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Thread: Explorer Alternatives

  1. #1
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    Explorer Alternatives

    Is ExAlts a term, it is now. I'd like an Explorer but I don't want to drop 5K n a watch a the moment, plus I think the current 39mm is too big for my rather small wrists. I'm planning to but a new watch in September and have started to draw up a short list. All thoughts and comments appreciated. It must have a bracelet, a black dial, a simple bezel and be under 40mm. Roman numerals are a nice to have with legibility being key. A date neither makes or breaks it. My list and thoughts.

    Smiths Everest: Ticks all the boxes and the price is great but I'm a little unsure about the homage thing.

    TISSOT PR 100 POWERMATIC 80: I like the amount of watch you get for your money but I find it a little dull.

    Ball Fireman Enterprise. I like the watch face, tritium is interesting. Not pushed on the bracelet and clasp

    Sinn 556A; Lovely looking watch, worried it will wear big

    Tudor North Flag: I really liked the 70's vibe and the splash or colour. I've had it on my wrist and probably a fraction too big and the top end of my budget.

    The Sinn and the Smiths are the front runners.

  2. #2
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    The Sinn wears well. I find it perfectly proportioned and prefer it to my 40mm and above watches. Screw down crown, 200m WR and display back make it for me. And a manufacturer that has history and, I would hope, longevity.

    Buy in confidence.

    HP

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  3. #3
    I've tried all the alternatives. There is no alternative.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrudd View Post
    Smiths Everest: Ticks all the boxes and the price is great

    You could have stopped right there ... the Everest is the one to get ... 36mm perfection !

  5. #5
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    Glycine Combat 6 36mm


  6. #6
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    Fellow small wrister here - I have a 556i and think it wears really well

  7. #7
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    I have a 39mm Explorer and Sinn 556i (the latter going soon as part of my cull as I never wear it). The Sinn definitely feels smaller on the wrist.

  8. #8
    Grand Master Der Amf's Avatar
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    38mm ◊ 11.5mm, SW200, 150m WR
    Lug-to-lug 44mm, bracelet 20mm, £800
    seikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseiko seikoseikoseikoseiko

  9. #9
    Master JackW's Avatar
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    Isn't the Tudor BB36 the obvious contender? Absolutely brilliant watch for the money.

  10. #10
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    You're missing the most obvious alternative. New or old. Expensive option and an affordable option if you go older. Also the new one can be had for less than RRP. Omega ADs typically not game players.

  11. #11
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    I went through all this about 18 months ago.

    Would deffo have considered the current Smiths Everest models (36 and 40) had they been available then. The model that was around then just didnít do it for me.

    Other options I looked at were the Tudor Blackbay 36 and 41. Could never decide which one to go for - 36 always felt too small, 41 too big (I have 6.5Ē wrists).

    Looked at the Sinn 556a, had everything I was looking for, was on the verge of pulling the trigger when someone recommended the Tudor Heritage Ranger, which was of course in itís original incarnation Tudors own Explorer.

    Has the mixture of batons and Arabicís, Tudor build quality, history etc. 150m WR, great lume, fantastic bracelet if you donít mind the straight end links, drilled lugs for easy strap change. Itís a 41mm, but seems to wear smaller as the lug to lug is only 48mm compared to the larger Blackbay. There was one on here in pretty much mint condition at a fantastic price at the time, so I pulled the trigger and have hardly worn anything else this last year - fantastic every day watch.







    You could do worse than trying one on in a shop, then seeing if you can pick a good used one up - £1500 should do the trick.

    Sarb033 is another good option, bit dressier, but fantastic proportions.


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    Last edited by davidj54; 20th July 2019 at 23:20.

  12. #12
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    What about the lorier Falcon. I have been toying with picking one of these up for months.





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  13. #13
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackW View Post
    Isn't the Tudor BB36 the obvious contender? Absolutely brilliant watch for the money.
    That was my first thought; no Roman numerals but still...

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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    I've tried all the alternatives. There is no alternative.
    ^ i'm afraid this is entirely true. I've had mine for 3 years, and still try the odd alternative, just for fun. But I always end up letting them go.

  16. #16
    Master colin t's Avatar
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    Iíve had this one and the Explorer. This one has stayed with me:


  17. #17
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    As already said - there is no alternative. Just wait until September and then buy the real thing, not some second rate substitute that you will never bond with.

  18. #18
    Master Gavbaz's Avatar
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    Real thing for sure, worth the wait. The issue is, you will always be thinking of it!


