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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(Credit to Tenacious D)

This is the greatest and best watch in the world... Tribute.

Long time ago me and my brother Kyle here,
we was hitchhikin' down a long and lonesome road.
All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon... in the middle... of the road.
And he said:

"Display the best watch in the world, or I'll eat your soul."

Well me and Kyle, we looked at each other,
and we each said... "Okay."

And we displayed the first thing that came to our heads,
Just so happened to be,
The Best Watch in the World, it was The Best Watch in the World.

Look into my eyes and it's easy to see
One and one make two, two and one make three,
It was destiny.
Once every hundred-thousand years or so,
When the sun doth shine and the moon doth glow
And the grass doth grow...

Needless to say, the beast was stunned.
Whip-crack went his Whippy tail,
And the beast was done.
He asked us: "(snort) Be you angels?"
And we said, "Nay. We are but men."
Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh-ah-ah,
Ohhh, whoah, ah-whoah-oh!

This is not The Greatest Watch in the World, no.
This is just a tribute.

Couldn't remember The Greatest Watch in the World, no, no.
This is a tribute, oh, to The Greatest Watch in the World,
All right! It was The Greatest Watch in the World,
All right! It was the best muthafrakkin' Watch
The Greatest Watch in the World.

'Ti Tuga digga tu Gi Friba fligugibu Uh Fligugigbu Uh Di Ei Friba Du Gi Fligu fligugigugi Flilibili Ah (Bow) (Bow) (Bow) (Ooh) (Bow) (Bi) Fligu wene mamamana Sacrebleu!

And the peculiar thing is this, my friends:
the watch we displayed on that fateful night it didn't actually look
anything like this watch!

This is just a tribute! You gotta believe it!
And I wish you were there!
Just a matter of opinion. Ah, frak! Good God, God lovin',
So surprised to find you can't stop it.

All right! All right!

As a Submariner Super Freak, I enjoy serving as the unofficial curator of the Best Submariner Homage sticky here on WUS Affordables. Today's thread is my Tribute to what is, in my opinion, the Best Watch in the World.

I present you the Submariners and Sub Homages I have owned during the past few years.

1. Orient 2ER
First up is the watch that brought me to WUS in 2009. The Orient 2ER. This was my gateway drug. It was fun to discover the Orient brand, the accurate in-house movement and of course, it looked like a Sub. Win, win, win! It was flipped to fund something else (and because the bezel action was horrible).

2. Alpha LV
This was my second (or third) foray into the hit-and-miss world that is Alpha watches. They make a darn-near copy of many of the best features of the Rolex 16610 (or in this case LV) in a ~$70 package. While attractive to guys just getting into the hobby as an affordable way to try something out, I knew from the start that the Alpha couldn't ever be my Real Watch for the long-term. Flipped it to Tallguy who I think gave it to a friend. That started a WIS friendship with a fellow Sub lover that continues to this day.

3. Timex Indiglo Sub T29781
Next up was the Timex Indiglo Sub. These were available for awhile on Amazon for like $40. And what WIS can turn down a deal like that? It was a Sub homage *with Indiglo*! Unbeatable lume. I enjoyed this one for a while, but then I took my Scotchbrite pad to the case and discovered it was chrome plated brass. Passed the watch down to my son who beat it up nicely and then lost it. I wouldn't mind picking up another one of these if I can find one closer to $40 instead of the $150 I've seen them for on eBay.

3.a. Marathon SAR (2001)
Somewhere in here I purchased a Marathon SAR. Not a true Sub homage, but definitely in the Sub genre. At the time I stretched a little too far financially to be very comfortable keeping it, and I decided I vastly preferred the sleeker design of the Sub to the chunkiness of the Marathon offerings. (Outstanding watches, though.)

4. Invicta 8926c x3
When I bought my original Orient 2ER, I chose it over the Invicta 8926c and always wondered if I should have gone the other way. I should have. In my opinion, the Invicta is a better overall watch for the money than the Orient 2ER despite the Orient's in-house movement. I am now on my third 8926, but I'll discuss them in turn.

