Steinhart Explorer 39: Gnomon Watches Exclusive

Homage watches. Interestingly, a divisive topic amongst collectors. Left vs right. Democrat vs Republican. Muslim vs Jew. Pepsi vs Coke. Agile vs Waterfall. It’s all the same. And whilst in this case, the matter is slightly less important, it still manages to bring out the worst aspects of our human nature as we argue and insult each other on the internet.

Steinhart Explorer 39 on a navy blue NATO strap

I for one love homage watches. Even though I own an Omega Speedmaster, I could in no way afford to purchase one for myself (it was a gift for my 30th birthday), and so homage watches provide a way for us to enjoy and get a feel for pieces we’ll most likely never own. Yes it might house an ETA 2824, and perhaps the lume isn’t as bright, even the case shape may be different, and the haters? Oh the haters will be there to ruin your day on Instagram, but that’s all a moot point when it puts a smile on your face. Will it be as good as the real thing? Absolutely not. But will your Mazda 3 be as good as a Maserati Gran Turismo S? Should you probably still get the Mazda and enjoy it for what it is? Yep!

From left to right: Seiko SKX009k, Omega Speedmaster Reduced, Steinhart Explorer 39

The Steinhart Explorer 39 is a exclusive. The watch pays tribute to the Rolex Submariner 5513 “explorer dial”, which I have no issues with considering that reference goes for over $80,000 USD on the used market.

The watch slightly resembles the 2018 Basel world release from Tudor, the Black Bay 58. And whilst the two are quite different, the smaller 39mm case, gilt dial and hands puts it in similar territory. The watch is powered by the ETA 2824-2, which surprisingly has been an incredible performer, averaging less than 0.5 secs -/+ per day, making this the most accurate watch that I own. An incredible feat from a watch retailing for cira $500USD.

But despite all of that, there is one thing that brings me back to this watch. It’s not that it resembles the 5513, or even it’s performance, but simply the way it wears. This is important to note for those just getting into the hobby. I have bought and quickly sold watches based on not fully understanding the dimensions in proportion to my wrist size. It’s worth noting and comparing to other watches in your collection if you’re not sure, especially if you don’t have access to ADs which stock your favourite brands. Trying a watch on in person is not always possible, and so knowing your max case size is going to help out a lot. For instance, aside from the SKX, I would certainly think carefully before purchasing a watch bigger than 40mm. The main caveat here, is the lug to lug size. A 42mm case size coupled with a lug to lug of greater than 50mm (I.e. the Longines Legend Diver) is going to look massive on most wrists under 7″. The SKX007/009 however has a shorter lug to lug of around 47mm, so despite it being 42mm, it’s going to wear a little smaller on the wrist.

Steinhart Explorer 39

I would hand on heart recommend Steinhart to any new collector out there. Is it going to retain retail value and increase in price in the years to come? Probably not. You will most likely loose 30% if you try and flip it, so be aware. If you are however looking for a watch that will be versatile and just put a smile on your face, look no further.

: 39mm
Lug width: 20mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Case: 316L Stainless Steel
Caliber: ETA 2824-2, automatic, 28,800 bph, 40 hour power reserve
Strap: Oyster style, 20mm tapering to 16mm clasp, screwed links, signed clasp
Water Resistance: 10 ATM

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