Ginault Ocean Rover | Watch Review

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Ginault Ocean Rover

Ginault Ocean Rover


If controversy creates cash, then the Ginault Ocean Rover must be selling like hotcakes, as the controversy was one of the main reasons I wanted to review this watch. If you have not watched the 17 minute video above, I suggest you do before reading my comments here, as I discuss most of the controversy surrounding the Ginault Ocean Rover and some of the brands responses to questions that were asked. What I am going to do here in this segment of the review is walk you through my journey with this watch and how this particular watch has changed my perception on a few things.


Ginault Ocean Rover


Ginault Ocean Rover Specifications:

  • 316L Stainless Steel
  • 40mm in Diameter
  • 47mm in length
  • 13.5mm thick
  • 20mm lugs
  • 148.4 grams
  • 120 Stops Counter-Clockwise Rotating Bezel
  • Ginault Caliber 7275
  • 30.4 Dome Sapphire Crystal
  • ISO 6425 Diver’s Watch
  • 1,000 Feet or 300 Meter Water Resistance
  • Gold Sand Lume

Price $1299.00 USD


Ginault Ocean Rover


To attempt not to repeat myself, I am not going to go over the debate about homage watches again. You, the reader, know where you stand on that and it is not in my right to change your opinion on that. If you are okay with homage watches or are just interested in the Ginault Ocean Rover, read on. I will say I personally am walking a fine line with this one, as it really is very similar, if not too similar, to a Rolex Submariner. Full disclosure, I have never owned a Rolex. I never wanted to. The design, especially the Sub, always felt dated to me. I have held countless Rolex watches though, whether in watch stores or at gatherings etc. It is just like anything else though, you can handle something for a short time and get a decent feel for its quality, but you really do not fully appreciate it until you can wear it, drive it, or use it for an extended period of time. The Ginault Ocean Rover has allowed me to get the feel of what wearing Rolex on a daily basis would be like. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch, I am not comparing the quality of this watch to a Rolex, but keep reading.


Ginault Ocean Rover


As I said, one of the main reasons I wanted to review the Ginault Ocean Rover was because of all the talk about it on various sites and forums. Their website copy is almost satirical when you read it. It is like if SNL made a spoof watch website with all the marketing jargon from an 90’s infomercial. It was because of that I wanted to see if the watch was remotely close to what they claim. I did not want another Rolex homage. I have had them before, from Invicta in my early days of buying many, many years ago to Steinhart, Squale and so many others. It has been done over and over, and brands such as Ginault and others continue to come out with them. There must be 20 Rolex homage watches that were introduced from new brands just last year, from the super cheap to the high end micro price bracket. And those are just the ones that I know of. But the claims from the brand and all the marketing hype and discussions kept me intrigued.


Ginault Ocean Rover


So lets get to to what the watch comes with and the quality. It arrived in a well packed clam shell style box, nothing fancy but not the cheapest either. Warranty card, manual, polishing cloth and an extra sand colored two piece NATO strap. Standard stuff here. I am not a big bracelet wearer these days, but nylon NATO style straps are not my bag either, so I sized the bracelet and put it on the wrist. Sizing was a breeze with the included screwdriver I forgot to mention and I removed two links to fit my 7 1/2 inch wrist. Be careful though, the links are easy to remove but each link does have a collar in the middle of it, you do not want to lose one or the screw will not fit properly. I adjusted the clasp, which is super similar to the Rolex Glidelock system, and allows you to easily adjust for micro sizing or of course to fit over a wet suit.



Ginault Ocean Rover


So what is the quality like? Crazy good. Yep, I said crazy good. It is the best sub homage I have ever held in my hands. The construction, the case finishing, the dial work is all well above most microbrand watches. Honestly, it makes a Steinhart look cheap. Take a look a the enamel dial, it is a black mirror. Beautiful applied markers with sand colored lume (4 corners of the earth lume :-0 ). The crown stem is thick and has sizable gaskets as well. Attention to detail was paid at every corner of this watch, including the machined end links. Be sure to take a look at all the pics in the gallery. That will bring us to the next point of contention. The price.


