Sold my 288 a couple years ago. Just not getting wrist time. Kinda thick. But nice looking.
Dinner with a good friend from Tampa tonight. He was sporting this:
I tried it on a while back, in both guises, and although I get the distressed-look strap as a casual thing, I actually liked it a lot on the bracelet. The bracelet is thicker and chunkier than the Oyster bracelet and I liked the heft and feel of it. At about 40% of the price of a Sub, I think if you like the dial, it's a good deal. And you could always get the bracelet and a strap.
KN - yeah, I don't like Dubai much, place has no soul. Although I live pretty close, I'm a rare visitor.
TLM - the Black Bay is listed as 41mm and the Pelagos at 42mm. On the bracelet especially, the BB feels bigger than it is, I think because of the wider lugs. What I like about the BB more than the Pelagos is that it doesn't look like a Submariner-substitute.
Overall a nice watch. I believe Watchtime just did a review of either the Black Bay or Pelagos within the last month or so. Overall they liked it, although they seemed to ding it a bit I believe on its accuracy or rate, at the moment it escapes me. If you like the snow flake hand, you may also want to consider looking at one of their vintage Tudor Submariners. For years they were under appreciated and now they are starting to get the respect they deserve. Good luck with whatever you decide.