Why Is Rolex More Expensive Than Tag Heuer?

Why Is Rolex More Expensive Than Tag Heuer?

Luxury watches are a high-priced item that you can pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for. If you’re investing in this kind of timepiece, it’s important to know your watch brands so you can make the right investment. Rolex watches are certainly among the most expensive options on the market — with good reason. If you’re torn between a Rolex and a TAG Heuer, you may want to read on for a better understanding of all that you’ll get if you go for the Rolex.

The History of Rolex

Image of a rolex

Rolex got its start in 1905 as the timepiece company Wilsdorf and Davis. However, Hans Wilsdorf —the founder — wasn’t content to stick with traditional timepieces. His interest in perfecting wristwatch technology led to many essential advancements in the industry. In 1910, Rolex produced the first wristwatch that was able to earn the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision from Bienne’s Official Watch Rating Centre. In 1914, Great Britain’s Kew Observatory gave a Rolex watch their class “A” precision certificate, previously reserved only for marine chronometers.

In 1915, Wilsdorf and Davis became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. The business moved to Geneva in 1919, resettling in a city known for its watchmaking prowess. Rolex created the first dustproof and waterproof wristwatch in 1926, dubbed Oyster. The next year, this watch proved its durability as it survived a 10-hour swim across the English Channel on Mercedes Gleitze.

The innovation only continued from there. Rolex invented and patented the first self-winding mechanism with a perpetual rotor in 1931. In 1945, the Datejust became the first self-winding wristwatch to have the date on the dial. The Submariner was launched in 1953, debuting as the first divers’ watch that proved waterproof to a depth of 100 meters. In 1960, the experimental Rolex Deep Sea Special went over 100 times deeper to 10,916 meters with Jacques Piccard. Rolex’s dedication to innovation and improvement is unparalleled in the watchmaking industry, which is one of the reasons the brand can command high prices.

The History of TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer was established much earlier than Rolex, getting its start in 1860 when Edouard Heuer started producing pocket watches at a shop on his family farm. In 1869, Heuer patented the crown-operated keyless winding system. Heuer went on to patent an improvement on the oscillating pinion in 1887. The company moved its precision chronograph from pocket watches to wristwatches in 1914, though it continued to focus heavily on stopwatches as well. In 1958, the company abandoned simple wristwatches entirely for wrist chronographs, dashboard timing instruments, and stopwatches designed to serve in racing and athletics.

TAG Heuer continued to focus heavily on racing watches through the 60s and 70s. In 1979, the company introduced its first dive watch and began to explore this segment of the industry, where Rolex had already been a leader for decades. Though the company continued to innovate, its earlier styles retained incredible popularity, and in the 1990s, many classic 1960s chronographs were relaunched. Designs in the 2000s hearkened back to the styles of the 1980s. 

Though TAG Heuer is undeniably within the realm of luxury watches, it’s a relatively affordable brand for the industry. Some refer to this as a value-added luxury brand. Even a cheap Rolex can easily be more than three times the price of a TAG Heuer.

Rolex vs. TAG Heuer Components and Construction

Rolex is far more traditionalist than TAG Heuer when it comes to watch construction. It’s difficult to know everything that goes into the making of a Rolex, because the company guards its production so carefully. However, the available facts make it clear that Rolex goes above and beyond in all areas.

Rolex doesn’t outsource any of its parts, and keeps all construction in-house to ensure that every product meets the company’s meticulous standards. This even extends to the gold and platinum. Rolex is the only watch company to have an in-house foundry. The movements are all hand-assembled by skilled Rolex professionals who meticulously place each watch hand. 

While most luxury watch brands including TAG Heuer use 316L steel, Rolex uses 904L steel. This is a stronger and more corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Though it produces far better watches, this steel is also more expensive and more difficult to work with, which is why Rolex stands alone in the watchmaking industry for its use of 904L steel. Every piece that goes into a Rolex is of the highest quality.

Rolex vs. TAG Heuer Precision

One of the hallmarks of Rolex watches is the attention to detail. Every Rolex is checked and re-checked for total accuracy. Rolex watches are COSC certified by a third party for accuracy and precision as well. This ensures that every customer can shop in full confidence that they’re getting the most accurate timepiece on the market.

COSC certification is an added expense that TAG Heuer elects not to invest in. Though TAG Heuer claims that their accuracy could stand up to the test, the certification is simply something they elect not to get. This is likely due to the added cost. Since TAG Heuer doesn’t pursue COSC certification, they can pass some of the savings along to the consumer in the form of more affordable watches.

Rolex vs. TAG Heuer Reputation

If you’re looking for a wristwatch that people will instantly recognize for its quality and prestige, you can’t do better than a Rolex. Rolex is the most recognized watch brand on the globe. TAG Heuer is only the 12th most recognized watch brand from Switzerland. While you’ll still enjoy some prestige with TAG Heuer, a Rolex is an even bigger status symbol.

Whether you’re interested in purchasing a fine Rolex watch or selling a luxury watch you already own, we can help. Visit our team members at Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers to make sure your Rolex is real and find out what it’s worth or to find the next gorgeous Rolex that will grace your wrist.