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Thoughts on the Rolex GMT Pepsi and other expensive watches

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    #46
    Something I would recommend to anyone contemplating a several thousand dollar watch purchase:

    1. Hesitate. You could buy a car with this money, so do a similar amount of homework as you might buying a car.

    2. Write down a list of the things you want out of a watch, noting what it is about the expensive one you like. Start with features. So:
    pilot/diver/racer/dress,
    case shape, material, thickness
    dial size and color,
    bezel type and color,
    complications,
    minimum water resistance,
    crystal type, caseback type (e.g. exhibition)
    styling: arabic numerals, roman, minimalist indices, etc.
    i'll assume for the moment that we are 100% focused on mechanical movements

    3. Spend some time (I would recommend a lot of time) on the internet (worn and wound, hodinkee, forums) finding options that meet all or most of those features. You should be able to find a half dozen or so, from the $200 Seiko, Citizen, Orient, to $500 small brands that are sourcing Miyota or Seiko movements, to the guys using swiss ETA movements at or around $1000+, to the germans doing the same thing the big swiss brands do for cheaper (e.g. Nomos), to the investment piece you have your eye on that all look quite similar. Take note of what features you are getting or giving up at each price point.

    4. Now that you have a menu, reflect on the intangibles. We are talking about buying something that generally keeps time less well than a $25 casio; the intangibles are as valid as anything. Does it matter if the movement is in house? Does the brand have a pedigree, in horology or in style/film? Does name recognition matter to you? Or the fact that Roger Federer wears them, or navy SEALs? Will you sell this in 10 years time or does your decision to commit that much money hinge on whether you can? These are all perfectly valid and intimately personal. No judgement here.

    After that you'll probably understand a lot more about watches in general, and about the purchase you are contemplating making. The choice should be a lot easier and you'll know exactly why you made it.

    I recently ended up going for a mkII Anstead Oceanis recently after having my eye on several $1000+ divers (think Zodiac's heritage line, Kobold in terms of aesthetics) basically because the in-house/swiss movement thing just doesn't mean much to me, and after some research came to the conclusion that any difference in reliability between miyotas and seiko movements and swiss ETA or in-house brands are fairly speculative. The build quality is good (solid components, and anything with a 300m depth rating has to get the fundamentals right) and I happen to think it's beautiful. At $500 the secondary market value doesn't really matter to me, and for all I know I could end up passing this on to the next generation anyway if I treat it right.
    Last edited by southy; March 24, 2015, 04:51 PM.

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      #47
      Frost makes a good point. The Pepsi bezel makes an otherwise decently bowed up watch look pretty casual.

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        #48
        [MENTION=2581]frost[/MENTION] You might have just swayed me with this posting. I've started to look around the interweb researching this watch. Reviews are pretty much all positive and the price is definitely right. While it's not the Rolex that kicked off this post, the Seiko is in the wheelhouse. And thanks to the posting of the watch on a navy blue nato, I think this watch looks pretty sharp.

        [MENTION=13300]southy[/MENTION] Excellent excellent advice. Love the idea of writing down a list of features and going with it. With some fashion items I tend to just go with my gutt. If it looks good then I'll purchase it. But making a list and going over the list is a good idea. Same with spending time on the forums. I have been doing some google searches, but I don't know if that equates to 'spending time' on the forums. That's more or less me searching for specific terms and seeing what google spits back. I suppose one challenge with putting together a list (for me at least) is I'm not all that certain on what to put on it. I mean I know what I like visually, but the understanding what to put on the list specifically (movements, etc.) will be difficult as I'm not all that knowledgeable on watch specifics.

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          #49
          Originally posted by DocDave View Post
          [MENTION=2581]frost[/MENTION] I suppose one challenge with putting together a list (for me at least) is I'm not all that certain on what to put on it. I mean I know what I like visually, but the understanding what to put on the list specifically (movements, etc.) will be difficult as I'm not all that knowledgeable on watch specifics.
          That's kind of the point, right? You learn a little bit more about why a Rolex costs what it does, and whether or not you really care about those things. You don't have to have an exhaustive list, just the things you know you like. It could be the pepsi bezel, the round indices, the lensed date window (something I've never liked actually). If you don't know much about movements or don't care to know, all the better: you may have just saved yourself a bunch of money realizing you'll be just as satisfied with something that won't make a serious dent in your kid's college fund.

