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Review & Comparison - A Tale of Two Planets: The Omega CrPO 42mm

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scavenger

INTRODUCTION

 

G'day and welcome! 2013 was a bumper year for replicas of the Omega Planet Ocean line. BP Factory released their Ceramic POs early in the year and we then waited with bated breath for Noob's renditions of the Liquidmetal and Ceramic Planet Oceans. I jumped on the bandwagon with BP's release and got myself the 42mm black dial CrPO with silver numbers. I'll say upfront that I really liked the watch. So much so that when the Noob version was released I decided to order it as well in exactly the same configuration.

 

And so I present to you this review of the watches and a comparison of the differences between the BP and Noob Omega CrPO 42mm models (to be clear, I will not be talking about the LMPO - that is a different watch entirely).

 

 

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

 

Both watches have very impressive build quality. The weight and overall 'feel' are very very close to gen, the fit and finish of both of watches are top notch and the overall dimensions, albeit being a little different, appear to be spot on.

 

The picture below shows the BP on the left, and Noob on the right. All photos below will follow this arrangement.

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DIAL

 

QC issues notwithstanding, the dials on both the BP and Noob watches are outstanding. Though generally free from discolouration and other obvious flaws, I have noticed that there appears to be some minute specks of dust under the crystal of the Noob along with minor stress marks on the dial where the numbers are mounted. These are very hard to see and I could not capture them in a photo. The BP does not exhibit any of these issues.

 

The Omega symbol looks the same on both the watches, but the applied OMEGA word lettering itself appears to be thicker on the BP. Noob's lettering is a little thinner and, I believe, closer to gen based on what I have seen in the Omega Planet Ocean print catalogue. The printed lettering on the other hand are equally crisp and sharp on both watches.

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02_Dial1_zpsde803e97.jpg

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The hour markers, lume and applied numerals (12, 6, 9) are equally well done on both the BP and Noob. I do not believe (or perhaps just cannot see) that there are any major problems with splotchy lume application and/or misaligned applied hour and numeral markers. I've read many posts of people calling out tilted 9, 6 and 12 markers on the dial but unless they were really REALLY wonky I've never found it to be noticeable on the wrist.

 

Both BP and Noob have the accurate broadarrow hands in their watches. Both have green lume on the minute hand (and pearl) and blue lume on hour hand (and hour markers). No issues here at all, the hands look awesome in sunlight and in the dark the lume intensity and duration look the same to me.

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The DWO/datefont... what can I say? Noob wins hands-down in this department. Noob's watch has raised datefont and is silver whereas BP's is flat and white. It's quite amazing that with a dial element this small (no cyclops magnification here a la Rolex) the little details addressed by Noob make a huge difference and cause Noob's dial to pop.

 

CRYSTAL

 

Both the BP and Noob CrPOs feature scratch-resistant sapphire crystals with anti-reflective (AR) coating on both sides. I do look after my watches and make an effort to avoid doorframes and the like but having said that, I have had my fair share of knocks. So far I've never put any scratches on my reps with sapphire crystals, so I can only surmise that they are scratch-resistant as they claim to be.

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The AR is significantly different between the two watches though. The BP has a blue/purple tinge to it (although this is not as strong as say on the older PO reps). It doesn't detract from the look, the colour is only visible under conditions where you actually catch a reflection of a light source on the crystal. On the Noob, the AR coating is colourless. I must say that both crystals and their AR coatings perform admirably and do a fantastic job keeping the dial highly visible. Whether you prefer a tinge of blue or not is completely up to you, but I believe then gen has colourless AR.

 

 

BEZEL

 

The bezel is an area where the BP and Noob watches differ significantly.

 

Let's start with the colour. While both bezels are ceramic, Noob's is visibly more grey than BP's. I believe that this was a design element in the gen where Omega deliberately made the bezel ceramic matt grey to contrast with the black dial. I do not currently have a gen on hand to compare against but I do feel that Noob's colour is closer to the real thing. I also happen to think that it brings out the black dial more and make it look darker.

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The silver ring printed on the inner edge of the ceramic bezel is thicker on the Noob. No getting away from it, BP's thinner ring looks closer to gen. The thinner silver ring (compared to previous generation PO 2500 models) was a design element by Omega to make the watch look bigger whilst retaining the same diameter size. Noob's is ever so slightly thicker than gen.

