Originally Posted by ec51
I am "into" watches and do understand how high end movements are made, FWIW and I still do not understand what you are saying.
As an owner of both a Rolex and an AP I think I can help. Usually, as in Rafa's RM, the higher price is attributed to the complexity of the movement, such as the tourbillon that was stolen and whatnot. In the case of AP, the movements are beautiful, hand finished, really a work of art. Rolex's movements are no slouch either, they're really the workhorse and really what built the brand. No doubt the iconic look of the oysters and such played a part, however, what good is a watch that doesn't run? Quite honestly the only thing I've noticed between my AP and Submariner is that the AP's power reserve is longer. Both keep very good time.
With AP I think the price hike comes due to the brand exclusivity and prestige. AP is recognized as one of the first watch companies, and as such, have maintained everything on a smaller scale. Rolex is a huge hit, and is seen everywhere. To think of an analogous situation, a Rolex to a Seiko or Citizen is a good comparison. You pay for the quality of the Rolex, but also for the exclusivity. Then you go to AP and Rolex, same situation.