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Thread: THIS vs THAT - Blue Dialled Watches

  1. #1

    THIS vs THAT - Blue Dialled Watches

    I don't really do this sort of thing and so I figured if I were to do it, then this place seems a better fit than any other.

    The contenders.

    First of all, the usual suspect.

    Aqua Terra.
    Blue.
    38.5mm.
    Non Master Co-Axial.

    We all know what this looks like but here are two cropped images from the fantastic AceJewellers.





    It's a very good looking watch and on paper, has everything I am looking for right now.

    i) 8500 which would be a new addition to what I have now
    ii) a regular 3 hander as I already have a Chronograph and a Dive watch
    iii) very good size at 38.5mm
    iv) blue dial as I have far too many black and silver dialled watches

    Specifically, I don't want the very latest version because I too suffer from Polished Centre Link aversion disease, especially with this watch and I do also prefer the date surround. This does mean that there is a bit of a time constraint to getting one of these as already, I'm seeing fewer of these in stores.



    and in the other corner:

    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGM029.

    I've made mention of this one a few times here and there but I'm not sure if that many people have seen it properly so here are a few shots I pulled off the net.








    this one enters the equation for two main reasons over the Omega

    i) it is a brand/line that I don't have
    ii) it is a complication that I don't have

    I've always said that my bigger purchases would have as few overlaps as possible and for that reason, I had always placed the Explorer 1 as the watch for my regular 3 hand one. Thing is, every time I put one on, it never feels right, especially in current 39mm form and if I'm going to get a 36mm one, then I don't need to spend anything like 3000-3500 to get one. The Aqua Terra always just felt better on my wrist and hence it's position at the top of the page.

    Except it breaches my minimal overlap "rule".

    The Seiko then is an easy substitute as it offers a new complication and a new brand.
    So what's the problem?
    First of all what I like (apart from the previous two points)

    i) size - it is very nearly the same size as the Aqua Terra; a little bigger @ 39.2mm x 14mm
    ii) it is a much better proportioned version of the Explorer 2 - a watch, indeed watch style, that I was pretty "meh" about until I saw this one do it better. Narrower bezel, bigger hands, more elegant crown guards.
    iii) extension of ii) big fan of the hand set and dial furniture; it's nice to see big pointy hands and big chunky markers
    iv) the lug design does a very good job of hiding their thickness. It's by no means a fat lug Rolex but the head is still perhaps a touch more square than I'd like but then again, no more/less than the Aqua Terra.

    Things that aren't 100%
    i) the dial's a bit flat. It's a very nice blue when it catches plenty of light but it has little to no surface texture to speak of so it's very all or nothing. However, this flatness does mean that most of the time, it offers a very nice contrasting background for the polished markers; it's just that compared to the Aqua Terra, it's a bit boring. To be honest, I'm not sure if a texture would've made it look better. The sunburst and stripes add's a little extra to a simple three hand watch and I'm not sure I like the plain dial on the SBGM029 when looked at side by side. In staged shots, the SBGM looks fantastic being all sharp and very graphical but on my wrist, flat is the only word that comes to mind.

    ii) Not sold on the rotor. It covers up more than half of the movement and in a bad way. I'm not entirely sure it was worth the effort if that's the result. I don't need a display back but if you're going to use one, then at least make it more worthwhile.

    iii) Not a huge fan of the bracelet. It feels like there's a little too much going on with the polished sides of all of the links and the "bumpy" top surface. I am in general, more of a fan of smooth/flat topped bracelets (such as the one on the Omega).


    The nitty gritty.
    Essentially, the SBGM costs 1000 more than the Aqua Terra (something like 3000 vs 4000 give or take)
    Both have a time limit on purchase with the AT stocks being replaced by the Master update and the SBGM being a limited production of 700 (but note that this is a 2 year old watch now and I can still source 6 of them new)


    Short version, I want both but at this moment in time, I can only really justify one of them.
    I think I am leaning towards one more than the other but every time I go to click that button, I hesitate.

    Let's see what you guys think of the watches and of the purchasing.


    I'm sure I have missed something I wanted to say...

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  3. #2
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    THIS v THAT... or THE OTHER -





    Sorry, that's not terribly helpful, is it?

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  5. #3
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    What are you looking for? Sporty or classic?

    To be honest, I think the GS is not the nicest design, to put it mildly. The toolish expII bezel doesn't match the more classic dial and hands, IMO

    If it's more sporty you want, how about a SO Heritage?


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  7. #4
    Not a Zombie drickster's Avatar
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    I like the blue dial of the Seiko better in full light. The rotor is cool too but I get your point. I would go AT in this case.

    For the same money you could get an older Pepsi GMT from Rolex...which I prefer personally, but not sure it meets your aesthetic.

