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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since perusing the "Show your functional Explorer homages" thread I have been thinking of picking one up. I've always liked the Rolex Explorer's plain functionality, and have been checking out the affordable alternatives. The Smiths offering seems to be the clear choice for quality/durability, but the Alpha Exp I shown in the above thread looks pretty good as well (for the price). Are their any other options, I am aware of the sterile Chinese made ones on the 'bay, that offer the same look? The other examples in the "show" thread, with the exception of the Zeno, don't have the 3,6,9 classic look that I am searching for. I can't seem to find any of the Alpha or Zeno examples available, so if you have a source for these please pass it along. Also, if you have the Smiths version please chime in with your experience. Especially with regards to the acrylic crystal durability, etc. Pictures are always welcome, and encouraged.
 

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I think its a bit of a waiting game on these. The Smiths would probably he your best bet, at least for instant gratification. It also carries the history with it. If I'm not mistaken, a Smiths Everest also made the first climb to the top.

You could also check out Parnis, but I believe all of theirs are 40mm. Perhaps put up a post in the WTB section. Someone may be sitting on one and willing to let it go.

Last option would be to buy a sterile case, dg2813 movement, sterile 3-6-9 dial, and Mercedes hands. Then you could build your own.

Either way, there are a few options out there. You won't be disappointed when you get one. They're a great watch.
 

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Acrylic is *the* crystal material, as far as I'm concerned.
I've got a 1950 watch with its original crystal, any scratches easily polished out to like-new condition with polywatch or toothpaste. That's 63 years old, durable enough for ya? :)
I also love the acrylic crystal on my Zeno. Toothpaste is my buffing compound of choice. There's just something about that curved top and slight distortion at the edges. Mesmerizing!
 

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The ALPHA explorer is no longer made.Judging by the tight lipped answer I recieved from ALPHA it will not be back. The SMITHS seems to be your best choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Acrylic is *the* crystal material, as far as I'm concerned.
I've got a 1950 watch with its original crystal, any scratches easily polished out to like-new condition with polywatch or toothpaste. That's 63 years old, durable enough for ya? :)
Plenty!;-) Nothing against acrylic or hesalite, just wanted to know about the quality on the Smiths.:-! Thanks for the reply.
 

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With both the Zeno explorer and MKII Vantage discontinued, the only true alternative to a vintage explorer would probably be the Smiths. I was contemplating getting one, however the $475 price was a bit much for me, at least at this point.
 

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Take a look at the Bernhardt BA… (Binnacle Anchor… not bad ass.)

It's a loose homage. The lugs are a bit weird. But I have the Sea Shark (Binnacle Diver) and am thoroughly impressed and satisfied with Fred's quality.
 

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It's a waiting game, it took me years to get my Sandoz Explorer, and only because of the guys here. I contacted Zeno when I was looking for my Seahunter, they told me that small watches didn't sell well which is why they stopped making the Explorer, Seahunter and their Omega Dynamic style quartz chrono (Phantom). Whether it had anything to do with the original maker of the Explorer design is anyone's guess ;-)

I ended up with the Zeno-USA because I couldn't get a Zeno Watch Basel version, then found out later that Swiss Zeno was fighting to get the USA brand off the market, as their US division was of course called Zeno USA.

I nearly bought a Smith's until I found out the dimensions. While not large, the lug length is too long for my skinny wrists.

Z
 
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