5. Debaufre Ocean 1 (42mm)
Oh, Debaufre. People hate you and love you and love to hate you. The Ocean 1 was my first stab at a Real Watch (i.e., the One Watch that would be my regular wearer and last for years and years). I bought this on a scratch and dent sale for about $322 shipped brand new from Debaufre. There was nothing wrong with the watch to the naked eye, and it became my regular wearer for a year-and-a-half. I still maintain that for the money, you cannot buy a more feature-packed Swiss Made (recognizing all the confusion that entails) Sub homage than Debaufre or (now) Steinhart for less than $1,000.

When I originally bought this Ocean 1, I opted for the 42mm version over the 39mm thinking I was riding the large watch wave of the future-that if Rolex knew what was good for them they would start making 42mm Subs (who knew that might become a reality?)

I wore it and wore it and wore it. Enjoyed the heck out of it, too. But I always suspected it was a little too big for my wrists. That, and the bracelet never fit me quite right. This one was flipped only after I acquired No. 8, below.

6. Croton Blue (43mm)
This one was a DOTD fling that I quickly flipped. Actually, I got it so cheap, I think I ended up trading it for $20 and a couple NATO straps. At 43mm, the Croton was way too big for my tastes, and the blue was blazing and a little violet in certain lights. Miyota movement. Not a bad watch, just not for me.

7. Alpha USA MilSub
I bought this from Alpha USA (R.I.P.) specifically to see if I could live with a no-date dial. I quickly decided I could. And moved on to…

8. The Real Thing (a/k/a The Grail)
I'm not going to rhapsodize long-windedly about the 14060M except to say I loved it, wore it frequently, it served its purpose in my collection, but I honestly don't really miss it. I enjoyed the heck out of it for one year then recouped nearly all my investment. And moved on.

9. Invicta 8926c
Invicta No. 2 was purchased from a DOTD site on a whim (a $65-shipped special, if I recall correctly). I brushed it up roughly and did this side-by-side comparison to the 14060M. As you can see, the Invicta holds its own in the aesthetics department. In the engineering, movement, fit, finish, and feel departments-not so much.

Image uploading. Refresh page to view

9.a. Robert Poseidon Pepsi GMT
I have never been a fan of the fourth hand GMT's whether Rolex or otherwise. But I love the Pepsi bezel of the Rolex 1675. Robert Uhren won me over with their 39mm Poseidon Pepsi GMT. Even though I was a Rolex Owner at the time, I honestly missed my Debaufre Ocean 1. Robert's watches are from the same (or similar-let's don't start an argument) case manufacturer, so I knew I liked the build and finish. Plus, this would give me a chance to try out the 39mm size of this watch and confirm my earlier suspicions that the 42mm was indeed too big for me. Confirmation obtained both as to the watch's great fit and my continued dislike of GMT complications.

10. Sandoz Submariner (Singapore)
The Sandoz was my consolation watch when I sold the 14060M. I had been-there-done-that with Debaufre. Steinhart only sells 42mm (which I have decided are too big for my tastes). I wanted something with the ETA 2824 movement, the 40mm size, glossy dial, and lug holes. The Rolex spoiled me for lug holes. I am now a confirmed member of the Lug-Hole-Loyalist club. I had a seamless transaction with Helen Wong through the PMWF watch shop, but in the end the Sandoz got the boot. The bezel was a bit clanky and the lume paint on the indices looked like it had been put on with Q-Tips. Great watch for a mod project. Sold it to a guy who did just that.

11. Raven Vintage
Then came the Raven Vintage. Jeff the Watchdude of Raven Watch Company assembled for me one of the last 40mm Raven Vintage pieces before handing the reins over to the guys who own Benarus Watch Company (of Megalodon fame). The Raven was one well-done homage to the Rolex 5513 with gilt hands and dial markers. Sold this one to Whatmeworry who promptly flipped it in one of his anti-homage frenzies. (j/k, Olly ;-)) Since the takeover, Raven is set to come out with a 6538 Big Crown homage next month. Sadly for me it will be 42mm.

