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View Full Version : Review of ROLEX Submariner WM9 v1, The original "Super Sub"



By-Tor
10-10-2008, 07:32 AM
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/6-1.jpg

Now I hear you all screming: "Oh my God, not another Submariner review by By-Tor! Please no more!"

Well, to my defense I have to say that it's been a while. I thought I'd never buy one again, but... like the old mafia saying goes: I tried to quit, but they keep dragging me in! And besides owning countless of rep Subs in the past, I didn't have one in my collection anymore. At the end of the day none of the previous models satisfied me. I actually prefer the GMT II and Explorer II over the Sub, but you can't deny the attractiveness of the Legend.

It was actually Ublquitous' amazing pictorial of his WM9 (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/81126-wm9-z-serial-submariner-new-pics) that finally convinced me to buy this rep. Of course mine isn't that nice (as Ubi has performed many hardcore modifications), but if this rep is good enough for "Mr. Perfection", it's definitely good enough for me. Ubi's WM9 was also the only rep Submariner that our membership (who detect reps and gens almost for living) couldn't "call out". Tells you something about the potential of this amazing forgery! I'm sure it's reps like this that Montres Rolex S.A. wouldn't want to see.

Another Rolex man of ours, Stephane, also built a "Super Sub" of his WM9. Another veteran of many gen Rolexes, Watcher, chose the WM9 too, so it's quite safe to say that this particular rep model is the "Choice of the HC guys".


This is not going to be an excessive review, because there has been so many writeups of these watches. And I couldn't compete with sd4k and Toadtorrent's amazing "mini novels" anyway. "Brief and striking" has always been my attempted style. :)


HISTORY OF THE "WATCHMAKER9 SUB":

I have owned/reviewed every single important Sub model (except for the new Euromariner) over the years.

About a year ago we saw the first pictures of the "WM9 Submariner". The release of this model caused a small sensation in the community. It was hands down the best Sub we had ever seen. Some people didn't like the idea of an off-site dealer offering something that our "star dealers" couldn't source. Well, it really took surprisingly long for our dealers to source this watch, but now it's here! The cost is very reasonable, at least compared to George's (WM9) greasy prices.

It is largely speculated that this replica is the "sequel" to the old, legendary TW Best/MBW model (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/39558-review-of-rolex-tw-best-submariner-outdated-model/), which was in production for over a decade. At least that familiar (ugly) green sticker and solid midlink bracelet are similar. The reason our dealers couldn't source this earlier might have something to do with the departure of Eddie Lee and River, who were the main sources for the "TW models" in the old days.

Our superb EU-based dealers, Precious Time and Eurotimez, were both able to source the "WM9" already, but I wanted my watch without the engravings. I simply hate them, it's yet another new Rolex design "innovation" which just plain sucks. And besides, the engravings look less than stellar on both of the current "top Subs", WM9 and Euromariner. They're are also the weakest link on the otherwise "almost perfect" Ultimate GMT IIc. (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/81892-review-of-rolex-gmt-master-ii-116710-ceramic/)

I requested Precious Time to encourage the factory to make this model without the engravings, and here it is, available again! Actually I convinced him that he will sell all the 30 pieces he gets. I'm 100% he does. I'll hereby promise to buy one of those weird looking Panerai watches if he doesn't! Seriously, there's no guarantee that the production of the non-engraved version is going to continue, so grab yours now!


http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/3-5.jpg


WHY DID I CHOOSE THE WM9 INSTED OF "EUROMARINER"?

Simple: The crystal and crown are better on the WM9. The rehaut appearance and thickness (from front and side) is unmatched on the WM9, which is important to me. It's the only "otb" Rolex rep which looks absolutely sensational from this angle. I have explained more about this "look" in my other Rolex reviews so I don't want to go there again. Short: It's the "metallic" and smooth appearance, and the "dent" right below the crystal. Here you can see the WM9 compared to my genuine GMT Master II. Rehaut depth is slightly deeper on WM9 than my gen GMT (like it should), and it's perfect. Notice the red marked area. That shows the cylindrical "bevel" below the crystal. Notice also the amazing SELs on the WM9.


http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/2-10.jpg

Euromariner utilizes the perfect Noobmariner (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/13184-review-of-rolex-16610-submariner-noobmariner/) dial, which the WM9 can't quite compete against, but then again I prefer the "flat S" for some weird reason. This is not to say that the WM9 dial isn't good, it definitely is... but the Noob dial could be the best Rolex dial that factories have ever produced. Euromariner also has excellent hollow link bracelet, and the links are solid on the WM9. Tribal has modified his Euromariner to almost perfect condition. After exchanging the crystal on the "Euro", the rehaut thickness and correct bevel seem to be there. So looks like the whole "rehaut thickness" thing is mainly a crystal/gasket issue.

