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Rolex Explorer Alternatives: Pilot's Watches I Love, Driver's Watches That Aren't Really (But Work)

Luxury watch buyers and watch collectors join Tim Mosso for a discussion of favorite pilot’s watches, Rolex watch alternatives, and accidental driver’s watches that just plain work (e.g., IWC Big Pilot’s Watch; Blancpain Fifty Fathoms; Devon Tread 1; A Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk; Patek Philippe 5522A Calatrava Pilot’s Watch). Tim opens with a discussion of alternatives to the 42mm Rolex Explorer 2 216570. Given what the Rolex brings to the table, Tim discusses relevant alternatives that preserve as much of the Rolex’s size and functionality as possible. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M GoodPlanet GMT is an attractive option if a $2,700 price premium can be accommodated; the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SGE211 ($5,400 U.S.) offers satisfaction if funds are less flush. After a long dearth of pilot’s watch discussion, we return to the topic thanks to a viewer’s question regarding pilot’s watches and favorite watch models. Tim shares a few of his favorite timepieces for aviators and aviation enthusiasts (e.g., Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33, Sinn EZM 10, Rolex GMT Master 2 16760). The question of in-house movements and added value continues to linger over the luxury watch industry, and tonight’s show cuts through the confusion by citing the finest modular movement specialists among independent watchmakers and independent brands. We consider the extraordinary alternative time displays of NorD Zeitmaschine’s Daniel Nebel; Ludwig Oechslin’s family firm, “Ochs und Junior,” receives a glowing review: Urwerk’s sensational 21-year run of brilliance has been built upon modular complications; Belgian-Swiss luxury watch brand Ressence executes its award-winning Type 1, Type 3, and Type 5 watches atop ETA 2824 bases and a proprietary Ressence Orbital Convex System time display module. Our main feature for the evening is an overview of pilot’s watches, dive watches, electronic watches, and digital watches that never were intended to serve as driver’s watches. Tim, an eternal contrarian, explains precisely why all of the watches in question are superb choices for drivers who value legibility, luminescence, and no-nonsense functionality on the road. The segment concludes with an overview of the ideal automobiles with which to match each watch; Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Tesla, Lotus, Amphicar, and Bentley receive Tim’s wholehearted endorsement. Follow us on Instagram: @watchbox_global Buy watches, 24/7: