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I got an alert yesterday from YouTube and watched it right away. Even tho Hodinkee can be a bit “snobbish” I do find they are very knowledgeable about watches. I was interested to see their take on these 3. For me I would break those 3 watches down like this:

Best looking: Omega
Best value: GS
Best overall: Rolex

I love the Omegas dial and markers, they are just beautiful. The fit and finish on the GS is possibly the best of the bunch, and it’s the cheapest by about $2k. The Rolex is just nice overall. Good movement, good looks and just a solid watch. I’d own any of them honestly.
 

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The Rolex is almost too matte/brushed/tool-ish; dare I say that is needs a higher polish on the bezel and center links?. The Omega on bracelet would be a better comparison, but definitely a solid piece. The GS is just right, if you can overlook the lack of screw down crown (I probably can, especially as it has a see-thru case back now).
 

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I think this is definitely a good 3-on-3 for them to do. I certainly cross-shopped the AT and OP when I was looking to buy something a couple years ago. I preferred the Omega head to head (blue dialed versions) because it had a little more pop/personality.
 

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I felt like they were trying to justify Rolex being there. They kept saying things like "reliable", "understated", and "solid". Not exactly high end compliments. GS and Omega aren't reliable or solid? The GS isn't understated (admittedly, the Omega would be helped by a bracelet)? There wasn't anything that put the Rolex above the other two. They made it clear that the Rolex movement is basically 20 years old and far less advanced. For the GS, they talked about the extreme quality of the finishing. For Omega, they talked about the advanced movement technology. Rolex...well...it's solid. That's not to say that other (more expensive) Rolex pieces don't surpass in certain areas. It just seems that this particular watch doesn't measure up.
 

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Out of that little trio I’d probably go for the Rolex but if the GS had a white dial I could be easily swayed.
 

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I felt like they were trying to justify Rolex being there. They kept saying things like "reliable", "understated", and "solid". Not exactly high end compliments. GS and Omega aren't reliable or solid? The GS isn't understated (admittedly, the Omega would be helped by a bracelet)? There wasn't anything that put the Rolex above the other two. They made it clear that the Rolex movement is basically 20 years old and far less advanced. For the GS, they talked about the extreme quality of the finishing. For Omega, they talked about the advanced movement technology. Rolex...well...it's solid. That's not to say that other (more expensive) Rolex pieces don't surpass in certain areas. It just seems that this particular watch doesn't measure up.
Same vibe i got. I'm a huge Rolex fan, but in this particular case i'll take the AT or GS over the Rolex any day...
 

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The Rolex is almost too matte/brushed/tool-ish; dare I say that is needs a higher polish on the bezel and center links?. The Omega on bracelet would be a better comparison, but definitely a solid piece. The GS is just right, if you can overlook the lack of screw down crown (I probably can, especially as it has a see-thru case back now).
Why is a screw-down crown important on a dress watch?

I swap watches frequently, so I strongly prefer NOT to have a screw-down crown.


I thought it was interesting they included the OP 36, rather than the 39. Means they were kinda going for crossover appeal, sizes that could work for men or women. Or perhaps it was staying with the more traditional dials; the OP 39's have the color flashes for the most part. 39's a bit higher, but not much...but given that the 36 was the most expensive already perhaps they just wanted to keep the price spread down.

Love the AT myself. Still debating between that and the Railmaster, but one of them is likely my next Big Watch Purchase.
 

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Why is a screw-down crown important on a dress watch?

I swap watches frequently, so I strongly prefer NOT to have a screw-down crown.


I thought it was interesting they included the OP 36, rather than the 39. Means they were kinda going for crossover appeal, sizes that could work for men or women. Or perhaps it was staying with the more traditional dials; the OP 39's have the color flashes for the most part. 39's a bit higher, but not much...but given that the 36 was the most expensive already perhaps they just wanted to keep the price spread down.

Love the AT myself. Still debating between that and the Railmaster, but one of them is likely my next Big Watch Purchase.
I don't think any of those three are really "dress watches". Good GADA watches, sure, but I think that highlights the preference for a screw down crown.
 

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This is, unfortunately, a mixture of all things dreadful - of "brand vs brand" (Omega vs. Rolex, Omega vs. GS, GS vs. Rolex) threads, and Hodinkee. The only good thing about this one? The absence of Ben Clymer.
 
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It would be nice to see more representation for "real" people on Hodinkee but I think this is a great presentation of some attainable watches for buyers.

I'd take the Omega.
 