Here's the WM9 dial, which is very respectable. The only real issue is the oversized crown etching on the crystal, which these large pictures (of course) exaggerate.


http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/4-5.jpg


STATS:

Pluses and minuses on WM9 and Euromariner:

(Both watches have excellent, well fitting SELs and gen-like bezel constructions. The crown guards on both watches need just very minor work. Mine has already been done (in the pictures)).

WM9:

+ Best rehaut thickness & crystal "bevel" appearance of any Rolex replicas, ever. Without any modifications.
+ Almost perfect crown.
+ "Flat S" for the geeks that prefer it.
- Solid link bracelet.
- Very good dial, but can't quite match the Noob/Euro.
- Not a great pearl.
- Not necessarily available without the engravings, long term.
- Oversized etched crown on the crystal.

Euromariner:

+ Perfect dial.
+ Hollow link bracelet.
+ Available with and without lugholes.
+ Available continuously without the engravings (confirmed).
+ After crystal/gasket exchange the rehaut thickness looks as good as WM9.
- Worse crown.
- Worse rehaut thickness and the cylindrical crystal/rehaut appearance (without crystal/gasket exchange).


http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/7-3.jpg


MY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS:

Like I said, none of the previous models fully satisfied me. Noobmariner suffered from the short rehaut, "matte" crystal and that gigantic, ridiculous "Jumbo" crown. The old TW Best model had awful SELs, bad dial and numerous other inaccuracies. MBK had bad rehaut thickness, too deep rehaut, bad dial, way oversized date magnification and very high price.

The WM9 is quite pricey for a ETA Sub, in the $335 range... but for what it offers it's a genuine bargain (by today's price standards). This is the very first otb replica Sub that really feels like the gen. That's something that even the pictures can't quite capture. WM9 is light years better than the MBW and old TW models, and a slight improvement over the classic Noobmariner (which I still consider very good replica).

If you forget the solid bracelet, it's just as good as "otb" as the Noobfactory black Explorer II (which I personally consider the best ever modern Rolex replica). I love the WM9, and since the basic appearance is so good, it's a perfect base for mods. I doubt I'll do many mods though. Things like the etched crown and solid link bracelet don't really bother me.


WHO HAS THE BEST SUB?

Just like in the old days, when we had the CN vs. TW Best, and later Noobmariner vs. MBW debates, we now have the WM9 and Euromariner debates. There is no definite answer, both have their strong points... but now the quality has taken yet another leap towards visual perfection. Both watches are extremely close "otb", and both can be modified to almost perfect visual condition. Impossible to say which is the better one (when all possible modifications have been performed).

The link to Tribal's pictorial indicates that Euromariner might be the better (and cheaper) alternative for the "builders". I chose the WM9 because I don't really feel like doing any mods (besides very basic ones like cg's). Also, the crown and rehaut thickness/crystal bevel appearance is very important to me. Well, just pick your favorite, both products are excellent. This time we can say: First choose your Sub, then choose your dealer.


http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/1s.jpg

CLICK HERE FOR WM9 WALLPAPER (http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i243/BT2112/1-5.jpg)


.

Guest1
10-10-2008, 07:37 AM
Very nice review BT, nice to see we have another runner for the Best Sub. Your words and pictures make the watch.

Neo
10-10-2008, 07:47 AM
Great review! Who sells this?

b16a2
10-10-2008, 07:53 AM
Amazing review. These subs are getting very good now, it's just very minor faults, which makes is so hard to choose between the Euro and the WM9.

josevancouver
10-10-2008, 07:54 AM
Great review By-Tor!

SkinnyConHeoi
10-10-2008, 07:56 AM
Very nice review. I always enjoy reading about the Submariner reps :munch:

louisruby
10-10-2008, 08:03 AM
another excellent review and great pics, well done BT

Kollektor
10-10-2008, 08:10 AM
Fabulous write-up BT. Looks very nice...

Verbal Kint
10-10-2008, 08:38 AM
Like allways mr BT, THX!!!

By-Tor
10-10-2008, 02:28 PM
Thanks all.

Was a lot of fun to write this one. ;)

Jackjo
10-10-2008, 07:44 PM
Good One BT! Very Enjoyable to read.

I agree that this would be my choice over the Euro.

By the way, your pics aren't to bad either.

