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 Post subject: Colt GMT vs Rolex GMT.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:07 am 
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Well the Breitling Colt GMT (not the new GMT+....that's hideous ) arrived last week, .... so I've been wearing it constantly for the past 5 or so days. So how does it stack up against the benchmark Rolex GMT2 ceramic.... a watch that costs over twice as much. Is the Colt half the watch ???

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With the Rolex GMT2c, you can trace its origins back to the 50's, and the size and style has remained pretty much unchanged over the years, with very slight "improvements" in every generation. The style although not to every die hard Rolex fan (with the introduction of polished centre links) shines through. It oooooozes class and quality.

The Breitling Colt, is an entry level watch, as that was Breitlings original intention many years ago. The original Colt (quartz) was first used by the military who wanted an accurate timekeeper, and a watch that could stand high impact levels. The colt has grown in size to 40-41mm over the years.This newer GMT model, stays true to the Colt's go anywhere do anything type of watch.

Movement......

Rolex uses its own developed 3186 movement
Breitling uses an ETA 2893-2 movement

Both run smooth as silk. The Rolex with its rotating bezel obviously is able to register one more timezone, compared to the Breitling.
Both easy to use with the GMT adjustment altered via the crown.

But TBH I couldn't give two hoots about the movements, if they are both reliable and pretty accurate, thats fine with me.

Feel.......

Both of pretty much similar in size at around 40mm. Both feel very well finished, with the attention to detail around the Rolex clasp and "easylink/clasp" edging it. The Pro 2 bracelet on the Colt is very comfortable, but with the high mirror polish.. it's prone to swirlies even more so than the PCLs on the Rolex.
The Glass as with all modern Breitlings is dual AR coated which makes it nigh on invisible at times, a very clean looker. The Rolex glass still has the cyclops which is pretty much a Rolex trademark, although I'd have liked them to have reversed the bubble a'la Panerai automatics.... so that the bubble would be on the inside. Never been a fan of the cyclops myself.
Depth rating on the Rolex is 100m and the Breitling 500m. Both watches aren't really "divers" though...neither bracelet has a wetsuit extension link. I can't imagine either of these machines are the things you'd buy for that pursuit anyway.
Both have a nice heft for a relatively normal size watch. The lume isn't brilliant on either, but is okay for the job.


Packaging......

I'm not a fan of the new Rolex packaging, as I loved all the bumf you used to get throughout the 80's and 90's with the sports watches. The current pale green outer and Green lether inner feel cheaply made in comparrison to the older stuff, and the leather sleeve has been lifted from the old range, but someone has attacked it with a stanley knife to show the new style creditcard warranty card it all stacks up fine, just not great.
Breitling on the other hand is now producing cracking packaging. Outer black and yellow hard box, with a black bakelite inner and even a smaller leather carry pouch too. Compartment underneath for the instruction manual, C.O.S.C and warranty papers. Gone are the old nightmare faulty hinged boxes of the late 90's early 2000's.

You don't wear a box, so its a bit useless really, but nice to keep for that "complete package".


Residuals.......

People BANG ON about residuals, this should only worry you if you are going to buy new, from the AD without discount.

Well atm the GMT2c retails around the 4.9k mark and the Colt GMT around 2.3k
If you purchase either watch new you are going to take a hit come resale unless you're gonna keep it for 10 or so years
A 2 year old Rolex GMT2c currently goes for around the 3.4 to 3.7k mark, where a similar aged Colt GMT would fetch around 1.2k
So percentage wise the Rolex is the better bet.

If you are buying on the second hand market this earlier percentage drop is meaningless as both hold their second hand value pretty well and yes will rise very slowly as the Brands whack on their price increases every year.
So it just comes down to whether you want to outlay 3.7k or 1.2k
(price in UK GBP)

Overall as an everyday watch.......

