Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

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Henryj
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Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Henryj » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:06 am

The contenders

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I'm lucky enough to have both of these right now. I bought the Breitling new about two years ago, and it's been a semi-regular daily wear since then. The Gen 2 X-33 I've had for about a week now (Thanks again, Winster!) I thought I'd see how they stack up against each other.

First, the Breitling Evo.

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43mm by 10.8mm thick, 100M WR, flat sapphire crystal, Breitling Super Quartz Thermo-compensated movement. Titanium case, case back, and bracelet. Unidirectional rotating bezel with a lume dot at 12:00.

Accuracy for me has run about +4 seconds over the past two years. Total.

Omega X-33 Gen 2

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About 43mm by about 14mm thick, 30M WR, lightly domed sapphire crystal, Omega 1666 movement with 9 jewels. Titanium case, case back, and bracelet. Bi-directional rotating bezel with a lume dot at 12:00.

I can't speak to accuracy yet, but it hasn't drifted at all in the past week, so it's not bad.

The Aerospace case back is secured by screws, and has a variety of conversion factors in a handy layout on the back as well as a Breitling logo. The crown performs various functions by either twirling it (change functions, light up the backlight), pull it out, then spin it (change settings such as time or time zone), and push it in (start/stop chrono, minute repeater)

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The X-33 case back is a bit more involved. It has "FLIGHT CERTIFIED BY NASA FOR SPACE MISSIONS" engraved on it, plus it has a double layer effect to provide a resonance chamber for the alarm. This case back design, with a thin inner case back, is the main reason the X-33 has only a 30M WR. The issue isn't leakage, but rather pressure deformation of the inner case back potentially shorting out the battery or circuit board. There's no concern with water leaking in with normal use or cleaning. The crown serves fewer functions than the Aerospace's, because the X-33 has four pushers around the case to operate various functions.

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The Evo has a titanium bracelet with links held together with screws, and a conventional flip lock clasp. It's comfortable and the clasp has micro-adjust holes to get the fit just right.

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The X-33 has omega's "Speedy" type bracelet with links held together with the cursed pin and collar system (solid and secure, but a PITA for the DIY guy), and Omega's dual button clasp. There is one micro-adjust in the clasp which is why, I guess, there's no half link provided.

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Lume for both watches is very good, bright and long lasting.

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I didn't get any usable backlight pictures, but both watches do backlight the the digital displays. The Evo lights up the characters with a blue-green backlight that's activated by a "slow" turn of the crown. The X-33 backlights the entire inner portion of the dial with a bright greenish glow when you press the pusher at 10.

Impressions

Breitling Aerospace Evo: Dressier then the Omega. It's a bit shinier, and a good deal thinner. This one works well under a long sleeve shirt. I still fumble the slow vs fast crown twirls at times, so it can be a bit fussy when changing time zones (slow for minutes, fast for hours). One kinda undocumented feature on changing the time, though, is that it will remember the correct minutes if you fumble and change minutes instead of hours when changing time zones. If you're used to the typical Casio G-Shock drift (about 15 seconds a month) the timekeeping will amaze you. To me, there are two negatives that keep this from being about perfect. First is the semi-fiddly crown for changing functions and settings. It sometimes takes a couple tries to get it right. Second for me, is the lack of a running seconds hand. I can set the display to show running digital seconds and date, but I guess I'm a kinda analog ticking seconds hand kinda guy.

Omega X-33 2nd Gen: More toolish, the different grade of titanium used, and all brushed finish, give this one a more utilitarian and subdued look then the Evo. It's thicker than the Evo as well so, if I ever get into long sleeve weather again, it might be a thing. also, this watch has a constantly running central seconds hand. I like that. On this one, you cycle through the functions by pushing the crown to scroll through them, which is a bit more fool proof for me. There are a couple thing this watch does that are absolutely brilliant. First up, while both watches have a settable countdown timer, the one on the X-33 will start counting up after it hits 0. I'm not an astronaut, mostly I use the countdown timer when I'm cooking. So, when it gets to 0, if something isn't quite done and I figure it needs another 2 or 3 minutes, I have this to keep track of how long over it runs. And it's not a bad party trick for meetings that run late. The second nifty thing it does is when I change timezones. With the digital display set to show the time, you press and hold the crown in for 3 seconds. The left side of the display will show "HOURS", and you can reset the hours only, forward or back. Easy resetting for DST or a time zone change.

The biggest disadvantage for the X-33 is that it's semi-vintage now. Omega may be continuing to support these, but there's always that little bit of doubt about daily wear of a collectible watch. This one is an easy 95% +, and has a recent battery change, but I still wonder a bit whether to wear it or preserve it.

Summary: I won't call a winner or loser here. The Breitling is thinner, dressier, and almost surreally accurate. With 100M WR, I don't worry about it in water as deep as I'm likely to go. Plus, my wife has stress-tested hers in pools and water parks with no issues, and this is a woman who killed an SKX007. So, plenty tough to go along with the good looks (the watch and the wife).

