WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,599 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I went to an AD the other day to kill some time while my wife was at a doctor appointment. Now I used to have a GMT II that was handed down by a relative who just wasn't into watches. I don't know exactly how he came to own it, probably won it in a card game if I know him. Anyhow, it was on an aftermarket strap and had been worn hard for years by the previous owner(s). I did take it to an AD once and had it verified as real. Anyhow, I was younger, broker, and didn't have the $$ to have it overhauled and fitted with a new bracelet, etc so I traded it. I only mention all of this so you know I have some credibility when I compare Rolex to other brands.
Anyhow, I was wearing my Planet Ocean when I was browsing the Rolex showcase. I have never handled a Rolex since the one I owned, and have NEVER first hand seen/felt of the infamous bracelet that is the source of so many debates. Here are my observations: First, I looked at a Sea Dweller and a Red/Black GMT II. Both watches had bezels that were extremely hard to turn. I don't recall my old one ever being that tight. I had my PO on the counter and the sales lady was eyeing it. They don't carry Omega and I could tell when she asked what it was that she didn't know much about current lineups from other brands. (no big suprise, most ADs know squat about the ones they DO carry). Anyhow, the bezels were very hard to turn, so much so that I would call it a problem (for me personally). Next, I examined the bracelet. OMG, this thing instantly lived up to all the negative press. It rattled, was light and flimsy, and the clasp was just pure crap when compared to the price tag. The super thin, tin feeling, Rolex "stamped" portion left me dumbfounded. It looked and felt like something that one would expect on a fake Rolex. I have always loved the look of the Oyster bracelet, and use it as a benchmark for looks. I do not like busy, intricate SS bracelets. The Oyster, the PO or Speedy type bracelet is about the only style I like. I do not care for the basketweave, Bond style bracelet. Any watch I own that has an intricate metal bracelet instantly goes on a strap. Just my personal preference.
Back to the bracelet. The microadjustments and screw pins are great. I can't believe my PO doesn't incorporate that feature. So, to sum it up I was very disappointed in the Oyster bracelet and clasp. I have heard that it is very strong and reliable, and I don't doubt that. But, the fit and finish and the way it rattles could be the dealbreaker for me if I ever decided to purchase another Rolex.
Now while I was molesting these 2 watches, the AD lady was eyeing my PO and finally asked if she could see it. The first thing she said when she picked it up was WOW, this is heavy. She turned the bezel and again commented, saying how smooth it turned. When she got to the bracelet and clasp, I told her to compare it to the Rolex and give me her honest opinion. After checking out both carefully, she kinda glanced side to side and whispered, "this one (Omega) is much nicer". This is not a Rolex bashing post. As I have stated many times before, I like the Rolex sport watches. I also didn't intend for this to be a Rolex vs Omega post. Each has it's own merits and downfalls. This is just one guy's assessement of the Rolex Oyster bracelet. No insults to the fanboys intended. - David

PS guys - let's see if we can keep this thread from getting vicious. It would be a first based on the subject matter. Try hard OK? And remember, we are discussing the bracelet, not in-house movements, marketing, status, or any of that other mumbo jumbo. Thanks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
I couldn't have said it better

The Rolex bracelet sucks. Its stamped like pot metal. One would
think that on a $5300 watch, you would get a finely milled bracelet.
It just ain't so. Look at the Seamaster bracelet. Its everything a bracelet on a fine watch should be. The lack of a micro-adjustment
is a minus. On its worst day, it makes the Rolex bracelet look
like cheap junk. You could add the micro-adjstment and I beleive
that the Seamster bracelet would be as fine a bracelet as there is.
Pretty good call David. The stuff about the AD....tell me something
I don't know. Go back to the AD and see if they will kick you out.
Thats what I did and it was good for a few laughs. Its really just sad.
jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
For the same money as the Rolex, you could have this...



a beautiful Grand Seiko. Way more interesting technically and aesthetically, has a bracelet and clasp system light years ahead of the Rolex, and is finished - dare I say it - better than both the Rolex and the corresponding Omega? Stunning, in my opinion. All from Seiko. Who make cheapo junk watches, ah?

Yeah right...It puts into perspective why Omega, currently is a great deal, and why Rolex is overpriced, imo.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,599 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
What about the bezel ....

