Friday, May 8, 2009

Omega Railmaster 2503.52 Vs. Rolex Explorer 114270

Enclosed below are some technical notes and my highly opinionated comments on two legendary watches (or more precisely their current versions): Omega Railmaster and Rolex Explorer. I hope this article will be helpful to those who are considering buying either of the two watches.

The original Omega Railmaster was first launched in 1957 as the successor to a watch created for the British Air Force in 1953. It was designed specifically for scientists, technicians, electricians and railway workers as it had a special double anti-magnetic case to protect the movement from harmful effects of strong magnetic fields.

Created in 1953, the Rolex Explorer was intended for rugged expedition use. It was issued for use on many notable expeditions - including the one led by Sir John Hunt which successfully ascended Mount Everest in May 1953.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Railmaster
Ref. 2503.52
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer
Ref. 114270
Case Steel, high-polish and brush finish Steel, high-polish and brush finish
Bracelet brush finish, 3piece link brush finish Oyster style
Clasp hidden, fold-over, hidden lock Oyster, flip lock
Micro adjustment NO YES
Half link YES NO
Bracelet durability 6/10 7/10
Solid end link YES YES
Case diameter mm 39.5 36.0
Case thickness mm 11.00 11.35
Bracelet width mm 20 20
Crown screw-lock YES YES
Water resistance 150 m 100 m
Dial diameter 31. 8 28.5

See-thru case back YES NO
Crystal profile domed flat
Crystal Sapphire Sapphire
Antireflective coating inner only NO
Luminous material Super Luminova Luminova
Movement caliber Omega 2403


Base movement Omega Cal 2500

Rolex Cal. 3000
Chronometer Certified YES YES
Jewels 27 27
Power reserve 48 hours 42 hours
Auto rotor ball-bearing YES NO
Beat per hour 28,800 28,800
List price [ Australian RRP ] $A 3,725 $A 5,980
Pre-owned in 10/10 condition $A 2,700 $A 4,700
Resale value 5/10 6/10
Maintenance 5 years 5 years
Manufacturers guarantee (new) 3 years 2 years
Service costs $350 $500
Supply of spare parts to independent repairers


restricted restricted
Supply of spare parts to independent repairers

– case and bracelet

limited restricted
Bracelet replacement cost $400 $900
Timekeeping under normal wear very good good, may require tune-up adjustment
Known mechanical issues bracelet requires re-pinning auto rotor post and jewel prone to wear
Other issues low to medium ‘brand exclusivity’ commonly perceived as being ‘too small’
Collectors value 4/10 6/10
Investment value low moderate
In-style / fashion 8/10 6/10
Value-for-money 7/10 6/10
Strengths easy to read, excellent luminescence, fashionable strong brand name, comfortable for small to medium wrist, classic look


Selling Rolex said...

Your comparison just shows how good is Rolex Explorer against Omega Railmaster!

Steve said...

I believe the movement in the 114270 (as distinct from the 14270) has the caliber 3130 movement. Otherwise a fine comparison.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comparison. I am an owner of the Railmaster and I think it is great. Not sure why Omega discontinued it.