  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunken monkey View Post

    Things that aren't 100%
    i) the dial's a bit flat. It's a very nice blue when it catches plenty of light but it has little to no surface texture to speak of so it's very all or nothing. However, this flatness does mean that most of the time, it offers a very nice contrasting background for the polished markers; it's just that compared to the Aqua Terra, it's a bit boring. To be honest, I'm not sure if a texture would've made it look better. The sunburst and stripes add's a little extra to a simple three hand watch and I'm not sure I like the plain dial on the SBGM029 when looked at side by side. In staged shots, the SBGM looks fantastic being all sharp and very graphical but on my wrist, flat is the only word that comes to mind.

    ii) Not sold on the rotor. It covers up more than half of the movement and in a bad way. I'm not entirely sure it was worth the effort if that's the result. I don't need a display back but if you're going to use one, then at least make it more worthwhile.

    iii) Not a huge fan of the bracelet. It feels like there's a little too much going on with the polished sides of all of the links and the "bumpy" top surface. I am in general, more of a fan of smooth/flat topped bracelets (such as the one on the Omega).
    If you asked me to quote the "Cons" for this watch, I'd probably say the same. I'd also add that the utilitarian/rugged looking bezel looks out of place on the dressy/formal looking dial. They just don't match, imo.

    My preference would be to skip this GS and look at other models, like the SBGA075 if you like a GS with blue dial.

    Between the two you've listed, get the AT.

    As far as I can tell, the stock of the AT 8500 has dried up yet. Any of the WUS sponsors/forum sellers should be able to source one.

  9. #6
    The counter has stopped MHe225's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunken monkey
    I don't really do this sort of thing and so I figured if I were to do it, then this place seems a better fit than any other.
    I'm with you in that I normally don't reply to "this vs that" or "what should I get?" threads. We can't decide for other people and need to make up our own minds.
    But you have put a lot of thought in to this and deserve some input (other than introducing more "contenders") from us

    I don't have a GS in my collection, nor a 8500 co-axial movement. But have looked at both and I'm sure I will add a GS at some point.
    I have the very same reservations you have:
    • love the color of the GS dial but dislike its texture (or lack thereof).
    • love the color of the rotor; design / shape not so much.
    • Overall, its face is not as elegant as most GS models (very personal, I know).

    For me, there are no "but's & if's" with the AT, so given the choice and the fact that the clock is ticking, that's the one I would get.

    Good luck making up your mind and choice; let us know.

    And since we all like pics, allow me to show yet another blue dial watch. Not introducing one more contender, just a pretty pic

    130913_IWC_Ingenieur_Laureus_h4.jpg
    Last edited by MHe225; Dec 19, 2014 at 07:22 PM.

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  11. #7
    I probably prefer the AT out of these two. Just about....

    My money might go on a blue faced SS DJII though, if it doesn't wear too big... http://www.iconicwatches.co.uk/rolex...al-116300.html

    or, even better, one of the last AirKings...

    http://www.iconicwatches.co.uk/rolex...14200-bqa.html
    G-Shock: GW-7900-1ER & GW3000B-1A
    Rolex: Submariner 14060M
    Accurist: 1965 Shockmaster & 1961 Gold Shockmaster
    Omega: Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00

    Meistersinger: Perigraph AM1002
    Ben Sherman: S489.OOBS
    1990: Rotary Gold Case



  12. #8
    I would get the AT. I have just never liked the looks on that GS. To me, the small bezel combined with the large dial just makes the dial look too barren and large. Too me, the AT is the better watch.


    Written on mobile, sorry for what you just read.
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    Marathon JSAR G-Shock GW-530A, GA-100-1A1, G-9300-1 Mudman
    Seiko SKX007K2 Swatch High Wonder Maratac Large Pilot 2013 Russian AChS-1 panel clock
    Post first, edit for clarity later.

  13. #9
    I like GS a great deal, in general, but in that example that blue dial on that design seems a little willful. On the AT the blue seems far more at home on the watch. Hope this makes sense

  14. #10
    Member Rusty's Avatar
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    THIS vs THAT - Blue Dialled Watches

    That is a very sober post
    I once enjoyed one of your rants on the proportions or lack of proportions that the 8500 possessed. I thought you were on the money. There is something not quite right about the 8500 in my eyes too, the ratio between hight, length and width is not quite right imho.
    In person the whole package was not to my liking, the blue, teak dial and polished bling made it look gaudy. Imo lol.
    Having said that, the AT 2500 is nearly perfect, with the blue dial being spectacular.

    To the GS, nice, but not my choice in gmt, as you said the dial is a bit plain. I think a blue dial needs some texture to give it some character and shade changes.
    I preference the SBGM series in the gmt line of GS, in silver.

    Choice of those two right now? GS.

    I like my blue dial to change in the light like the ocean! Tropical and bright to dark and moody.
    Good luck.

    Rolex does make a nice blue in DJ and OP. Just saying.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Rusty; Dec 19, 2014 at 11:40 PM.

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