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Thread: Why no mid level brand 'Aquanaut/Royal Oak'?

  1. #1
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    Why no mid level brand 'Aquanaut/Royal Oak'?

    Just browsing and admiring photos of watches last night I was struck by the Patek aquanaut and Nautilus (much less so the AP RO) and sighed to myself that icould never justify spending such an amount on one for myself. Then I thought it unusual that some of the mid tier brands don't do something similar, I'm thinking Rolex, omega and so on. I guess they don't want to blatantly copy an icon but then there's a lot of similarity on some of their divers and other watches.
    Am I missing something?
    Bell and Ross, just thought of their watches which are similar. Surprised there aren't more

  2. #2
    Master
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    If there's one way to lose brand identity and respect, it's copying another.

    Different if that's how you start out from the off (e.g. Steinhart) but cloning another brand design is desperate.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    I suggest that it is the detail and finish that make those watches, and to get that level of detail and finish, you may struggle to make a competitively priced alternative that also communicates your own brand's design language.

    And I agree with stedmcd - I don't think it would go down too well either!

    I don't lust for an AP RO, but I do lust for the bracelet they have - they looking stunning stunning stunning. So I do lust for an RO as no one else I'm aware of makes a bracelet quite like it!

  4. #4
    Journeyman petay993's Avatar
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    Not a brand I have ever got involved with and maybe a tier below what you are talking about but these have all the Genta design language in an accessible price point package surely.

    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/maurice...tomatic-watch/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by petay993 View Post
    Not a brand I have ever got involved with and maybe a tier below what you are talking about but these have all the Genta design language in an accessible price point package surely.

    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/maurice...tomatic-watch/
    Mind when that came out. Looked intriguing but never heard from any owners.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Mind when that came out. Looked intriguing but never heard from any owners.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
    Lovely bracelet, lovely dial. The polished bezel "claws" are a mistake, they're far too easily scratched. Movement is a tweaked 2428 which is reliable and accurate if not exactly sexy. I like mine, it is a rare non-diver in my collection and so fits a niche others don't.

  7. #7
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    Not seen these before but they're lovely and also sensibly priced.

    Quote Originally Posted by petay993 View Post
    Not a brand I have ever got involved with and maybe a tier below what you are talking about but these have all the Genta design language in an accessible price point package surely.

    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/maurice...tomatic-watch/

  8. #8
    Or there is the Concord Mariner that certainly has shades of the RO about it.

  9. #9
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Not really mid-range at £8.7k (leather) & £9.7k (bracelet), but I think the Piaget Polo is pretty close looks-wise to what the OP is referring:

    https://en.piaget.com/watches/piaget-polo



    What about the Hublot Classic Fusion for your APRO fix?

    https://www.hublot.com/en/collection/classic-fusion
    Last edited by jwg663; 20th January 2020 at 16:53.
    ______

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    If there's one way to lose brand identity and respect, it's copying another.

    Different if that's how you start out from the off (e.g. Steinhart) but cloning another brand design is desperate.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

    The watch which immediately comes to my mind is the Girard Perregaux Laureato, a stunning design straight out of the Genta school and clearly a watch that should be competitive with the Audemars and Patek but it has been labelled for some time as a Royal Oak copy and it has never been able to shake off that title, subsequent effecting the markets perception of not just the watch but also the brand.

  11. #11
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    Another for the mix

    I picked one of these up recently, and have to say am quite taken with it

    https://www.fratellowatches.com/zeni...-on-the-wrist/

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LondonNeil View Post
    Just browsing and admiring photos of watches last night I was struck by the Patek aquanaut and Nautilus (much less so the AP RO) and sighed to myself that icould never justify spending such an amount on one for myself. Then I thought it unusual that some of the mid tier brands don't do something similar, I'm thinking Rolex, omega and so on.
    Because it makes no sense. The Royal Oak, and following Nautilus were the high-end watchmakers answer to stainless steel sports watches made popular by Omega and Rolex. There's no logic for either brand to homage what they inspired in the first place.

    Rolex did, however, hire Genta to design them a watch that became the Oysterquartz, with an AP style case and integrated bracelet.