AllergyDoc
10-10-2008, 07:52 PM
Great write-up and pics.

But, another damn good watch to resist!

njespo
10-10-2008, 10:45 PM
excellent review.....thanks!

i have been wearing my gmt II ihs regularly and have been thinking about a BP, but after reading this, i think i may have to consider a replacement for my TW best from river.....

racer0023
10-11-2008, 01:23 AM
wonderful review!! i am waiting to see Chris' next Euromariner (v5?) until i buy my first SS sub. Looks like it might surpass WM9 otb. Thanks for the great review!

By-Tor
10-11-2008, 12:33 PM
The biggest issue with Rolex replicas is always the "fundamental overall look" of the watch. That means the crystal/case combination that you simply can't fix. That's all I really care about, rest is "fixable" if it bothers you. There's lots and lots of variation in stuff like dials and bezel font, even among the 16610. But the case and crystal/rehaut combo is always the same. It's immediately identifiable for someone who has really studied the gens... and that's where the WM9 shines.

Thanks all.

flyskate
10-11-2008, 01:18 PM
Great review! I was on the fence prior to reading this, and have pulled the triger on this sub...... Getting it without the engraving!
Thanks for a great review.

frogman
10-11-2008, 06:44 PM
Its been a long time since I had a sub...This is NICE! Great write-up By-Tor! I always love your articles bro. BTW, I thought about you yesterday when I was at a Tag AD and saw the Aquaracer (blue face).


FROG

liquid-air888
10-11-2008, 08:36 PM
I believe you can get one from PT. This would be the 2008 Supreme Edition


Great review! Who sells this?

By-Tor
10-12-2008, 12:06 AM
Its been a long time since I had a sub...This is NICE! Great write-up By-Tor! I always love your articles bro. BTW, I thought about you yesterday when I was at a Tag AD and saw the Aquaracer (blue face).


Thanks man.

Funny that you got the Aquaracer <-> me connection. Yeah, it's one of my most popular reviews ever... I still have the watch and love it. ;)

Pugwash
10-12-2008, 12:13 AM
Excellent review, as usual. I'm sorely tempted as I don't have a Sub right now.

By-Tor
10-12-2008, 04:16 AM
George is updating the WM9 Sub with super luminova and hollow link bracelet. But according to my sources the new model won't have the "flat S" which I love.

http://www.watchmaker9.tv/latest_news.htm

I must be nuts, but I prefer the (inaccurate) solid middle links bracelet over the hollow too. ;)

flyby75
10-14-2008, 02:26 AM
Thanks again!!

By-Tor
10-14-2008, 05:12 PM
Thanks all!!!

A few wristshots. 14 actually... straight out the camera, just cropped. Click the thumbnails, and enjoy!


http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b391/bytor2112/Wrist%20shots/IMG_0703.jpg

http://img150.imagevenue.com/loc655/th_00258_IMG_0674_122_655lo.jpg (http://img150.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00258_IMG_0674_122_655lo.jpg)http://img41.imagevenue.com/loc1168/th_00264_IMG_0676_122_1168lo.jpg (http://img41.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00264_IMG_0676_122_1168lo.jpg)http://img188.imagevenue.com/loc31/th_00270_IMG_0677_122_31lo.jpg (http://img188.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00270_IMG_0677_122_31lo.jpg)http://img37.imagevenue.com/loc1200/th_00394_IMG_0679_122_1200lo.jpg (http://img37.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00394_IMG_0679_122_1200lo.jpg)
http://img241.imagevenue.com/loc558/th_00399_IMG_0680_122_558lo.jpg (http://img241.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00399_IMG_0680_122_558lo.jpg)http://img183.imagevenue.com/loc497/th_00401_IMG_0683_122_497lo.jpg (http://img183.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00401_IMG_0683_122_497lo.jpg)http://img131.imagevenue.com/loc995/th_00405_IMG_0687_122_995lo.jpg (http://img131.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00405_IMG_0687_122_995lo.jpg)
http://img101.imagevenue.com/loc120/th_00422_IMG_0688_122_120lo.jpg (http://img101.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00422_IMG_0688_122_120lo.jpg)http://img138.imagevenue.com/loc954/th_00424_IMG_0692_122_954lo.jpg (http://img138.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00424_IMG_0692_122_954lo.jpg)http://img214.imagevenue.com/loc473/th_00428_IMG_0695_122_473lo.jpg (http://img214.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00428_IMG_0695_122_473lo.jpg)



