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    Default A 2-Year REVIEW: DSN Davidsen Ultimate 217, with Gen 233 comments.....

    I thought I'd post a quick review of my Davidsen Ultimate 217. Keep in mind my credentials on watch mechanics is basically nil--but I try as best I can to appreciate value. Let's get to it:
    Watch: DSN 217 Ultimate
    Purchased: In May of 2008 (I can't believe it's been this long)
    Price: From memory--about $400

    First some pics:




    If you think the pics are good--believe me the watch does look this good. Especially on first impressions. Although I've been hanging around here from time to time, for a couple of years--I wouldn't be able to spot a Gen from a Rep this good on first sight alone. The watch is mounted on a tremendous (super thick) Open-Ended strap by cheergiant. The strap makes the watch appear a bit more toolish--if you prefer (as I do sometimes) the more dressy look--we have to switch to something without those rivets.


    The crown and crown-guard. Very well done. It is a relatively tight fit. Compared to a Gen 127 that I used to have it is 75% of the feeling when opening and closing. Better than my Gen RXW MM20. Later I will discuss the Gen233 CG.


    Another look: not too shabby. Very nice. The GEN will go in just a tad more.


    The hands and dial look pretty good--even under scrutiny.


    The Dial. All this distortion just happens to be beautiful. Very much like a Gen. What you can't see here is under sunlight--the hands will reflect upon the crystal creating a somewhat unattractive image. This happens only at certain angles, and I never see it when overcast or indoors. I imagine that it's the low-end AR coating.

    Some thoughts on the movement and quality:
    The movement is supposed to be a Swiss Unitas--I imagine it's legit. It stopped working on me about 6 months ago: for no reason I could not wind the movement. From what I've learned here--these are typical REP issues. I did not wear it for some time--and suddenly about 3 weeks later something happened and it's been back to normal since. It is a very good time keeper: about +10 per day. Winding the watch is not the most smooth feeling one gets--pretty rough. But than again my MM20 is just as rough. Handling the Rep, it feels very much like a Gen--as I clean it, strap it on, look at it--it is 90%+ there IMO.

    Now a look at 20X+:


    Stem (i think) that holds the hands.


    The seconds hand.


    Again.


    A few things you can't see with the camera: There is a "dirty" ring around the crystal between it and the case. It is not easy to see--but from close inspection you can see it is this:

    Some sort of dirt or perhaps glue? I don't know, but it takes away from the Gen look when inspecting it closely. It gives you that "feeling" that something isn't right. I only noticed this after weeks of ownership--so you know I'm being picky. But I also know YOU want to know--even if it's geeky!


    This is the "T." on the crown guard. Compare later with a Gen 233.


    Here's my Gen 233 with my Rep 217.

    Again. They look alike in many ways. But the 217 size advantage is very prominent in person. Here's a better view:


    You can see how well the case of the Rep is made from an amateur point of view. The color of the brushed steel is virtually identical to the Gen 233.


    from the crown side.

    Some funny wrist shots:

    217


    The 217 does not wear THIS big!


    But there is a size difference.


    233

    The following are all Gen233 close-ups:



    This crown is truly beautiful under magnification.


    T.M. on the Gen cg


    GMT hand


    Kaboom. The lever fits into the cg system perfectly and with conviction. It is noticeably superior to not only the Rep but even a Gen 127. Also much improved over a Gen 88 or 104. In short, the 233 cg probably can't be properly repped.



    From a casual distance the crown system on both the Gen233 and Rep217 appear similar. However, under close inspection and especially when handling the pieces--there's a huge difference. The Gen's cg system is much sharper in shape--the edges are sharp and in fact the whole case--wherever you see a corner--it is much sharper than on the Rep when running your fingers along the case. Again, this is not visible from almost any distance--only under very close scrutiny.

    Final Thoughts:
    --I wish I had a Gen 217 to compare (don't we all)--but I thought a 233 would at least give some background.
    --The lume on the 233 is stronger than the 217--BUT0--the Gen has a greenish tint near light. I found this very odd. The Rep217 is virtually white all the time--and this is more attractive to my eye.
    --The 217Rep wears more comfortably than my 233. I don't really know why. One reason might be the extra-thick strap on my 217 as opposed to the OEM strap on the 233. Or perhaps the 217 is a more comfortable watch period. My MM20 is also very comfortable.