  13. #13
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Armand Nicolet have some of the design vibe for me, but drop the screw heads (good):



    Dietrich drop two sides of the Octagon, but keep the screw heads, if you like that sort of thing:



    I've seen others, but can't Brain very well today...

  14. #14
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    I can see that it could harm the brand of too similar but there are plenty of watches they are similar in style while different enough to not tarnish a brand... The Genta style could be picked up and as others have shown, produce some nice looking watches. I can also think of an older constellation from omega that has the integrated bracelet-ish look. Just can't think of anything in the present or recent ranges.

  15. #15
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    Agree it's perhaps not mid level, but they Piaget is nice.

  16. #16
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    I always thought the old IWC Ingenuir looked like an AP RO. Specifically the 3227 and 3228

    Sent from my SM-G903F using TZ-UK mobile app

  17. #17
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Minase Divido is at least as well put together as a Royal Oak and has IMHO a better bracelet. ETA movement makes it a quarter of the price. The Chopard Alpine Eagle competes again at a more -reassuringly expensive- price. And against the Nautilus the GP Laureato is a strong contender at half the price or less
    Last edited by ryanb741; 20th January 2020 at 21:19.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parabola View Post
    I always thought the old IWC Ingenuir looked like an AP RO. Specifically the 3227 and 3228

    Sent from my SM-G903F using TZ-UK mobile app
    The Ingenuir was also originally designed by Genta.

  19. #19
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Already mentioned, but the Piaget Polo is a superb Aquanautalike from one of the great watch houses. Change from £9k, although I have no idea if discounts are available.


  20. #20
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    Ooo yes it is lovely! Is that yours? It suits.

  21. #21
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    Ooo, just found a watch finder comparison of the polo s and the Nautilus, I'll have to watch that later.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Genta designed something in the region of 80 watches for Universal Geneve; unfortunately the vast majority are undocumented (notable exceptions are the Polerouter and the Golden Shadow) but I can't help thinking that this might be one of them.



    And then of course there's the Bulova.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  23. #23
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    The Alpine Eagle is fantastic, proprietary steel and in-house top quality movement. I'm hoping to get one as soon as more show up on the second hand market eventually.


  24. #24
    because it is best to save up?

  25. #25
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    The Tudor North Flag takes design cues from the Oysterquartz so is indirectly inspired by Genta designs.


  26. #26
    Master Papa Hotel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    The Alpine Eagle is fantastic, proprietary steel and in-house top quality movement. I'm hoping to get one as soon as more show up on the second hand market eventually.

    The dial looks amazing but that date window is very upsetting.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Hotel View Post
    The dial looks amazing but that date window is very upsetting.
    I dont know, its a useful function and the colours match. Unlike Pateks...

  28. #28
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Alpine Eagle is superb. Blue dial.is amazing. Lack of micro adjust on the bracelet is a pain though. The 41mm retails at £11,200 but can be bought for under £8k if you know where to look.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Alpine Eagle is superb. Blue dial.is amazing. Lack of micro adjust on the bracelet is a pain though. The 41mm retails at £11,200 but can be bought for under £8k if you know where to look.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

    Spoke to the sales rep at launch, remarked on the lack of microadjust, he said theyre working on a 1,5 link and possibly a fliplock or similar too.

  30. #30
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    Why no mid level brand 'Aquanaut/Royal Oak'?

    Iím surprised no one has mentioned the Bulgari Octo Finissimo, originally titanium, and now in steel. It doesnít have the 40+ year history of the Royal Oak or Nautilus, but I think itís more interesting and desirable than both

    Pics from Hodinkee



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    Last edited by helidoc; 21st January 2020 at 00:18. Reason: Movement image

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Already mentioned, but the Piaget Polo is a superb Aquanautalike from one of the great watch houses. Change from £9k, although I have no idea if discounts are available.

    Chap at work has just got one of these with the blue dial, apart from the bl**dy contrasting date wheel it is a very lovely watch indeed.

  32. #32

    Why no mid level brand 'Aquanaut/Royal Oak'?

