OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

Bond’s Rolex Submariners and various Omegas get a lot of love from fans. And deservedly so; they are, for the most part, beautiful watches. But for me, the nicest watch Bond has worn is the Rolex Chronograph ref 6238 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  The tone-on-tone brushed silver face and sub-dials give the watch a clean, understated look. The black hour, minute and sub-dial hands and red seconds hand add contrast for ease of reading. And the simple stick style hands and silver indices help keep the dial uncluttered and organized. In short, in my eyes, it’s a perfect blend of elegance and functionality.

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

George Lazenby’s Rolex from his 1968 outing has been getting a fair bit of attention lately. As a number of other places have reported, Swiss jewellers Bucherer actually designed Bond’s 6238 specifically for the film and now the screen used watch is about to go up for auction. Estimates put the expected final price somewhere north of £167,000.

Meanwhile, non-screen used 6238s still aren’t cheap. A typical one on Ebay (a “pre-Daytona” with silver hands) costs between $35,000.00 and $45,000. Which means, despite this watch being my “grail”, I’m unlikely to own one anytime soon. Time to look for affordable alternatives!

Features wanted for the OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238
  • Stainless steel case with silver face with stick indices.
  • Silver chronograph sub-dials with black hands at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions.
  • Black stick style hour and minute hands
  • Red seconds hand
  • Onion style crown with pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock.
  • Oyster style metal bracelet

Obviously, finding all these features in one watch is going to be difficult, if not impossible. So we’ll need to make some compromises. Also, the screen used watch has a 36 mm case, but we’ll be looking for watches between 36 mm and 42 mm. These sizes are much more common today.

Best Option for the OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

I’m going to have to go with the Tissot PR 100 Chronograph (Model: T1014171107100), simply because the case shape comes so close to the 6238.  Yes, the sub-dials are positioned at the 2 and 10 o’clock positions. And the dial has that pop of blue between 12 and 3 o’clock and a date aperture. But the watch has the stick hands and indices of the original, and overall it has the same clean look. The case is 41 mm, it comes with a Swiss quartz movement, and is currently on sale for $244.00 at Jomashop. Folks in the UK can find it on Amazon for £290.99.  

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

Best options under $200

Amazon has the Pulsar Men’s PT3775X1, priced at $119.99/£80.75. It’s missing many of the 6238’s details, but at least it keeps the clean, silver-on-silver look of the original Rolex. Quartz movement in a 43 mm case, so it ain’t exactly small.

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

Speaking of large watches …. AT 46 mm, the Seiko SE-SPC079 is definitely one for the bigger guys. Honestly, if this came in a smaller version it would have been my “Best Option”. Currently on sale at JomaShop for $143.85.

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

Best Option Under $500

The Citizen Eco-Drive AT2340-56A is at Amazon priced at $356.25. The Citizen looks a little rounder than the 6283, with the lugs transitioning more abruptly to case, creating a bit of a shoulder. But Citizen is well recognized as good value for money, and the proprietary light-powered Eco-Drive means you’re never going to need to replace a battery.

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

Best Option Under $1000

More than a few will roll their eyes at the thought of a $900 quartz. But the Movado Datron Chronograph definitely has the retro-feel of the 6238. And at 40 mm, it’s a versatile size that won’t overwhelm an average guy’s wrist. Available on Ebay for $702.51 (only 2 available), or for $926.90 on JomaShop.

affordable alternatives OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

I’ll be adding new alternatives as I find them. And if you have an option for the Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238 that you like, please share in the comments below! You can check us out on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram if you’d like to see more Bond!

Information for this post was sourced from James Bond Lifestyle, The Guardian, GQ, and The James Bond Watches Blog. Image of the Rolex Chorograph Ref. 6238 was sourced from the Singapore Rolex Club

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5 thoughts on “OHMSS Rolex Chronograph Ref 6238

  • March 21, 2018 at 7:21 am
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    Rolex replaced the original four-digit case reference number with a five digit number. Around this time, Rolex also introduced the Oyster date which is very similar to the Datejust, the only difference being 2mm smaller.

    Reply
    • March 21, 2018 at 7:52 am
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      Thanks Alex! I always enjoy learning more about this watch!

      Reply
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  • September 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm
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    Not a true ‘budget’ watch, but as a much cheaper alternative to the 6238, I would suggest a vintage Omega Seamaster steel chronograph with a 321 manual wind movement. To me this offers period correctness, a similar style, a Bond associated make, and they are fantastic watches. The movement is the same as Omega’s iconic Moonwatch. Prices have been steadily rising – you may still be able to find one for arround $3,000 but it’s now more likely to be closer to $4,000. There is an example here on sale: http://forums.timezone.com/index.php?t=tree&goto=7325531&rid=0#msg_7325531 … Or here https://www.ebay.com/itm/172318945243

    And one that sold recently http://shop.analogshift.com/products/omega-seamaster-chronograph-calibre-321-1960

    Fantastic website by the way – I’ve only just discovered it, but I will be spending many hours catching up!

    Reply
    • September 5, 2016 at 6:04 am
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      Thanks Traveller! I’m glad you like the site!

      Great suggestions about the Omega. It’s always a little difficult to define “budget”, especially when you compare the alternative to the price of the original. When you consider that a 6238 sells for $40,000, spending $3000 to $4000 on an Omega can seem “affordable”. All the best!

      Reply

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