 

The shininess of Noob's bezel has also been a point of contention since its launch. To me, I don't think it's overly glossy although to be sure BP's matt bezel is definitely more accurate to gen. A massive issue with BP's bezel though is the fading silver print. This includes all the markers, numbers and pearl triangle on the bezel. Mine have not faded quite as much as some others I have seen posted on the forums. It's too early to call a win in Noob's favour, but they would have been well aware of the fading issue and hopefully have manufactured their bezel print to resist fading. Well, they claim to have done so anyway. Only time will tell. For now, I think that the more accurate grey colour on Noob's bezel, along with the (hopefully) non-fading print outweigh the matt finish of BP's ceramic bezel.

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Pearl placement has come a long way since the days of the early PO reps. It's safe to say that with these new models from BP and Noob you would not have to worry too much about the pearl not being centred properly. Noob's pearl, however, is nicer and looks more accurate than BP's. The metal ring is more defined and looks neater and more gen-like than BP's.

 

There are also small differences in the size and positioning of the printed 20, 30, 40 and 50 bezel numbers. These are slightly smaller on Noob's bezel and slightly closer to the outer edge than the inner silver ring. In this, Noob's is closer to gen.

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Both the BP and Noob CrPOs have unidirectional bezels. They turn in an anti-clockwise direction to measure elapsed time and are both 120 clicks for one full rotation. Both are nicely centered when the 60 minute marker is returned to the 12 o'clock position. BP's bezel is a little stiffer to rotate but by no means does Noob's feel loose - it's just easier to turn Noob's bezel compared to BP's. The grip teeth on Noob's bezel do feel sharper than BP's - just something I noticed whilst turning the bezel. It doesn't cause any discomfort whatsoever, and there is no visible difference just from looking at the watches.

 

 

CROWN & HE VALVE

 

Both the BP and Noob CrPOs have screw-down crowns that are very nicely finished. In the 12 months I have had the BP I've not had any issues with stripped threads. If this had been a problem with their previous PO models before it doesn't appear to be affecting the CrPOs.

 

The crown on the BP does, however, require only 3/4 of a turn to screw down. I don't know what to make of this, I'm used to having several full turns to fully screw in a crown to secure it fully, but this does not seem to affect its water resistance. I've worn the BP CrPO whilst swimming and had no issues whatsoever with water entry into the watch. The crown on the Noob requires 2 and a half turns to fully screw in and while I have not yet had a chance to take it swimming, I have no doubt it will stand up to everything the BP can take.

 

Winding and date/time setting via the crown works as advertised. Both watches have a quick date-change which occurs at or very close to 12 midnight so no complaints there. Winding the movement via the crown does feel a little bit smoother on the Noob. Both watches have approximately 38 ~ 40 hours power reserve when fully wound by hand.

 

There's not very much for me to say about the HE valves. They’re there, they look to be in the right positions and both can be screwed/unscrewed into the case.

 

 

CASE PROFILE

 

Some have reported that the Noob CrPO wears slimmer on the wrist. Well guess what? It is slimmer, not as tall as the BP. The profile shots below will show this (notice also that the crystal on the Noob sits higher off the bezel than BP’s).

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I note that the height difference could be due to the flatter caseback on the Noob compared to the BP (discussed below). Both watches have great wrist presence, with the BP just standing taller by just a little bit off the wrist. Your personal preference is yours alone, and I have not actually done any measurements against the gen.

 

 

CASEBACK & MOVEMENT

 

The pictures below highlight the difference in the shapes of the casebacks. BP’s seems to be thicker and is fully polished whereas Noob’s appears flatter and is matt finished on the top surface with a thin polished ring around its outer circumference.

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Which one is more accurate? I believe it’s Noob’s when compared to a picture of the gen (ignore the fact that it’s the Skyfall edition, it’s still the same PO).

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06_Caseback3_BP_Noob_zpseb645440.jpg

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OK. So the display/exhibition caseback lets you see the movement. That movement ain't no Omega Calibre 8500. Sorry to burst your bubble, but neither BP nor Noob manufacture movements. Brace yourselves for further bad news - none of the Chinese movement manufacturers replicate or have a copy of the Omega Calibre 8500.