Ginault Ocean Rover


$1299. That is quite a lot of coin for a Rolex homage. Is it worth it? Well, quality wise they hit it out of the park. What about the movement though? Oh, well that’s where it gets dicey. I have no idea what the movement is. Ginault claims that the Ocean Rover uses their own caliber that they made here in the good old US of A, but they have not proven it, though I can not disprove it either. Claims are that it is a copy of an ETA 2824. I go over this in the video at more length, but the bottom line is no one knows what the movement actually is. How has it been running? Fantastic. It has been running at a consistent 2 seconds fast per day. I find that crazy as I do not know if what they say is true, if they removed and machined some parts for an SW200 movement, or it might be a Seagull movement. Or could be what they actually claim.


Ginault Ocean Rover


If you watched the video you know the sand lume is great, but here is a still photo; others below in the gallery.


Ginault Ocean Rover


Back to my journey. If you are wondering why I never wanted a Rolex, the simple answer is I just did not. Years ago I was into much larger watches, and Rolex Subs at 40mm did not attract me. Even when the DSSD came out a few years back, I looked at them, and nothing. As we all know and have experienced though, tastes change and evolve. Seeing the other standard Rolex Sub homages still didn’t make me urn for a Rolex. The Ginault Ocean Rover on the other hand, changed everything. I guess the reason for that would be because the Ginault is so high quality that being able to wear it the past month has showed me that I can enjoy this case size and that I do appreciate this classic style, it just has to be very well done. And without a doubt the Rolex is higher quality than this Ginault, with the 904L stainless steel, in house movement and and even higher grade of finishing. Is it worth 8x’s the price? No, but it is has the name and prestige, so they can charge what they want. I know I would want a no date version. Pity Rolex does not make a Mil-Sub style anymore. Speaking of that, this Ocean Rover is kind of a mash of a few Rolex styles, the Rolex 16610, the 5517 and the bracelet and clasp of a newer Submariner.


Ginault Ocean Rover


So we have established that one day I might want a Rolex. Okay. Great. Getting back to the Ginault Ocean Rover, a few things that bother me. Well, more than a few things, but you know what I mean. The dial writing is silly. “Kinetic Continuous”. What? The watch is top heavy. The total weight is only 148 grams and the bracelet is solid and substantial for a watch of this size. The case just overpowers the bracelet and this comes into play when adjusting the buckle for that perfect fit. If I go tighter the watch head still moves on my wrist but the buckle digs in, if I let it out a little, the whole watch is a little loose. That is how I have been wearing it because I can’t stand a watch digging into my wrist. Maybe in summer months it would wear better.


Ginault Ocean Rover


I have been racking my head trying to come to a conclusion here. Do I like the Ginault Ocean Rover? Yes I do, very much in fact. Do I like everything about it? NO. As far as the quality goes, it is a home run. The problem is everything else. The silly dial writing, the outlandish marketing copy on their website, the claims of USA built and assembled cases and movements etc. These days transparency is key to long term success. Yes, they have sold a good amount of these watches so far….at a discount that they offered to members of forums and such in exchange for comparisons or written/video reviews. That discount was 60% off. That put the price at $519. It is a little troubling that a new brand out of the gate had to offer such a massive discount to get people to bite. It did work and I guess it was a good marketing strategy, but now that the discount is over, where does that leave them? How many are going to be shelling out $1,299 for this watch with claims that have not been proven. They say they do not want to give up all their secrets to their manufacturing because others can copy them…but in the same sentence say other brands do not do what they claim to have done because they don’t have the know how when it comes to watches like they do. So, what is it then? The watch is solid, and it is a cut above most microbrand homages no doubt. It might be the best submariner homage out there right now in terms of quality. If you want to charge these prices though, you have to prove your claims. That or keep the price at $550 and maybe no one will care as much. It will be interesting to see where Ginault is at in a years time.

I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.


