hand, Blancpain makes sure to keep up with its brand mission, meticulous and passionate manual dexterity. They favor perfection in watches in the pursuit of excellence and precision.
Blancpain does not manufacture or sell any quartz/battery driven watches, developing mechanical watches only. It is a brand mark to work only in mechanics when it comes to watches. Quite similar to Rolex, they also manufacture each timepiece by hand, and no matter how much time it takes, that is the way they go by.
Since no assembling machines are involved in the manufacturing process, each timepiece contains a watchmaker’s trademark that made an effort to produce such quality. Blancpain is believed to produce watches for the connoisseurs as the target market.
Quality Control Measures – Blancpain vs. Rolex
Blancpain is the ultimate epitome of old fashioned handmade Swiss luxury watches. Each Blancpain timepiece is uniquely developed by a single craftsman showcasing faithful production. For that, they have specialized computerized software designed to create and design each movement for their timepiece.
A specific software program then measures the movement’s theoretical values, performance limitations, resistance, and reliability. Every individual timepiece goes through these intense tests, and once passed, it results in a traditional luxurious watch. Rolex also tests their watches in extreme conditions, such as the deep sea and high altitude mountains.
Brand Value & Manufacture
When you have the entire watchmaking procedure taking place in-house, the product is always one to look out for. Luxury watches are sophisticated complications that require several tests, keen interest, and focus on eradicating any imperfections.
The result that Rolex produces is a consequence of top quality development procedures. The dial on the watch, the stones used, the bracelet, the glass, the mechanism, shock & water resistance, assembling the components, even the tiniest tasks takes place entirely in-house at the prestigious location of Swiss watchmaking in Geneva, Switzerland.
One test, known as the “Chronometer test,” is the only thing Rolex does not perform in-house. Rolex is an independent watchmaker, belonging to the most exclusive club of 100% chronometer watches, certified by COSC.
Blancpain believes in doing everything with a touch of their old school traditions and modern techniques. Amongst the Swiss luxury watchmakers, Blancpain is believed to be the oldest of the lot; however, the brand had its tails of twists and turns in its leadership.
The brand currently operates under the Swatch Group with several other brands under its nose, such as Piguet. However, Blancpain claims to enjoy a certain degree of independence, even while being owned by the Swatch Group.
The brand has remained under different ownerships before merging with Frederic Piguet. Blancpain stands out from the rest, including Rolex, with having a dedicated division for golden and rare crafts. The division strives to find, engrave, and enamel each material with the utmost care and efficiency to convert them into brilliant viewable and incorporable forms.
Accuracy – Blancpain vs. Rolex
One can talk about the look, quality, and feel of a luxury watch, but a watch is probably not right there with the top brands without its accuracy. Both Blancpain and Rolex have made their watches accurate, so much that Blancpain and Rolex have collections of watches for divers, frogmen, and hikers.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is an all-time famous watch that became a French Navy trend, especially among combat swimmer units. This fact shows how a brand creates watches for high-end and elite users with specific requirements and needs.
Even underwater and high above the ground, the watches do not lose accuracy. For instance, the early models of Fifty Fathoms would not lose their underwater depth capabilities for up to 90 meters. The famous caliber 1315 enables Fathoms watches with a robust movement.
The idea with the development of this caliber was to cater to sports watches. This caliber’s precision is awe-inspiring, and it is no less than a treasure for a wearer. Since the first model, one can say that Blancpain has only been elevating its accuracy while increasing the capabilities for even more depth.
The mechanism, machinery, and efforts used in creating calibers define how accurate Blancpain watches are. These watches are so mechanically precise that one never loses time in years.
Rolex chronometers are highly accurate. As discussed earlier, premium watch testing takes place on Rolex watches at COSC. However, with the high standards it has, Rolex never settles for a single COSC test.
Once a watch is approved at the COSC, the Rolex watch goes through further in-house tests for maximum accuracy with no let-offs bared. However, this is a nail-biting contest between the two.
Resale Value & Price Difference
Blancpain vs. Rolex resale value is a crucial point in determining how well the brand sells overall. Blancpain as a brand might not be famous enough amongst regular collectors than Rolex, but the Fifty Fathoms collection and its ladies’ collection are ones to look out for.
The Fifty Fathoms is one of a kind, and no brand has succeeded in producing something quite incredible as this. A year or two years used Blancpain watch gives you a fair value of 80-85% on resale. Several Blancpain watches always stay in high-demand, which leads to price elevation even on a used watch.
Furthermore, Blancpain does not produce many pieces of Fifty Fathoms, so if you get one, you might be lucky. There have been talks about Blancpain not being famous enough, but the truth is that it is not recognized well within the US region. Europe has many admirers of this brand who collect Blancpain to add value to their already immaculate collection.
Both Rolex and Blancpain come in a similar price range. However, the pricing varies from product to product and for different collections. Rolex watches have pretty decent resale value, and they may have a higher demand.
In a nutshell, if we talk about a famous brand amongst the general population, it is Rolex. However, when it comes to prestige, you will find Blancpain to be the most prestigious. As standing for what the brand believes in since its birth, Blancpain tops the lot.