This came about as I have both watches now. I thought initially of doing it as someone on my Omega forum asked about the Doxa v the Bond SMP and I wanted to shut up some of the comments about my new orange beast. I apologise for the size of this post. I also want to add pictures, but am waiting for the camera to come back from the repair shop. Please feel free to comment and come back to me on this. I plan to post the finished version with pics on the Omega forum hopefully at the weekend.
I first started out on this as a direct comparison. I now realise thatís a bit more difficult than I thought as I donít have an automatic version of the seamaster to compare with. So most of what I discuss here will be on the looks and feel of the watches.
I will comment on the accuracy etc of the watches, but based on the examples from a friends automatic Bond seamaster.
Look and feel.
Based on my friends automatic, there is not much in the way of size of weight between the 2 watches themselves. They both feel solid on the wrist and feel capable of taking whatever I would throw at them.
Looking at both models, I feel the Doxa does have more of a working watch look to it. My SMP is beautifully finished, but because of this, I feel more vulnerable when wearing it and definitely more careful as I believe it would be more prone to scratches etc and these would be more evident and visible on the finish of the watch itself.
Whereas the Doxa is nicely finished, I feel it would wear better, with minor blemishes and scratches not being as apparent to the naked eye. This is the main reason I wear it as my everyday watch, keeping the SMP for special occasions or for when you need that extra Ďwowí factor.
Saying that, I get far more comments about my Doxa. Maybe its because compared to the like of Omega, Doxa are a small fish in the sae and their watches are fairly rare around the world. Maybe its because the blue dial of the SMP is more classy and understated than the bright orange face of the Doxa, but thatís partly why I bought the Doxa in the first place.
Some people say they find their SMP bezel hard to grip when trying to rotate it. Certainly I have never found this, mine is smooth and easy to operate. The style of it is very classy and the finish with the sloped rounded edges does make it easier to wear with a shirt or dressier attire. I have already caused a little fraying on the shirt cuffs from the Doxa. However, the Doxa bezel is designed with nothing else but functionality in mind. Its easy to grip, with bare hands, or gloves. It is a bit higher and sits much prouder from the casing than the SMP ever will, but I like it! It gives the watch that Ďtoolí effect, making it more practical. In short, it feels like its there for a purpose, not just to be decorative, which I would attribute more to the style of the bezel on the SMP.
Bracelet and Clasp.
Lets start on the bracelet.
I thought my SMP bond bracelet was comfortable. And I was right! But, saying that, the bracelet on my Sub 750T is equally as comfortable. Snug fit on both, with a little help form a jeweller with the SMP, and a bit of fiddling on my part with the Doxa. My Sub 750 has the newer bracelet version with screws instead of pushpins. Doxa even supply the tool for the bracelet sizing with my watch (How thoughtful). I do miss the minute adjustment that comes on most watches on my SMP, but the half link removal facility made for a very snug fit. My Omega AD said the reason for not using the minute adjustment, was to make the bracelet more sturdy. After all ĎWho would want to lose a £1000 watch to a broken springbar?í Me, Iím a little more sceptical. If its okay for Rolex, Doxa and a host of other manufacturers, then its ok by me.
However, hereís where my heart solely lies with the Omega. Their clasp is a work of art! Its neat, functional and very tidy. It doesnít project away from the bracelet, it is secure, comfortable and the divers extension holds the same level of comfort and security as the clasp closed.
Not that I donít like my clasp on the Doxa bracelet, the fold over secure latch is extremely secure. But compared the the Omega clasp, its large, a bit cumbersome, and the divers extension is simply second rate in comparison. In honesty, if I could change one thing about my Doxa it would be the clasp. Doxa, Rick etc, you could learn something here which would truly make the bracelet as much a work of art as the watch itself!
To be fair, here its better to compare the functionality of my Doxa to a Planet Ocean Omega. Simply because the usual SMP is rated to 1000ft only. Having said that, how many of us have ever had our watches near 100ft, let alone their theoretical rate.