The X-33 is NASA-cool, easier to use in a lot of ways, and just as comfy to wear. Thicker and not dressy at all. This one has a few features that, I think, raise it above the Evo in the functions category. Accuracy is an unknown for now.

if I were forced to choose one or the other with a gun to my head, I think the X-33 would win out by a whisker for the running seconds hand and relative ease of use. I wish they were still making this one as it is for the factory support and warranty.

Thanks for reading.
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jimyritz
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by jimyritz » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:26 am

Excellent review- 2 real good ones, not sure which one I'd choose. Thanks for posting..

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Panerai7 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:30 am

Great comparison review. Nicely done!
I think I like Breitling a little more in just looks alone.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Seppia » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:45 am

Great write up!
If I had to pick one I think I would go for the omega

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by andrema » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:29 am

Very nice! Two great watches.

I give the Evo the edge with these two models...if the X-33 were a gen 3, I would go for the Omega.
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by JP Chestnut » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:02 am

I think the omega looks much better. However, the B is really comfortable in the wrist. It's thinner, flatter caseback, and curved lugs make s big difference. It's a great example of a watch that wears flat. The omega, though I've never tried it, looks thicker and less close to the wrist.

Can you compare the x33 to a normal speedy?

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Henryj » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:21 am

JP Chestnut wrote:I think the omega looks much better. However, the B is really comfortable in the wrist. It's thinner, flatter caseback, and curved lugs make s big difference. It's a great example of a watch that wears flat. The omega, though I've never tried it, looks thicker and less close to the wrist.

Can you compare the x33 to a normal speedy?
Nope, I've never owned or worn a normal Speedy.

@Mark - I go back and forth on how I feel about the new X-33. I found the day display on it, and it can't be displayed at the same time as the date. It's sort of a thing with me. And it has several more functions I probably won't use. On the other hand, the basic layout and display are very very nice. It's a cleaner look than the Gen 2.
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by hoppyjr » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:47 am

Good info, thanks for sharing.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by toxicavenger » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:57 am

Great mini review Henry!

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Dedalus » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Nice review, Henry.
I lean towards the Breitling, based simply on looks. Maybe I'm conservative like that... :geek:
But two very cool watches.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by matt.wu » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:08 pm

I love both of those!
:htfu:

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by BBK357 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:40 pm

Looks go to omega, but the 30mm WR is pretty bad. If have to go Breitling. I've never owned one but I almost bought that exact model a few times.
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by lilhoody » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:08 am

Thank you Henry.
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by rockmastermike » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:16 am

Owned and enjoyed the X-33 a couple of years ago and own an Evo now.
For me, the Evo crown is no problem once I got used it and after that it's easy to cycle through and use functions. But I only use the crown to use the Chrono and the alarm - easy to set and use. Non running seconds, for me, not a big deal.
Another check for the Evo is it is a great strap watch, versatile and comfortable.
The X-33 was everything you said: chunky, toolish, looks bombproof and also comfortable.

To me, the Evo is more refined and civilized while the X-33 is more statement making and tool watch.

Well done, Henry!
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by unsub073 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:30 am

Thanks for the comparison.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by deepcdvr » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:54 pm

Love your stuff Henry!

You really should give me one of those bad boys ;)
VR/
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Torrid » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:10 pm

Absolutely love the Breitling. It's the true perfect ana/digi in my eyes. Both are amazing though.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Henryj » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:43 pm

There's a nasty little voice in the back of my head (one of the many) that's whispering "sell both and buy a Skywalker".
If someone tells you "There's no such thing as a stupid question", have him list a watch for sale on WUS.

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Grahamcombat » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:57 am

Henryj wrote:There's a nasty little voice in the back of my head (one of the many) that's whispering "sell both and buy a Skywalker".
That's what I'm doing. X-33 is fantastic, just a little too shiny for me. I'm moving on to the SKYWALKER.


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Henryj
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by Henryj » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:06 am

The Omega ADs here have a 20% off sale going for the holiday, and I'm broke. :crybaby: :crybaby:
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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by deepcdvr » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:35 pm

DO IT SAILOR
VR/
Paul

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Re: Quartz! Titanium! Head to head!

Post by sierra11b » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:09 am

JP Chestnut wrote: Can you compare the x33 to a normal speedy?
I can as I own the 3570.50 and the Gen2. Like my Moonwatch this one isn't going anywhere...

They wear remarkably similar in size even though I think the Gen2 is a bit wider on paper (43-43.5?). Imagine taking the SS Speedy which already wears like a dream and making it out Ti, but one step further as there's no traditional steel movement inside. By far the most comfortable watch I've ever owned which makes me want a 45th Apollo 11 even more for that middle ground. Funny how comfort is major criterion now.

I tried on the Skywalker when it first came out and while it's even bigger than the Gen2, it is totally doable and wears like 43mm

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I wouldn't give up the Gen2 for the Skywalker outright, but that's only because I'm a NASA geek (ESA on the back of Skywalker) and the Gen1&2 have a very cool cult vibe. Hard to explain but the design is so well done and geekishly cool in the flesh... Almost like wearing something described by Jules Verne if he could write a modern piece on space and the ISS.

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