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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow enthusiasts! If you want to get straight to the review, please skip to the third paragraph. For those interested in a little backstory, please read on ;)

When the prices of the Rolex OP39 skyrocketed at the beginning of this month due to the discontinuation of the general model, I started to feel uncomfortable wearing my OP39 with its black dial. The feeling of having so much equity (I know, the line is thin here) on my wrist combined with the thought of damaging the watch (and thus lowering its value) were signals it was time for me to bid it farewell. Although the OP is a very elegant watch (and the only Rolex I ever aspired to own), it also struck me as rather plain and, more recently, boring. Because I bought the watch used from a private seller (the guy had literally wore it once), and it was in splendid condition, I was able to make a tidy profit off of it. However, now my 'smaller'-watch itch had returned as I stumbled across a decently priced (and in good condition, from 2019) PO 39.5 on the internet; a watch I had always aspired to own in the future when one of the sub-42mm variants would pop up. Thus, I did my usual research, talked a bit with the guy (sized him up in the process) and we agreed on the sale. We met in a neutral (COVID-proof) environment and all was quickly said and done... I now owned my second Seamaster (third Omega) and a week afterwards, I still couldn't be more happy with the purchase! The whole process even left me with a decent amount of cash in my pocket, but on to the review! :geek:

Dimensions and proportions

Upon initial inspection (in the beautiful wooden presentation box; sorry I never get bored of this box!), the PO 39.5 looks like a rather small watch, especially when compared to its bigger 300m (2018 model) brother. This feeling dissipates on the wrist however, where it just feels incredibly at home for someone with 6,9 inch (17,5 cm) wrists. The 19mm lug spacing is unusual, but fits well with the watch's general proportions. Contrary to some of the impressions I read online, I don't think the proportions are off at all. Yes, the lug-to-lug width is a narrow 45 millimetres, but I don't think the general footprint of the watch is weird. To me it looks rather comparable to the visual impression that a ceramic Submariner makes with its fatter, supercase lugs (which I, by the way, do not mind). The watch wears similar to a (40mm) Sub as well, with only the dial feeling just a tad smaller. In all honesty, it has to be stated that the watch is quite hefty, albeit not uncomfortable. For someone who is used to wearing a similarly heavy SMPm on his wrist, this is not even close to an issue. The thickness of the watch, about 14,4 millimetres, is also no personal gripe; the watch slides under my daily (formal) cuffs without problems (the caseback disappears quite comfotably on my wrist), although I could imagine that tight dress/dinner cuffs would cause some strain.

Design

The design of the watch is, well, a smaller Planet Ocean. Discussions on the PO aesthetics have been done over and over again, so I will be very brief here. The trademark twisted lugs and heritage-inspired dial work perfectly with a smaller canvas, even though I could imagine that some people would call the dial text-heavy and might find the large size of the indices overwhelming. Again, for me personally it works perfectly! From the applied Omega logo and the gloss ceramic dial to the colour-matched datewheel and the liquidmetal bezel; I think the watch just gives off the perfect balance between luxury and toughness that I expect from my watches; smaller size or not. One can also catch me staring down the display caseback at least once a week, even though I now own two 8800s; it's just that well done in my opinion. The big, prominent crown is a nice change of pace from the smaller and dressier SMP piece and as for the helium escape valve... well I don't mind it and don't notice it while wearing the watch. It's definitly not a must for me, as somehow I do not see it as quite the essential design aesthetic in the way that I see it for the SMP, but it makes a nice conversation piece every now and then (I mean, this is a deep-diving watch after all).

Performance

Performance wise I cannot say an awful lot just yet. However, in its first week, the PO ran fast about 10 seconds; which is well within the Master Chronometer specifications. I (obviously) haven't put the watch through any abuse, and do not intend to do this in the future as I plan to use this watch as my more under-the-radar, 'dressier' (yes you can make fun of me :p) watch. Dress or slightly more formal watches just don't do it for me at this point in my life, so this is the perfect choice for my taste. The bezel performance is also spot on. It aligns nicely with the dial's minute indicators, sounds sharp and is much easier to grip than the SMP bezel (of course). Although most reviewers state that the Sub's bezel is the benchmark for feeling and sound, I would not necessarily say the Sub's bezel action is better. It is different yes, but I'm not sure which action I would prefer under water or on a daily basis. For me, the standard for diving bezel action is still the Tudor Black Bay (although this is a 60-click bezel), which is a step above both the PO and the Submariner.