          The Seiko that was recommended is a nice watch, and Seiko is in many ways as well-regarded by the watch community for dependability, in-house movements, styling, just at a "consumer level" price point.

          Another one to take a look at is Steinhart. http://www.steinhartwatches.de/en/diver-watch.html
          They have a GMT with a pepsi bezel (among other color combos like black-red). The pepsi's a pretty clear homage to the Rolex, but Steinhart has gotten some glowing reviews around the web on reputable sites for various of their styles. Something to put on the menu anyway.

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            #50
            Originally posted by southy View Post
            Another one to take a look at is Steinhart. http://www.steinhartwatches.de/en/diver-watch.html
            They have a GMT with a pepsi bezel (among other color combos like black-red). The pepsi's a pretty clear homage to the Rolex, but Steinhart has gotten some glowing reviews around the web on reputable sites for various of their styles. Something to put on the menu anyway.
            Thanks for putting me on to Steinhart. Excellent looking watches. I spent some time googling around to see what others had to say and as you mentioned, pretty much everyone has nothing but good things to say about them. The only issue right now is that they are out of stock on some watches, the pepsi bezel being one of them. Looks like they will be out of stock until June at least. But for the price and the quality of the watch (again, based on reviews) Steinhart does seem the way to go.

            I still think the Seiko is a good go-to watch as well. A good/sporty watch for knocking about the yard, etc. Seems like it will take a beating and still look/operate pretty good. So many watches, so little time/money.

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              #51
              Interesting to read everyone's opinion on Dappered, now that I spend a ton of time browsing the Rolex/Tudor WUS forum. For my $0.02, Pepsi is iconic and clearly something that many people will recognize as a Rolex.

              I personally dislike Steinharts; I know there's a difference between homage and fake, but their homages are realllllly close to the originals. Particularly for the pricing, I'd prefer to buy a watch that stands on its own, rather than being a wannabe Rolex (in that range, Hamilton or Stowa for example).

              I also wanted to repeat what a few others have said -- take your time (ha, puns), there's no rush in spending this sort of cash for something that you won't love. While a Steinhart is [only] $700, if you won't be satisfied without having a real Pepsi GMT, then it's still a waste of $700.

              That being said, welcome to the never-ending downward spiral known as being a WIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPw-3e_pzqU

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                #52
                Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                Thanks for putting me on to Steinhart. Excellent looking watches. I spent some time googling around to see what others had to say and as you mentioned, pretty much everyone has nothing but good things to say about them. The only issue right now is that they are out of stock on some watches, the pepsi bezel being one of them. Looks like they will be out of stock until June at least. But for the price and the quality of the watch (again, based on reviews) Steinhart does seem the way to go.

                I still think the Seiko is a good go-to watch as well. A good/sporty watch for knocking about the yard, etc. Seems like it will take a beating and still look/operate pretty good. So many watches, so little time/money.
                I think a "Bond" Omega Seamaster from the mid-late 2000s is one of the best values. You can probably score a good used one for around $1k. Omega is a well-respected, relatively well-known name. Nice in-house, reliable movement, classic style, available in black or blue dial with a great bracelet. If you want to shave more money off the price you can find quartz versions as well.

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                  #53
                  Originally posted by frost View Post
                  Now someone stop me from buying this:

                  Uhh.... I want this now, too.

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                    #54
                    Originally posted by beatle View Post
                    I think a "Bond" Omega Seamaster from the mid-late 2000s is one of the best values. You can probably score a good used one for around $1k. Omega is a well-respected, relatively well-known name. Nice in-house, reliable movement, classic style, available in black or blue dial with a great bracelet. If you want to shave more money off the price you can find quartz versions as well.
                    What qualifies as a "Bond" style watch from the mid to late 2000s? I think the Omega watches are quite nice. In fact I used to work with a guy who was dead set on purchasing one of the Omega watches Daniel Craig wore during the filming of one a Bond movie; I can't recall which one. The auction for the watch went above what he was willing to spend, so he just bought the same watch but new. Still loves it and wears it to this day.

