Summer Special: Swiss Classic Replica Watch

Sun’s out guns out! Yes, it’s June and that means that people are giving serious thought to where they will spend their vacation. For most, this entails some sort of beach setting and may include activities in the water such as swimming, diving, sailing or surfing. If not, though, the vacation usually involves some sort of travel and often to a foreign land. This is where, if you like watch forums, things get entertaining.

So, if you’re a forum reader, especially on a forum that focuses on more expensive brands, we are now entering the season of the infamous, “Is it safe to wear my insert classic replica watch brand and model to insert destination” threads. The threads often ask about South American locales where eagle-eyed squadrons of motorcycle gangs apparently roam the streets poised and ready to forcefully pilfer your Rolex with nary a thought about your life’s worth. Amazingly, as our news media becomes increasingly sensational, I see questions from quaking travelers asking about bucolic places in America because, as you know, the entirety of America carries assault rifles and apparently mows down all comers at merely the suggestion of a wrongful glance. Ok, so I am being overly harsh, as people honestly do want to know about safety. You love your watches and want to bring them with but you also desire some reassurance.

So, if safety is a concern, a messy or rugged environment is on the docket, or, perhaps, you’re not used to traveling and may be the type of person who is prone to leaving their watch lying around in a hotel room while stepping out, what’s an inexpensive and durable, yet credible (read: mechanical) watch to bring on your journey? Well, we’re glad you asked because knowing us here at Fratellowatches, we have a couple ideas for you. One watch is immensely popular while the other is slightly more reclusive, but no less compelling. Let’s have ourselves a little Summer competition between two solid, ISO-rated choices: the Seiko SKX007 Diver and the Citizen Promaster NY0040.

Seiko and Citizen are two Japanese watch companies that have been duking it out for decades. Both offer watches at all sorts of price ranges but really bring in revenue through production of moderately inexpensive, yet high quality, timepieces. Impressively, each company manufactures in-house movements and most of its own parts. Due to economic pressures, both now utilize factories throughout Asia instead of solely relying on Japan, but I’ve never been able to tell the difference quality-wise no matter where the pieces are made. Seiko and Citizen are famous in many sub-genres of watches, but both have really done well when it comes to their divers. Here again, the two make dive watches with a wide range of pricing and functionality and are revered by both professional and recreational divers.

Seiko SKX007 vs Citizen NY0040: An Introduction

The Seiko SKX007 has been around since 1996 and is the latest in a long line of robust Seiko divers. It followed the successful 7002 diver, which actually followed the absolutely famous 6309 divers. Whereas the 7002 had a very similar case design as today’s SKX007, it only contained a day display versus the day/date found on today’s model. The SKX007 contains many of the traits found in Seiko’s earliest divers, some of which we will discuss later, and, therefore, exhibits a strong sense of lineage. The bottom line is that this is a common watch for vintage Seiko lovers to own and, in fact, was one of my earliest Seiko purchases.

The Citizen Promaster NY0040 was introduced in 1997. I’ll be honest that I do not see a direct predecessor to this watch, but Citizen had clearly started down a far more revolutionary path in the 1980’s versus its Japanese competitor. Promasters often fused digital displays with analog while embracing quartz and eco-drive technology to create some interesting designs during the period. Still, though, the NY0040 contains a classic automatic movement and has certainly been produced for long enough to earn classic status in its own rite. Evidence of such status is its frequent use by military divers.

The Specs

The Seiko SKX007 contains a 42.5mm stainless case with 22mm lugs and is water resistant to 200m. It has a 120-click unidirectional bezel that sits on top of the case. The crystal is a flat Hardlex mineral glass. It has a screw down case back and crown. Inside of the luxury replica watch online is the Seiko 7s26 automatic with 21 jewels and a 21,600 bph frequency. The movement contains a day and date function, is non-hacking, and cannot be hand wound due to the employment of Seiko’s Magic Lever. The crown sits in a Seiko-familiar 4:00 position.

The Citizen NY0040 is equipped with a 42mm stainless case with 20mm lugs and is also water resistant to 200m. It has a 60-click unidirectional bezel that sports a diameter equal to that of the case below it. Like the Seiko, Citizen uses a mineral glass for its crystal. The Citizen uses its in-house Miyota 8200 movement with 21 jewels and 21,600 bph frequency. Here again, it’s similar to the Seiko with a day and date function, but it strays in that it can be hand wound. Also, oddly, the crown sits at 8:00. It should be known that most find the Citizen movement to be more accurate than the Seiko.