  1. Nice information you have given about the Ginault Ocean River. Thumbs Up Don Evans!

  2. Very good review. This is my first time on your site. I really love this piece but I agree that’s a lot of coin for an unproven homage….even for this high quality, that said at the discounted price, I would be very interested. Again great review, great site. Steve

  3. I did the due diligence in searching for information and I think this product is not worth its price. Every single design feature is copied from Rolex. The movement is an ETA clone built by using Chinese materials. I would pay maybe 400 dollars maximum.

    • I would love to see what your “due diligence” turned up. The manufacturer clearly states that the movement is an ETA clone, but “built by using Chinese materials” needs some clarification. You seem to have access to information the rest of us don’t have.

      Please share your findings with the rest of us.

      Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. The movement on mine is +/- 1 second a day accurate. Other than extra text on face that should be removed, It is absolutely perfect. I’m going to try to carefully photograph a Submariner to see which is really better!

  5. Awesome Review, Don. Watch is also my passion, but as I read thru your reviews and videos, your passion seems like this Ginault Ocean Rover and mine is like…. $70.00 Invicta Pro Diver (cheapest version of Rolex copy). ha ha ha.
    Anyway, I loved your review and actually I have ordered one couple of days ago at 50% discount. Hopefully I will get it soon and check it out for myself.
    thanks again, Don.

  6. Thanks Don,
    I have been looking for a mechanical automatic watch with which I could swim, that was reasonably accurate and did not need a battery. I have had several dead CASIO’s in the past. And I remembered a Zodiac watch I wore in Vietnam that held up and was reliable. After reading your review, contacted Ginault Customer Service with some additional questions and getting excellent and timely answers to my questions, I bought a Ginault Ocean Rover.
    Compared to the Invicta, and the Orient, I was delighted with the craftsmanship
    and the finish on this watch. I looked at some others including the Reactor watches, and it was clear which one was the best choice. I have been very pleased with the watch. It has stayed at about 2 seconds fast compared to the atomic clock. But that is a very excellent tolerance. The lumes are visible all night. I would say that the price on the watch is very competitive with similar watches.
    I have to echo something that I read in another review about the excellent packaging in which the watch was shipped as well as an excellent box with a screwdriver to change out links in the bracelet. The photos reflect the watch very well. Thanks again for a truly helpful and excellent review.

  7. The namesake builder has been associated in the past with sterile-dial exact Rolex replicas which in turn were made, with the application of a few logos and trademarked wording, into counterfeit Rolex watches. Number one reason by far that I’m not interested.

  8. How does one go about getting one of these watches at 50% discount? Thanks

    • I would email Ginault directly.

  9. Hello DON !

    i enjoyed your detailed review of this special time piece. Your photos were just beautiful !

    I am seriously considering this as my next horological work of art

    can you please confirm the lug to lug length size… some sites have it at 50mm.. and some, like

    yourself have it at 47mm ??

    Thank you

  10. Very useful review. I bought an Ocean Rover partially based on this review. It’s a phenomenal watch. The potential problems mentioned in the review seem to be more about the brand than than the watch, so they didn’t concern me as I want to wear the watch, not collect it.

  11. hello does anyone have a contact for Ginault Watch

  12. Nice review, Don. Based on your review and other objective information I purchased the Ocean Rover to see for myself if it met my personal standards requirements. It should be noted that I received no “review discount” of any sort but just liked this watch. I presently own a Rolex GMT Master, Nomos Ahoi Atlantik, MKll Hawkinge. Squale Militaire and a G-Shock Rangeman. A small collection, yes, but a good sampling of quality at different levels. Furthermore, many if not most of you are better acquainted with specific horological knowledge than I, but I must say that this watch oozes quality. Its fit and finish is superb by any standard and for a month of pretty intense usage it has run +2 seconds a day. I fully understand the concerns regarding transparency and for the sake of the brand I hope they find a way to navigate our concerns with openess.

  13. Thank you Tom for your comments. I’m late to the game.. new to the hobby.. and JUST discovered this product by looking through /reddit Watch Forum. It looks fantastic.