Final thoughts

To conclude, I cannot say anything else but that I am extremely happy with my PO 39.5. It makes my SMPm and Speedy (on a strap, mind you) feel larger, but not uncomfortably so, in that I now prefer the PO as 'the golden standard' for my wrist size. After a few minutes I don't even feel I'm wearing it anymore, which is a good thing (the OP did the same). Having scratched my Rolex itch with the OP 39, and having sold it with full conviction, I am happy to have moved on to the next page in my watch collecting hobby and hope to keep this little champ for many more years to come. Thank you all for reading, and stay safe and healthy out there!

Oh, almost forgot the pictures... :cool:
15476240


15476243


15476255


15476246


15476251


15476252
 

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Got to agree with pretty much everything you said. Size, looks, comfort- the fact I forget I'm wearing it and can keep it on all day without wanting to let my wrist breathe!

When I first saw these watches I wondered whether they were a bit too shiny compared the 8500 models, but I find myself loving the looks of the dial and bezel more each day, including the nicely sized, legible numerals.

15477291
15477294
 

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Thanks for a nice review. I have a similar sized wrist and have always loved this watch but have always been concerned it would look/feel too small. I might need to reassess but trouble is, they are hard to find at ADs
 

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Thanks for a nice review. I have a similar sized wrist and have always loved this watch but have always been concerned it would look/feel too small. I might need to reassess but trouble is, they are hard to find at ADs
Hi outlaw, if it's any help my wrist is 6.75", I always struggle to gauge how a watch fits from close ups but hopefully my shots give an idea of how it looks from a typical viewing distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got to agree with pretty much everything you said. Size, looks, comfort- the fact I forget I'm wearing it and can keep it on all day without wanting to let my wrist breathe!

When I first saw these watches I wondered whether they were a bit too shiny compared the 8500 models, but I find myself loving the looks of the dial and bezel more each day, including the nicely sized, legible numerals.

View attachment 15477291 View attachment 15477294
Thank you for the kind words; we are a lucky bunch for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for a nice review. I have a similar sized wrist and have always loved this watch but have always been concerned it would look/feel too small. I might need to reassess but trouble is, they are hard to find at ADs
I had similar reservations but decided to go ahead and try it... my wrists are 6,9 inches which is a perfect match really! What's your size?
 

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I had similar reservations but decided to go ahead and try it... my wrists are 6,9 inches which is a perfect match really! What's your size?
I have a 6.5” wrist. I’ve worn watches as large as the Pelagos. The Pelagos fit mainly because my wrist is pretty flat. I’ve since realized that the oversized sport watch is just not for me.
 

