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Pre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega

HomePreowned PicksPre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega Preowned PicksPre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega Our preferred pre-owned picks for week 5 by Robert-Jan BroerJanuary 31, 2020 MIN READPre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and OmegaI thought it would be fun to pick only one style of watch for this week’s Pre-Owned Picks. And so I went for divers’ watches. Besides chronographs, diving timepieces are perhaps the most popular type of sports watch.
I have my share of divers’ watches and I am not a good swimmer, at all. It’s also not really about being able to dive with them, and certainly not to 300 meters or more. It is far more about the build quality of these watches. A divers’ watch is a perfect everyday watch because it is water-resistant, can take a beating, and, by their nature, are highly legible. The downsides are that they’re often bulky and less often suited to more formal o..

HomePreowned PicksPre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega

Pre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega Our preferred pre-owned picks for week 5 by Robert-Jan BroerJanuary 31, 2020 MIN READPre-Owned Picks — Diver Watches From Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, and Omega

I thought it would be fun to pick only one style of watch for this week’s Pre-Owned Picks. And so I went for divers’ watches. Besides chronographs, diving timepieces are perhaps the most popular type of sports watch.

I have my share of divers’ watches and I am not a good swimmer, at all. It’s also not really about being able to dive with them, and certainly not to 300 meters or more. It is far more about the build quality of these watches. A divers’ watch is a perfect everyday watch because it is water-resistant, can take a beating, and, by their nature, are highly legible. The downsides are that they’re often bulky and less often suited to more formal occasions. Although not everyone seems to care about that.

Every week we pick a few pre-owned watches from Chrono24, the largest market place for wristwatches in the world — watches that we love ourselves, or think they will be interesting to you. So to be clear, we picked the watches, Chrono24 only sent us the images without their watermark and in a proper resolution.

Pre-Owned Picks Of Week 5

I’ve (had) my share of diving watches, and I always take one with me during the holidays. Last Summer, I took my Seamaster PloProf, but in the past, I’ve brought my Seiko Marinemaster 300, my Rolex Submariner and Sea-Dweller models, and of course the Omega Seamaster 300M. I don’t travel with them all at once, as I prefer to take just one or two watches with me. For me, a diving watch is the perfect summer watch as I like to take a dip from time-to-time. In the evenings, when going out with the family, the watch also needs to be appropriate. We can debate whether a Ploprof is, but I feel I have played by the rules for long enough to know when it makes sense to break them.

Omega Seamaster 300M Chronograph 2296.80 (€3,190)

Exactly 20 years ago, I purchased my first Seamaster 300M (the 2531.80). I also tried the 300M Chronograph, but, at the time, I felt it was too big for me. It was especially tall on the wrist. But the 300M Chronograph was an amazing watch, and still is. The most beautiful execution, in my opinion, was the one with three different metals — titanium, rose gold, and tantalum. At the time, it was crazily expensive (the price of the new 300M with Sedna gold/Titanium and Tantalum is also relatively high compared to the steel models), but a winner in terms of looks.

I had the 2298.80 as well, which was the full titanium 300M Chronograph. But when I found this 2296.80 I decided to sell the titanium and use the funds for this tri-metal piece. This watch is still under the radar, and often you see that sellers confuse them with the yellow gold/titanium version, and use the reference number of the tri-metal version. So if you’re looking for the 2296.80, take extra care when checking credentials.

The price is fair in my opinion, especially given the condition and that it has box and papers.

Quick give-aways are the tone of the gold (yellow vs rose) and the small links in the bracelet (made of tantalum) that have a darker tone than the titanium ones used on the yellow gold/titanium version. The one that is being offered here comes with box and papers and seems to look good. Inside is a chronograph movement based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750. A solid movement that can be serviced/repaired by most watchmakers. The price is fair in my opinion, especially given the condition and that it has box and papers. Click here for the offer on this Seamaster 300M 2296.80.

