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Thread: Thoughts on the early 2000's Railmaster?

  1. #1

    Thoughts on the early 2000's Railmaster?

    I'm considering a Railmaster at the moment and wondering if there are (there must be...) any owners on here that can give some impressions on the watch? I love the simplicity and the history behind this particular model. I think theres a lot of love for the 36mm but those seem to be almost unatainable at this point, and with the original being 38mm I'm thinking the 39mm varient is a closer match to the original, but I'm also kind of worried about how big it might wear on my pathetic wrists. Feels like a tough choice between the more accurately sized recreation or waiting, possibly indefinitely, for a smaller one to hit the market.

  2. #2
    Master
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    That generation Railmaster is a lovely watch. I owned one albeit, briefly and thought it was fab. Super legible, nice vintage vibe, great lume and you could spend days trying it on different straps. The timeless twisted lug case suits the simplicity of the design perfectly.

    Mine was the 39mm and at approx 7.1 inch, I would regard my wrist size as average. As with any watch of this aesthetic (all dial, thin bezel, Explorer 214270 fits the criteria here too) they do wear bigger than their measurements suggest. Not sure how you're packed in the wrist department but should definitely be considered here IMO.

    As you say, the 36mm version is very seldom seen but could be the best of the lot.



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  3. #3
    Master
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    I sold a 39.2mm old generation Aqua Terra (same or similar case I think) due to it seeming a touch oversized on a slim wrist, but it was borderline. It wasnít unwearable, it was a matter of taste and a good size for most people, but it never seemed exactly right for me and you may end up feeling the same way. Youíll be lucky if they bring out any other version though, the current model is 40mm and thatís the size all brands seem to think all men want at the moment. It probably works fine for most of them, to be fair.

  4. #4
    Yeah, very true, and to be fair divers etc work at those sizes. I can get away with a 41mm BB ETA, 42mm PO 8500 (just), but obviously something like the Railmaster is all dial and wears so much bigger. My wrist is 6.5 so not sure I can get away with it. Maybe I just forget this one and wait until one crops up that I can try on.

    Appreciate the input from you both. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Owned a 36mm version on a bracelet. Beautiful and subtle watch. Would easily work as an only watch. Worked perfectly on a bracelet or leather strap. The factor thatís often overlooked in watch sizing is the dial diameter. These do wear bigger than you might think. Check out the Ďtale of two railmastersí thread over on WuS....

    I sold it as I thought it was almost a bit too subtle (ie plain). I maybe have been wrong about that. Also I wasnít 100% about the see through caseback, I think that was the deal breaker in the end.

    If I hadnít sold it I may well have happily worn that every day and left the forums never to discuss watches again.

    What might have been.....




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  6. #6
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNH View Post
    Yeah, very true, and to be fair divers etc work at those sizes. I can get away with a 41mm BB ETA, 42mm PO 8500 (just), but obviously something like the Railmaster is all dial and wears so much bigger. My wrist is 6.5 so not sure I can get away with it. Maybe I just forget this one and wait until one crops up that I can try on.

    Appreciate the input from you both. Thanks.
    I would suggest the 39mm would be too big for you based on my own experience.


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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    Owned a 36mm version on a bracelet. Beautiful and subtle watch. Would easily work as an only watch. Worked perfectly on a bracelet or leather strap. The factor thatís often overlooked in watch sizing is the dial diameter. These do wear bigger than you might think. Check out the Ďtale of two railmastersí thread over on WuS....

    I sold it as I thought it was almost a bit too subtle (ie plain). I maybe have been wrong about that. Also I wasnít 100% about the see through caseback, I think that was the deal breaker in the end.

    If I hadnít sold it I may well have happily worn that every day and left the forums never to discuss watches again.

    What might have been.....

    <snip>


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    If it's any consolation it happend to me for a couple of years after I bought a GMT2 but here I am asking about another watch. Ultimately the itch comes back.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post
    I would suggest the 39mm would be too big for you based on my own experience.


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    Yep, that's what I'm thinking and was probably hoping someone would help me justify it. 36mm seems like an impossible find but I guess I start looking.

  8. #8
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNH View Post
    If it's any consolation it happend to me for a couple of years after I bought a GMT2 but here I am asking about another watch. Ultimately the itch comes back.



    Yep, that's what I'm thinking and was probably hoping someone would help me justify it. 36mm seems like an impossible find but I guess I start looking.
    Haha - yes that is some consolation!

    You will find one, I did fairly quickly once I really started looking....


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  9. #9
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    There is a world of debate about 36mm being the ideal size/being too small to live with.

    Personally I am in the too small to live with camp.