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Hello fellow enthusiasts! If you want to get straight to the review, please skip to the third paragraph. For those interested in a little backstory, please read on ;)
When the prices of the Rolex OP39 skyrocketed at the beginning of this month due to the discontinuation of the general model, I started to feel uncomfortable wearing my OP39 with its black dial. The feeling of having so much equity (I know, the line is thin here) on my wrist combined with the thought of damaging the watch (and thus lowering its value) were signals it was time for me to bid it farewell. Although the OP is a very elegant watch (and the only Rolex I ever aspired to own), it also struck me as rather plain and, more recently, boring. Because I bought the watch used from a private seller (the guy had literally wore it once), and it was in splendid condition, I was able to make a tidy profit off of it. However, now my 'smaller'-watch itch had returned as I stumbled across a decently priced (and in good condition, from 2019) PO 39.5 on the internet; a watch I had always aspired to own in the future when one of the sub-42mm variants would pop up. Thus, I did my usual research, talked a bit with the guy (sized him up in the process) and we agreed on the sale. We met in a neutral (COVID-proof) environment and all was quickly said and done... I now owned my second Seamaster (third Omega) and a week afterwards, I still couldn't be more happy with the purchase! The whole process even left me with a decent amount of cash in my pocket, but on to the review! :geek:
Dimensions and proportions
Upon initial inspection (in the beautiful wooden presentation box; sorry I never get bored of this box!), the PO 39.5 looks like a rather small watch, especially when compared to its bigger 300m (2018 model) brother. This feeling dissipates on the wrist however, where it just feels incredibly at home for someone with 6,9 inch (17,5 cm) wrists. The 19mm lug spacing is unusual, but fits well with the watch's general proportions. Contrary to some of the impressions I read online, I don't think the proportions are off at all. Yes, the lug-to-lug width is a narrow 45 millimetres, but I don't think the general footprint of the watch is weird. To me it looks rather comparable to the visual impression that a ceramic Submariner makes with its fatter, supercase lugs (which I, by the way, do not mind). The watch wears similar to a (40mm) Sub as well, with only the dial feeling just a tad smaller. In all honesty, it has to be stated that the watch is quite hefty, albeit not uncomfortable. For someone who is used to wearing a similarly heavy SMPm on his wrist, this is not even close to an issue. The thickness of the watch, about 14,4 millimetres, is also no personal gripe; the watch slides under my daily (formal) cuffs without problems (the caseback disappears quite comfotably on my wrist), although I could imagine that tight dress/dinner cuffs would cause some strain.
Design
The design of the watch is, well, a smaller Planet Ocean. Discussions on the PO aesthetics have been done over and over again, so I will be very brief here. The trademark twisted lugs and heritage-inspired dial work perfectly with a smaller canvas, even though I could imagine that some people would call the dial text-heavy and might find the large size of the indices overwhelming. Again, for me personally it works perfectly! From the applied Omega logo and the gloss ceramic dial to the colour-matched datewheel and the liquidmetal bezel; I think the watch just gives off the perfect balance between luxury and toughness that I expect from my watches; smaller size or not. One can also catch me staring down the display caseback at least once a week, even though I now own two 8800s; it's just that well done in my opinion. The big, prominent crown is a nice change of pace from the smaller and dressier SMP piece and as for the helium escape valve... well I don't mind it and don't notice it while wearing the watch. It's definitly not a must for me, as somehow I do not see it as quite the essential design aesthetic in the way that I see it for the SMP, but it makes a nice conversation piece every now and then (I mean, this is a deep-diving watch after all).
Performance
Performance wise I cannot say an awful lot just yet. However, in its first week, the PO ran fast about 10 seconds; which is well within the Master Chronometer specifications. I (obviously) haven't put the watch through any abuse, and do not intend to do this in the future as I plan to use this watch as my more under-the-radar, 'dressier' (yes you can make fun of me :p) watch. Dress or slightly more formal watches just don't do it for me at this point in my life, so this is the perfect choice for my taste. The bezel performance is also spot on. It aligns nicely with the dial's minute indicators, sounds sharp and is much easier to grip than the SMP bezel (of course). Although most reviewers state that the Sub's bezel is the benchmark for feeling and sound, I would not necessarily say the Sub's bezel action is better. It is different yes, but I'm not sure which action I would prefer under water or on a daily basis. For me, the standard for diving bezel action is still the Tudor Black Bay (although this is a 60-click bezel), which is a step above both the PO and the Submariner.
Final thoughts
To conclude, I cannot say anything else but that I am extremely happy with my PO 39.5. It makes my SMPm and Speedy (on a strap, mind you) feel larger, but not uncomfortably so, in that I now prefer the PO as 'the golden standard' for my wrist size. After a few minutes I don't even feel I'm wearing it anymore, which is a good thing (the OP did the same). Having scratched my Rolex itch with the OP 39, and having sold it with full conviction, I am happy to have moved on to the next page in my watch collecting hobby and hope to keep this little champ for many more years to come. Thank you all for reading, and stay safe and healthy out there!
Oh, almost forgot the pictures... :cool:
View attachment 15476240
View attachment 15476243
View attachment 15476255
View attachment 15476246
View attachment 15476251
View attachment 15476252
i concur...
 
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