    Would I buy the Rep217 again? Yes, in a heart beat. It is an easy watch to wear. I don't worry about scratching it--and ironically it hasn't hardly a hair line anywhere. My 233 is another story. I bout it at a time when it was very difficult to source one--and I paid full price at an AD. The price on the 233 has dropped siginificantly for probably a couple of reasons--the Economy yes--but Panerai has release a plethora of models that mimic the 233 look. That's what makes the 217/127 Reps so much more attractive--they give you a watch that is easy to copy yet almost criminally priced if it were a Gen. Even if I still had my 127--at the prices that it has reached I could not wear it comfortably. But my DSN217 is a dream to wear and enjoy. If you're still reading--Thanks for putting up with my ramblings! Best wishes


    Will post on Panerai forum as well.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Great stuff! Super pic's and fun to read through... It is nice to hear opinions after that period of time has passed. If you ever grow tired of her give me a shout. Thanks for sharing!

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    Great write up. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Those super macro shots are impressive! When u say u prob wouldn't be comfortable wearing your gen 127 now is that because you'd be scared to scratch it? I love the 233 and lust to own a gem one day. Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinsk View Post
    Great write up. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Those super macro shots are impressive! When u say u prob wouldn't be comfortable wearing your gen 127 now is that because you'd be scared to scratch it? I love the 233 and lust to own a gem one day. Cheers
    Thanks for the comments:
    Let me clarify a couple of my own comments: I would buy the 233--like yesterday--with the prices that the 233 has come to. I've seen some sellers letting theirs go for 8.5K or so. The retail now is 14.7K--no way. If you find a reliable seller (preferably face to face) at a great price--I gotta believe the 233 is going to hold its value from this point forward (not the MSRP mind you). On the 127--yes, it is scratching it that would just drive me nuts. My 127 was perfect--sold it for 16.5K now it would probably go for 19K (actual sale--not asking price)--a good ding on the case would drop it by at least 1K and so on. I'm just not into these prices anymore (never should have been to begin with)--to give you an idea of where I'm at; today I bought a dress watch (emporio armani) regulateur-jump hour--if that's the right calling--mechanical automatic--$75. I'm happy.

  5. #5
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    Great post. Thanks for sharing!

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    Picked up 233k in a face to face last week.
    I also love my dsn27a with Palp crown. Thanks for your comparison post!

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    Great review and amazing pics! I love them both
    [B]What's in the box:[/B]
    Gen Zenith Defy Open 46.5
    Gen PAM88
    Gen PAM104
    Gen Breitling Skyland
    Franken SA w/Gen White Dial

    [B]Wish List[/B]
    Gen PAM196
    Gen Breitling Navitimer World (White Dial)
    Ultimate 199

  8. #8
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    Oh my Goodness!!!!
    That´s what I called pics....great review, thanks a lot.
    But where is the lume comparison???
    Please post some pics of the lume

  9. #9
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    Default

    Great write-up and fantastic pics! (Loved the rambling too.)

    Thanks, Xplodr
    ...and this watch that turned into a hamster, what was the point of that?


    Looking for PAM055 with a white dial

  10. #10
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    Default

    great review, thank you for doing this for us all, very interesting and helpfull.

    i agree with everything you wrote, i own the same watch from the same seller and it is a keeper.

    after some time i order the 127 from dsn too, still waiting to arrive.

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    Can't wait for the noobs with microscopes to start whining, asking if they should send a watch back to the dealer 'cause it has a speck of dust on the second hand that the gen doesn't...

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    Lovely comparison. Thanks for writing it, I really enjoyed it. Now, maybe I should go ahead and order a 127 from DSN...

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    great review!!

    thank youuuu
    Support REPGEEK by becoming a VIP!!! - - Hidden Content

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    Give that Man a medal
    cuscochris:D

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    Nice review, thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfbit View Post
    Can't wait for the noobs with microscopes to start whining, asking if they should send a watch back to the dealer 'cause it has a speck of dust on the second hand that the gen doesn't...
    To be fair--most Gens have something wrong if you look close enough. One mistake I made, and got away with, was not examining my 233 at the AD with a loupe -- I have Gen Rolex with lume that is off center on one of the markers. I took the close-ups (and they're not great pics--I know that) just for fun and to perhaps see some differences beween the Gen and the Rep.

    THANKS TO EVERYONE for you comments.

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    Supper Report
    &
    Supper Shot

    Thk
    Kristy,

  18. #18
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    great write up. Always had the 217 on my list but so far never got round to it. Its a very nice piece.

  19. #19
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    Nice write up and awesome macro shots. I have a DSN 217 and I love it.
    ""This is my shield. I bear it before me into battle, but it is not mine alone. It protects my city. I will never let my brother out of its shadow nor my city out of its shelter. I will die with my shield before me... facing the enemy." Author Unknown ":machine:

  20. #20
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    I luv that xxxxxl pic of the GMT hand.


    SWEEEEET!

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