12. The Mini Grail (Tudor Submariner 79190)
One of the reasons I sold the Raven was to jump on a Tudor 79190 Submariner I saw on eBay. I knew I wanted the 79190 model because it has a sapphire crystal and a modified ETA 2824 movement. This version also has a glossy dial, outlined indices, and Lug Holes! (I think all Tudor Subs have lug holes, actually.) The price was right, I liquidated a few pieces, and bought it. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the silver-tone bezel insert. It has grown on me, especially after my little Fullers' mods of brushing and cyclopsectomy (Down with Crystal Clutter!). Sometimes I think about taking it to the Rolex Service Center in Dallas and asking to swap it for the classic black bezel. Most of the time I think what a lucky stiff I am to have the only silver-tone bezel'd Sub I've ever seen on WUS much less on anybody's wrist. This one's a keeper and will become an heirloom.

13. Debaufre Ocean 1 (39mm)
As you might have guessed, I couldn't stay away forever. The Debaufre Ocean 1 really is a well-made watch, and I enjoy it immensely. This nearly new Ocean 1 came up on the Sales Forum in the Fall of 2011 and I bit. It came with the black and green bezel inserts and I have since purchased a blue one. It is such a well-made piece, and the 39mm version fits me like a glove. It's fun to swap out the bezels too to achieve different looks. The blue insert is brilliant.

14. Timex 903 15791 from 1997 (+ a gimme Jules Jurgensen)
I saw the first picture, below on WUS and desire was born. The one I finally found (and paid too much for) is not nearly in as good shape (second pic), but it's mine! I think the seller felt sorry for how much I paid, so he threw in the Jules Jurgensen watch as a bonus. It is Subb-ish, but with the Jubilee bracelet and bezel style is really more of a Tag Heuer 1000 Professional homage (which also has James Bond connections in case anyone's wondering).

15. Casio MTD-1043
Having scored the Vintage Timex, I decided to look for some other Sub homages from the recognized affordable brands. I remembered that my man, Squishy Panda had one of these Casios. PM was sent. And we made a deal. Curiously the bezel does not rotate on this or the Vintage Timex, above.

16. Armitron
I found this one on eBay while browsing. I let the first auction expire with no bids. Then I was one of 2 bidders on the second auction. $21 + CONUS shipping is not bad at all. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the fit and finish of the Armitron. It has more "heft" than either the Timex or Casio, above and the bracelet is faux solid links (read: folded steel inside of link casings-but non-hair pulling!). WR is abysmal and the case back is pop-off, but hey, it's got the look of a 16610! In fact, I think I'm going to leave this cyclops right where it is.

17. Hager Commando
With all these affordable Sub homage acquisitions I decided I needed a MilSub homage. That, and I met Tic Toc Tach at a local GTG and had to wipe lots of drool off his OWC 5517 MilSub and 9411 Snowflake homages. I am impatient and do not want to wait months for Dan at OWC to release another batch, so I connived and schemed and sent a PM to our buddy Skywatch to see if I could pry his Hager Commando away from him. He wasn't interested at first, but then decided he has so many watches, he probably wouldn't even notice it was gone. Deal. Done.

Let me just pause and say right here that the Hager Commando has the most interesting and beautifully finished case (not bezel, case) of any Submariner or homage I have handled (yes, including Rolex and Tudor). It is just beautiful. Ironic that such elegance should appear in a MilSub package.

18. Invicta Snowflake (8926obv2 Mod)
This was another DOTD type acquisition. I found it for $65 shipped from World of Watches and bit. After all, as unofficial curator of the Best Submariner Homage thread, I owed it to my constituents to develop an opinion on the obv2 with the Seiko NH25A movement. Right? Right.

Shortly after this one landed, I read a comment on the forum about mod possibilities because of the Seiko movement. Hook, baited, and set. This thread details the mod project and what has yet to be done. So far, I am very satisfied with this project, and would recommend it to anyone.

19. The Future?
I will probably never stop picking up random Sub homages in the years to come. Who knows? Maybe even another Submariner some day to keep my Tudor company. For now, there is a special watch that is on my radar and I'm waiting for the right one (and the funds, of course) to come along. It is the MKII Kingston with the gilt/no-date dial. Bill Yao's Kingston project is a Vintage Sub-lover's dream come true. (Borrowed pic.)

