A while back Fullers posted a great thread comparing his Rolex Sub with his Inivicta 8926.
I'm now in the position to do something similar having just reacquired an Alpha Explorer I. I first got one of these in 2009 (My Alpha Explorer arrived...and I LOVE it (loadsapics!)); it was I think the second watch I bought after joining WUS. I liked it a lot but my attentions soon turned to other things and I sold it (!SOLD!: Alpha Explorer I black dial - UK seller).
Then I found I missed it (You know what? I REALLY miss my Alphas...) but by that point they were becoming harder to get hold of and a few months later I found myself somewhat unexpectedly buying the real deal.
Anyhow, a few days ago I bought another one from the sales board on another site. The guy I sold mine to resold it there a few months ago and I'm reasonably sure I've actually ended up buying my watch back (for exactly what I sold it for to boot!). Certainly the number on the warranty card is the same but whether that proves anything or not I don't know.
The bracelet is better than I remember it, but one of the screws stubbornly refused to come out so whilst I can get it sized for my wrist it's a little off centre. As a result I've stuck it on a NATO which it's very comfortable on.
Aside from the obvious gulf in overall quality the main difference between the Alpha and the Rolex is the dial. The Rolex has a wonderfully rich and glossy dial which is the blackest thing you can imagine and is utterly hypnotising. The Alpha has a maybe not even quite black, matte dial. The numbers and other indices on the Alpha are slightly larger - I suspect if Rolex made a model that looked exactly like this they'd call it a Maxi dial. The branding on the Alpha is also slightly larger (as well as being less visually pleasing, it's a bit of a mess compared to the refined Rolex typography).
Differences elsewhere are more slight. The crystal on the Alpha protrudes like the Rolex's but not by so much. The hands are very similar - the 114270's maybe a shade longer. The case are also very similar - the Oyster case on the Rolex is definitely thinner and appears ever so slightly longer. The lugs also taper slightly more. To my eye the Alpha looks a touch bigger but there is very little in it.
I like both watches very much and, despite the massive difference in price (one cost almost 100x the other) feel like they both offer good value for money. I've got so used to lower end Seiko and Orient movements lately that I'd actually forgotten that the Sea-Gull (I think, if not I'm sure someone will correct me) movement in the Alpha hacks and handwinds.
Anyway, here's da pix!
And a final few of the new arrival with its new shoes on.