    I owned a 39mm co-ax Railmaster and absolutely loved it. It did sit well on my 7ľ" wrist if I do say so myself; unfortunately it was too "dressy" for my scruffy persona, and I sold it to justify the purchase of a Black Bay bronze.
    The jury is still out on that one..........

  10. #10
    Journeyman
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    I have the 39mm version and it wears well on my 6.75 round-ish wrist. Does the large dial size make the watch look bigger overall, yes ofcourse, it looks larger than my 41mm Bond SMP side by side. But that's part of the Railmaster charm- large, simple and highly legible. Not to mention the curve / shape of the case is beautiful.

  11. #11
    Great watch, I recently picked up the 39mm and Iím glad I did. I like smaller watches but as you say, the 36mm is not that easy to find. I even stopped looking altogether a while back and then magically this one came up locally. I have a 8in wrist, so probably not much help to you, but if you like slightly larger watches then itís worth trying it. Itís a very thin watch at around 10mm as well. Youíre more than welcome to try mine if youíre somewhere in Hampshire?



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  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    I've been after one for a long time, but I haven't come across a perfect match. I think I'm fully concluded I want the 36mm variant. I've seen the 39mm finally live and there is something about the dial propotions and the watch case that puts me off. Another issue here is that the lyre lugs don't take polishing that well at all. I don't mind scratches but I want the edges to be sharp.

    For those interested, there are two movement versions, 2403 and 2403b. 2403 suffers from the issues with the earlier coaxial movements and 2403b has most of these fixed. I think it is more or less dateless cal 2500c.

  13. #13
    Master
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    Slightly off topic given that this is about the early 2000s Railmaster, but I’ve realised that Omega do actually do a 38mm Railmaster currently. The 1957 trilogy version is a couple of mm smaller than the standard 40mm version. So maybe that’s an option. However personally I find both versions a bit too faux vintage, something that prevents them from being a serious competitor to Rolex’s Explorer, which is more successful at playing with the heritage while still feeling modern.

    Seiko are also getting in on the act it seems, having revived a model that looks a lot like a Railmaster in 36.6mm, with a more modern interpretation in 39mm.
    Last edited by Itsguy; 26th February 2021 at 10:47.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGent View Post

    You will find one, I did fairly quickly once I really started looking....
    I wish that were true - I have also been on the hunt for one for a few years, not giving up just yet though.
    I own a 36mm Aqua Terra from the same period - it's also a pretty rare bird being the blue steel MOP dialled 2504.70 - a great watch, that fits my wrist perfectly, but think I would even trade it for a 36mm Railmaster given the chance!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by unclealec View Post
    There is a world of debate about 36mm being the ideal size/being too small to live with.

    Personally I am in the too small to live with camp.

    I owned a 39mm co-ax Railmaster and absolutely loved it. It did sit well on my 7ľ" wrist if I do say so myself; unfortunately it was too "dressy" for my scruffy persona, and I sold it to justify the purchase of a Black Bay bronze.
    The jury is still out on that one..........
    That's an interesting take. Scouring the internet for them and looking at wrist shots etc I see it as a watch that suits almost any occasion. It seems to look right at home on pretty much any strap with any outfit. Part of its charm for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by PawG View Post
    Great watch, I recently picked up the 39mm and Iím glad I did. I like smaller watches but as you say, the 36mm is not that easy to find. I even stopped looking altogether a while back and then magically this one came up locally. I have a 8in wrist, so probably not much help to you, but if you like slightly larger watches then itís worth trying it. Itís a very thin watch at around 10mm as well. Youíre more than welcome to try mine if youíre somewhere in Hampshire?
    <snip>


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    Looks great on that nato, and a perfect fit for your wrist size, which basically confirms it'll be far too big for me. I'm nowhere near you unfortunately but I do appreaciate the gesture, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Slightly off topic given that this is about the early 2000s Railmaster, but Iíve realised that Omega do actually do a 38mm Railmaster currently. The 1957 trilogy version is a couple of mm smaller than the standard 40mm version. So maybe thatís an option. However personally I find both versions a bit too faux vintage, something that prevents them from being a serious competitor to Rolexís Explorer, which is more successful at playing with the heritage while still feeling modern.

    Seiko are also getting in on the act it seems, having revived a model that looks a lot like a Railmaster in 36.6mm, with a more modern interpretation in 39mm.
    The LE anniversary is a nice looking watch, but I agree about the faux vintage stuff. I love that they went back to its roots with the text on the dial though, very minimal and appealing, but I don't really want a watch that is pretending to be older than it is. I think the 2000's RM got it right similar to how the Explorer does it. Unfortunalty the date on that Seiko kind of ruins it for me.

  16. #16
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    The best version of the Railmaster. I really don't like the new iterations.

