Rolex Submariner vs Omega Seamaster vs Breitling Superocean

Three of the most popular men's diving watches are reviewed and put up for comparison in this 3W installment. Which is the best diving watch?




Pictured above (in this order) are the Rolex Submariner, Omega Seamaster, and the Breitling Superocean

I have been excited to publish this showdown for quite some time, not only because it is the first 3W installment, but also because these watches tend to become the subject of some of the most heated watch debates because of their presence in our culture.

When I review a watch, I ask myself if the watch meets three important requirements:

          1. The watch must look great
          2. The watch must be well built
          3. The watch must be reasonably priced for what it offers


Rolex Submariner



The Look

The Sub is a true classic. I will go ahead and say already that you cannot go wrong buying this watch. You don't have to be James Bond to wear this Rolex. In fact, you can dress as simple as this and pull it off fantastically. The Submariner's simple, elegant look has remained iconic for over 50 years, and I see no reason why it will not continue to be one of the most popular watches in the world as long as Rolex continues to produce it. Although I would not consider buying anything but the classic stainless and black, the Submariner comes in a wide variety of metals and dial colors.





The Build

The Submariner is equipped with a superb in-house movement, an extremely solid feel (especially the bezel!), and one of the most comfortable bracelets I have ever worn. This watch initially gained popularity among divers because of its durability and quality, and it remains popular today because Rolex has continued to keep such a high standard in the production of the Sub. This is true for all of the Submariner models Rolex offers. My favorite thing about this watch may be the fact that it can be worn for 40+ years, be passed down through the family, and with minor maintenance, it will continue to run fantastically.








The Price


The price, the price, the price. I do not feel sorry for Rolex, as it is the most successful luxury watch maker in the world, but there does seem to be an immediate alarm that goes off in many watch collector's minds when they hear the name Rolex. Many believe that Rolex watches do not warrant such high prices, and I must agree. Rolex has developed into one of the most valuable brands in the world, and they charge the customer a hefty premium for being able to wear the little crown on their wrist. A new Sub will cost at least $6,000 (for the base model pictured above), and can cost upwards of $30,000 if gold and diamonds get involved. I would suggest buying this watch used (yes, used) if you don't want to fork out too much money, but only from a reputable seller, as this is probably the most counterfeited watch in the world.











Omega Seamaster



The Look

The Seamaster is beautiful. The good people over at Omega took the basic look of Rolex's Submariner, and actually made it better. The dial catches the light at all angles because of what Omega calls the "wave motif," which  makes looking at your wrist every five minutes almost a rewarding experience. I find myself staring at the dial of this watch, not just glancing at it. It captures me, and keeps pulling me back, just as a wave in the ocean would. The bracelet (and the entire watch for that matter) is much more sporty than the Roley or the Breitling, but this watch can still be worn with just about anything. Yes, this is another James Bond watch, but I would not let that fact turn you away from this watch. Just take a look at 007 and try to say that this watch doesn't look good. You can't. Omega's designers really hit a home run with this watch. It is easily my favorite look out of the three watches, and unlike the other watches, I would even consider the blue model before the black. 









I feel like this watch deserves a closer look. Enjoy.






The Build

The Seamaster has a great in-house movement, which I have found to stand up really well to the shocks and bumps I put the watch through while tossing around the football on Sundays. Like any good watch should, the Seamaster feels great on the wrist, and really feels like a quality piece that I am going to own for years. Having said all this, I would still lean toward the Submariner when comparing overall quality. This Omega is special, but the quality of the Sub has proven itself for over 50 years. 








The Price

If you by this watch brand new, it will cost somewhere near $3,000. Buy it. You will get to look at this amazing watch for years and years and know that you are the owner of something very beautiful. There are people who will preach to you about how Omega is just another victim of the evil of product placement (Bond, the Moon, the Olympics, etc...), but do not listen. Unlike Rolex, Omega does not abuse their popularity by charging three times more than what a watch should cost.






Breitling Superocean



The Look


The Superocean captures everything that people love to hate about Breitling. They take a classic look, and make it as flashy as they can. I feel like while the Superocean is a nice watch, it is a bit too crowded and is not nearly as pleasing to look at as the Rolex or the Omega. The Superocean comes in many more colors and styles than the other two watches do. I know this may appeal to a lot of people, so if you love variety you may want to give this watch a look, but this is yet another turn off for me.

I like to think of this Breitling as an HTC smartphone, and a watch like the Submariner as an Apple iPhone. One is flashy, attempts to slightly change various aspects about the other, but overall misses the mark. The other is original, elegant, and worth owning with pride.



The Build

The movement of the Superocean is durable, and does hold up over time, but the feel of the watch is not comparable to the Rolex or the Omega. The bezel feels a bit too loose, the bracelet a bit too... desirable to take off. I just don't like the way this watch feels in my hand or on my wrist, which is the first indication to me that I should give a watch back to the kind salesperson, and walk away. When I hold the watch in my hand and squeeze it a little, I can almost hear it screaming, "Buyer's Remorse!"



The Price

This is not an expensive watch compared to many dive watches like it, but I would most definitely spend a bit extra on either the Rolex or the Omega. Like I said before, the Superocean is not a bad watch at all, but spending more than $1,000 on a watch like this does not make sense to me. It isn't awful to look at, but neither are thousands of dollars worth of fireworks. Right?












The Verdict


Your decision between the three watches can be easily made by asking yourself which of the following is most important to you:

          - Classic design, functionality, and a lasting legacy

          - Perfect design, durability, and a great price

          - Wasting money


My decision was extremely difficult, because I love the Seamaster so much. I would still seriously advise anyone that doesn't want to spend ten grand on a watch to go give the Seamaster a look. It is really a great watch to own.

But... I believe that the Rolex Submariner is truly the best watch of the three. It is a true classic. It has the rare ability to take any look to a new level, and do so for many, many years. The Submariner is one of the few watches in the world that can be worn every day, with any outfit, and simply cannot look bad on anyone.




So congratulations Submariner. You reign supreme in the battle of popular diving watches, and you will forever be a winner in the record books of 3W.


Did you hate my decision? Did you love it? Do you have suggestions for the next 3W installment?

Remember to leave as much feedback as you can at feedback@threewatches.com.





8 comments:

  1. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.
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  2. It is great to read this awesome and most interesting post you have written although all these watches and really amazing and everyone love to have these but i like the Omega Seamaster that is really great and trendy.
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  3. Thanks for your post. I really enjoyed it. As a Seamaster owner myself, I really love this watch!

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  4. I THINK I AM GOING FOR THE OMEGA I COULD AFFORD THE ROLEX BUT I THINK WHY BOTHER THE OMEGA IS BEAUTIFUL

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  5. The breitling is beautiful, i had the sub before, also great but the breitling feels and looks a lot better. ;-)

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  6. And by the way the breiling is 1200 metres more (!) water resistent. A fact you could talk about when trying to talk about diving watches.^^

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  7. Congratulations; it's a beautifully written piece. I have owned a blue Seamaster for over ten years now and I can't stop looking at it. However, I have to painfully agree with your conclusion because the Rolex was the first, and that also has a lot of value (perhaps not as much as the asking price, but a lot nonetheless). That said, I would not trade my seamaster for a sub. Ever.

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