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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this isn't a this vs that that comes up often. To provide some background, I'd like my next watch to be a "step up" in terms of most objective factors that make one watch better than another watch - better work/finishing in the dial, case, bracelet, movement. Better technical specs in the movement. Things like that. My current collection is in my signature, and by design they are all right around similar levels of price, brand quality, and probably overall watch quality as well. I'd ideally like something that I'll be able to perceive as a step up.

I haven't had an opportunity to handle either watch, so all I'm going by is pics and info online. Flame suit on, but there do seem to be aspects of these watches that can go head to head. Specifically the dial and case work, which obviously GS is known for. The bracelet quality seems superior on the VC. The movement on the VC appears nicer to look at due to the gold rotor and hand finishing, but the GS's looks much nicer than the older Hi-Beat movements and boasts some technical achievements that are arguably superior to the VC's movement.

I genuinely like both watches.

So I guess the question becomes: is the GS alone enough as a "step up" from my current watches, esp the pair of Grand Seikos I already have? Or do I need to step up to the VC to perceive that next level of quality?

And another question is, I'm more comfortable spending $10k on my next watch than the $20k or so the VC would require, but I'm willing to do it for a watch of the VC's caliber. But are there any other watches in the $10k category I should look at that may provide that "step up" in quality I'm looking for from my current collection?
 

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Here you go again.
The SBGH273 is one of the best watches that I can think of that represents GS that is not a Spring Drive.
I don't know why you think the birch dial is a step up - that's a very "creative" way of thinking to me. It's just another Grand Seiko. If you were to take this to the affordable tier of Seiko, there are also lots of watches that have creative dials like the Cocktail Time and Save the Ocean. This is just Seiko's expensive version of that.

But if you are thinking of a VC Overseas, that's on a whole other level.
I wouldn't even be comparing the two, given the yawning chasm between these choices and each have their own calculus.

As far as I see it, you've presented a choice of:

1) Playing on the field you're already on; or
2) Moving up to the next league.
 

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Having handled the WB and both the GS' in your signature I think, at least when it comes to the movement finishing, you'll definitely perceive it to be "a step up". I don't hear the right reasons to go for the VC, maybe later. There are, however, many watches to consider in the $10-20k range, choose wisely.
 

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I don't think the White Birch will be as huge of a leap from your current GSs to justify adding it. The VC is surely the higher end watch overall, though I find it to be overstyled and visually busy. The White Birch is typical of Japanese simplicity, refinement, and beauty.

Another thing to keep in mind is the VC seems to have a lot of fans lately, but it was by far the most unloved of the Holy Trinity integrated bracelet designs up until a year or two ago. Who knows if it will revert back to that position with time? I only bring that up in case you ever think about selling, because you could pick up used Overseas real cheap not that long ago. The White Birch may hold its value better or might not, but it is more handsome imo, just not a big move up from your current pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think the White Birch will be as huge of a leap from your current GSs to justify adding it. The VC is surely the higher end watch overall, though I find it to be overstyled and visually busy. The White Birch is typical of Japanese simplicity, refinement, and beauty.

Another thing to keep in mind is the VC seems to have a lot of fans lately, but it was by far the most unloved of the Holy Trinity integrated bracelet designs up until a year or two ago. Who knows if it will revert back to that position with time? I only bring that up in case you ever think about selling, because you could pick up used Overseas real cheap not that long ago. The White Birch may hold its value better or might not, but it is more handsome imo, just not a big move up from your current pieces.
Thanks for your thoughts. In case I wasn't clear, I'm not putting too much stock into brand, Holy Trinity, resale, etc for this equation. Purely looking at quality of watch in terms of objective factors. I've listed those (thinks like the quality and finishing of case, movement, bracelet, etc) that I think most people would agree with, otherwise nothing separates a Patek from a Casio to use a drastic example.

So I'm definitely looking for something (preferably a sportier watch with solid WR) where I'll be able to perceive that quality jump. So it does seem like maybe the WB would not be that esp in light of the GSs I already own, but the VC would provide that jump.
 

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Ugh. 10k for a GS in steel? Have you looked at Credor? I think that would be a much better step up. Heck, at that price, you can start looking at Frederique Piguet Blancpain, Breguet, Piaget, etc. I think those would be a much nicer step up. While I agree GS is actually finished much better than the average Swiss at their usual range in the 2-8k range, when you get to 10k, I don't feel they offer as much. Credor has more attention to detail and punches better when you get to 10k. I'm not personally all that impressed with the Overseas, but that's more me. I just don't view sports watches as worth it above 10k. I don't pay 10k to get a plain watch, even if the plain finishing is finished well plainly.
 

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Thanks for your thoughts. In case I wasn't clear, I'm not putting too much stock into brand, Holy Trinity, resale, etc for this equation. Purely looking at quality of watch in terms of objective factors. I've listed those (thinks like the quality and finishing of case, movement, bracelet, etc) that I think most people would agree with, otherwise nothing separates a Patek from a Casio to use a drastic example.

So I'm definitely looking for something (preferably a sportier watch with solid WR) where I'll be able to perceive that quality jump. So it does seem like maybe the WB would not be that esp in light of the GSs I already own, but the VC would provide that jump.
The GS will have similar or possibly better case and dial finishing than the VC depending on how much time you want to spend scrutinizing it under a loupe, but you probably have that with your existing GS. I think the movement finishing isn't really even a question as the VC will win that easily.

