This is simply not the case.
Rolex makes really excellent watches, don’t get me wrong — but Rolex is more comparible to like a $50,000 BMW than it is to a $250,000 Porsche, Ferrari, or Rolls. There are many watches that are 1) more expensive, 2) more exclusive, and 3) more accurate. There are also other brands that rival or surpass Rolex’s engineering — Patek Philippe is one example.
The thing that attracts me to Rolex, however, is their focus on rigorous testing and durability combined with the accuracy and appearance. Rolex tightly controls every element of the materials selection, the engineering, assembly, etc — all so that they can guarantee that the watch will last for multiple decades. I’ve met several people who’ve had their Rolex for 25-40 years and have never had it serviced.
This is what I like about the Rolex Submariner. Very high standards, excellent durability, meticulous testing procedures — all resulting in a piece that is superbly engineered, highly functional and looks great without calling too much attention to itself. The Patek pieces, for example, are incredibly awesome, but many of their movements can be damaged by the G-forces from as little as a Golf swing.
I compare my watch (the Submariner) to a low-end BMW or a Glock. Both of these are really excellent brands, but they place their emphasis on quality engineering and durability rather than being exotic or flashy. There are cars that are faster than a BMW, corner better than they do, and even cars that look better. The point is that the BMW does all these things really well for general use.
And that’s how I feel about my watch. It’s the perfect balance of the qualities that I look for.
So the next time someone freaks out about someone having a Rolex, point out that there are many watches that surpass Rolex in one or more areas. They aren’t “the best” (as if there really were such a thing). They’re just extremely decent. And that’s what I like about them.