    I tried on the chopard alpine eagle, very nice , great finishing, if we forget history and brand it easily is up there with the RO and nautilus.
    Last edited by ac11111; 21st January 2020 at 08:27.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Iím surprised no one has mentioned the Bulgari Octo Finissimo, originally titanium, and now in steel. It doesnít have the 40+ year history of the Royal Oak or Nautilus, but I think itís more interesting and desirable than both

    Pics from Hodinkee



    Dave


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    Octo is one of the hottest watches on the planet at this time and with countless celebrities out and about with these on the wrist, the profile for this watch is upwards all the way.

    Certainly a very niche watch and that is one of the reasons for the demand, this is no joe average Rolex etc and many people dislike being associated with the herd mentality or instagram wearers and are looking for something a little special, which I think the Octo delivers.

  34. #34
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    There are plenty of great watches in the mid tier brands that echo the designs of the RO/Naut.

    This is their problem though, everyone grizzles that they're not the RO/Naut.

    I really love the Alpine Eagle.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Minase Divido is at least as well put together as a Royal Oak and has IMHO a better bracelet. ETA movement makes it a quarter of the price. The Chopard Alpine Eagle competes again at a more -reassuringly expensive- price. And against the Nautilus the GP Laureato is a strong contender at half the price or less
    Did a bit of google-ing of the Minase - wow, looks quite stunning, would love to see and handle one in the metal.

  36. #36
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tertius View Post
    Did a bit of google-ing of the Minase - wow, looks quite stunning, would love to see and handle one in the metal.
    Last time I looked, the cheapest one on the planet is on SC, and has been for a while. Pretty and distinctive watch. Can't see how it in any way resembles an Aquanaut or Royal Oak mind...

  37. #37
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    Okay it seems my limited watch knowledge was way off! There are some lovely watches in the mid tier with the genta traits. I'm quite taken by the Piaget, but want to read more about several others too.

  38. #38
    There are a lot cheap and not so cheap Royal Oak or Nautilus wannabes. I recently saw Bulova, also EC Anderson makes close relative of RO etc.

  39. #39
    Craftsman hoopsontoast's Avatar
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    Affordable Genta design, an IWC Ingenieur (3521 in this case)


    IWC 3521 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr

  40. #40
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Just realised that GG himself had his own nominal brand - ideal if you sell used cars / Mexican timeshares &c...


  41. #41
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Just stumbled across Valpin's efforts - don't think GG had anything to do with them, but there's that octagon again + crown in any colour you like so long as it's red...


  42. #42
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    The new Bell and Ross BR05 at £4K looks quite similar to some of the above.

  43. #43
    The Octo is super interesting, particularly in its titanium variant. I'm off to try one on tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Iím surprised no one has mentioned the Bulgari Octo Finissimo, originally titanium, and now in steel. It doesnít have the 40+ year history of the Royal Oak or Nautilus, but I think itís more interesting and desirable than both

    Pics from Hodinkee



    Dave


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  44. #44
    Dont know if its already been mentioned but the maurice lacroix aikon to me is the nicest looking AP knock off and for about a grand. 100m WR with a screw down crown as well so can actually be used as a sports watch.

  45. #45
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    Was just about to weigh in with the ML Aikon suggestion as well. Tried one on and very nearly bought it last year but hesitated as we hadn't yet completed on our new house.
    Nice little video here..


    Also I believe they are releasing a 39mm version which will appeal to many.

  46. #46
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    Check out the Vacheron Overseas. Also very unloved, so can be had for £7-11k on the used market.


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  47. #47
    Master
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    A few years ago I asked Eddie if he'd ever considered this style.
    In my head something built to Speedbird standard, but he didn't think there was the market.

    I really fancy one of these next.
    I'd love it to be a Vacheron Constantin Overseas, but the service costs scare me.

    Much more likely is either Zenith or Glashutte Original Seventies.

  48. #48
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    The latest Omega Constellation? In two sizes, 36mm and 39mm: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/th...pdated-designs

  49. #49
    Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is a delicious looking watch.

    Last edited by RAJEN; 3rd February 2020 at 15:24.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by ddm27 View Post
    Check out the Vacheron Overseas. Also very unloved, so can be had for £7-11k on the used market.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The VC overseas especially the older versions are an utter eyesore.

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