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IWC Galapagos 2014

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This is my first post and I am super excited. I have been reading posts on watchseek for a few year now. I have to accept that I have been too lazy to create an account and post a question until now. I have my mind set on the IWC Galapagos 2014 edition. Its almost like an obsession, something I suffer from when it comes to watches. I am partial towards the divers collection with most brands. I have been longing to get the JLC Navy seals GMT chrono but when I had the option to buy one I could not afford one, now the prices seem to have sky rocketed, the AD that I knew was giving me a deal that was hard to refuse at that point in time, yet I was not in a position to afford the watch. Something I deeply regret.

Now its the new Galapagos that I just can't get my mind off. I am a novice collector and have limited knowledge about movements. Being a novice, the thought of owning a watch with an inhouse movement is exciting, however I have read that servicing watches with inhouse movements can be pricey and can be troublesome(Just what I read in certain posts). The Galapagos which has an IWC inhouse movement unlike the Aquatimer chrono makes it more exclusive. I can afford to buy this watch in a couple of months but I don't want to look back and regret not buying the JLC NS GMT. Of course, I wish I had the money to buy the Galapagos and the JLC but that's not an option. The other watch that I have been interested in is the Rolex sea dweller 4000. I have been a big fan of the sub but now I really like the sea dweller. I would be very grateful if you guys helped me decide. I apologize for the rather confusing first post. Also if there's anyone who owns all three or any one of them could share their experience.

Thanks for reading.

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lol a very wordy post and it took me a while to work out what you were asking!

anyway welcome. It's nice to see a new poster not asking "is xx watch a fake, I got it off a friend/relative"

to to answer what I think are your questions

servicing -

servicing is expensive, the more complex the movement the more complex the servicing. Might be best to check with all three manufacturers for the servicing costs

what to get -

What is your budget? The good news for both iwc and JLC is that if you know how to bargain (and most people don't) you can get substantial discounts off them. I've managed 25-35% off RRP. Rolex discounts are pretty much tokenistic, however there is usually room to move on the SD.

Having owning watches from all three brands (and knowing each of the ones you posted) my thoughts:

JLC - my favourite brand. Love their stuff. However I don't like their sport watches, something about them that just puts me off. The particular one you're after in my opinion is a bit gaudy.

IWC - Nice watch, I don't have anything bad to say about iwc. Inner rotating bezels are super cool. I have an original Cousteau divers which I love. The inner bezel and also the blue dial are just gorgeous. The watc is built like a tank too

Rolex - I have a 16600 SD. I love this watch. It has become my go to more often than not. The watch is built amazing and of all the watches I have it feels like the best made one.

In saying all of this of the three options you have the JLC would be the first of off my list for reasons outlined above. All things being equal between the iwc and rolex my money would go on the rolex. It's a very solid base to build others around and ultimately can do both casual and formal better than the iwc (the latter of which does casual better but I would not like wearing that on a suit)


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Among your three choices, I would group the IWC and JLC in the contemporary sports watch category and the Rolex in the classic sports watch category.

The Galapagos is a really cool watch - mechanical external/internal rotating bezel (one of its kind!), in-house chronograph movement, and long PR (68hrs). Although I'm not too fond of the rubber coating (makes the watch look cheap in my opinion, but I can see why others might appreciate it), I think it is a very attractive watch, as long as its size (44mm) is acceptable to you.


The Navy Seals GMT Chrono is one of my favorite JLC sports watch, it has my favorite implementation of the GMT function, a well designed chronograph movement, and similar PR as the Galapagos. Its rubber coated bracelet (since you like the rubber coated Galapagos, I believe you would appreciate this too) has received many compliments. The biggest issue with this watch is its size - at 46.3mm in diameter and 17.9mm in height. The use of titanium makes it much more wearable, but I highly recommend you to try it on if you have not done so yet. From your post, you seem to like this one the most, and I can see why. The only question I would ask you is whether you would feel comfortable wearing such a large watch in the long term, will you ever get tired with it? If no, I would try to save up to get it.


The SD4000 is the most subtle watch among the three in terms of size. At 40mm, it actually wears even smaller than the sub. It is one of my favorite Rolex. It is a simple watch - no complication except for its high WR rating - but every element is very well executed. The SD4000 is also gonna cost you the least in servicing costs in the future. But if you are looking for something more than a classically designed watch, you might be looking for something more exciting sooner or later. Additionally, now that I know Rolex has released a new movement with a long PR, I might be tempted to wait for the SD to incorporate this new movement. The SD4000 is so popular that I don't think I need to post its picture again here.


