My Wait is Over - Is the YouTube Hype Justified?

I ordered this San Martin from AliExpress a month ago and it just came in today. YouTube hype has got my expectations to the moon (kidding, but seriously these are pretty hyped up) and I’ll be honest I am perfectly content with what this watch turned out to be.

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It’s a Datejust homage with a white MOP dial and with a PT5000 movement, which is a Chinese clone of the ETA 2824.  It was certainly towards the higher end of what I would pay for a Chinese homage, but I’m not disappointed. All in all, no import taxes for me, it was about $300 USD. With the economy the way it is, I’m probably going to hold off on watch purchases for a while after this, just to see how the future goes.  Part of the reason why I went with this model was pretty simple-I needed a dress watch, and I have been bombarded with nothing but YouTube hype about these watches, mostly Submariner homages, so I finally pulled the trigger. Maybe I’ll do a review on that portion of Watch Crunch, but all in all it is a solid package.

I don’t necessarily see this watch going the distance with me as far as the decades go, but it really helps me see how a much more expensive watch would look and feel on my wrist, maybe something nicer I would buy in the future—but I’m going to enjoy every second of this one!

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I recently purchased a San Martin 6200 for <$200. It's the 38mm homage to early Submariners with the riveted bracelet. I haven't posted details or a photo, but so far I feel the hype is plausible. Its finish and details are very good, and it indeed feels slick and relatively premium in the hand. The bracelet is head and shoulders better than my Citizen at the same price point. 

China has been producing fantastic fakes for a long time. I'm guessing the same people or adjacent people are now trying to go straight with San Martin branding.

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Saigoat

I recently purchased a San Martin 6200 for <$200. It's the 38mm homage to early Submariners with the riveted bracelet. I haven't posted details or a photo, but so far I feel the hype is plausible. Its finish and details are very good, and it indeed feels slick and relatively premium in the hand. The bracelet is head and shoulders better than my Citizen at the same price point. 

China has been producing fantastic fakes for a long time. I'm guessing the same people or adjacent people are now trying to go straight with San Martin branding.

Yes, the build quality is pretty impressive for the price they ask.  This bracelet is definitely one of the high points of this model, it is super comfy and very well finished, like the rest of the case and dial. 
 

So far I only have two complaints. The action of the crown moving between positions is pretty rough. Sometimes it is super smooth and clicky, other times it is tough and feels scary lol.  Screwing the crown back in feels strange as well. Everything has to be lined up properly and it makes me feel like the threads are going to strip quickly.

It‘s probably just me not being used to the watch yet so I am going to ignore it, plus I don’t set the time and use the crown much anyways in general.    

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Saigoat

I recently purchased a San Martin 6200 for <$200. It's the 38mm homage to early Submariners with the riveted bracelet. I haven't posted details or a photo, but so far I feel the hype is plausible. Its finish and details are very good, and it indeed feels slick and relatively premium in the hand. The bracelet is head and shoulders better than my Citizen at the same price point. 

China has been producing fantastic fakes for a long time. I'm guessing the same people or adjacent people are now trying to go straight with San Martin branding.

This is the watch that JOMW hyped up and it was my first and only Chinese watch I have bought. It was fantastic, a really well made watch and I enjoyed my breif flirt with it (I sold it to fund a King Turtle). I really think that San Martin are about the best producer of homages. Even more so than Steinhart. The dial on that DJ looks amazing!

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HoroMichigan

Yes, the build quality is pretty impressive for the price they ask.  This bracelet is definitely one of the high points of this model, it is super comfy and very well finished, like the rest of the case and dial. 
 

So far I only have two complaints. The action of the crown moving between positions is pretty rough. Sometimes it is super smooth and clicky, other times it is tough and feels scary lol.  Screwing the crown back in feels strange as well. Everything has to be lined up properly and it makes me feel like the threads are going to strip quickly.

It‘s probably just me not being used to the watch yet so I am going to ignore it, plus I don’t set the time and use the crown much anyways in general.    

Here's a quick wrist shot of my 6200.  I chose the orange/brown "leather" face and stick hands so it wouldn't look like other Rolex homages. I also didn't own any other watches with similar colors. 

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This comes with NH35A/YN55A movements and the crown action feels a lot like my Seiko and Orient movements. 

AliExpress page: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256801400672261.html 

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Saigoat

Here's a quick wrist shot of my 6200.  I chose the orange/brown "leather" face and stick hands so it wouldn't look like other Rolex homages. I also didn't own any other watches with similar colors. 

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This comes with NH35A/YN55A movements and the crown action feels a lot like my Seiko and Orient movements. 

