Everyone has a Rolex. If you don’t have a Rolex by the time you reach 50, then you have clearly failed in life.” Some of you – at least our French-speaking readers – might remember this outrageous statement pronounced by Jacques Séguéla as the advertising tycoon tried to defend Nicolas Sarkozy’s bling-bling style on French TV. If owning a Rolex is the sine qua non of success for some, it’s a good time as any to review the entry-level prices of watch candidates from the leading brands. 

What is the most affordable Patek Philippe? What is the cheapest Cartier? What is the entry price for an Omega? Entry-level products are essential in a brand’s pricing strategy, designed to capture aspirational clients. Overall, consistency is key. Pricing is a component of what brands have to offer. Strategies vary by brand. Obviously, it is a matter of positioning and product specifications. But also, some brands simply have greater pricing power than others.

We have listed the entry prices of some of the most prestigious brands taking into account men’s watches (in general over 38mm in diameter) with mechanical movements only – no quartz watches, as always on MONOCHROME – starting from lowest to highest price.

It won’t come as a surprise that the entry price differential is significant between brands and products. On the one hand, more affordable watches are available from brands like TAG Heuer, where Jean-Claude Biver pitched to a younger, sportier crowd seeing growth in the accessible luxury watch segment, or Cartier, a watch generalist selling some of the most exquisite and expensive watches alongside the more affordable Tank Solo or Ronde Solo, successors of the Must de Cartier collections. On the other hand, the entry ticket for watches of Haute Horlogerie specialists such as Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet is simply out of reach for most of us – and anything in steel from Patek Philippe is getting hard to find…

TAG Heuer Formula One Calibre 5 – CHF 1,650

Quick facts: 41mm steel case – automatic calibre 5 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Leather strap with pin buckle. Reference: WAZ2113.FT8023

Tudor 1926 Automatic 39 mm – CHF 1,700

Quick facts: 39mm steel case – automatic calibre 2824 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Steel bracelet with folding clasp. Reference: M91550-0005

Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial 39.5 mm – CHF 3,300

Quick facts: 39.5mm steel case – automatic Co-Axial calibre 2500 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Leather strap with pin buckle. Chronometer. Reference: 424.13.40.20.02.001 – The iconic Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch retails for CHF 4,300

Cartier Tank Solo XL – CHF 3,400

Quick facts: 31mm x 40.85mm steel case – automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Leather strap with folding buckle. Reference: WSTA0029 – Also available, Ronde Solo de Cartier 36 mm for CHF 3,100 or 42mm for CHF 3,450

Panerai Radiomir Base 3 Days PAM00753 – CHF 4,000

Quick facts: 45mm steel case – hand-wound calibre P.6000 with hours and minutes. Leather strap with pin buckle. Reference: PAM00753

Grand Seiko Automatic SBGR255G – EUR/USD 4,100

Quick facts: 39.4mm steel case – automatic calibre 9S65 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Steel bracelet with folding clasp. Reference: SBGR255G

IWC Mark XVIII – CHF 4,400

Quick facts: 40mm steel case – automatic calibre 35111 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Textile strap. Reference: IW327009

Zenith Elite Classic – CHF 4,900

Quick facts: 39mm steel case – automatic calibre Elite 679 with hours, minutes and seconds indication. Alligator strap with pin buckle. Reference: 03.2290.679/01.C493

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 mm – CHF 5,400

Quick facts: 39mm steel case – automatic calibre 3132 with hours, minutes and seconds indication. Oyster steel bracelet with folding Oysterclasp. Superlative chronometer (COSC and Rolex certification after casing). Reference: 114300

Jaeger-Lecoultre Reverso Classic Medium Thin – CHF 5,900

Quick facts: 40.1mm x 24.4 mm steel case – automatic calibre 822A/2 with hours and minutes. Alligator strap with pin buckle. Reference: 2548520

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur – CHF 6,900

Quick facts: 42mm steel case – automatic calibre UN-118 with hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve. Alligator strap with pin buckle – COSC certified. Reference: 1183-310/40

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate 38mm Steel – CHF 7,900

Quick facts: 38mm steel case – automatic calibre 1150 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Alligator strap with folding buckle. Reference: 6223-1127-55B

Breguet Type XX 3800ST – CHF 9,200

Quick facts: 39mm steel case – automatic calibre 582 with hours, minutes, small seconds and flyback chronograph. Alligator strap with folding buckle. Reference: 3800ST

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Self-winding – CHF 12,300

Quick facts: 40mm steel case – automatic calibre 1326 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Alligator strap with folding buckle. Reference: 4600E/000A-B442

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin 37mm – CHF 15,100

Quick facts: 37mm pink gold case – hand-wound calibre L093.1 with hours and minutes. Alligator strap with pin buckle. Reference: 201.033

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A – CHF 16,700

Quick facts: 40mm steel case – automatic calibre 324 SC with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Rubber strap with folding buckle – Patek Philippe Seal. Reference: 5167A

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding 15400ST – CHF 17,400

Quick facts: 41mm steel case – automatic calibre 3120 with hours, minutes, seconds and date indication. Steel bracelet with folding buckle. Reference: 15400ST

 

This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.