                    [MENTION=2622]hornsup84[/MENTION] Good advice on taking ones time. There is no rush to the purchase aside from the panic that a) the prices will go up and/or b) the supply of the watch I'm interested in will dry up. But the point of making a list, asking questions, etc. is all valid advice. As for the Steinhart watches, I hear ya on that too. Hamilton and Stowa watches are nice. I've been following someone on Instagram and they have posted several Stowa watch images. Gotta say I've liked more than not.

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                      #55
                      Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                      What qualifies as a "Bond" style watch from the mid to late 2000s? I think the Omega watches are quite nice. In fact I used to work with a guy who was dead set on purchasing one of the Omega watches Daniel Craig wore during the filming of one a Bond movie; I can't recall which one. The auction for the watch went above what he was willing to spend, so he just bought the same watch but new. Still loves it and wears it to this day.

                      [MENTION=2622]hornsup84[/MENTION] Good advice on taking ones time. There is no rush to the purchase aside from the panic that a) the prices will go up and/or b) the supply of the watch I'm interested in will dry up. But the point of making a list, asking questions, etc. is all valid advice. As for the Steinhart watches, I hear ya on that too. Hamilton and Stowa watches are nice. I've been following someone on Instagram and they have posted several Stowa watch images. Gotta say I've liked more than not.
                      Stowa is a nice look -- Baushaus styling, auto but reasonable pricing. I'm contemplating a Nomos dress(ier) watch that's similar styling, but a notch up in terms of price/quality ($4-5k for the autos).

                      As for the Omega, I was wondering which he was referring to. If it's the following Bond Seamaster... I tend to disagree with his definition of classic style.



                      If he's referring to the later Aqua Terra, I think it's a better fit (although I'm not sure you can get one for $1k):

                      Last edited by hornsup84; March 26, 2015, 07:55 PM. Reason: second pic didn't work

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                        #56
                        Originally posted by DerekH View Post
                        Uhh.... I want this now, too.
                        I might be tempted too if I didn't already own a GMT. I really don't travel but I liked the look of it. Although if I were to sell 1 of my Omegas, this would be it since the PO2500 and Speedy are both iconic and never going anywhere.



                        HornsUp - He's referring to a quartz version of the first one you pictured. The 2nd one can't be had for less than $3K-$4K.

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                          #57
                          Originally posted by Vicious49 View Post
                          HornsUp - He's referring to a quartz version of the first one you pictured. The 2nd one can't be had for less than $3K-$4K.
                          Ah makes sense -- I always forget quartz versions. Never was a fan of the Bond Seamaster personally. Just seemed a little bit too wavy/weird to have much staying power.

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                            #58
                            I've owned that Bond watch before and I thought the wave was pretty cool. It's more or less pronounced depending on the angle and the way the light is hitting it. My GMT pictured above has the wave dial as well although it doesn't show well in that pic.

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                              #59
                              Originally posted by Vicious49 View Post
                              I might be tempted too if I didn't already own a GMT. I really don't travel but I liked the look of it.
                              Yeah I don't travel that much anymore either. But I too like the look of GMT watches. Hence my starting this whole thread

                              Some good watches and some good suggestions here. Talk about getting distracted. Or watch acquisition syndrome. etc.

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                                #60
                                Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                                Yeah I don't travel that much anymore either. But I too like the look of GMT watches. Hence my starting this whole thread

                                Some good watches and some good suggestions here. Talk about getting distracted. Or watch acquisition syndrome. etc.

                                Not to add to the confusion, but Seiko makes a few very nice, high-end GMTs in their "Grand Seiko" line. It's a way to fly under the radar while getting a watch that's comparable to a Rolex GMT. Here are a couple of my favorites:

                                SBGE001 - 609K Yen - approximately USD 5110



                                SBGH005 - also 609K Yen

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