AliExpress page: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256801400672261.html 

I was extremely close to buying this model over mine!  I went with a different color dial but I remember that bracelet looked so cool. Very nice

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San Martin makes legitimately great watches, particularly at their price points (and that's still considering their prices are slowly creeping up) as long as you don't mind the mostly borrowed designs.  Yeah, they have a few "original" watches that are probably also well made but mostly generic looking.  But regardless they really do a great job of finishing their cases and bracelets.  

If they weren't an AliExpress brand, I think they could easily charge more, even as homages.  I bought one expecting a very nice daily beater.  Turns out it was l just very nice.  Exceeded my expectations.  There is still room for improvement; too many competing logos and yes try to be more original but their metal work is definitely above the competition in their price range.  

And for all their logo issues, you might as well get a custom dial and make it your own.  Then you can have an excellent and personal homage to an homage.  

I liked my dial so much, made me almost consider starting my own personal microbrand, with myself as the main customer 😂.     

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CAviles20

San Martin makes legitimately great watches, particularly at their price points (and that's still considering their prices are slowly creeping up) as long as you don't mind the mostly borrowed designs.  Yeah, they have a few "original" watches that are probably also well made but mostly generic looking.  But regardless they really do a great job of finishing their cases and bracelets.  

If they weren't an AliExpress brand, I think they could easily charge more, even as homages.  I bought one expecting a very nice daily beater.  Turns out it was l just very nice.  Exceeded my expectations.  There is still room for improvement; too many competing logos and yes try to be more original but their metal work is definitely above the competition in their price range.  

And for all their logo issues, you might as well get a custom dial and make it your own.  Then you can have an excellent and personal homage to an homage.  

I liked my dial so much, made me almost consider starting my own personal microbrand, with myself as the main customer 😂.     

The models I have been looking at have largely fixed their logo inconsistencies, but there are still a few out there that use a mix between their hexagonal and cursive script on the same watches. Logos come extremely low on my list of things I care about on a watch, so San Martin is a no brainer for me.

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I've been trying to piece together a Seiko NH35 custom build  that was a nod to the Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial Master Chronometer (which happens to be one of my grail watches in bronze gold).

Searched all of the great go-to aftermarket mod parts like Nakomi, DLW, Yobokies, CrystalTimes, etc.  I inventoried all the parts I needed and was embark on my first build from the ground up. One thing lead to another and this project got moved to the backburner. When it came time again to revisit this project, I happen to stumble on the San Martin site and the SN051 seemed to fit the bill especially when it was on sale. 

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I was late to the AliExpress bandwagon and would not have even considered it if it wasn't built on the NH35 movement.  This particular model suffers from the San Martin identity crisis with three different logos. A different logo on the dial, crown and bracelet scrap.

Having had this watch for over 60 days, I have very few complaints. The bezel alignment (it wasn't lined up here) is perfect, it has the cut-out numbers,  the bezel clicks are crisp, the hands are appropriate and as many have pointed out... the bracelet is subpar. But over all, a perfectly fine placeholder for when I can treat myself to the real thing. 

The only thing I could have done without is their "crown packaging". Seems a little environmentally wasteful. I would been more than happy with just a paper box like how my Seiko's come.   

#sanmartin 

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topcover

I've been trying to piece together a Seiko NH35 custom build  that was a nod to the Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial Master Chronometer (which happens to be one of my grail watches in bronze gold).

Searched all of the great go-to aftermarket mod parts like Nakomi, DLW, Yobokies, CrystalTimes, etc.  I inventoried all the parts I needed and was embark on my first build from the ground up. One thing lead to another and this project got moved to the backburner. When it came time again to revisit this project, I happen to stumble on the San Martin site and the SN051 seemed to fit the bill especially when it was on sale. 

Image

I was late to the AliExpress bandwagon and would not have even considered it if it wasn't built on the NH35 movement.  This particular model suffers from the San Martin identity crisis with three different logos. A different logo on the dial, crown and bracelet scrap.

Having had this watch for over 60 days, I have very few complaints. The bezel alignment (it wasn't lined up here) is perfect, it has the cut-out numbers,  the bezel clicks are crisp, the hands are appropriate and as many have pointed out... the bracelet is subpar. But over all, a perfectly fine placeholder for when I can treat myself to the real thing. 

The only thing I could have done without is their "crown packaging". Seems a little environmentally wasteful. I would been more than happy with just a paper box like how my Seiko's come.   

#sanmartin 

That’s a nice watch, definitely remember seeing this one, it looks awesome.  I would love if they came packaged in like a leather watch roll inside of paper or something. The plastic tube thing is kinda cool, but it feels cheap and is wasteful. The only use out of it I will get is if/when I need to mail the watch for service or sale.