The Aesthetics

Both of these watches are purposeful-looking dive watches that seem prepared to take a beating. They both have solid lugs, crown guards and bulky bezels. Dial-wise, though, they take different paths.

The Seiko SKX007 makes do with the bare minimum of details on its dial. It uses printed hour markers and has a matte finish. The day/date window is beveled but contains no surround. The only hint of color, in fact, is the red verbiage stating the water resistance. As mentioned, it’s a design that Seiko lovers will be familiar with and aside from the crown position it wouldn’t look out of place on the wrist of someone who is interested in, say, the Rolex Submariner. The SKX007 contains hands that are similar to far more expensive Prospex pieces and it also exhibits the familiar “tsunami” motif on its screw down case back. It’s finished well from a dial, case and bezel perspective and certainly could battle watches costing twice the price. Regarding the case, it’s nicely brushed on the top surface and polished to a mirror shine on the sides. The screw-down crown is unsigned as is the typical Seiko way and nestles flush with the crown guards. Furthermore, luminescence is a seriously strong suit.

Regarding weaknesses of the SKX007, I dislike how the dial is a crisp white and the hands are off-white. To some, it may appear like patina, but I find it a little cheesy. Also, I see a small gap between the day and date wheel, which is not typical for Seiko. Aside from that, my only other general wish is for a hand-winding movement, but because this is Seiko, I can’t be too surprised that the watch is sold without one.

Whereas the Seiko SKX007 is a very simple piece, the Citizen NY0040 contains a lot more detail. First off, the dial is glossy and contains applied indices. The hands are similarly shaped to the Seiko but match the dial perfectly. Color, while also sparse, also comes in the form of red with the mention of water resistance on the lower half and Citizen’s trademark Promaster arrow on the upper half. It’s a high quality dial that even adds the nicety such as a day/date bezel surround. The bezel on the NY0040 is quite a bit different than the SKX007 in that it is 60-click instead of the Seiko’s 120 and it is also rounded at top versus angling inwards in the case of the Seiko. It’s knurled between the 10-minute marks and, as mentioned, follows the diameter of the case. Regarding the case, it is polished on the sides and matte on the top. The unsigned crown contains thick ridges and screws down but still protrudes far beyond the crown guards.   The case back contains the Citizen Promaster arrow.

If we speak about drawbacks to the NY0040, I’d say that it looks a little less timeless due to the amount of detailing. On the other hand, for the most part, those details are managed well and to a very high standard well beyond its price. Oddly, like the Seiko, this piece contains a big gap between its day and date wheels. Finally, the crown position makes this tag heuer replica watch unique but it is a little awkward to use unless, perhaps, you’re left-handed.

On the Wrist

Let’s get this out of the way; both the Seiko SKX007 and Citizen NY0040 are good looking watches on the wrist. They are weighty and feel extremely solid. Both have presence but are extremely comfortable due to their median size. Speaking of size, while both are similar on paper, they certainly wear differently.

The SKX007 wears a bit bigger due to its bezel shape and what at least appears to be a larger diameter dial. A fat crown, wider and longer lugs, further augments this size advantage. When I say that it wears longer, one curious thing is that the right side above the crown really seems to lengthen the appearance of the watch if that makes sense. It almost wears thin but long. Also, it does sit reasonably tall due to a thick case and bezel. In any case, it’s a nice wearing watch but it certainly doesn’t wear as large as vintage Seiko’s such as the famous 6309. Bezel action is really nice with little slop. Using the crown is also a nice experience due to its large diameter.

You’ll see that I’ve paired the SKX007 with a gray NATO strap. Due to my small wrists and the fact that I don’t really care for Seiko’s stock rubber strap, I went for this look. The rubber strap is well-liked by many, but to me, it’s just too thick, stiff, and lengthy. The SKX007 is available with a jubilee style bracelet for little extra expense and might not be a terrible idea to pick up if you like the option. Lastly, it is available as the SKX009 with a red and blue bezel if the “Pepsi” look is of interest.