Jim, Dave. You guys own Subs, Dwellers, GMTs. I don't remember mine being hard to turn. I don't mean hard like "it's crap", but just not smooth and easy like my PO. The best way I can describe it is this: If you have ever had a diver with a bezel that over the years gets fouled with crud, then you may have experienced the feeling. When I turned the bezel on both of these watches, there wasn't a distinct "click" as if it snapped from notch to notch, but rather a dull, muffled sounded click. It felt as if the bezel was being forced through some type of sticky substance. Does this make sense? Are all the bezels on Rolex watches like this, right out of the box? Just curious. - David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,151 Posts
I don't keep tabs on Rolex, but didn't they upgrade the bracelet recently on one model? Can't remember what model it is, but is that an indicator that they are going to gradually upgrade them all?

Small nit, David, but if that particular AD doesn't carry Omega :-(, then you took a trip to "an" AD, not "the" AD. ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,395 Posts
I don't keep tabs on Rolex, but didn't they upgrade the bracelet recently on one model? Can't remember what model it is, but is that an indicator that they are going to gradually upgrade them all?

Small nit, David, but if that particular AD doesn't carry Omega :-(, then you took a trip to "an" AD, not "the" AD. ;-)
Yeah Roger, they updated the bracelet/clasp on a few models, namely the Date, Datejust, Airking and the GMT, however these "upgrades" coincided with a near $1000 upgrade in price putting them even further into the stratosphere and over that of Omega pricing. Plus what I find funny is the new Date/Datejust/Airking clasps still fail to have a security lock, one of my biggest gripes with the piece.

The Daytona was the only one for the longest time out the door with a good bracelet, and the Yachtmaster has a solid bracelet but the junk clasp.

I always loved reading articles from "the faithful" defending the cheapo stamped hollow joke design...citing micro adjusts, reliablility and strength as reasons for its superiority...sorry but when paying that much I want more than that.

At least that AD was honest with you, a rarity.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
Re: What about the bezel ....

Gonna be hard to argue with you on any point youve made. The bezel on a sub or dweller is hard to use, for the reasons you describe. The bracelet and clasp work and wear well, but have a cheap feel to them. I like and enjoy wearing the dweller, but for a six thousand dollar watch, it ought to be a lot nicer. David







PS: I ain't wearin a sieko. period!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Re: What about the bezel ....

I havent seen a rolex up close (I probably will on my next visit to the AD) and in my opinion they should have re designed the bracelet a long time ago. (Some of the lineups look very very similar also *wink *wink - although the newest lineup they released this year looks pretty interesting) The SS bracelet is supposedly 3 times more durable/resistant to scratches it really should be solid links it just seems it doesnt fit the $ or the image of a rolex. (Make the bracelet more durable so you can offer less metal ?)

Onto Omega - I like the feel of the bracelet and the clasp release is a great idea, the size of the speedy clasp compared to my brother bond smp is smaller which suits my smaller wrist size but one thing I dont get is it is a scratch magnet !! The first few days I carefully made sure not to place my watch on the desk and such and I still managed to get scratches - Omega should really do something about this - I guess I have used brasso to clean it up but for the amount of $ it should be more resistant to desk scratches - Which is why I am looking for a leather strap.

If only we could just buy the watch itself and not the bracelet things would be more reasonable - esp for the guys that prefer straps over metal bracelets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,650 Posts
Good points DMB

When I first got my PO my mate (a SUB owner) was looking at it then tried it on. This is a guy who is the most competive person around and who would normally never like to admit you had something better than him but he said almost straight away that he thought the PO bracelet was much nicer and just had a better quality feel to it.

The only thing about the PO bracelet that I hate is the lack of micro adjustment which is due to the wetsuit feature. I wonder if any of the PO owners on this forum have ever used this for what it is intended for? I doubt it. Because of the weight of the watch and how your wrist expands / shrinks due to temperature changes means the watch can slide down your wrist when it is cold. This little annoying problem could be fixed with a micro adjustment feature.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
Fats, I value your opinion



a beautiful Grand Seiko. Way more interesting technically and aesthetically, has a bracelet and clasp system light years ahead of the Rolex, and is finished - dare I say it - better than both the Rolex and the corresponding Omega? Stunning, in my opinion. All from Seiko. Who make cheapo junk watches, ah?

