Long-time lurker with first post here!
I have been into this hobby for about a year now and previously focused mainly on Japanese affordable watches. However, some months ago I got a bad case of the Speedmaster itch, which subsequently had to be scratched
After getting the Speedy Pro, my other watches have basically gotten zero wrist time, so I have decided to flip them with the exception of my SARB065 Cocktail Time and my Orient Mako, the former being reserved for formal occasions only and the latter for swimming.
However, I feel that the Speedy is a tad too sporty for my typical business casual attire (suit, no tie), and wanted to get another watch with similar versatility but veering more on the dressy side. I have narrowed down my search to two main candidates: the Explorer I (39mm) and the blue Aqua Terra (41.5mm), which I feel would sit nicely between the Speedy and the Cocktail Time on the sporty – dressy continuum.
However, despite trying on these watches on countless occasions and reading every forum post ever written on the subject (multiple times…), I just cannot pick between these two. I also want to keep my collection focused so will not consider getting both as they would serve a very similar purpose.
What I like about the Explorer:
-Almost perfect size and fit, it really wraps around your wrist
-The classical proportions and style combined with a sporty vibe, the cool numerals
-The history of the Explorer; as with the Speedy, I think this adds an extra dimension to a watch, although the Explorer is not as iconic (and not the most iconic Rolex either)
What I don’t like about the Explorer:
-Could the stealthy look become boring in daily use? This has happened to me with some understated watches that I initially appreciated a lot.
-Is the overall look and shade of the dial too close to the Speedy?
What I like about the Aqua Terra:
-The most mesmerising dial I have seen on a watch, the blue color is unbelievably vivid in real life
-A modern, sporty look that retains the dressy qualities of the basic design.
What I don’t like about the Aqua Terra:
-The proportions and fit are not as good as with the Rolex, although conversely it has a bit more wrist presence. I was quite convinced that the 38.5mm would be the right size for me, but I found the 41.5mm much more balanced and more suitable for the thick case.
-Would a future version of the Aqua Terra make this one look obsolete?
Movement-wise I think both have a lot of merit, although perhaps the 8500 is slightly more interesting from a technical perspective. I’m a bit ambivalent about the date feature as for me the pros and cons pretty much cancel each other out.
What are you thoughts, which one would you go for? Or would you rather pick something else?
All opinions are truly appreciated and it would be great to hear some long-term impressions from owners of these watches!