The Citizen NY0040 is another great wearing watch that wears smaller than the Seiko. The smaller lug width and length of said lugs along with a smaller crown are the main contributors to this look as well as a bezel that rounds inwards towards the dial. However, the NY0040 wears “more round” due to its short lugs and case-hugging bezel. It’s also not as tall as the Seiko, which gives it a more compact look. The bezel action is nowhere as smooth as the Seiko due to its 60 clicks, but it’s still not bad. Crown action and winding are nice. As mentioned, I like a bigger crown but this does have good tactile feel and I do like the finishing. Luminescence on the NY0040 is also quite good, but perhaps not quite as strong as the Seiko’s.

Here again, I’ve paired the Citizen with a NATO strap. This one is admittedly brighter than what I paired with the SKX007 but I think that augments the glossy dial and greener lume plots. I’ve seen Citizens on bracelets and it looks great but I cannot speak to their quality. This discount fake watch online came with a slightly more flexible rubber strap that is still too long for me. Also, I know it’s Citizen tradition, but I don’t love the decompression tables printed on the side of the strap. One nice thing about the NY0040 is that they are available in several dial colors along with black such as cream, blue and yellow.

Buying Advice and Conclusions

We mentioned in the beginning of our article that both of these watches are affordable. You can find either for under $200, brand new, all day long on sites like Amazon or eBay. They retail for far more but are discounted heavily. For some reason, it seems as though the NY0040 is less available from US-based sellers but it is easily imported. This price, to me, just feels like a no-brainer.

Both the Seiko SKX007 and Citizen NY0040 represent great value for the capabilities they possess. Plus, you get a watch that can be worn every day no matter the activity. Both are credible ISO-rated dive watches and you certainly do not have to worry about them no matter where you decide to travel on holiday. Oh, and they can withstand a beating be it during a hike or a margarita-induced thwack against the side of the pool!

In the beginning of the article I mentioned that this was a competition and I suppose that means I need to choose a winner. There’s no doubt that’s a tough decision as both watches are great looking, boast similar features and build quality, and are priced similarly. If you’ve read articles by me, you’ll assume right off the bat that the Seiko is the clear winner due to my affection for the brand and also due to the fact that I collect vintage Seiko divers. This is a great argument, but honestly, if forced to choose, I’d probably pocket the Citizen. There’s just something about it that I like. I love the simplicity of the SKX007 but I like the details on the NY0040 even more. To me, the Citizen feels like a slightly more expensive watch due to its finishing and hand-winding movement. Plus, it fits me a bit better but that is completely down to genetics. In the end, though, one could not go wrong with either as a great every day watch that can be mixed and matched with so many strap options, or as a great vacation watch.

Fratello Watches Talks To Mr Hattori, CEO of Seiko

Since last year, Fratello Watches started to do more coverage on (Grand) Seiko watches. As we realized there is – besides an ever increasing demand from markets outside Japan – a lot of pride and craftsmanship in their Grand Seiko fashion swiss replica watches and due to the fact that Seiko has an incredible history on watches, we decided to finally give them the attention they deserve.

During BaselWorld 2015, Fratello Watches sat down with Mr. Hattori, the CEO of Seiko. A wonderful opportunity for us to see if we can get a glimpse of what’s happening at Seiko and to ask him to explain a number of things to us regarding the Seiko collections. We felt honoured that Mr. Hattori was willing to do the interview and learnt during our talk that he is not only the CEO of Seiko, but also IS Seiko. Together with a (quite large) team from Japan, we had our talk in the beautiful Seiko booth in BaselWorld.

Mr. Hattori, CEO of Seiko

FW:  In January 2015, the artificial conversation rate between Swiss Franc and Euro was disconnected by the Swiss National Bank and watches suddenly became much more expensive in European countries that use the Euro currency. Did this have any effect on the interest in Seiko watches from these Euro countries? Do the always-increasing Swiss watch prices have a positive effect on Seiko in general?

Mr. Hattori: We didn’t measure the impact of this yet. We always try to have stable prices for our watches, even though the Yen is weaker than the US dollar and Euro. We do feel the effect of the price increases on Swiss timepieces in Japan already, where Seiko gained a higher share on the (watch)market.

FW: Will Seiko plan to offer more Japan Domestic Model-only watches globally through official retailers and Seiko boutiques instead of having buyers/Seiko-fans needing to go through other channels?