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06_Caseback4_Movements_zps05804b05.jpg

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The BP movement is supposedly 'Swiss', although it's widely agreed that, even if genuine, this is a reclaimed 2836 movement. This means that at least some/all of the components are not 100% new. BP's movement has a little bit more decoration (Omega Co-Axial 8500 lettering on the rotor, Barrels One and Two, Serial Number, etc) though this also includes the infamous "Adjuste dto fiye" as well.

 

Noob on the other hand have decided to include only the Omega Co-Axial 8500 lettering on the rotor. The other lettering have been omitted but on the other hand the movement itself does have very nice pearlage (a decorative surface treatment of small overlapping circles) which I think looks really nice.

 

So here's my personal perspective on the matter. You're not going to fool anyone who knows anything about Omega watches and their movements (nor should you be trying to). I personally think Noob were spot on in their decision to decorate only the rotor and leave out all the other unnecessary lettering. The fact that Noob's movement has pearlage is an added and attractive bonus, and I must say I much prefer this over BP's 'Swiss'.

 

If it really REALLY matters to you, there is one company that you can source the correct movement from to install in your replica and make it look closer to gen.

 

You can try contacting O Factory.

 

They're in Switzerland.

 

 

BRACELET

 

Both BP's and Noob's bracelets are fantastic and I cannot pick one over the other. Per gen specs, the main surfaces are brushed and the sides polished. Bracelet re-sizing is accomplished via the removal of links each held in place by 2 screws and a pin. I don't think I even need to mention how much easier this has made everyone's lives when it comes to achieving a proper and most comfortable fit compared to friction pins in the Omega bracelets of old.

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There’s nothing between the two bracelets, the fit and finish on both are top notch and they both wear equally comfortably on the wrist.

 

 

CLASP

 

Both clasps close well and securely and I have had no problems with either. The diver’s extension I feel is tighter on the Noob, it just seems to click into place and hold better than BP’s.

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08_Clasp1_zps2f24bdbd.jpg

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Of note is the engraving on the clasps. The Noob clasp has a deeper and bolder engraving of the Omega symbol and lettering compared to the BP.

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FINAL WORDS

 

Well, that’s it! I put this together quickly so apologies for the less than inspiring photos (had wanted to do more than just a plain white background for the shots). I hope this helps in some measure for those trying to decide which CrPO to get, or perhaps just to satisfy those who are curious about the differences between two fantastic reps.

 

I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I did putting it together. I’ll leave you with some wristies of the two watches.

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Best regards and Gong Xi Fa Cai to one and all for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014! I’m off to Thailand to celebrate CNY!

 

Scav

Edited by scavenger

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James.

Mental write up. This needs to be a sticky and compulsory reading for anyone considering buying one of these. Bravo.

 

FTR and from the pics posted, the BP ceramic "colour" of the bezel appears to be more like the gen than the N. Much more matt in appearance

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nunu78

Nice writeup but I'm little bit disappointed with your final words as you didn't mention which one is better, on the basis of over all feel.

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nunu78
Mental write up. This needs to be a sticky and compulsory reading for anyone considering buying one of these. Bravo.

 

FTR and from the pics posted, the BP ceramic "colour" of the bezel appears to be more like the gen than the N. Much more matt in appearance

I believe you are right as noob bezel looks like a liquid metal to me, i mean its appearance is more closer to Liquid metal bezel.

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LightGeek

Excellent work! I haven't read it yet but looks good :)

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scavenger

Nice writeup but I'm little bit disappointed with your final words as you didn't mention which one is better, on the basis of over all feel.

 

I'm afraid you'll have to make up your own mind on that one :)

 

Personally, I like the Noob better for the colour of its bezel and it's lower profile on the wrist. The BP has since gone (and been snapped up) on M2M.

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nunu78

Nice writeup but I'm little bit disappointed with your final words as you didn't mention which one is better, on the basis of over all feel.

 

I'm afraid you'll have to make up your own mind on that one :)

 

Personally, I like the Noob better for the colour of its bezel and it's lower profile on the wrist. The BP has since gone (and been snapped up) on M2M.

