I was going jewelry shopping with my wife, while out of town, and happened to visit a local Omega Boutique.
While my wife was eyeing her eyes on the Blue Dial Aqua Terra 38mm (an effing sexy watch) and while she is trying it on, I tried on a 41mm Grey dial Aqua Terra (with teal second hand) and noticed the this one had a grey gator strap, instead of the grey rubber strap or a blue gator strap I was originally expecting. When I pointed that to the salesperson, she pointed out it was actually a common practice, and then showed me a sapphire sandwich speedy pro with a brown calf skin they have on display as an example.
Then I came home, saw my Planet Ocean, which is a 43.5 mm, black dial 8900 with Omega Deployant buckle and a black 21mm Omega generic gator strap, from a local boutique, and saw the following reference number on my box, and based on my Serial number:
Then I found out the exact same Planet Ocean with its matching gator strap with rubber lining had following reference (not a generic 21mm gator strap that came with my watch).
At the same time, although I was the one to remove the watch from the plastics without any apparent signs of strap changing tools used on the lugs (until I started playing with my watch my self with NATO straps), I then finally found out the small marks that most likely were made on the case, that seemed to be due to the bracelet's end links, while moving it out. I mean, I am a klutz, but even I would not leave a scratch on the CASE (not lugs or the strap), while switching my straps out.
After this, somehow I have been having mixed emotions about this. I was considering buying a bracelet, if the bracelet costs too much, but at the same time, I do like my PO on a strap, more than I would on a bracelet. I also considered getting the Original Planet Ocean Strap (the one with rubber lining, not the one i have), so that if my gator strap is worn out for good, I can retain the comfort/weight/balance of the strap, while retaining the original looks. However, I wonder if that would be against me, should I ever, consider trading in my Planet Ocean, due to the difference in reference number as shown. Only thing I know is that although I was able to get a somewhat reasonable discount at the time of purchase, I am and wondering why I was not careful enough to ask such questions and hash it out, before I pulled my trigger, so I would not worry too much about it? I understand the salesperson's rationale, as I once inquired the IWC boutique about selling me a 3714 Portuguese with the milanese bracelet from a Portofino, which they said was a possible option, albeit a cost extra (obviously this deal did not fall through), but even considering IWC, at least they said they do not prefer such request, but considering what I saw at that OB, I cannot help but hoped to see that customers are known of such strap changes, as well as the original strap/bracelet option, before they pull the trigger.
What is your suggestion? Am I just being overly anal, or do you think it is a better idea to buy a bracelet, either on Omega AD, or ebay (if I can find the right one)? Do any one also know the part number for this Omega PO bracelet? Lastly, I was wondering if you have seen boutiques or AD's change the straps on the watch and sell it to you, before you even know it? Please let me know!
P.S. Anyone know the part number for Planet Ocean 8900 bracelet, and how many link I should be expecting in a full shabang? Please let me know!