I like both watches, but I'd lean (atm anyway) towards the Colt GMT to wear every day, and the Rolex for going out. The Colt is good looking, reliable, and feels like it would take a bit of punishment if needs be.
The Rolex is the classier watch, period. I just think for me personally I'd be more carefree with the Breitling than the Rolex.... which in this world of anal "condition is everything"....for me is a gooooooood thing. Maybe its the skinflint in me, who knows
I like the fact the tab riders on the bezel would protect the glass if for any reason the watch fell flat on its face, or was rubbed against a concreate wall whilst on the wrist. The glass on the Rolex is ever so slightly raised and would be easier to catch. Yes you can say the glass is cheaper than the bezel (in the case of the Rolex), but if a splinter of glass gets in that movement....it ain't cheap


Sooooooooo......

I like them both, and if buying new without discount..the Rolex was closer to the price of the Breitling, it would be the Rolex all day long. Buuuuuuut it isn't.... its over twice the price....and NOT twice the watch.
In the new or second hand market you could get a great Colt GMT and an awesome 2 week holiday to test it !


Last edited by murphy77 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:03 am 
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Great review and pics! I think your summary is right on the mark.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Nice comparative review. Thanks so much. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Nice write-up! Glad to see the Colt GMT get some well deserved kudos. I always receive compliments on my Colt, and hardly ever on the Navi or IWC. I think part of it I the blue dial - a beautiful color, and the red accents really pop against it.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:20 pm 
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nice write up indeed, I am just selling my colt GMT, the new owner is picking it up on Monday evening..... yure almost making me change my mind

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Nice on the spot review Murphy, thanks for sharing.

murphy77 wrote:
In the new or second hand market you could get a great Colt GMT and an awesome 2 week holiday to test it !


Or you could buy a Steelfish which would resolve the lume and the depth rating inconveniences. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:10 am 
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Good report, although the box is not wooden (the black material). Its "bakelite", a material which was used decades ago, an early plastic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakelite

The Breitling box is a dream for itself, really well made.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:33 pm 
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While the Rolex offers a more simplistic style which is loved by some, the Breitling sports a more articulate face and bezel which is better for accurate time-keeping. The Colt has more colors which help your eyes differentiate the hands more easily at a quick glance. The Rolex just fades into the foreground with the all white styling while the Colt pops out and catches your eyes.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:12 am 
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Murphy77, great comparative review. Although the Rolex is very nice, I'm partial to the Colt GMT. I just purchased the a32350 just like yours (but silver dial). Beautiful watch.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:26 am 
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Probably the only reason I haven't searched that hard before for a pre-owned Colt GMT is the fully polished bracelet. To me a GMT is a travel watch and it's just too shiny (attracts attention, easier to scuff on the road) for its purpose. I enjoyed my Steelfish with the brushed, but no GMT and I'm gravitating back to the smaller style of the Colt. I'm just now getting used to all the crowded numbers on the GMT-C bezel. If the bracelet weren't so flimsy I'd want to go back to a Pepsi GMTII, which would lie between these two cost-wise.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Scott wrote:
Probably the only reason I haven't searched that hard before for a pre-owned Colt GMT is the fully polished bracelet. To me a GMT is a travel watch and it's just too shiny (attracts attention, easier to scuff on the road) for its purpose. I enjoyed my Steelfish with the brushed, but no GMT and I'm gravitating back to the smaller style of the Colt. I'm just now getting used to all the crowded numbers on the GMT-C bezel.


I had an eerily similar reaction. A few years back I picked out the Colt GMT in the brochure as just about the most attractive watch I'd ever seen; it was exactly what I wanted and I set my heart on it. I found one in AD not long after and within seconds of trying it on realised it wasn't right for me or, as you say, purpose: too shiny, the polished steel numerals adding to the glimmer of the casing, even if one took it off the bracelet and put it on a strap. I decided then to go brushed and - having reconciled myself to the migration from auto to quartz - bought a Colt Quartz II.


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