Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

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  • Grand Seiko

    21 35.00%
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    4 6.67%
  • Rolex Explorer I

    20 33.33%
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  • Mystery obsession

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Thread: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

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  1. #1
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    Question Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    Hello world...
    This is my first post (after watching and reading for some time).
    I am looking for advice on where to go from here. I have a small and relatively inexpensive collection and am looking to start moving forward.
    Each purchase will likely have some time in between to save up and research.
    Ok so getting to the point, I've been torn between starting with a nice Grand Seiko as I like my SKX very much and it is my "wear to work" watch (Im a operator at a refinery so its exposed to harsh conditions and chemicals). The GS models im looking at would be :
    SBGE001/201
    SBGE011/211
    SBGA029
    I initially was intending to go with a SBDX017 MM300 and it is still a very good possibility that that is the direction I may go as its considerably cheaper, but wonder about the build quality as compared to the Grand Seikos?
    I know any of the above will be great bang for the buck watches with excellent finishing.
    Now on to the alternatives / non Seiko options...
    I have liked the Rolex 214270 Explorer I and 16570/216570 white dial "Polar" Explorer II since first seeing them a while back and they are generally in the same price ballpark as the Grand Seikos I am looking at but have two concerns
    1. There is only one local shop that deals in Rolex anywhere where I live and their selection is small to say the least, I have talked to them and tried a few things on but I have been underwhelmed with Rolex so far as far as that "this is it" feeling... they have not had a 39mm Explorer in so maybe when they have one it will wow me but I expected more in some way.
    2. I worry about ending up with a fake... Im sure that everyone that has ever bought a Rolex has this fear and I think it should be safe buying from a watch/jewelry store or a reputable online store (such as crown&caliber?). Im just cautious as Rolex has so many fakes out there and Grand Seiko seems safer.

    Lastly, *and this is the wrench in the plan*, there has popped up for sale the first watch that got my attention and kinda got me into watches in the first place. (It was a very limited run several years back.) I have been watching for one to pop up for a year and have only seen one other one and it sold before I could do the research I would have liked to do. The seller of this one seems to have a somewhat spotty history (almost all were cancelled sales when he realized his price was low). The price seems fair compared to what I have seen archived sales go for, maybe a little on the high side but within reason. My hesitation is that it is nothing like what I had planned for my next purchase (not as nice/high end as a GS or Rolex, not a spring drive, not a diver, slightly bigger than I would normally wear). However, almost every week I find myself searching and reading and watching for one to come up for sale...
    Ok done running my mouth----now its time for your thoughts on what I should do next.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    I think buying a Rolex without trying it on first has a high likelihood for disappointment. The 39mm Explorer I is a nice size, but it is pretty thick and heavy as I recall. At least they finally put lume on the numbers. The explorer II is a nice, not too flashy watch, but it doesn't hold its value like the others. Personally, the 42mm version is too big and I like the older (and much cheaper) version better.

    Grand Seiko on the other hand - that is a watch only you and a select others will know is special. Its a wonderful under the radar sleeper watch.

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    MM300 is an amazing watch but it is quite big, if you're also looking at a 39mm explorer, it is an entirely different beast! It's more similar to Grand Seiko SBGE211 which is 41mm.

    I have no experience with the GS watches unfortunately. On this forum GS is held in very high esteem, it'll be a step up compared the the MM300.

    If I were you I would make up my mind about size, it has a big influence on your choice I'd say. If it doesnt sit nicely on the wrist then it won't be an enjoyable watch. In terms of quality the GS is a step up from rolex in terms of finishing, but a step down on resale value IMO.
    Simon likes this.

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  5. #4
    Member 41Mets's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    The MM is something I'd really like now, but the prices have risen since they discontinued the model. I am not as enthusiastic about the Grand Seiko divers, so I'd go MM over them. I am a huge fan of teh Grand Seiko GMTs but not as much with their others.
    Glashütte Senator Sixties Panodate Green
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  6. #5
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    Agree with everything you said.
    I would not buy a Explorer I/II before trying one on as the local shop said they could try to get one if I am serious but I said to just call me if they get one or I will stop in from time to time.
    Every day I seem to change my mind on the Explorer II as to if I love it or hate it so that is on hold for now.
    Grand Seiko seems to be the ultimate "Under the Radar" brand, the whole "buy a Rolex to impress others, buy a GS to impress yourself" thing. I am not really concerned with showing off to others and there are next to no watch collectors up in my neck of the woods so who cares anyway.
    I think eventually GS will be more recognized and will start to hold value better but who knows, its not like Im planning on selling most of these pieces anytime soon or even ever possibly, but then again everyone says that too...
    Thanks

  7. #6
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    I think the MM300 is BIG as well but also seems to be on everyone's "you should own one at least once" list, so there is something special going on there.

  8. #7
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    I love the stealth nature of the GS and the quality of the product. It’s a watch that you can dress up and dress down. Really like their divers but the SBGM027 is a really cool Explorer like watch and from what I have read is just under 40mm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #8
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    It all really just depends on what you really want and your budget. They are all good watches. One thing to keep in mind- you could possibly buy a 16570 from a trusted dealer AND get a new GS for about the price of a 216570, depending on the model of GS.
    Bell & Ross - Innes - Grand Seiko - Hamilton - Helson - Longines - Nomos - Omega - Seiko - Sinn - Tag Heuer - Zodiac

  10. #9
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    Since you have been pursuing your "mystery obsession" for a long time, and one has come up, it seems that would be the way to go if you could iron out the trust issues--the other choices will always be there, when and if.

  11. #10
    Member rdoder's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on next purchase? GS or Rolex

    Everyone is different. For me:

    I solve problem of fakes by buying from brick-and-mortar authorized dealer. I pay more, but I get to see the watch before buying (e.g. ensure any flaws present, e.g. scratches, misalignments, dust-on-dial, are tolerable to me, and I get peace of mind that it's not fake). Just make sure to haggle as much as possible, don't be afraid to walk away, comparison shop online, and come back another time to haggle some more. :)

    When in doubt, I wait until I have no doubt, until I really really really want a watch. Otherwise, I don't buy.

    Grand Seiko "Heritage" with right dial and hour markers/hands is "better" for "play of light and shadow" "endless" fascination of changes in appearance (like a chameleon), super-clear crystal and super-clear look at dial contents in many lighting conditions and angles, and I love seeing the movement through transparent caseback.

    (Modern) Rolex is "better" for more solid feeling bracelet and fit (e.g. feels more solid when I wiggle the bracelet links), unbelievable +/- 2s/day accuracy (at least when it's new?), and Rolex is a "nice to have" watch. (Makes me feel better about myself. LOL It's a nice watch to hold, feel, hear, see once in awhile.)
    Last edited by rdoder; September 13th, 2018 at 17:54.
    Simon, gatormac and Brey17 like this.

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