Yeah right...It puts into perspective why Omega, currently is a great deal, and why Rolex is overpriced, imo.
But..............There ain't no way in hell I'm paying 5 large for a Seiko.
No how, no way, not ever. That being said, I know its narrow minded,
hard headed and an obtuse way of thinking. They are nice watches.
I will never get over the 70s, where half the cheap watches were Seikos
and on every Zippy Mart counter. They were sold at the mall, dime stores
and everywhere there was even room for a watch display. A Seiko
will never be able to do it for me. I think the Rolex is overpriced, you throw a Seiko in the mix and I'd have a heart attack paying that.
To get me to pay that kind of coin for a Seiko you would have to hold a gun to my head. Sorry, thats just the way it is and I'm probably not going to change my mind. Feel free to compare me to the Rolex fanboys next door. Sorry.
jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
Re: Fats, I value your opinion

Apologies if my post sounded demanding Jim, I was trying to sound sarcastic (all be it poorly). I understand where you're coming from with the Seiko thing.

All the best,

Alex;-)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
Man, I'm glad you were kidding Fats......

Apologies if my post sounded demanding Jim, I was trying to sound sarcastic (all be it poorly). I understand where you're coming from with the Seiko thing.

All the best,

Alex;-)
I hated to write that, I really did, but the Seiko guys WOULD compare
the Sub, 300 and a Grand Seiko and would justify it as being ALL in house.
Fit and finish comparable to a GP, an AP and a Lange if you let them talk long enough. Thanks for cuttin me some slack Fats.
jim
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
Re: What about the bezel ....

Jim, Dave. You guys own Subs, Dwellers, GMTs. I don't remember mine being hard to turn. I don't mean hard like "it's crap", but just not smooth and easy like my PO. The best way I can describe it is this: If you have ever had a diver with a bezel that over the years gets fouled with crud, then you may have experienced the feeling. When I turned the bezel on both of these watches, there wasn't a distinct "click" as if it snapped from notch to notch, but rather a dull, muffled sounded click. It felt as if the bezel was being forced through some type of sticky substance. Does this make sense? Are all the bezels on Rolex watches like this, right out of the box? Just curious. - David
David, I think that bezel will loosen up over time. Mine isn't all that hard to turn and I don't really remember when it was new. Its still not as easy to turn as the Omega. Its not something that I use often so mine
stay pretty tight anyway from lack of use. The gunk and crud thing
also probably figure into it also.
jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
Re: Man, I'm glad you were kidding Fats......

Thing is, I agree with what they say, but you're one of the good guys Jim, so slack cut:-d
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
OK, Fats........................

Your saying that a seiko is finished as well as a Lange or AP? David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,203 Posts
Re: OK, Fats........................

|> Yep, checking out a Spring Drive or Grand Seiko is a mind changer.
Maybe these might help illustrate my point?







Here's a link on the Sonnerie...
http://www.timezone.com/library/rdnotebook/200702288556

The Credor above is probably on the same level as PP and AP, and if not them, then easily up there with JLC, imho; the two companies are quite similar in that across their ranges they offer incredible vfm.

Fats;-)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
Re: OK, Fats........................

I believe that minute repeater is about 125 thousand. I'm talkin about a 4 or 5 grand spring drive compared to a comparably priced whatever. Or a Lange, GP or AP. David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,448 Posts
Righto, the challenge is on!

That first GMT I posted. A close up pf the dial...





Priced at around $5400 US, I think this compares favorably with either an GMT 2 C-Case, GO Evo Sport GMT, Omega Seamaster GMT and exceeds anything Tag Heuer produce.

This one is easily a match for the PO, Sub, Breitling Heritage and GP's Seahawk 2...

This is more than comparable to a whole host of DateJusts and Aqua Terra's etc...

I would say that this one can be compared with offerings from companies such as Dornbluth, Minerva et al (looks, execution).







The Credor versions are even more stunning. These are the very top of the line. I though it would be hard to find something that could live up to the billing...it was easy! First watch I found was this one...












All the stunning photos courtesy of Seyia San and Steve G. Thanks;-)


What do you think?

Alex;-)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
OK Alex......................

You got my attention with the last two watches. Second to the last, grand seiko is quite a looker. Any more info and pricing? Reference number? Love the blued hand and applied gold Arabic's. Thanks, Alex. David
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
Top