While part of me wishes my watch box looked like this. (Old Pic borrowed from The Rolex Forum.)

A bigger part of me is glad it looks like this:

These are my regular wearers.

And here's a group shot of the super-affordable homages (except for that expensive Timex!).

Thanks for reading my Tribute. I'll update this thread as I make new acquisitions. Thanks also to the guys I mentioned above, and for all my WUS friends for tolerating my unabashed public enthusiasm for the Submariner in all its forms and homages. The Greatest and Best Watch in the World! Booyah, Baby!


4,160 Posts
Wow, beautiful homage collection. Did you ever try the 9937? Also, I'm not sure if I could allow myself to get rid of the real thing... It's so... perfect. :'(... It brings a tear to my eye just looking at it.

13,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^Thanks, Shepperdw! I never did try a 9937. I have no objections, however, to doing so. Just haven't taken the opportunity to yet. Same with Marcello C, which I hear make very good watches.

8,348 Posts
Hmmm... Hager Commando... Did I own that? I forget. :think:
Actually, James, your tribute is such a treat that I'm truly tickled it's in your possession.
Just let me know if you plan to flip it, maybe I'll want first dibs? ;-)

Love the Tenacious D reference also! :-!
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4,160 Posts
^Thanks, Shepperdw! I never did try a 9937. I have no objections, however, to doing so. Just haven't taken the opportunity to yet. Same with Marcello C, which I hear make very good watches.
I think the 9937 looks better than the Ocean 1 from Steinhart (I just don't like the look of debaufre on the dial, for some reason)... but I've just been burnt so many times, I'm not sure if I can allow myself to buy another Invicta :/. Either way, I would love to have a submariner homage watch.

928 Posts
This is one of the best posts I've seen in a while, and only half because you managed to actually write out my favorite line in the song - "
'Ti Tuga digga tu Gi Friba fligugibu Uh Fligugigbu Uh Di Ei Friba Du Gi Fligu fligugigugi Flilibili Ah (Bow) (Bow) (Bow) (Ooh) (Bow) (Bi) Fligu wene mamamana Sacrebleu!"

630 Posts
I really enjoyed this--great photos and commentary. I finally ordered an Invicta 8926ob for myself--looking forward to the delivery.
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6,631 Posts
This sure is a great guide for Sub homage lover! Thumbs up..

273 Posts
Wow that was one hell of a post....I might actually grab one of those affordable homages if I saw one...I like the Timex and Armitron variants.

Affordables Moderator
17,578 Posts
Great post James :-!

I too love sub homages though have no where near the number you have, or have tried so many. Orient, Invicta, Sandoz (modded snowflake), Alpha USA and 2 home brews (one down for additional mods), plus 'sub-alikes' from Marathon, Seiko etc. make up a small but significant portion of my collection.

Keep on subbin' my friend! And man do I love the Raven, Hager and Tudor watches you have/had...

423 Posts
Great thread, and an amazing place to compare all of those homages directly! It's great having comments from someone who has owned them all, and all in one place.
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3,414 Posts
Well done James! Just to prove how this virus can spread amongst us so equally, here is a list of the ones I've owned:
Sandoz ( Mil-Sub Modded)
Tigershark (Mil-Sub Modded)
Debaufre GMT 39mm (Mil-Sub Modded)
14060m (yeah the real thing)
Tudor Snowflake
Tudor 79090 (current daily wearer)
Alpha Green (from you!)
MarcelloC Nettuno
Seiko SKX031 (DOT modded milsub)
Kemmner 007

And of course, the Mako, SKX007 (many), SAR (many variations), and so on and so forth.....

I was also a plank holder on the Kingston pre-order for the EXACT MODEL you covet, and passed it on fairly early AT COST to another WIS-pal who I know will never flip it (Serial Number is his daughter's b-day!)

Will likely hold on to the current Tudor, as I am a sucker for the more vintage matte dial and simple indices of the older pieces....and there really ain't nothing like some variation of the "real thing"....
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