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116619 U1 Gate vs Noob, the review you've all been waiting for

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I've bought a bunch of gate subs and the only one I kept was a U1 Smurf. I've been wanting to upgrade it, but not spend very much on it since it is a white gold watch anyway, no sense in seeking perfection at a big premium. So I bought this Noob Smurf head when it came up.  I've never bought a TD sub, don't really care for the black or green.I've been wondering what the real difference would be between the two IRL.

First glance looking at them together for the first time before pictures, the first thing you notice is the reflection on the U1. Noob's seems crystal clear next to it. Second thing is the U1 looks bigger. Third is the blue bezel is different.

Let's look at the measurements:

Bezel Dia - Noob 39.80MM, U1 40.45MM, so the U1 is indeed bigger.

Bezel to crown - Noob 44.66 , U1 45.02, again the U1 is bigger

Thickness - Noob 13.02, U1 13.20. The U1 is just slightly thicker. However, as you will see in the caseback pics, they have a much different profile.

Lug to lug the Noob is actually longer 48MM vs 47.5 for the U1. I think this also contributes to the U1 looking bigger. And when you compare the case shapes the of the lugs the U1 look wider/thicker particularly where they meet the bezel. I reassured the thickness of the lug tips themselves and the U1 is just a fraction smaller at the tip 3.2 vs 3.6 for the Noob. So the taper is longer and sharper.

Big difference in the CG's also. The Noob is clean and flush with the bezel with a wide chamfer across the width of the crown, where the crown on the U1 sinks into triangular cutouts of more pronounced and less sleek CG's.


Here you can see for yourself. One caveat, the distortion on the U1 cyclops is partially because of camera angle. It actually is aligned really well with the center of the cyclops. However, the cyclops itself is domed differently and you can see some of the black hole effect on the Noob, where there is none of that on the gate watch.

The sunburst on the Noob dial is definitely more pronounced. It is a shade darker than the U1, but it is far more noticeable in the pictures than IRL. The sunburst on the U1 is very nice irl. In this pic you can really see the almost cloudy effect of the U1 crystal. It is sapphire, just not the best grade.


Are are crops of the pearl. The focus is out on the U1, but you can see the pearl is darker and a little larger, the Noob has a hairline crack and the pearl is slightly off center.


Here you can see the casebooks of each, the general fit and finish of the noob is sharper, better and there are no stampings on the U1.


The side profile shows the sharper lines of the noob and the evenly sloped profile of the caseback. The U1 has distinct levels to the caseback.


There you have it. I would say the one huge difference between them functionally is the crystal. If there was an upgrade to do on the U1 that would be it. I can see why if your a OCD Rolex rep guy, the U1 would drive you nuts. The size, bezel, case, crown and caseback are all far off from the Noob in ways that make if far off from gen as well. But IRL right in front of you the U1 is a nice watch and the Noob is nicer still.


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