    Then there is this GIANT amount of controversy re: their marketing verbiage .. and mostly concern if they are – essentially – liars I guess re: misleading the community re: the movement.

    so I’m trying to find CURRENT opinions,, that can leapfrog past the past couple years of controversy. Yours is telling in that it’s very current, you have experience w/ other fine products.. so your opinion carrys weight in that you say: you can see the quality, and have had a good experience with the watch. so.. thank..I’ll keep looking into the Ginault as a candidate for a Rolex homage ( ie. versus Squale.. etc. ) Hope you have continued good experience w/ the Ginault.

  14. Don,
    Great article, I was wondering if you have a reliable resource for replica watches?

    • We do not cover nor discuss replica watches.

  15. Good review. I own quite a few watches, amongst them a grand Seiko sbga373, 6 digit no date sub, sea dweller 2014 ceramic, AP roo diver, breitling SO heritage 2, yacht master rhodium dual, as well as a ton of mid range watches. I bought the ginault ocean river with date/blue and gold bezel because I loved the blend of certain design cues that they had pinched from various subs. I was honestly shocked when I received it and the ginault does not look out of place in my watch case at all amongst my higher end watches. It is easily the most bang for buck that I have handled. I wear it more often than many of my watches that cost many many times more.

    I’d buy this watch again at full retail if I had to. I actually received a 40% discount on mine but it is 100% worth the full retail. I have no issue whatsoever on it being a homage. I think the only people who do have an issue with homages tend to be people who don’t own the original pieces that the homages are based on. I couldn’t give a toss about Rolex tbh, I don’t really understand why so many people get so concerned on their behalf when it comes to homage watches.

    • Excuse my typos lol

    • Couldn’t agree with you more, Mike. And I’m as mystified as you with all the pearl-clutching with regard to homages. If you’re offended by them, move on. But, if you want a Rolex Submariner homage, then the Ginault Ocean-Rover is your huckleberry. I’d dare anyone to name a higher-quality tribute, but it would be a waste of time . . . because there isn’t one.

      As if the original Ocean-Rovers weren’t a home run to begin with, the ORII drills it into the cheap seats. All jammed up about the CAL7275? Now you can get it with a 5 positions, 6-week regulated Sellita SW200-1. They’ve added an engraved ceramic bezel insert option, if that’s your thing. The entire bezel assembly has been retooled with a more aggressive outer ring and flawless action. They also killed the new sapphire crystal. Triple-layer, optometry grade AR with no hint of blue. On the date models, this results in a perfect “black hole” effect on the 2.5x mag cyclops. Even the bracelet has had a slight touch-up.

      I’m also at a loss to understand the Sturm und Drang concerning the “hyperbole” found on their website or the discounts they offered in the early going. Seems like a shrewd business decision that resulted in what I expect was their objective in the first place: Cheap advertising. Judging by all the press Ginault has received, I’d say it worked.

      The one thing I can understand is a little consternation over the fact that Ginault plays it close to the vest regarding their manufacturing facility and that there’s still no street address listed on their website. But enjoy a little interaction with John McMurtry and all that is gone with the wind. He is one of the most responsive, considerate, and informative manufacturers reps I’ve ever dealt with. If you want to know where their watches come from, ask him.

      I’ve loved the Rolex Submariner for longer than I can remember. Not because it was a Rolex, but because it’s a Submariner. Even though my finances are at the point where I could purchase the original, it ain’t gonna happen for a variety of reasons. Retail on the Ref#114060 is $7500, and to get one, you’ll have to grovel at the feet of some snood at an AD for the privilege of giving them your hard-earned money and being put on a years-long waiting list. Or you could just bite down hard and fork over an extra 50% to a scalper. And on top of all that, I’m just not feeling the maxi case of the new Subbies.

      Thanks to Ginault, I now have all the Submariner I’ll ever want or need. And you can, too. But don’t wait too long. I understand the Ocean-Rover is coming to an end. Ginault will stop producing them and will be focusing their future efforts on producing original designs.

      I, for one, can’t wait.

  16. On close research I find that the manufacturer does not offer parts nor repair. They have no street address on the Internet. I have no idea where they ar or if they are. One chap speculated they build the watch after you pay for it. No inventory is one way to go I suppose. Since first reviewed here they have raised the price to $1600 US. That is a lot of money for a brand that is not a brand at all.


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