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Thanks for your reply. Lol, well it took me a while to figure out how to start a new thread. I was starting to get a lill frustrated to be honest, hence the rather confusing first post.

Yes, I read the same about servicing. A lot of information available on the Internet can be misleading. I was surprised to see that I could not find a decent review on the IWC. The watch has been around for over a year and all I got to see was pictures and videos of people partying at the IWC launch. (new Aquatimer event).

My budget about $8500 approximately. I have been saving up for almost 2 years with the NS GMT in mind but it might change. I recently moved to the US and am a student. Back home I know how to get deals on watches but it would be my first experience in the US. I live in NYC, any suggestions on the dealers? The Rolex SD is a beautiful watch, for some reason I am not a big fan of the bracelet.

I was happy to read that you have seen/owned all 3 brands. Precisely why I created an account on this forum. Most watch dealers that I have dealt with back home have limited knowledge on what they are selling. They are only concerned with the sale and nothing else. I liked the JLC because of the sporty feel, the material and the overall presence of the watch. I agree that some might find it a lill over the top. My other option is to get the NS alarm but I am not a big fan of the complication.

People who have owned the older version of the Galapagos have suggested that the rubber coating wears off or that they have had issues with it. I read a few posts relating to the coating and it has made me think. I put my watches through a lot. I don't buy them and put them in a safe like some friends of mine would do. I swim, dive and just about wear them even when I sleep. My Omega Seamaster chrono and the Tag Heuer aquagraph have stood the test of time. Now that I am making the jump into the next segment, I want something that will be robust and tough. The JLC would definitely take a battering and still work fine.

Could you post some pictures of your Rolex SD, I am not sure if its against the rules of this forum to ask for that, if it is then I apologize. Also I am not sure if the Rolex would fit in my budget. The other thing I am scared of is being noticed. Yes, I am a lill fearful since I am fairly new to NYC and everyone recognizes a Rolex. I don't want to buy it and put it away or not wear it for the fear of being mugged.

Thanks for reading and your reply sir. Good day.


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I don't have a pic of my JLCs handy however at the bottom of this is one of my SD and cousteau.

Im not based in the US however for me I found the US expensive - I'm from Australia and the price my AD gave me was cheaper than anything I could price in the US (or anywhere else internationally). This was when our dollar was above parity with the US. Where is home for you?

If if you like the JLC get it. That particular one is not for me but that's just my style - I prefer the dressier JLCs. I do like the JLC deep sea chrono though.

Funny you you say that about the rolex. I am really not a bracelet guy but I LOVE the bracelet on my SD. I had a leather strap made and it looked be good but I preferred the bracelet so it is back on that.

you can also get any of those watches second hand as well remember.

Anyway ya here is the pic. Just remember my SD is the 16600 which is the generation before (I prefer it to the current one becuase it looks less blingy).



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Thanks for your reply. I agree, not too many like the rubber coating. I personally like it because it stands out, I wish it was titanium with a rubber coating.

The NS GMT is a beauty. I have tried it on a zillion times, I was hoping the AD would not bar me from making trips to the store because I probably harassed for months. I wanted the watch so bad but I just could not organize the funds for it at that point. I have a fairly big wrist so the size was not an issue. Surprisingly the NS GMT sat very well on my wrist, give the 46mm size. I guess its just the way its designed. It felt study and I could not think of a better watch.

My only question about the IWC was about the coating. I read that it wears off over time and can be very expensive to fix, that's something that bothers me. I am fine with the servicing part because that's part of the deal but having to deal with the overall look might be an issue. The IWC seemed the more subtle of the two and I like that. I don't have a lot money to play with so I need to make sure I get it right. I am not sure if the NS is still available though.

Thanks once again.


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Thanks for your reply. I wish I could make a trip to Australia. I am from India. The watch market is fairly big here, the unfortunate part is that the prices are way higher than in most countries. However I do know of a couple of places that I can get good deals from.

I love the Cousteau and its color. Which one do you wear the most? I am sure it would be different watches for different occasions but which is your go to watch and why? I love the IWC Portuguese chrono, but its a dress watch and I am not in that caliber yet. I wanted something that I could wear everyday and go to school. Since watches take priority over other things, I refused to get a car because I wanted to get a watch instead. Is the SD an everyday watch?

In your last post there are two SDs, I apologize but which one is the newer version.

Thanks for your time.


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