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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A while back Fullers posted a great thread comparing his Rolex Sub with his Inivicta 8926.
I'm now in the position to do something similar having just reacquired an Alpha Explorer I. I first got one of these in 2009 (https://www.watchuseek.com/f72/my-alpha-explorer-arrived-i-love-loadsapics-321152.html); it was I think the second watch I bought after joining WUS. I liked it a lot but my attentions soon turned to other things and I sold it (https://www.watchuseek.com/f29/sold-alpha-explorer-i-black-dial-uk-seller-361106.html).
Then I found I missed it (https://www.watchuseek.com/f71/you-know-what-i-really-miss-my-alphas-436958.html) but by that point they were becoming harder to get hold of and a few months later I found myself somewhat unexpectedly buying the real deal.

Anyhow, a few days ago I bought another one from the sales board on another site. The guy I sold mine to resold it there a few months ago and I'm reasonably sure I've actually ended up buying my watch back (for exactly what I sold it for to boot!). Certainly the number on the warranty card is the same but whether that proves anything or not I don't know.
The bracelet is better than I remember it, but one of the screws stubbornly refused to come out so whilst I can get it sized for my wrist it's a little off centre. As a result I've stuck it on a NATO which it's very comfortable on.

Aside from the obvious gulf in overall quality the main difference between the Alpha and the Rolex is the dial. The Rolex has a wonderfully rich and glossy dial which is the blackest thing you can imagine and is utterly hypnotising. The Alpha has a maybe not even quite black, matte dial. The numbers and other indices on the Alpha are slightly larger - I suspect if Rolex made a model that looked exactly like this they'd call it a Maxi dial. The branding on the Alpha is also slightly larger (as well as being less visually pleasing, it's a bit of a mess compared to the refined Rolex typography).
Differences elsewhere are more slight. The crystal on the Alpha protrudes like the Rolex's but not by so much. The hands are very similar - the 114270's maybe a shade longer. The case are also very similar - the Oyster case on the Rolex is definitely thinner and appears ever so slightly longer. The lugs also taper slightly more. To my eye the Alpha looks a touch bigger but there is very little in it.

I like both watches very much and, despite the massive difference in price (one cost almost 100x the other) feel like they both offer good value for money. I've got so used to lower end Seiko and Orient movements lately that I'd actually forgotten that the Sea-Gull (I think, if not I'm sure someone will correct me) movement in the Alpha hacks and handwinds.

Anyway, here's da pix!








And a final few of the new arrival with its new shoes on.


 

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Nice comparo Olly,thank you!
Your photos reminded me why I didn't pursue the Alpha back when I first started looking for Explorer styles, the dial. The Alpha logo and the minute hash marks are just a tad too big for that dial.

I'm wondering how the Sandoz would stack up, it seems a little closer to the Rolex, which is probably why they've completely disappeared from Sandoz's lineup.

 

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...............I'm wondering how the Sandoz would stack up, it seems a little closer to the Rolex, which is probably why they've completely disappeared from Sandoz's lineup.
Given there where different versions depending on origin it's hard to say. I had the "better" version & overall it was nice. Casework & dial were pretty good for what it cost. As with the Alpha the dial was not at the same level as a high end watch - but what does one expect for the $$$. It did have a sapphire crystal (front & back), unusual at the time for the price. The bracelet however was very cheap. Hollow links & pressed clasp. Very much inline with the cost though. Overall a good value.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Alpha is +0 after 24 hours. :-!
 

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The numbers and other indices on the Alpha are slightly larger - I suspect if Rolex made a model that looked exactly like this they'd call it a Maxi dial. The branding on the Alpha is also slightly larger (as well as being less visually pleasing, it's a bit of a mess compared to the refined Rolex typography).
Not sure if it's relevant, but I have an older Alpha Explo I (blue dial), and I noticed the numbers+indices are smaller than the "new" Explo (my girlfriend has the exact same black dial than yours)

Here they are side by side :

 

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Olly, I swear if you shove another self-aggrandizing photo of your Rollie Explorer in my face , I'm gonna hop the next transcontinental flight to the UK and . . well, as the Stray Cats sang in '82, "there's a rumble in Brighton tonight".

Remains THE watch on my target list.
 

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Olly, I swear if you shove another self-aggrandizing photo of your Rollie Explorer in my face , I'm gonna hop the next transcontinental flight to the UK and . . well, as the Stray Cats sang in '82, "there's a rumble in Brighton tonight".

Remains THE watch on my target list.
One of the first post's that actually made me laugh out loud. XD
 

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So, Olly, should your signature change to, "5 watches with black dials, fixed bezels, Arabic numerals and triangles at 12" or would the Alpha still count as "some other watch"? :-d

Nice comparison shots, and you do make a pretty good argument for owning both!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Olly, I swear if you shove another self-aggrandizing photo of your Rollie Explorer in my face , I'm gonna hop the next transcontinental flight to the UK and . . well, as the Stray Cats sang in '82, "there's a rumble in Brighton tonight".

Remains THE watch on my target list.
Fortunately I'm I'm Edinburgh today!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alpha is +5s after nearly 3 days. Much better than my 114270 which is consistently +4s per day
 

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Alpha is +5s after nearly 3 days. Much better than my 114270 which is consistently +4s per day
Only in the interest of justifying the x100 expense, "consistently" would be the key word there. Quartz lovers notwithstanding, I imagine one could regulate that Rollie to stay within its range for a few years, and perhaps not the Alpha (says the guy who collects a lot of cheap Sea-Gull movements in love with their accuracy...) Of course I'm snorting through my pipe because my fanciest watch is less well regulated than some of my cheap Chinese watches. In the land of high-end mechanicals, accuracy does not equal quality. (I think. :think:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've not seen this particular alpha on the alpha-watch website. Where could I find one of these? I've always loved the explorer's simplicity and I'd love to snag one.
It's a discontinued model so your only option is to keep an eye out for one on the used market.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Only in the interest of justifying the x100 expense, "consistently" would be the key word there. Quartz lovers notwithstanding, I imagine one could regulate that Rollie to stay within its range for a few years, and perhaps not the Alpha (says the guy who collects a lot of cheap Sea-Gull movements in love with their accuracy...) Of course I'm snorting through my pipe because my fanciest watch is less well regulated than some of my cheap Chinese watches. In the land of high-end mechanicals, accuracy does not equal quality. (I think. :think:)

That's true and the Rolex really is spot on +4 no matter what I do with it. Still, the Alpha was running at about +1 when I owned it a couple of years ago (I'm convinced it's the same watch now) and the fact that it is still as accurate a couple of years later is pretty awesome. When I'm back from my trip to the snowy North I'll do some proper positional testing but it appears to be accurate to within +2 regardless if position.
 

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Nice post and the Alpha isn't bad, had one a couple of years ago. The only thing that bugs me a bit about Alpha (not the chronographs though) is that the lume on the hands didn't quite match the one on the index. Except for that they were probably the best bang for the buck I've had and maybe that is something which is now fixed. Was some years ago I bought one that weren't a daytona or PN-homage...

Enjoy them both :)
 
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