:)

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mattstone83

sorry for the newbie question but who sells the bp and what does it stand for? Other than that thanks for the review :)

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nunu78

BP = British petroleum

 

:)

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tesmith2112

Nice work! I like the noob the best for sure. Thank you for putting in the work to put this together, I know it's not easy and it's time consuming.

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James.

:lol:

 

"Big Pilot"

 

A factory that were apparently reknown for making that particular rep initially.

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scavenger

sorry for the newbie question but who sells the bp and what does it stand for? Other than that thanks for the review :)

 

No worries bud! BP and Noob are just arbitrary names given to different factories/manufacturers. Easiest way to look at it is to think of them as different models of the same watch; they may look alike but have subtle differences.

 

Most TDs can source from either or both factories. You just have to ask.

Edited by scavenger

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Flave

Very nice write-up. Thanks for putting it together. Very useful for someone getting their feet wet wrt Omega

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SSTEEL

Now that's what you call a proper review. Well done mate, and thanks for taking the time in putting it together to share with the community :)

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ImNotFatImFluffy

if i were to get a NOOB CrPO I'd want a few things fixed 1. HEV is at some odd angle, can't quite tell if the whole in the case is drilled correctly , 2. Lettering near middle bottom seems a bit crooked and maybe a bit far left.

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myaz

That's an outstanding review with a lot of useful information. Must have taken a crazy amount of work to put together. Those side by side pictures are extremely well done.

It's been a very interesting read for me. Many thanks

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nunu78
if i were to get a NOOB CrPO I'd want a few things fixed 1. HEV is at some odd angle, can't quite tell if the whole in the case is drilled correctly , 2. Lettering near middle bottom seems a bit crooked and maybe a bit far left.

To me , it will be great if BP could take Noob insert.

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James.

To me, it looks like another one of those situations where if the two makers would team up they could produce the best rep out there using certain aspects from both watches, though as individual stand alone pieces both do have their flaws. Like Yawns thread on building the perfect VCO.

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ImNotFatImFluffy
if i were to get a NOOB CrPO I'd want a few things fixed 1. HEV is at some odd angle, can't quite tell if the whole in the case is drilled correctly , 2. Lettering near middle bottom seems a bit crooked and maybe a bit far left.

To me , it will be great if BP could take Noob insert.

yeah, if you could source the NOOB bezel and it fit the noob, that would be the fastest solution. Although it would be sweet if noob could just get everything right. I'm hoping there is no fading issue on noob CrPO,but too soon to know for sure.

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P4GTR

excellent side by side review. Thanks for posting this, hats off to you bud!

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Technojunkie

Thanks for taking the time and effort to create this excellent review. Expecting my Noob CRPO to be delivered within the week !

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slask111

Nice review, thbnx for taking the time to do this.

 

After looking at the pics it seems that the BP has better AR. You seem to have more shades/reflections on the noob. What would you say op, is the noob AR as good as it gets?

 

Also, is the lume when unloaded white? Or is it more yellow/off white like the old PO reps?

 

To bad about the silver line on the bezel, its a pretty big tell if you know about it. Its actually a dealbraker for me.

Edited by slask111

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twofake

Great write up. Thanks for taking the time ( literally).

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tottenham

That was a brillant read.

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scavenger

Nice review, thbnx for taking the time to do this.

 

After looking at the pics it seems that the BP has better AR. You seem to have more shades/reflections on the noob. What would you say op, is the noob AR as good as it gets?

 

Also, is the lume when unloaded white? Or is it more yellow/off white like the old PO reps?

 

To bad about the silver line on the bezel, its a pretty big tell if you know about it. Its actually a dealbraker for me.

 

Very happy you and many others have enjoyed the post.

 

I have no idea if the Noob AR is as good as it gets. Bear in mind I was not using any fancy lights or light tents for the photos, just tried my best to shoot them in lots of natural light. So of course there will be reflections, and the BP's blue-tinted AR would show much more subdued shades on the crystal. Do I have any concerns over Noob's AR? None whatsoever! I think the dial is still highly legible through the crystal under daily wear.

 

Lume looks white to me, not yellowish.

 

Sorry you feel that way about the silver ring. Better stick with the BP then :B):

 

Scav.

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