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All three really lovely watches, but I wouldn't buy any of them in the form shown; for me, I'd go up a size and get the Oyster Perpetual 39 in white. The horizontal "vinyl siding" dial of the new Aqua Terras just kills it for me, even though it's probably technically the best watch here with such an advanced movement. The OP36 is just too small for me, but, like the AT, it's a very versatile watch if the size works for you. The Grand Seiko is excellent as well, but it's almost a watch that needs to be looked at with a macro lens or a loupe to truly appreciate it. At a foot or two away, the watch just doesn't look special or exciting at all, it's just too boringly styled. And I couldn't reconcile the extremely fine details on the dial with the relatively poor bracelet fitment, which is visible to the unassisted eye. Both my Tudors on bracelet (and my Black Bay costs less than the GS) had much better bracelet fitment, and I think that's a thing that's more easily appreciated by me, rather than the hand polished indices.
 

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All three really lovely watches, but I wouldn't buy any of them in the form shown; for me, I'd go up a size and get the Oyster Perpetual 39 in white. The horizontal "vinyl siding" dial of the new Aqua Terras just kills it for me, even though it's probably technically the best watch here with such an advanced movement. The OP36 is just too small for me, but, like the AT, it's a very versatile watch if the size works for you. The Grand Seiko is excellent as well, but it's almost a watch that needs to be looked at with a macro lens or a loupe to truly appreciate it. At a foot or two away, the watch just doesn't look special or exciting at all, it's just too boringly styled. And I couldn't reconcile the extremely fine details on the dial with the relatively poor bracelet fitment, which is visible to the unassisted eye. Both my Tudors on bracelet (and my Black Bay costs less than the GS) had much better bracelet fitment, and I think that's a thing that's more easily appreciated by me, rather than the hand polished indices.
GS seems to take a lot of flak for their bracelets, which I just don't understand. I've been wearing mine for years and it's extremely comfortable. As for the dial, I agree with this particular watch. Definitely not much to catch the eye. However, GS has other dials that are extraordinary. Even if you don't like them personally, you have to admire the creativity. They are more daring with their dials than any other major company.
 

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I felt like they were trying to justify Rolex being there.
I thought the exact same thing. With the Omega and the GS they were speaking concretely about actual identifiable characteristics-- movement, polishing, accuracy, materials used, etc. When discussing the Rolex they transitioned almost entirely to fuzzy marketing speak.

I mean, what does this even mean:

There is an inherent dignity in a useful object that has been made with a view to executing each part with respect for the importance of functional excellence as an end in itself, and this, rather than decorative beauty per se (in which the Oyster Perpetual 36mm manifestly has little interest and which, were it a person, it would no doubt regard as somewhat beneath it) is the sort of dignity the hands and dial radiate.
It's very eloquent, but ultimately meaningless. At least 2/3s of the Rolex portion of the article reads like this.
 
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Like most articles from Hodinkee, all I can say is it was a fun read. Trying to draw conclusions or a winner from the comparison of three dissimilar watches is odd but entertaining. Apparently the only similarity between these three is their "low" entry-level price point feature within each brand.
 

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Not my favorite GS by any means as that one is certainly a bit plain looking.

The Rolex OP 36mm with 3,6,9 blue dial would be my pick of the three. I bought my wife the 34mm version and it is just a really nice, classy, and timeless style.
 

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They are all in good shape as i can see, GS is a no for me in this category though would be preferred on a white dial, but my love for Omega wont let me .
 

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I think they were unnecessarily harsh on the Rolex. I think the Grand Seiko is actually the watch which is a bit ‘meh’, and I say that as somebody who has tried to love Grand Seiko, wants to love Grand Seiko and has bought and sold two of them.

I found the Grand Seiko to be too fat, too shiny and not particularly accurate. It was far too susceptible to position and isochronism inaccuracy than my hi beat GS, and even that was not particularly impressive.

I find the Omega in question to be technically advanced but not very well finished (dial and case) and underwhelming in person.

My number one choice of the three would be the Rolex. Reliable movement with a Breguet overcoil, clever alloys, escapement bridge, stable rate, and very good looking. It does everything well though admittedly nothing the best.

I say this as someone who’s natural home would be understated Grand Seiko (if they were as good as people say and less blingy, and Omega because I love the Co-Axial idea. I’d still choose Rolex of these three.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Like most articles from Hodinkee, all I can say is it was a fun read. Trying to draw conclusions or a winner from the comparison of three dissimilar watches is odd but entertaining. Apparently the only similarity between these three is their "low" entry-level price point feature within each brand.
Another similarly between the three may be that they are all embedded with in-house movements.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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