Mr. Hattori: Due to the internet (=transparency) and the efforts of Seiko we clearly see the demand for these JDM watches. We were actually surprised that the demand is so huge for these models, outside Japan. We already started the harmonizing process with our Grand Seiko, Prospex and Astron collections. In the long-term, we would like to have a global Seiko collection. This would also be more efficient in terms of production and logistics.

FW: For such a large brand, Seiko has an incredible passionate fan-base among serious discount fake watches online collectors and enthusiasts who love the history of the brand.  Does Seiko have any plans to become closer with its fan base?

Mr. Hattori: We truly value our fan base. We want to keep our fans informed by using special websites, like the ones we did for the Prospex collection and our Virtual Seiko Museum. Also, we are inviting more people to Japan these days to have a look at Seiko.

FW: Last year during an interview with you, I read that the Grand Seiko will be marketed in more countries. What is the status of introducing the Grand Seiko to a wider audience? Will they also become more present at authorized dealers? (versus Seiko boutiques)?

Mr. Hattori: The introduction of the Grand Seiko collection is going very well for us. We see double-digit growth every single year for Grand Seiko. Our aim is to expand distribution of the Grand Seiko through boutiques and authorized dealers (100 partners in 20 countries). I would like to stress that our strategy regarding Seiko boutiques is not to replace the authorized dealer. They have a different role. A very important role of the Seiko boutiques is to increase the brand awareness and not only to do sales. The boutiques are used to tell the story about (Grand) Seiko using a bigger variety of watches (where authorized dealers only carry part of the collection) and some times carry specialities, like the JDM collection. For instance, we used the Seiko boutique in Paris to showcase some of our Credor timepieces.

FW: Can you give us your personal all-time favorite Top 3 of  historic Seiko watch models and your favorites of the current collection?

Mr. Hattori: Yes, my favorite Seiko watches from the past are the first Grand Seiko from 1960, the Seiko quartz Astron from 1969 (the world’s first quartz watch) and the first divers watch from 1965 [click here for our in-depth story on the Seiko 62MAS from 1965]. My favourite modern timepiece would be the new Seiko Astron that perfectly follows our brand idea of “Moving Ahead. Touching Hearts”.

FW: Mr. Hattori, thank you for your time.

1965 Seiko 62MAS Diver, one of Mr. Hattori's favorite historic Seiko watches

We will soon feature more Seiko novelties on Fratello Watches. Make sure to read Michael Stockton’s BaselWorld special on the new Seiko Marinemaster watches.

Vintage fashion swiss replica watches for sale

As most of our readers know by now, here at Fratello Watches we love our vintage fashion swiss replica watches. Having said that, innovation in watchmaking, usage of modern materials and even the introduction of a groundbreaking technique are all crucial things we appreciate. When companies try to combine past and present, I always look at things carefully. What might be an obvious move for the brand might not be that clear for their clients. History is important and having a rich heritage makes things easier, I guess.

In this game Longines tends to be on top in recent years. Their Legend Diver for instance was a great hit due to the friendly price and the timeless yet classic design. Careful though; releasing too many vintage-inspired pieces can deteriorate the collection and even makes it boring after a while. This year however, Longines gave us a few heritage pieces again. Undoubtedly the most prominent of these retro watches was the Longines Heritage Diver 1967. Below, an image of the original version (photo from TZ-UK’s noiseboyuk).

Longines

When looking at diver watches one can easily point out that this watch does not exactly look like a model one would pick up for diving. The big boom in diver watches came in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s when men started to explore the sea after successfully concurring air and land. We all know what the bezel on these watches is used for (measuring the time the diver has before they run out of oxygen) but chronographs were not to be seen often. This function is also important while with the help of this complication the diver could calculate his/her speed or certain underwater activities.

Longines Heritage Diver

As the name indicates this new model is inspired by a diver chronograph that Longines introduced in 1967. Being a Heritage model it shares many features with the original watch, red (or as the company calls it bordeaux) bezel being the most obvious. That makes the watch so easily noticeable, even from a distance. As a side note: let me mention that Longines sub brand, Wittnauer, also had a similar chronograph with red bezel, however both that watch and the original 1967 Longines watch were 2 register dial only watches. Interesting to see that Longines kept the sub dial at 6 o’clock of their Longines Heritage Diver watch, while the other two sub dials are silvery/white. This way, it appears to be a 2 register while upon closer inspection, there are three. Well-played.

