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Ginault Ocean Rover with BGW9 lume

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    Ginault Ocean Rover with BGW9 lume

    This is a quick review of the Ginault Ocean Rover 181070LSILN no date with BGW9 lume.

    I'll try to focus on the watch itself without wading into the various controversies surrounding the brand. I.e., more pictures and less text wherever possible.


    The case finishing on this piece is exceptional. All brushed surfaces are uniform and nicely grained. The upper edges of the case are very slightly chamfered, like a TC v7 except not overdone. The rehaut is perfectly brushed and there is a nice vertical surface on the portion that touches the dial. The bezel action is crisp and tight with perfect alignment and virtually 0 backlash, but does have some minor wobble. The crown is easily gripped and nicely decorated with the Ginault flower emblem.


    The only improvement I could recommend for the case would be to add lug holes.

    The sapphire crystal is very slightly domed and protrudes 1-2mm above the top of the bezel insert. I was initially somewhat concerned by the reported lack of an AR coating and can confirm that there does not appear to be any kind of AR present. However, the crystal has surprisingly few issues with reflection--perhaps due to its very slight curvature. For comparison, it is considerably less reflective than my heavily AR-ed CrystalTimes double dome sapphire and several uncoated flat sapphire crystals I have used in the past. I think it would nonetheless be an improvement if Ginault could add some colorless AR to at least the underside of the crystal.

    The dial is an abyssal glossy black. Dial printing is exceptional with raised glossy ink. Lume is applied evenly and accurately to all markers. The hands are spotless (a major annoyance of mine and often overlooked quality control issue are watch hands with scratches/dust from sloppy installation). There are no visible flaws in the dial work.


    Note that this model has BGW9 lume. Unlike Ginault's gold sand (yellowish) lume, BGW9 is white under normal lighting with a pale blue glow at night. This look appeals to me more than the artificial patina of the gold sand. The performance of the lume is good but not outstanding. It does manage to last all night, but is nearly unreadable by the early morning hours.

    Here it is against my SMP:

    The dial text has been discussed extensively elsewhere. Personally I agree with sentiment echoed by many--the text content of the dial is a bit ridiculous and is one of the few objective flaws of this timepiece. My suggestion to Ginault is to remove the following lines from the dial as they don't add anything useful:
    "Kinetic Continuous"
    "Submersible Maritime"
    "Precision Chronometer"

    The verdict is still out for me on the movement--I haven't cracked the case yet. The only objective statement I can therefore make about the movement regards its accuracy, and thus far the accuracy has been slightly outside the ranges on the timing report provided by Ginault (barely within COSC at +5spd).

    Cutting through the marketing BS on the Ginault site and going entirely by their pictures, the movement looks a lot like a ST2130. Ginault claims they're using a special shock absorption system--I see a novodiac with its annoying tri-wing jewel retaining spring. They claim to use a special copper alloy for several components. Sounds a lot like Glucydur. They claim it's all made in the USA. Frankly all this ambiguity doesn't matter much to me.

    The bracelet is outstanding. Just really well done. 0 gap at the end links. Brushing is perfectly uniform and link screws have all threaded nicely. The 6-digit style glidelock clasp is an interesting choice, but it's grown on me and now I like it better than the 16610 clasp.


    One possible area that could use better finishing is the back of the clasp. But I'm really picking nits at this point.


    The watch is packaged in a decent box that includes a non-transferrable warranty card, timing report, and two nice extras: (1) a nice screwdriver for sizing the bracelet, and (2) an extra 2-piece nylon NATO strap.

    In summary, I'd say the Ocean Rover is a stunning timepiece and will be a keeper. The quality is a fair bit greater than my TC V6, which was previously one of my nicer watches. It holds its own and then some against my gen SMP. I was honestly not expecting to like it as much as I do--like many rep owners, I demand good value for my money and agonize over minor flaws. I also flip gen watches frequently.


    Finally, let's leave the pictures behind for a discussion about value. To analyze this quantitatively, I'll look at the build cost for a similar watch:

    -StarTime 3135 case set ($170)
    -StarTime bezel + insert ($99)
    -Sterile crown/tube ($17)
    -Clark sapphire crystsal + gasket ($25)
    -Retaining ring and caseback gaskets ($20)

    -StarTime sterile bracelet ($75)

    -Dial+hands of inerior quality ($75)

    Total cost so far: $481

    -Option1: ETA 2824 top grade movement ($250)
    -Option2: ST2130 decorated ($75)

    Total cost with movement
    -Option1: $731
    -Option2: $556

    Depending upon your valuation of the Ginault 7275 movement, a watch of similar quality can be built by you for between $550 and $750 in parts alone. Probably closer to the lower end of that spectrum based on the movement being an unknown.

    1) I don't know of any aftermarket dials similar in quality to the Ginault. I'd probably value it closer to $100-$150
    2) The crown I selected above is sterile. Surely Ginault's extremely well executed crown is worth something more.
    3) Assembly isn't easy. If you botch something the project cost goes up. I'd pay someone $100 to build this for me and properly pressure test/regulate the movement.

    Personally I'd feel okay paying up to $800 for this watch, which is right around the amount I paid (and I'll probably be taking a $100-$300 bath if I ever decide to sell the thing). The MSRP of $1299 is a bit steep given the brand's limited history.

    That's all for now folks.


    Great review. I really like that version of ginault. I have to say though, there's no way it can compare in build quality to the 2254

    Sent from the RWI App


      Thanks for the well put together review. Wear it in good health


        I'm definitely digging this Ginault as well.


          Over priced TC v6


            Great review and pics!
            I like that version a lot more than the golden sand lume.


              Originally posted by lawlessflyer, post: 3684352, member: 119613
              Over priced TC v6
              Agreed but where can one get a TC, they always get reserved or on staff hold the second they go up for sale on the M2M.


                Originally posted by 123krutzig, post: 3684396, member: 144946
                Agreed but where can one get a TC, they always get reserved or on staff hold the second they go up for sale on the M2M.
                So true..


                  I love these!


                    Originally posted by lawlessflyer
                    Over priced TC v6
                    Not really. For the money and warranty, you really can’t beat it.


                      Hate the text on the dial and the logo and not a fan of their logo either. Looks not bad for a new contender otherwise.


                        I picked up this exact model and sold it within about 2 weeks. I really liked it, but my biggest issues were the lack of AR on the crystal. With the domed crystal and glossy dial it was like looking at one big reflection all of the time. The other issue I had was worries about customer service. I tried contacting Ginualt several times over the course of a month and never got a single reply.

                        At the price they are charging I would rather own a cheaper rep of similar quality or a gen from a "real" company.


                          Do you think it is worth selling a V6 TC to buy a Ginault?