Some of you may have seen my post about a month ago explaining that I'd bought a beautiful Omega SMP Chrono (SMPC), but was finding it a bit uncomfortable. I was asking how it compared to the Breitling Chrono Avenger titanium (CA), the logic being that this would be a lighter and more comfortable watch.
Since then I bought a great CA from Stefan Tapp on this forum (and Breitling Source) which I've been really pleased with. I've had a both watches for a few weeks trying to decide which to keep. Anyone who has been to SC recently will know where this is going, but I thought you might be interested in my comparison.
Brands - Omega vs Breitling
I don't mind admitting that I'm a bit vain and care what other people think of my watches. The SMPC was my first expensive watch and i was excited to see how it went down at work...but nobody noticed I would try to position my left arm strategically in a few meetings and I saw a few people take a quick look, but no one ever commented.
I was equally excited when i started to wear the Breitling...but still no response. But i have to say, I've always seen Breitling as slightly higher up on the watch ladder than Omega. I felt more proud wearing the Breitling and for me that wins on the brand points.
I love the darker matt titanium finish of the CA, but the SMPC looks a bit more fancy. Whichever watch i choose would only ever be a smart watch, so this is important. When i asked friends and family which they preferred, 9 out of 10 preferred the CA. It's more of a tool watch and looks good both casual and smart. But if i wanted to impress at an interview, the SMPC fits the part more.
No clear winner here as i like both watches for different reasons.
I love the way the light reflects off the shiny bits on the SMPC dial - it made the watch feel special and it was easy to tell the time. I would often have to look at the watch twice to get the time with the SMPC because I was distracted the first time by how nice it was, then i would realise i hadn't taken in what the time was and have to look again.
The CA dial is very toolish (if that's a word) - it's easy to read, but dare i say a little boring. But that's not to say i don't like it, I really like it, but may be some more colour would have helped for me.
The SMPC case back pertrudes quite a lot and digs into your wrist. If you get the sizing right I'm sure this isn't a problem, but i struggled with it. The patten is really nice, but would have liked a bit more information.
The CA case back pertrudes slightly, but not as much as the SMPC. The pattern is very simple and there is much more information, which fits with its 'tool' watch label.
The buttons and lug on the SMPC are smaller, but i love the chunkiness of the buttons on the CA.
Also, I really love the cross-hatch pattern on the CA buttons - great attention to detail and the lug feels like a little grenade.
This was vital to me. My biggest problem with the SMPC is the lack of micro-adjustments and this made a big difference. The watch was a bit too loose when i left the house in the morning, making it dig into my hand when i was walking around. But by the afternoon, my wrist was a bit bigger from being sat at my desk, so it then felt too tight. There was no way to make it any bigger, so i had to take it off for a while.
The CA wasn't as light as i expected - 156g vs 189g. The strap is much lighter on the CA, but the head is heavier than the SMPC. However, the clasp does have micro-adjustments, which are really useful. I use them almost daily, so the watch is often the right size, despite my wrist changing size.
Anyone who has a SMP will know that there is no contest here, the SMPC has a much better lume compared to the CA.
Many of you will have seen my SMPC in SC, which speaks for itself. I really liked the SMPC, but the comfort was a big issue for me. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a watch that i was relieved to take off at the end of the day.
I really really like my CA - it's more comfortable than the SMPC and i like the way it's subtle, looking smart for work and great with casual clothes. So ultimately this had to be my choice.
However, you'll notice that i didn't say that I love my CA. So although i prefer it, my search for the perfect watch continues. But I'm loving the journey to finding it.