Going back to the Longines Heritage Diver 1967, it has the size that fits me perfectly at 42mm. Because of the black dial and rather dark bezel color the best replica watch wears normal, it does not feel that huge on the wrist, on the contrary. Nice elements are the vintage shaped chronograph pushers and the subtle red cross that runs through the dial, almost barley visible. Not to mention the 2 white sub dials at 9 and 3 which – just like the original –  are different sizes and the 3 o’clock sub register being the largest.

The heart of the watch is a 27-Jewel ETA based, self-winding, column wheel chronograph, especially made for Longines. It has an impressive power reserve of 54 hours. The dial is opaline black with a touch of silver colors on the sub dials. Super LumiNova coated indexes and hands make the watch more contemporary. Being a true diver watch it is water resistance to 30 bars (300m) with the help of a screw down crown and case back. Speaking of which, a diver engraved to the case back (common adornment of that era) finishes off the reasoned design of a timepiece true to the DNA of Longines diver discount fake watches for sale. There are 3 options the potential buyer can choose from, when it comes to straps; metal bracelet, rubber strap with diving extension or a plain black crocodile strap with diving buckle.

Longines Heritage Diver 1967

Longines Heritage Diver 1967

I suppose we can agree that Longines is on the right track with their heritage watches. The timepiece is simple and elegant yet interesting and sporty at the same time. They managed to find the balance between old and new and the combination is spot on. I can encourage you to go in to an AD and try one on, as I did not too long ago. If you don’t like it there are still many marvelous piece to choose from. Price of the Longines Legend Diver 1967, $3100 USD.

King Willem-Alexander Of The Netherlands Wears A Speedmaster

By coincidence I came across the photo below, where you can see Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima on the stand cheering for the Dutch national soccer team during the World Championship of 2010 in South-Africa. You can see Queen Máxima wearing her Rolex, which has been covered elsewhere in the past, but my eyes were drawn to the wrist of King Willem-Alexander. Although the resolution of this published ANP photo is too low to study the best fashion swiss replica watch in detail, my nose for Speedmaster spotting is rarely off. It was time to investigate.

King Willem-AlexanderMost of our readers probably know that we are based in The Netherlands. Only few will know that we are located near two of the Dutch Royal palaces. Despite that, we never saw Willem-Alexander in the flesh close enough to see what watch he was wearing. After seeing the photo above, I decided to do some digging. Last time we covered Willem-Alexander here on Fratello Watches, was in 2013 during the last Queen’s Day in The Netherlands. In that article, we showed him wearing a Rolex Datejust.

A bit of research on King Willem-Alexander resulted in a number of photos from the Live Earth Run For Water event. These photos were taken by photographer Ilja Meefout. The photos I found there were large enough to positively identify the Omega Speedmaster Professional on the wrist of King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands. As you can see on the photos below, our King is wearing an Omega Speedmaster Pro on a leather strap with a folding clasp (which I identified on another photo, which you will find in the photo gallery below). Whether it is the standard Speedy Pro with Hesalite and a solid case back, a sapphire sandwich version or even the brown dialed Speedmaster Pro I can’t tell.

King Willem-Alexander King Willem-AlexanderI believe that King Willem-Alexander loves discount luxury watches. From a well-informed source I heard that he also bought an Omega DeVille Co-Axial, but never seen him wearing it on pictures. His grandparents, Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard are also featured in the ‘A Journey Through Time’ book by Omega. For their marriage in 1937, Princess Juliana was given an Omega jewellery timepiece by Swiss ambassador Arthur de Pury on behalf of the Swiss Government.

What I found to be interesting, is that His Majesty The King opted for an Omega Speedmaster while he probably could have bought any model from the Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin collection as well. Even a Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon probably. Perhaps he has a number of haute horlogerie pieces as well, but just favors this Omega Speedmaster Professional for wearing in public. In any case, we will probably never know but hope to see him wearing his Speedmaster Pro more often in public appearances.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is not the only royal who currently wears an Omega tag heuer replica watch. Prince William of the United Kingdom is famous for wearing a mid-size Omega Seamaster 300M that he (probably) received from his mother. In the past, there have been plenty examples of Swedish and Greece Royal Family members wearing Omega watches as well.