However, the Doxa is the theoretical king, rated to 750M. If the watch ever makes it down that far, Iíll never know, as Iíll have fallen overboard and drowned before it get halfway down.
As for the extras, the SMP has the ever present Helium Release Valve. Probably a bit of overkill for the depth it will ever reach (after all the Doxa doesnít bother and neither does the Rolex until you go for the Sea Dweller version), but how else would James Bond blow stuff up? It is a neat feature, but possibly a little backward compared to the HRV developed all those years ago by Doxa and Rolex. Even today, Doxa and Rolex enclose their HRVs and these are automatic, rather than the manual crown of the SMP.
Still, itís a nice conversation piece for those uninitiated over dinner.
Well, both watches are from a single block of Stainless Steel, with the SMP having been further treated with Rhodium. As I said before, maybe this is why I like wearing the Doxa more for everyday use. The rhodium shows the scuffs and scratches more, but itís a nicer finish to wear out.
On a practical note, I donít think I would ever wear my SMP to dive, as its simply too shiny. A very simple practical thing, but another example of how the Doxa is designed with the practical life in mind rather than the style.
Both have their individual styles. The SMP stylish and classic, not looking out of place in any situation. But then so is the Doxa, with that added bit of Retro chic to it.
On another note, I work throughout the country and there are some places I would definitely keep my Omega covered if I where working there. But my Doxa, no way. Maybe it doesnít look like a £1000 watch, but it sure wears and feels like one. Those who know it will judge its value and true worth, but I donít think Iíll ever be mugged for it by some scrote who wants to hock it off to the local fence! Maybe its just me, or maybe itís the invulnerability feeling given off by the Dirk Pitt edition!
Iíve had it commented that the 2842 movement in the Doxa is slightly more clunky than the modern coaxial movements in the Omegas. In truth, this is usually touted by the guys who frequent the Omege forum I subscribe to. But I get that feeling from a lot of Omega owners. The elite, Ďwe are better than the other guyí sort of deal. In fairness there are plenty of Doxa owners who are likely as bad, but I feel they have something more to shout about most of the time. Me I like the fact the movement has a history, a pedigree and a good name. I'm an engineer and the first rule, if it ain't broke.....don't fix it!
I compare my 750T to my friends SMP Bond automatic. Me, Iím very happy with the fact that my non certified Doxa has gained 7 seconds in total in 10 days. In fact itís a darn sight more than I would have expected, even after reading the glowing testimonials and reviews. Good on ya Doxa!
As for the automatic SMP, maybe its unfair to base this comparison on one watch. But for a SMP model, to lose over 10 secs a day is a bit much. He has had it regulated, had it replaced and had it returned to Omega. The response......... its within tolerance.
Here is where they go their own separate ways.
For Omega, they place their reputation in the hands of their many Authorised Dealers. Of course they rightly make them jump through hoops to get this accreditation, and keep it, but of the couple I have met, they are elitest, sometimes rude and downright awkward. Maybe they do think they are better than us because they have attained this high standard of work and service, but they have a lot to learn.
Maybe Doxa are keeping it a smaller concern dealing direct with the customer from sale through service, but I like it, and as the saying goes ĎI know what I like!!!!í Rick and the guys have always been helpful, courteous and forthcoming. The comments on the Doxa forum do nothing but heap praise on them. Whereas the majority of comments on the Omega forum seems to go along the line of ĎFind a good independent watchmaker and stick with himí I have never seen a posting along the lines of ĎI love my Omega ADí. Why is that? As for the future, maybe Doxa will get a network of dealers and service agents, but if they do, I hope they stick with the service attitude they have.
Overall, I love both my watches. Its taken me a long time to get this far and own 2 of the watches I have dreamed about for so long. At the minute, you couldnít get my Doxa off my wrist unless I was dead and you cut my arm off, but that may change after the newness factor wears off. Maybe, maybe not, time will tell.
As I have said above, both have their merits, both have their flaws, but even in Northern Ireland in these weird times, I am happy to say I am proud to be Orange!