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Rolex Explorer 1 Vs. JLC Geophysic 1958

  • Rolex Explorer 214270

    Votes: 15 48.4%
  • JLC Geophysic Tribute to 1958

    Votes: 16 51.6%
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I'd go the explorer. The Geophysic is a stunning watch but I felt let down when I saw it in the flesh, it was just underwhelming.

Id get the Explorer and put it on leather.

It it will be a lot more reliable than the issues you've had with your Geophysic as well
 

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The 'Explorer' has become just a blinged up fashion accessory, a pale shadow of its former 1016 glory, loved by those who don't want a Sub but feel the desperate need to own a Rolex. The same can't be said for the JLC which is a thing of loveliness and oozes class in a way the Rolex can only dream about. No contest.
 

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Very subjective, but I don't see the appeal of the JLC (beyond its heritage). The sword hands, to me, are a terrible choice with the 50s styled crosshair dial, and if the lume is indeed faux aged as it appears in the photo, all the worse.

On the other hand, there is the mighty Explorer, with its superior readability, simple, functional and yet beautiful design and an appeal of adventure. Still, I would go for the older 36mm model or better yet, the latest incarnation whereby the length of the minute hand is corrected and the numbers are lumed again. So yes, Explorer it is.
 

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Love the geophysic, but have yet to see one in person. To me seems like the much more interesting choice. Also the added benefit of being a limited edition, seems like the clear choice to me if price is not a factor. I think the geophysic retailed for much more than the explorer and always seemed on the pricier side for a time only watch, so if price is a factor then makes it a much more difficult choice for me.
 

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I own a JLC as well as a Rolex and although it's breaking my heart a little to argument against my favourite brand, for an all-purpose everyday watch, I'd go with the Explorer I.

Both are beautiful and understated watches, but the Explorer can be worn in pretty much every situation. You can go swimming with it as well as biking or hiking. High outside temperatures and the corresponding sweat are not an issue and you can get away with it in a suit and in the opera as well as it's still a subtle and quite thin watch.

Of course you can do all common everyday activities with the Geophysics as well, like working in the office, commuting, walking around etc., but except for the suit and opera part it is not suited for the rest of the activities described above.

That's why - for a single all-purpose-watch - my vote would go to the Explorer I.
 

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The Geophysic.
 
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If the 214270 in question was a Mark II with the lumed numerals, I'd go with the Explorer, but since it's the Mark I and I can't stand large, polished, applied numerals on a tool watch, I'd choose the Geophysic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd go the explorer. The Geophysic is a stunning watch but I felt let down when I saw it in the flesh, it was just underwhelming.

Id get the Explorer and put it on leather.

It it will be a lot more reliable than the issues you've had with your Geophysic as well
Thanks mate for remembering me and my issues with Jaeger-LeCoultre! It's quite gratifying to see us as a family who have never met in person yet are so close to share our pleasures and sorrows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I own a JLC as well as a Rolex and although it's breaking my heart a little to argument against my favourite brand, for an all-purpose everyday watch, I'd go with the Explorer I.

Both are beautiful and understated watches, but the Explorer can be worn in pretty much every situation. You can go swimming with it as well as biking or hiking. High outside temperatures and the corresponding sweat are not an issue and you can get away with it in a suit and in the opera as well as it's still a subtle and quite thin watch.

Of course you can do all common everyday activities with the Geophysics as well, like working in the office, commuting, walking around etc., but except for the suit and opera part it is not suited for the rest of the activities described above.

That's why - for a single all-purpose-watch - my vote would go to the Explorer I.
Why not sir. Geophysic too is 100 metre water resistant like the Explorer 1....
 

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They are rather different watches...

Explorer is sportier, and surprisingly blingy for such a simple watch. More versatile for everyday situations.

JLC is significantly dressier and does not lend itself to as many situations. It is also extremely understated watch, but I find it rather beautiful.

At a similar price-point, I'd look into something a bit more interesting... JLC Geophysic Dead Second shares many design cues w Geophysic, but offers a cool complication in true seconds - although it does look like quartz operation, you'd be always smiling inside knowing the cool movement under the hood.
DSC07417.JPG
 

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Why not sir. Geophysic too is 100 metre water resistant like the Explorer 1....
But the JLC doesn’t have a screw-down crown, which means to me, that it’s nice knowing that it’s likely to withstand when you accidentally fall in the pool at some point, but it’s just not safe enough risking its regular use in the water.

