So, we've been having a lively discussion about the appeal of Rolexes, and whether they're overpriced on another thread, and how there were comparable watches in terms of quality, robustness, and distinctiveness of the movement that could be had for less money.
Anyhow, it's too late for me, since I've apparently drank the Kool-Aid and bought myself one of the new Rolex ceramic Submariner (No Date), but as a public service, I figured it might be interesting to see which specific alternatives people hand in mind that were sufficiently robust and versatile for daily wear.
Some criteria which come to mind to focus the discussion:
1. In the sub $10K price range new.
2. 38mm-42mm in size.
3. At least 100m in water resistance.
4. Metal bracelet.
5. Versatile - suitable for both a day at work (in a suit), and in a more casual setting.
6. In-house or highly modified out-sourced movement, ideally with a free-sprung balance.
To get things started, some obvious alternatives include the Glashutte Original Sports Evolution Chronograph or Panorama Date, Omega Planet Ocean 42mm, Omega Aqua Terra, and from Rolex, the Explorer I/II, and GMT IIC.
I should note that I did consider all the options above, with the exception of the Glashutte Originals, and I have my reasons for going with the new Submariner No Date, which I would be happy to share once the discussions get rolling.