  19. #19
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin t View Post
    Iíve had this one and the Explorer. This one has stayed with me:

    As the owner of a 2019 Explorer 1 I still love this and think the itch won't fully be scratched until I have both. Once I have both I can decide which is the real keeper and ditch the other.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    As already said - there is no alternative. Just wait until September and then buy the real thing, not some second rate substitute that you will never bond with.
    The OP has listed a series of Explorer alternatives around the £600-1800 mark. The real thing costs rather more.


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  21. #21
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    OP, I have gone through a similar experience. I was fortunate enough to buy a 1016 several years ago but as the market price rose I got less comfortable using it as a daily wearer. Itís now for special occasions only.

    I bought the BB36, which is a pretty good alternative and nicely slim, though ultimately I found the dial and crystal a little too shiny and the snowflake hands a mite too thick for my liking.

    The Ranger I thought was too big when I tried it on.

    I had a Sinn 556A, which had the matte dial I was looking for but I felt the case was slightly too chunky. So after a few weeks, that got the chop too.

    I tried a 36mm Omega AT 2504 but couldnít bond with it; I donít now remember why. Maybe the pointy minute hand?

    Eventually I got a 114270 and still have it, though there are days when I find that dial a bit too shiny.

    The one I think is worth trying is the older Railmaster pictured above, so long as itís within your budget and you are content with 38mm diameter.

    Editójust checked the price of the older Railmaster and itís north of £2k. So I switch my vote to the Everest, though BB36 is the one I should perhaps have persevered with.


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    Last edited by NickRed71; 21st July 2019 at 17:48.

  22. #22
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin t View Post
    I’ve had this one and the Explorer. This one has stayed with me:

    I'm not surprised. Beats the pants of the boring Explorer. That's a lovely photo, too...

  23. #23
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    Tudor BB36 is a stunner.

  24. #24
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    Sarg 011, if you can find one.



    Not my photo.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavbaz View Post
    Real thing for sure, worth the wait. The issue is, you will always be thinking of it!

    Yes, might as well get one now before the naysayers have us paying double after Brexit.

  26. #26
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    I agree with the 'accept no substitutes' theme of various posters as regards the 14270 as they are still within the reach of most people with a little patience and sacrifice.

    The 1016 is another matter however, as even comparatively rough examples and very expensive these days. The current 36mm Everest is about as near and a lot of us will come to this.

  27. #27
    There was a nice-looking Omega Dynamic (1990s version) on SC recently.

  28. #28
    Grand Master Der Amf's Avatar
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    A watch that's taken you an eternity to save up for is probably more likely to be tool watch-shaped jewellery than much of an explorer, even if it's an Explorer.
    seikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseikoseiko seikoseikoseikoseiko

  29. #29
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    Funnily enough, it was an interest in the Explorer that brought me to this forum in a roundabout sort of way. Thatís when I discovered the Smiths Everest. I totally agree that thereís no substitute but as a fellow dainty wrister (!) the 36mm Everest has been a great buy. Wears lovely and is unbelievable quality in my, admittedly laymanís, opinion.




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  30. #30
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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. The Real Thing is out of the question at the moment. New house, schools etc. Plus the current 39mm just doesn't appeal to me. The Railmaster, especially the older 36mm novel is very appealing. But I had a quick look at prices and it is north of 2500 so out for the moment. I always thought of the BB36 as a Oyster Perpetual alternative. I like everything about the BB36 except the snowflake hands. The Ranger I like, but I looked a little big on my wrist. I have a few Seiko's already, and I enjoy them, but want something different. Lots to mull over. I'm thinking Smiths at the moment, mainly to give me time to consider my options.

  31. #31
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    Railmaster 60th would be my call. There is on on SC at £3650.

  32. #32
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    I agree with the 'accept no substitutes' theme of various posters as regards the 14270 as they are still within the reach of most people with a little patience and sacrifice.

    The 1016 is another matter however, as even comparatively rough examples and very expensive these days. The current 36mm Everest is about as near and a lot of us will come to this.
    Thereís the 5500 as an affordable vintage alternative. Donít knock 34mm - Iím happy wearing mine even with my nearly 8Ē wrist.

  33. #33
    Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Tried the real deal and to my relief it did the square root of nothing for me. All a bit yawnsville. It's a personal thing of course, but the Tudor Heritage Ranger is where my cash would go.

  34. #34
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    Just realised in my original post I stated Roman numeral when I meant Arabic.

  35. #35
    I had the same issue as you plus a fixation for 36mm.

    I missed a super deal on a 36mm railmaster for 1000 dollars in costco (had to pay the mortgage) so then I bought the BB36 ten years later.