Additionally, you would wear the JLC typically with a leather strap, which should be kept away from any kind of water anyway, including hot temperates in summer and sweat by doing outdoor sports activities.

Another point as I said is, that I don’t have any headache using my Rolex when biking on off-the-road-tracks for example, because that’s one thing where Rolex has its genes from - building robust and reliable movements no matter what.

JLC on the other hand is well known for superb fine movements of all kinds (complicated, ultrathin, …) used by all the other established watchmakers in Haute Horlogerie („the watchmakers watchmaker“). Hell, they have been requested by AP, PP and VC to design a reliable ultra-thin automatic movement which the companies can use in their watches (that became the movement for the AP Royal Oak, the PP Nautilus and the VC Overseas). But from my point of view it’s not their heritage to build rather simple, but really robust workhorse movements. That’s why, in the long run, I see a Rolex as more suitable if you want to give it a tough ride here and then.

But that’s me and my personal feeling about it. If you don’t see yourself in these activities or you see JLC in these areas in the same boat with Rolex, then you may go for it.

Because apart from these considerations, Rolex is of course a more mundane choice, whereas JLC is much more something for enthusiasts and therefore in general the cooler brand in my opinion.

Oh, and the Rolex with its mainly brushed and not too refined finish fits the looks of an all-purpose-watch better, I think. So a scratch here and there would be less of an issue for me than on the highly-polished JLC.
 

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But the JLC doesn’t have a screw-down crown, which means to me, that it’s nice knowing that it’s likely to withstand when you accidentally fall in the pool at some point, but it’s just not safe enough risking its regular use in the water.

Additionally, you would wear the JLC typically with a leather strap, which should be kept away from any kind of water anyway, including hot temperates in summer and sweat by doing outdoor sports activities.
The screw-down crown is meaningless. What matters more is that the gaskets and seals are there for water resistance. So the JLC is fine for water exposure.

As for the leather strap? It can be switched out for a bracelet or mesh or even a perlon (if that's what you like). We as watch collectors understand that.

To the OP: I recommend the Geophysic. A more-interesting option than the Explorer. But I would also suggest the Tudor North Flag, which is better than both of them. Whichever you choose, wear it in great health.
 
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The comment that "they dressed it up too much for a tool watch"...well, that darn near defines an all-rounder, doesn't it?

With that JLC...I get the opposite. The elements don't work for me at all...I'm not sure of ANY use for it. The hands are a big part, but the whole dial composition seems off in small ways. The hour sticks are a bit long for the numbers. The vertical sectoring breaks down due to the text. The outer, completely separate, minute track pushies ng the indices in and compresses the whole look.

So in this case, the Explorer wins for me, hands down.
 

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I might get crucified for this but I saw both the 1958 and the dead beat in the flesh, and they are extremely underwhelming. Yes, the quality is top notch and they have tons of heritage, but that's it. To me, they both had a feel of a 1000usd watch when on the wrist, and I would prefer the Rolex, or IWC Mark XVIII, or even a Montblanc over them :(
 

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The screw-down crown is meaningless. What matters more is that the gaskets and seals are there for water resistance. So the JLC is fine for water exposure.

As for the leather strap? It can be switched out for a bracelet or mesh or even a perlon (if that's what you like). We as watch collectors understand that.
Yeah, but seals are affected by wear through sun, temperature, climate or outer impacts and may become leaky. And when this happens, you would have wished for a screw-down crown, which would have added a layer of safety, that is not as prone to tear as the gaskets. That's why diving watches have screw-down crowns. You as watch collectors should understand that, too. ;-)

You can do all sorts of things with your leather strap. The question to me is, if the substitute on your wrist still looks pleasing to you on a Geophysics?

To me, an Explorer on a leather strap i fine, but I'm not sure about a Geophysics on a bracelet or something else. Just my personal taste, of course.
 

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Both are nice, but neither lights my fire.

I would go with the JLC over the Rolex, as I think the JLC is a bit more interesting.

But for daily wear, would look at the Rolex Oyster Perpetual or Datejust, the Omega Aqua Terra or Globemaster or the VC Overseas.

Cheers!


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