http://img189.imagevenue.com/loc195/th_00546_IMG_0698_122_195lo.jpg (http://img189.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00546_IMG_0698_122_195lo.jpg)http://img179.imagevenue.com/loc594/th_00592_IMG_0699_122_594lo.jpg (http://img179.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00592_IMG_0699_122_594lo.jpg)http://img166.imagevenue.com/loc979/th_00598_IMG_0702_122_979lo.jpg (http://img166.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00598_IMG_0702_122_979lo.jpg)http://img19.imagevenue.com/loc737/th_00604_IMG_0704_122_737lo.jpg (http://img19.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=00604_IMG_0704_122_737lo.jpg)

mrkool
10-17-2008, 11:38 PM
so is george precious time or some one else? and how come wm9 is selling subs for 500+ bux and preciosutime is doing the wm9 with no engraving for 200 euros?

AllergyDoc
10-17-2008, 11:50 PM
George is WM9. Angus is PT. Angus bought 100 or so Subs from WM9 that were "tweener" models. V1.5, or something. Angus is selling for less because he doesn't charge the markup that George charges.

By-Tor
10-18-2008, 04:48 AM
Angus has nothing to do with this watch. Angus is "Puretime". This came from Precious Time (UK). ;)

z80
10-18-2008, 05:02 AM
Angus has nothing to do with this watch. Angus is "Puretime". This came from Precious Time (UK). ;)

LOL.. Yeah, I admitted to Precious Time that I thought he was Angus right up to the time he sent me a Royal Mail tracking number. Oh well.. I found another good dealer:

http://img156.imagevenue.com/loc820/th_03171_ava7_122_820lo.jpg (http://img156.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=03171_ava7_122_820lo.jpg)

I put a WatchMaterial pearl in it.. I bruised the stock insert a bit doing it so I'm ordering a new one from WM. I also shaved the CG's a bit.

flyskate
10-18-2008, 12:51 PM
Got my PT sub yesterday. It was as advertised, and was running when I opened the package....... I will do some light modding to finish it off..... Also, if anyone has a noobmariner braclet they want to sell, shoot me a PM.....:D

Mahler
10-20-2008, 10:00 PM
My video: http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=6jRUpgVJhB4

By-Tor
10-21-2008, 12:28 AM
Great video Mahler!

Thanks for sharing.

PS: Have you considered trimming the cgs on your watch? It makes a big difference and they're very easy to "straighten". ;)

rigors
10-29-2008, 08:43 PM
Great review By-Tor! Always love reading what you have to say about Rollies bro...

x

sevarino
10-29-2008, 09:09 PM
thanks for all these inns & outs, great review

webvan
11-08-2008, 03:05 AM
Thanks for the review, I take it it's better than TrustyTime's SS Black Ultimate (http://www.tt88time.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_7&products_id=1234), he does sell it fully serviced though.

By-Tor
01-20-2009, 10:40 AM
Just a note guys... my WM9 v2 Sub from bklm is soon here (the improved version of this same rep)... so there's a new review coming up. ;)

mb7000
01-20-2009, 10:09 PM
can't wait...but I do hope I get mine first :)

oberblender
03-26-2009, 09:37 PM
great review! thanks for that!

cpark352
09-17-2009, 08:32 AM
me too.. great review

By-Tor
11-23-2010, 11:29 PM
I'm fixing the broken links in my reviews. Please report if you find more. Thanks.

PS: This old review is still valid as PT can still source the WM9 v1. It's a great alternative and almost as good as v2/v3. Great choice!

Maximos
11-25-2010, 07:35 AM
Thanks for the fixes and articles By-Tor, I really love reading about these old masterpieces. Out of curiosity, what is the going rate on these nowadays?

By-Tor
11-26-2010, 12:31 AM
Thanks for the fixes and articles By-Tor, I really love reading about these old masterpieces. Out of curiosity, what is the going rate on these nowadays?

I think it's between $300 and $400.

Here's a thread about the watch at RWG. LINK. (http://www.rwgforum.com/topic/125252-wm9-from-pt/)

Good luck!

Maximos
11-26-2010, 03:53 AM
Very interesting information in that thread... I thought George himself had the projects under his control, but it appears that the elusive factory that are producing these have revealed themselves.

speedwatch
12-05-2010, 03:33 AM
great review man

asb23
03-06-2012, 10:09 AM
greatness

Mulle
05-03-2012, 07:55 PM
Nice reading, THX!!

jjhunsecker
05-07-2012, 12:41 AM
Nice one, thanks for this service to us.

Jonage
06-08-2012, 05:01 PM
Great review.Many thanks from a noob in the hobby