Rolex vs. Apple Watch — Which One Belongs On Your Wrist? (Updated for 2024)

Rolex and Apple Watch.

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Whether you’ve been wearing a Rolex for decades or just a few years, you’ve probably eyed the Apple watch once or twice. Likewise, if you’ve had an Apple device strapped to your wrist since 2015, odds are you’ve perused a selection of Rolexes. Maybe you don’t have either and are currently in the market for a quality timepiece. Either way, the competition of Rolex vs Apple Watch has probably crossed your mind. 

Yet, the answer depends on your personality, values and preferences. What belongs on your friend’s wrist might not belong on yours — and vice versa. However, comparing the two can shed a little more light on the issue and help you determine which one is right for you and your unique lifestyle. 

Price and Depreciation 

Most people automatically assume that Rolex are expensive, but how much do these luxury watches actually cost? Depending on the model and who you buy from, a Rolex can cost you anywhere between a few thousand and a few hundred thousand dollars, with the Oyster Perpetual the least expensive at just over $5,000. However, unlike an Apple watch, Rolexes will maintain their value and, in some cases, appreciate. Subsequently, you could resell the watch for much more than it’s worth a few decades from now. 

Apple watches are much more affordable, in comparison. The newest version sells for about $359 and the oldest model is priced at $170. However, the buyer will lose money on their purchase because this kind of technology quickly depreciates. As new innovations arise, current devices become obsolete, especially as Apple’s iOS updates eventually stop supporting older versions. Then, the consumer will have no choice but to buy the next generation. Fortunately, the prices of these devices has fallen, making replacement somewhat more affordable. 


When you pay thousands for a Rolex, you’re investing in a high-quality device that may very well outlast you. In fact, many people buy these watches with the intention of passing them down as a family heirloom. As long as you take good care of a Rolex, it’ll last ages. 

The same can’t be said of the Apple watch. This tech has a relatively short lifecycle and most people replace theirs every at least every few years. Why? Apple watches run on a battery, which slowly loses it’s charging capacity over time. Eventually, it will glitch, stop working or become obsolete as new versions hit the shelves. Unlike Rolex owners, Apple enthusiasts aren’t saving watches to pass down to their kids. 


Whether Rolex or Apple offers superior design is completely subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all, and both brands offer a wide selection of styles, sizes and materials. However, there is something to be said for the jewels, rhinestones and precious metals in Rolex watches. Each one is hand-assembled and tested to ensure a flawless design. Plus, the company uses 904L stainless steel, which is more rust and corrosion-resistant and holds polishes extremely well. 

Meanwhile, Apple watches are available in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. You can also find a variety of bands in every color and style imaginable. The watch face is highly customizable, too, allowing owners to adjust colors, complications and more. Thus, Apple may offer more customization than Rolex. However, which one is more attractive is still very much up to you. 


Which watch is more functional, though? Once again, the answer depends on personal preference. If you only care about telling the time — down to the very second — Rolex is the most straightforward option. Rolex’s pulsometers can also measure your heart rate, much like an Apple watch, just without the digital display. However, if you want more feedback and a smartphone app to log it all, a smartwatch is more functional in this respect. 

Compared to Rolex, the Apple watch does it all. Security features like fall detection, emergency SOS and high and low heart rate notifications monitor your safety. The newer generations even allow users to record an ECG to detect signs or atrial fibrillation. Go for a swim and track your speed, make calls, send texts, stream music, control your Apple TV, order food and even calculate a tip just by using your watch. 

Rolex vs Apple Watch: It Comes Down to the Experience 

Choosing between a Rolex and Apple watch ultimately comes down to the kind of experience you want. Rolex has long been a symbol of luxury and success and, if you value these things, a Rolex might be the timepiece for you. If, however, you’re more interested in versatility and keeping up with digital trends, a smartwatch may have more to offer. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

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