SBGA229 vs Submariner
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  1. #1
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    SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Hi All,

    I've been researching the Grand Seiko line and everything seems to point to better build quality, better time keeping and attention to detail over Rolex. From what I gather GS's have more hand time (a skilled watchmaker actually building/finishing the watches vs a machine) because they are lower volume than Rolex. Many people have been pushing me towards Grand Seiko for my first real high end watch (I bought a Citizen Signature "Grand Classic" to hold me off in the meantime). My only question is in regards to movement. After owning this automatic Citizen I've had for a while I must say I do see the Charm of an automatic movement, and the sense of the watch just being organic/alive. For everyday use though I feel like a Quartz watch just makes way more sense. I can't really get a solid answer on service intervals for the GS movements - is it the 9F quartz movement that is rated for a 50 yr service interval ? The Spring Drive is very intriguing, the only thing i'd be worried about is shock... I can tell that even something basic, like gesturing with my hand or clapping causes the rotor to spin like mad in my current watch and i can feel the vibration on my wrist (which is concerning). Would the spring drive movement be as susceptible to shock ? My father has a 30+yr old Quartz Seiko he got when I was only a few years old and that sucker is still going (he swears he's only ever had to have batteries replaced - and only 2x at that). Which is really starting to convince me that I should spend my money with a brand that pays more attention to the product rather than the marketing.

  2. #2
    Member imaCoolRobot's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    buy a Rolex if you want to impress others
    buy the GrandSeiko if you want to impress yourself.
    achilles, warsh, Synequano and 4 others like this.
    “If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.”
    ― Seneca

  3. #3
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Spring drives are great, I have not really heard of any shock related issues with regards to SD movements. The rotor moving freely is a symptom of some movements that tend to have uni-directional winding (7750 is known for this). As such that is not really an issue for the watch though.

    I think as long as you like the look, styling and overall product, go with what you like. Rest of it only matters after you have fundamentally decided you like something. If you like the sub more but get the GS because folks are telling you about branding/marketing/volume etc, that is not the right decision to make as you will in all likelihood regret it later. Go try it on, see if you like it first.
    ajbutler13 and MZhammer like this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    The 229 is big and thick. The Rolex is neither. On the flip side, there's nothing quite like a Spring Drive and there's nothing quite like Zaratsu polishing at the GS price point.

    I would get neither, but you should get whichever one you like better (irrespective of marketing or brand bias).

  6. #5
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Quote Originally Posted by imaCoolRobot View Post
    buy a Rolex if you want to impress others
    buy the GrandSeiko if you want to impress yourself.
    This is just silly.

    I can't offer a genuine comparison because I've never seen a GS in the metal, but I can say I'm plenty impressed with my Sub...I never intended to get a Rolex but it is really sweet.

  7. #6
    Member Alex_TA's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Quote Originally Posted by jwolfe View Post
    Would the spring drive movement be as susceptible to shock ?
    Only if you'll undress in its presence.

  8. #7
    Member salustiano's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    You can always buy a Grand Seiko with the 9F quartz movement...

  9. #8
    Member Gunnar_917's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Quote Originally Posted by jwolfe View Post
    Hi All,

    I've been researching the Grand Seiko line and everything seems to point to better build quality, better time keeping and attention to detail over Rolex. From what I gather GS's have more hand time (a skilled watchmaker actually building/finishing the watches vs a machine) because they are lower volume than Rolex. Many people have been pushing me towards Grand Seiko for my first real high end watch (I bought a Citizen Signature "Grand Classic" to hold me off in the meantime). My only question is in regards to movement. After owning this automatic Citizen I've had for a while I must say I do see the Charm of an automatic movement, and the sense of the watch just being organic/alive. For everyday use though I feel like a Quartz watch just makes way more sense. I can't really get a solid answer on service intervals for the GS movements - is it the 9F quartz movement that is rated for a 50 yr service interval ? The Spring Drive is very intriguing, the only thing i'd be worried about is shock... I can tell that even something basic, like gesturing with my hand or clapping causes the rotor to spin like mad in my current watch and i can feel the vibration on my wrist (which is concerning). Would the spring drive movement be as susceptible to shock ? My father has a 30+yr old Quartz Seiko he got when I was only a few years old and that sucker is still going (he swears he's only ever had to have batteries replaced - and only 2x at that). Which is really starting to convince me that I should spend my money with a brand that pays more attention to the product rather than the marketing.
    That doesn't happen with most watches and shouldn't be happening with your cuyrrent one. The only one I have that on is a my Parnis but that's a cheap POS so I don't expect much

    I'd get the Sub over the GS it's a nicer watch and built like a tank. Yes GS are better finished but the Sub is more versatile. The spring drive movement is a great movement and the problem is once you see it in action everything else looks like crap:


    That being said my money would still go on Rolex

  10. #9
    Member fastfras's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Pick the one you're leaning toward..

    If it was me? Rolex. All day long.
    Louie777 likes this.
    The current rotation: Orologi Calamai G50 MkIII, Omega Speedmaster automatic 3510-50, Omega Dynamic series III, Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 2504.80, Omega Seamaster 212.30.41, Omega Geneve F300 198.030 Hummer, Omega Seamaster F300 198.001 Hummer, Heuer Autavia chronograph, Eterna - Matic 1948 Chronometre, Tudor BB36 79500, Marathon TSAR medium, Pro Trek PRW3000-2, Seiko Alpinist SBQJ017 perpetual calendar GMT 8F56, JeanRichard Highlands 24004.

  11. #10
    Member Daveyboyz's Avatar
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    Re: SBGA229 vs Submariner

    Quote Originally Posted by mak1277 View Post
    This is just silly.

    I can't offer a genuine comparison because I've never seen a GS in the metal, but I can say I'm plenty impressed with my Sub...I never intended to get a Rolex but it is really sweet.
    I think he is onto something. There is nothing wrong with the sub but others are definitely more impressed by it than I am, I have tried on some GS and they compared more than favorably but you know they aren't going to get any comments and only the owner will get the satisfaction.

    The Rolex is the safe option here but I think maybe the GS is the right answer... its very hard to say really. I think the GS is the better watch but with Rolex you know its near indestructible and you get the benefit of that advertising so its and easy seller if you ever need to flip. I think the GS would sell fairly easy as there aren't many around but now GS has their boutique in London maybe they will start to move some more so that situation has more potential to rise or fall whereas the Rolex is likely to stay pretty steady.
    Rocket1991 likes this.
    AP Royal Oak 14790, VC Overseas Chrono 49140, Rolex Submariner 16610, Omega Speedmaster 3570.50, Omega Seamaster 2561.80, JLC Master Moonphase 18ct white 140.3.98, Longines 1921 Manual wind, Cartier Pasha 18ct Yellow W3004856 , Rolex Extra Prima 9ct 1924, Seiko Cocktail Time SSA345J1

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