During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, I will pay extra attention if King Willem-Alexander will be wearing his Omega Speedmaster Professional again. If so, this article will be updated.

IWC Ingenieur Mission Earth Edition Adventure Ecology IW3236

The green production process of the fashion swiss replica watch uk sale online manufacturer in Schaffhausen, is something to be proud of. Not only IWC, but a lot of other companies seem to embrace durable entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. One of IWC‘s projects is to support projects like David de Rothshild‘s Plastiki Expedition. David de Rothschild and his Adventure Ecology organization built a 60 foot catamaran made entirely of plastic bottles, PET plastic and recycled waste products. With this ship, named the Plastiki, David and his carefully picked crew members will sail approx. 10,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney.
The name of this boat, Plastiki, was inspired by the famous Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, lead by Thor Heyerdahl.

To ‘celebrate’ (and make some money of) this joint venture between IWC and David Rothschild, IWC launched the IWC Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition (Limited Edition). There will be 1000 pieces of this special edition Ingenieur Automatic. The Mission Earth watch has been covered here earlier this year, right after the SIHH 2009.

I have to get one thing of my chest immediately, I LOVE the fact that IWC didn’t put a transparant case back on this watch. That does NOT belong on an Ingenieur watch. I suspect that they have a stainless steel case back installed in order to get the engravings and inscriptions right, but still… A watch that is famous for its anti-magnetic construction should not be transformed into a ‘fashion’ watch.

If you take a look at the picture above (by IWC press), you will also see another neat feature. The inside of the strap has the same little shapes as the dial of the Ingenieur. Way cool! The engraving in the back is nice as well, optical finish is something you can leave to IWC for that matter. The Adventure Ecology and Plastiki inscription is very futuristic, matching perfectly by the further design and ‘joint venture’ reason of this watch.

Inside this watch ticks IWC’s inhouse caliber 80110 movement. Some people might think that this is just a de-chrono’ed ETA (Valjoux) 7750, but that’s not the case. I have written an article on that subject about a year ago which you can find by clicking here. The case of this watch has a 46mm diameter (similar to the BIG Ingenieur) and a height of 15mm.

As you can see above, the watch is very blue-ish, reminding me a bit of the Jacques Cousteau Aquatimers IWC launched in 2004. This blown-up version of the regular IWC Ingenieur ref. 3227-01 (discontinued in 2009) has two major differences in comparison to the ‘original’ IWC Ingenieur Automatic, except for the colors and the size. These are the crown guards, which were applied to the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph, but not on the regular 3227-01 version. Owning one myself, I can’t say the absence of it bothers me, but I can imagine the ‘request’ for them. The other major difference, and this is actually only easy to witness when you have the Mission Earth in your hands, is the lack of sharpness on the edges of the casing. I have held this watch in my hands during the Dutch IWC show over at Ace Jewelers, not too long ago, and this was the first difference that I noticed about the watch when holding it. Therefor, this discount luxury replica  watch has a completely different feel (at least to me).

So, in conclusion, what do I like about this watch and what’s not to like. The design is still intact despite the supersizing and the addition of crown guards. The stainless steel case back (instead of a transparant case back) is also a pro. Then of course, for the techies, the movement is a nice inhouse caliber with IWC’s Pellaton winding system. These movements are quite accurate as well, adopting IWC’s own standards for this, instead of using the more generic COSC standards.

When this best fashion swiss replica watch will be worn on a daily basis or as ‘your only watch’, the colors are a bit too much I think. I also think the blue strap could be seen as ‘looking cheap’ for many. However, to me, the major setback is the lack of sharp edges of the case. The design of this watch is so incredibly cool in my opinion, and it should feel as it looks. Sharp. And it doesn’t. If you remember my review on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15300 that I wrote recently, you know how much I care about the ‘feel’ of watches with a design like these.

With a list price of a mere 9K USD and the fact that there are some cons about this watch, I am happy that I have the discontinued (that has been produced from 2005 till now) 3227-01 model. A tribute to the original SL1832 Ingenieur in my opinion, without losing its own identity. It is cheaper too, and I really don’t see why the Mission Earth has to cost more. It makes no sense to me.

