Rolex vs. Ulysse Nardin: Do We Have a Luxury Watch Winner?

Rolex vs. Ulysse Nardin: Do We Have a Luxury Watch Winner? #beverlyhills #beverlyhillsmagazine #rolex #luxurywatchmaker #luxurywatch #ulyssanardin #luxurysmartwatches #bevhillsmag

For many years, Rolex has been the king of luxury watches. With the new lineup from Ulysse Nardin, Rolex comparisons are coming in by the truckload. So, in a head-to-head matchup, which luxury watchmaker is the best?


Rolex is a Swiss watch manufacturer and designer of men’s luxury Rolex watches. Although the company is British-founded, their history is complex and stretches as far back as 1905. Originally known as Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis, it would only be three years later before they officially changed to the Rolex brand.

Ulysse Nardin is an even older brand that was founded in 1846. Named after its creator, the Swiss watchmaker has gone through many ups and downs throughout its history. In 1983, the company regained its prominent status after being taken over by Rolf W. Schnyder. The year 2014 was an interesting year for the company, as they officially became a subsidiary of the French Luxury group Kering. Despite the many changing faces, Ulysse Nardin has become even more recognizable than its highest peak.

Ulysse Nardin

Over 170 years of history backs up the quality of a Ulysse Nardin watch. They make watches for collectors and enthusiast that value highly complicated mechanical pieces. The basic warranty will net you five years, which is the same as its Rolex counterpart. For bragging rights, Ulysse Nardin can boast about its 18 gold medals and 4,300 distinctions. This is no small feat, and they are not shy about naming their industry awards. The company is very careful about movements, design and accuracy. Even when it hit rock bottom, collectors around the world held the brand in high regard.


Rolex is a notable luxury watchmaker that has stayed in the top three since its creation. This remarkable history has led to consistent annual revenue in the billions, and a product output in the millions. They are also the most notable name inside and outside of the industry. An individual that has never worn a luxury watch will know the name. That means the name of the Rolex brand carries power, and has not faltered for the past 117 years. Consistency is their strong suit, and they are a top tier spender for marketing after beating out Timex for the top spot. Rolex is best known for their design, but longevity and technical achievements are big features of their past and present line of watches.


Rolex wins hands down for both expected and unexpected reasons. The expected is how well the company handles the men’s and women’s line. Some luxury competitors don’t offer watches for women. And competitors that offer a women’s line will often have the features of the watch lagging behind the men’s division. This is not the case with Rolex, as both their men’s and women’s watches are in lockstep when new features are introduced. And with the intuitive ‘configure your watch’ option on the website, new and returning buyers get the complete treatment. The biggest feature of a Rolex watch is that it is created using 904L stainless steel – this is proprietary to the brand, and unfortunately not available from Ulysse Nardin.

The unexpected reason Rolex wins this bought has to do with the unreliability of Ulysse Nardin’s new ideas. Rolex has been quite firm on staying out of the ‘smart’ space, but Ulysse Nardin took the plunge. They were one of the first luxury watchmakers to offer a luxury smartphone. At the time, it was the most expensive Android smartphone in the world. The Wave was outdated before it even debuted 11 years ago, and showed that QA was not a strong suit of the company. Rolex can be a bit stubborn when it comes to adopting new technologies, but the result is that their focus is always on creating the best luxury watches possible.


Ulysse Nardin does push the boundaries more than other watchmakers, and it shows. The modernization of the company pays off in its breathtaking designs, notably with the brilliance of the Blast Moonstruck. The company carefully walks the line between too much, and just enough. They push boundaries with their designs, and that is why it is a surprising win in this category for Ulysse Nardin.

Rolex has a specific design that lets everyone know it is a Rolex. It’s awe inspiring, but there are never any risks with their styles. They lean on the classic look, and it will always work. It’s true that there is no reason to change a near perfect design, but it does leave the door open for Ulysse Nardin to create something spectacular.


You wouldn’t believe it at first, but the price war goes to Rolex. Although their lineup is priced higher, a Rolex retains its value far better than a Ulysse Nardin. This is a big win for Rolex that proves its long-term value to potential buyers. Then moment you purchase a luxury watch from Ulysse Nardin, it loses its prime value. The only way to potentially sell it at cost is to come in contact with a hardcore collector. When reselling a Rolex, the name alone will get you offers from all over the world. And depending on the rarity, you could easily walk away with a profit over the original price paid.

Rolex Or Ulysse Nardin?

Ulysse Nardin puts up a good fight, but the current winner of the luxury watch head to head is Rolex. Their strict watchmaking principles gives the company a leg up on all of the competition. If Rolex takes a few more risks with design, then there is good chance that they become the defacto luxury watchmaker in the world. Ulysse Nardin still put up a good fight, and is still a major powerhouse in the industry.

Worth The Price

Luxury watches are fun to own, and more than worth their price. If you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind accessory, then a wristwatch is the way to go. Even with the rise of smartwatches, luxury watches stay in a league of their own.

Martin Maina
Martin Maina is a professional writer and blogger who uses his expertise, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content that resonates with audiences. Deep down, he believes that if you cannot do great things, then you can do small things in a great way. To learn more, you can connect with him online.
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