    The creamy everest expedition thing smiths will be next any way.

    ...
    BUBI 0_0

  36. #36
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    Tried the real deal and to my relief it did the square root of nothing for me. All a bit yawnsville. It's a personal thing of course, but the Tudor Heritage Ranger is where my cash would go.
    Have you tried one Matthew? I have 34 (5500) and 39mm Explorers and a Heritage Ranger. I like them all but the new Ranger is let down for me by being just too big. I canít help wishing it had been 38mm.

  37. #37
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    Even a real deal Rolex Explorer might not be the end of the story. I lusted after a 36mm 114270 for years. I finally got it but after 2 months of wearing it I found it a little bland and boring so I ended up moving it on and getting a SubC Date then finally my current GMT BLNR. I do think these 'Professional' sports watches with moving bezels are a much more interesting design than smooth bezel watches such as the Explorer.

    Something like the 36mm Smiths Everest would be a good option to see if you get on with the design. They don't appear to loose too much money either (on TZ SC at any rate) if you wanted to move it on.

  38. #38
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    Another alternative could be the Zeno Explorer available from Chronomaster if you canít get the Smiths Everest




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  39. #39
    Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    Have you tried one Matthew? I have 34 (5500) and 39mm Explorers and a Heritage Ranger. I like them all but the new Ranger is let down for me by being just too big. I canít help wishing it had been 38mm.
    I've only tried the modern iteration and I think that the main problem was that it wasn't a 1016 or 5500 which have so much more character.

  40. #40
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    2nd Harold's Expedition protoype out in September.

    or one of these.
    Last edited by wallyuk; 22nd July 2019 at 06:01.

  41. #41
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    +1 for the Smiths Everest. I had explorer cravings last year - came out of nowhere, I guess I hit a certain age. Once I bought the Smiths I had no further cravings. An excellent timepiece

  42. #42
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NigeG View Post
    Another alternative could be the Zeno Explorer available from Chronomaster if you can’t get the Smiths Everest




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    Be wary of quality control issues with these. I have had a few where the time keeping was so poor that they needed working on before they were anywhere near acceptable. Also I had the crown detach and fall out on two - the second being the replacement for the first one where this had happened.

    They have NOS AS movements which have been sitting around for a long time - some are of the opinion that they bung them in the case without checking or lubing them properly. When one of mine was checked by a watchmaker he said that there was very little oil left, only a sticky residue in places.

    The first one I had was fitted with a Miyota movement and performed well. These aren't available new now though - its the AS or nothing.

    The Everest is better in just about every respect and much better VFM - best to hold out for one instead of going down this route IMO.

  43. #43
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    I heard an announcement that Tudor are going to release a 38mm Ranger in an original oyster style case, with the BB58 movement...........................and then I woke up☹️

    But seriously, that would really hit the spot for an AltExp. Come on Tudor, you know it makes sense.

  44. #44
    Master
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    Face it, the modern Explorer 1 has moved away from the 1016 that made the Explorer's name. While the modern Explorer has Rolex on the dial, many of the other homages are far closer to the tool watch ideal set by the 1016. If you are looking for watches from the period of the Explorer with similar abilities and quality, I'd consider the Certina DS or Zenith Sporto or Surf.

    That said. Eddie's current range of 35mm stuff just keeps getting better. The AM is a watch that makes a lot of more expensive watches look flabby. I fully expect the Expedition to take this a step further. Of course there's always the Speedbirds...

  45. #45
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    Just for info - Borealis Watches have just announced pre sales of their Explorer homage, the Adraga I think. Available in a few variants.


    Edit.
    Here it is https://www.borealiswatch.com/store/...eid=86a6c8cbaf
    Last edited by Riley; 22nd July 2019 at 13:38.

  46. #46
    Master Wooster's Avatar
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    Archimede Outdoor? Explorer-ish enough imo.


  47. #47
    The new TF Smiths De Luxe.

    I've had the pleasure of testing the pre-production prototype and it is the best new / modern watch I have ever worn.

    It's only been off my wrist to change straps (currently on a brown perlon).

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...rototype/page6

  48. #48
    Master
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    There are some fine alternatives but if you have a hankering for an Explorer then none of those will address that ...

  49. #49
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    If an Explorer is out of the question, then if used is OK I think this is interesting. 37.5mm, but sub-second dial so not quite Explorer like. Generation 1, so ceased production in 2010/11. About £1000-1200 on a bracelet, but would need stalking of eBay and Chrono24 to find.



    Dave


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  50. #50
    Master
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    Liking the white dial Borealis.

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