    I had the 39mm but always felt it was too large for the style.

    On my 7" wristÖ




    Beautiful watch though, with the right balance of dressy and sports, and the lume was a torch. But the 36mm would have been the absolute sweet spot.

    I ended up selling to fund a 114270 Explorer, but if I ever got the chance to get the Railmaster in 36 I'd seriously consider chopping the Explorer in to get it.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    The best version of the Railmaster. I really don't like the new iterations.

    I had the 39mm but always felt it was too large for the style.

    On my 7" wristÖ




    Beautiful watch though, with the right balance of dressy and sports, and the lume was a torch. But the 36mm would have been the absolute sweet spot.

    I ended up selling to fund a 114270 Explorer, but if I ever got the chance to get the Railmaster in 36 I'd seriously consider chopping the Explorer in to get it.
    Interesting, to me it looks spot on even though lug to lug would indicate that maybe itís slightly too large. But somehow looks right. I have no idea, if it feels right - wear it, I guess.


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  18. #18
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PawG View Post
    Interesting, to me it looks spot on even though lug to lug would indicate that maybe itís slightly too large. But somehow looks right. I have no idea, if it feels right - wear it, I guess.


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    I suppose it's personal preference. I'll happily wear 44mm, 13mm thick divers, but the RM is very slim and the dial just felt too large for the svelte case.

  19. #19
    Forget 36, 39 etc. 49 mm is right size for this one.

  20. #20
    Craftsman Wandril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Forget 36, 39 etc. 49 mm is right size for this one.
    The XL railmaster yes haha

  21. #21
    Craftsman Wandril's Avatar
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    My bad, it's actually called the XXL railmaster

  22. #22
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandril View Post
    My bad, it's actually called the XXL railmaster
    I think it was actually meant to be hung on the station wall.

  23. #23
    Craftsman Wandril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    I think it was actually meant to be hung on the station wall.
    Probably yes, like the mondaine clocks in the swiss train stations
    I haven't checked the movement inside but the size and small seconds makes me think about a pocket watch movement

  24. #24
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandril View Post
    Probably yes, like the mondaine clocks in the swiss train stations
    I haven't checked the movement inside but the size and small seconds makes me think about a pocket watch movement
    Yes - think itís based on the 6497...


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  25. #25
    Craftsman
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    The design has has a big dial so it wears big for its size, but it's not a big watch at all. I have the 39mm and a 7 inch wrist and think it wears smaller than my BB GMT. Here a photo that looks pretty true to life


  26. #26
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PawG View Post
    Great watch, I recently picked up the 39mm and Iím glad I did. I like smaller watches but as you say, the 36mm is not that easy to find. I even stopped looking altogether a while back and then magically this one came up locally. I have a 8in wrist, so probably not much help to you, but if you like slightly larger watches then itís worth trying it. Itís a very thin watch at around 10mm as well. Youíre more than welcome to try mine if youíre somewhere in Hampshire?



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    That looks excellent. Nicer than the bracelet IMHO.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by momentum View Post
    The design has has a big dial so it wears big for its size, but it's not a big watch at all. I have the 39mm and a 7 inch wrist and think it wears smaller than my BB GMT. Here a photo that looks pretty true to life
    Looks great on you, but it sounds like the OP has smaller wrists. Not that 7Ē is large, but itís enough not to have these kinds of issues.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    That looks excellent. Nicer than the bracelet IMHO.
    Thank you. I think so too.


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  29. #29
    I have the 39mm and it's perfection in every way, I have it on the croc

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  30. #30
    On a Rios

    The movement is awesome, need to Google the 2403A as early ones had too much oil, and many servicing agents early on didn't know what to do

    The movement is very special

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  31. #31
    Grand Master
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    36mm is the best of the lot IMO but hard to find, when they do come up theyíre expensive. As with the 2500 co- axial date movement the non- date had issues and I would avoid the ĎAí variants, the later ones had significant design changes to the escapement including a drop in beat rate. My experience with the 2500C is fine, Iíve owned 3 and had no problems, so I would favour the later version.

    In early 2009 I turned a 12 month old one down for £1100, the watch was near- mint but I went for a freshly serviced Rolex Explorer 114270 for £1750 instead, should've bought the pair but decided they were too similar and I was only looking to buy one watch.

  32. #32
    Iíve had both the 36 and the 39. Wore the 36 on the bracelet and the 39 on a leather strap - the bracelet somehow made it feel too big. Both are great watches. My wrists are average to thin. Sourced the 36 in the US after long search and paid too much for it but was really happy to find it. Thought Iíd lost it once but had just stored it in the box for an incoming watch - was extremely happy to find it a second time!

    Good luck hunting!


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