My GO and GPs are notably ahead of my GSs except in dial finishing. GS does that really well. They are light years ahead of my Omega and Rolex, but so is my JLC.
 

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I might be tempted to go used ALS 1815. They run around 13K or so.

Between the two you are trying to decide between, I'd get the VC,, but I'd get the used ALS 1815 or the 1815 Up/Down before a new VC Overseas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ugh. 10k for a GS in steel? Have you looked at Credor? I think that would be a much better step up. Heck, at that price, you can start looking at Frederique Piguet Blancpain, Breguet, Piaget, etc. I think those would be a much nicer step up. While I agree GS is actually finished much better than the average Swiss at their usual range in the 2-8k range, when you get to 10k, I don't feel they offer as much. Credor has more attention to detail and punches better when you get to 10k. I'm not personally all that impressed with the Overseas, but that's more me. I just don't view sports watches as worth it above 10k. I don't pay 10k to get a plain watch, even if the plain finishing is finished well plainly.
You raise a good point, at least one that I've wrestled with. I may have personally topped out in terms of sports watches at around that 10k range. Nothing Breguet excites me too much, but I think street prices on the FF and Polo S go around 10-12k, right? And I guess an argument could be made those watches may give me the step up I'm looking for without going all the way to 20k+ with the Overseas.

And the White Birch (or the identical watches with different dials sure to come) are probably 7-8k watches once the initial hype/demand drops off and they go for the usual GS discount.

So yea, good points, I actually agree with most of what you are saying.
 

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I can't really speak to the White Birch vs. the Overseas. I personally love the White Birch from the depths of the internet like you. However, as far as a step up, may I suggest a sideways step to a renowned independent?

Kudoke watches are selling between $7500 - $11K (I really love that GMT version)

Habring2 has a lot of watches between $5500 - $10K.

You can support local (USA) by going with RGM. (Only US watch maker to create a tourbillion - but that is pretty pricey)

Also: Czapek (Czapek Antarctique Watches - Exquisite Timepieces), but that's closer to $20K

The other major brand to consider may be H.Moser... well respected.

Links are just for giving you pricing guidelines, not a recommendation.

If you really want to choose between the VC and the Grand Seiko, it's probably hard not to choose the VC.
 
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Thanks for your thoughts. In case I wasn't clear, I'm not putting too much stock into brand, Holy Trinity, resale, etc for this equation. Purely looking at quality of watch in terms of objective factors. I've listed those (thinks like the quality and finishing of case, movement, bracelet, etc) that I think most people would agree with, otherwise nothing separates a Patek from a Casio to use a drastic example.

So I'm definitely looking for something (preferably a sportier watch with solid WR) where I'll be able to perceive that quality jump. So it does seem like maybe the WB would not be that esp in light of the GSs I already own, but the VC would provide that jump.
I am a big fan of GS, but honestly the WB is not going to be the upgrade you are looking for. Upgrades at this price level will depend on what you want to upgrade:
  • Case build quality and finishing? - then the VC is going to be a step up. Brushing and polishing quality is similar, but the Overseas aims higher (more complex construction/design) and the execution is more subtle. Other noteworthy contenders that (among those I've personally handled) can provide build quality/case finishing upgrades - Chopard Alpine Eagle and Bvlgari Octo Finissimo
  • Movement finishing? - then the VC is alright, but not great for the price. Lange does it better. Independents even better (Laine and Kudoke are very underrated - VC finishing looks pedestrian in comparison). But then it seems you like bracelet/sport/GADA type of watches, which complicates things a bit. Most independents focus on dress/formal watches more. Maybe look up Stepan Sarpaneva?
  • Horological merits? - the WB movement is technically amazing and better than the VC movement in the Overseas. For this type of stuff, it is hard to "step up" from GS without going into stratospheric prices. Maybe the El Primero Chronomaster Sport?
  • Provenance/Bling factor/prestige? - Then the VC Overseas is pretty good for the money. Maybe you can find a good 2nd generation Overseas Chrono to spice it up?
My personal recommendation would be to take a leap of faith and try an SD-equipped GS. You might like it, you might not - but it is a horological experience that you can not find anywhere else, which is a rare thing at this price level. If not, the Octo Finissimo is amazing. Thinnest mechanical watch (excluding the unachievable Piaget) that can be had for White Birch money. All your watches are on the thicker side too, so maybe this can provide a unique experience. I've handled the Overseas (passed up the blue dial one a few months ago) and it was a letdown. The watch is good, but I didn't have that wow moment.
 

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Not exactly a fair comparison. I don't think you can find the Overseas for cheaper than 30k and pretty tough to get at retail.
Also the the GS is not going to hold value. No non-LE GS holds their value. That's why they have to pump out so many LEs!
 

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The white birch is underwhelming in person. I like the watch, but there’s something about the depth of the dial pattern that is off putting to me. Everything else about it though is a nice step up for GS. So having said that, I’d opt for the VC.
 

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Not exactly a fair comparison. I don't think you can find the Overseas for cheaper than 30k and pretty tough to get at retail.
Also the the GS is not going to hold value. No non-LE GS holds their value. That's why they have to pump out so many LEs!
Curiously, in % terms, an average non-LE GS holds value better than an average non-LE VC.
 
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