Rolex Submariner Date 16800 (€10,700)

The most recognizable divers watch in the world is almost certainly the Rolex Submariner. Perhaps not the first diver, nor the best, but undoubtedly a classic. This reference is the “transitional” model between the Submariner Date 1680 and the later 16610. I had a 1680 and the Plexi crystal was beautiful, but also reasoned I never dared to use it in or near water. The 16800 is the first Submariner with a sapphire crystal and I would feel more comfortable using this one for its intended purpose.

The later reference, the 16610, is not something I particularly fancied. This early 1980s model appears to be in nice condition and has the matte dial and tritium lume. For this price you can select a number of Submariner references, just pick the one that suits you best. Click here for the offer on this Rolex Submariner 16800.

Grand Seiko Diver SBGA029 (€4,500)

Grand Seiko makes a number of nice dive watches, including this SBGA029 with a Spring Drive movement. This model is discontinued for obvious reasons. A few years ago, Seiko decided to separate Seiko and Grand Seiko. The two are now “entirely” distinct entities. As such, the two wordmarks never share the same dial. The successor, the SBGA229 retails for about €6,200 and the only difference is the fact that Grand Seiko gets sole billing on the dial.

For €4,500 you are buying a beast of a divers watch. It is fitted with an incredibly accurate hybrid movement. We did an in-depth review of the more expensive titanium version in this article on Fratello, where we also concluded we’d go for the stainless steel version. In terms of finish, no other watch in this article can go toe-to-toe with the SBGA029. This Grand Seiko comes with box and papers. Click here for the offer on this Grand Seiko SBGA029.

Tudor Black Bay Blue 79220B (€2,395)

The watch with the lowest price tag in this week’s overview is €2,395. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a lot of money to spend on a watch, but at least you do get a lot of bang for the buck. The sister company of Rolex hit jackpot with their Black Bay collection, and the blue version is one of my favorites for sure. Although the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is something I’d prefer, my doubts with that one are with the 39mm case size. The Black Bay Blue has a 41mm case size which definitely fits me better.

This watch dates back to 2014 and comes with box and papers. We reviewed the Black Bay Blue 79220B in this article on Fratello. The current Black Bay Blue retails for €3,290 (on fabric strap), but that’s because it is the newer model (79230B), which has an in-house Tudor movement instead of the previously used ETA2824 movement. The quick give-away to recognize the difference is the writing on the dial. The newer version has straight text above 6 o’clock, while this model has it in a semi-circular shape (like the dial is smiling at you). The ETA 2824 has a solid track record, and the short production life of this particular reference might do financial wonders in the (far) future as well. Click here for the offer on this Tudor Black Bay Blue.

Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 (€8300)

This is a watch that I had in my collection for over 10 years, and it was actually my first sports Rolex. The Sea-Dweller 16600 used to be the least-loved of the Submariner collection, but I liked it at the time. I think I paid about €2,100 for it back in 2002 or 2003. I loved the fact that it had this helium valve (it just looked cool), was the first Rolex made of 904L steel (including the bracelet) and had a date but no cyclops. Today, the Sea-Dweller has a bit more fame than it had back then, and this is being reflected by today’s value.

I’ve found this Sea-Dweller 16600 from 2005 for sale with the original box and papers, for €8,300. The only reason I sold it, was because I never wore it. That has to do with the case back of this watch, it is quite domed and therefor the watch is not always comfortable to wear. At least not on my wrist. That said, I would pick a Sea-Dweller over a Submariner 16800 or 16610 any given day. Click here for the offer on this Rolex Sea-Dweller.

As always, with pre-owned watches, make sure to do your (own) research. Also, feel free to make an offer on these watches (remember, these are merely asking prices), and don’t be afraid to discuss the warranty the seller can provide. Chrono24 offers its Trusted Checkout system, so you have proper buyer protection (more here). But it never hurts to be surer than sure. Always do your homework. Spending adequate time on a purchase can help minimize frustrations further down the line.

Happy Hunting!

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About the author

Robert-Jan Broer

Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more

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