7 Personalized Watches Made for World Champion Athletes

With baseball season heating up and the NBA and NHL finals underway, we at WatchTime thought it would be the perfect time to re-post (with a few updates) our article on the elite fraternity of athletes who have not only won a world championship in their sports but also boast a watch made specifically for them. Here are seven notable watches of champions.

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson won baseball’s World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. A longtime watch lover, particularly of the Ulysse Nardin Freak, Johnson partnered with Ulysse Nardin in 2012 to create the limited-edition Big Unit Chronograph. The personalized watch has a tiny baseball as the counterweight of the central seconds hand, and Johnson’s number “51″ replaces the typical “50″ minute marker on the bezel. Each luxury swiss world uk watches replica is delivered with a baseball autographed by Johnson.

Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph with baseball autographed by Johnson.

The L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who has won multiple NBA championships, is nicknamed “Black Mamba” for his slippery, on-court athleticism, “Black Mamba” is also the nickname of his personal Hublot King Power wristwatch, which has a purple-and-gold Lakers color scheme on the dial’s hands, indices and numerals; a Kobe Bryant signature in gold on the sapphire caseback; and a python leather strap. The Hublot King Power Black Mamba is limited to 250 pieces. For more on the watch, click here.

Kobe Bryant and the Hublot King Power Black Mamba

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal stands out even among this elite group of champions in that he is the only one who actually wears his watch while winning titles. And not just any fashion swiss replica watch uk sale online: a six-figure tourbillon timepiece from Richard Mille. The brand created its RM 027-01 Tourbillon specifically for Nadal, and with his creative input. Its ultra-lightweight case is made of an anthracite polymer injected with carbon nanotubes and the movement is made of a light, rigid, shock-absorbent combo of titanium and a lithium alloy called LITHAL.

Rafael Nadal and his watch, the Richard Mille RM27-01 Tourbillon

Richard Mille RM27-01 Tourbillon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali is an elder statesman of his sport now, but in his heyday the three-time world heavyweight champ was one of the most famous athletes in the world. IWC Schaffhausen recognized Ali’s legend with its creation of the one-of-a-kind IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali. Modeled on IWC’s historic Big Pilot’s Watch, this unique piece has applied indices with a Super-LumiNova coating in signal red, a favorite color of Ali’s, and a matching color scheme on the underside of the black alligator strap. The caseback is engraved with Ali’s signature and the inscription, “Edition Muhammad Ali, ONE OUT OF ONE.” It was auctioned for $60,000 at Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night Gala in April 2012.

IWC Big Pilot Muhammad Ali

IWC Big Pilot Muhammad Ali - backNew York Giants quarterback Eli Manning — who bested Movado endorser Tom Brady of the New England Patriots in not one but two thrilling Super Bowls — is a proud Citizen wearer and even appears in TV commercials for the Japanese brand. In 2012, Citizen released a personalized Manning watch, the Citizen Eli Manning Limited Edition Perpetual Chrono A.T, which featured a dial in Giants blue and was limited to 2,000 pieces. The watch has a 42-mm case and a quartz movement with Citizen’s signature Eco-Drive technology, which uses sunlight to recharge the battery. Its numerous functions include a 60-minute chronograph, perpetual calendar, alarm, and power reserve and AM/PM indicators. The steel caseback is engraved with Manning’s Giants jersey number “10.” Click here for more about the watch.

Eli Manning wearing Citizen Limited Edition Perpetual Chrono A.T

Citizen Limited Edition Perpetual Chrono A.T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was probably inevitable that former Miami Heat all-star and two-time NBA champ LeBron James (who this season returned to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers) would eventually join the fraternity of athletes with their own personal best quaslity swiss replica watch models. In fall of 2013, Audemars Piguet launched the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James, a relatively understated chronograph with a rose-gold/titanium combo case and an elegant gray leather strap. The only touch of “bling” is a subtle one, namely the diamond-set chrono push-piece at 2 o’clock. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ofshore LeBron James is a limited edition of 600, priced at $51,500. You can read more about it here.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James - front

LeBron James wearing Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently retired New York Yankees all-star shortstop (and five-time World Series champ) Derek Jeter collaborated with Movado on the design of its Derek Jeter Captain Series watches. This one is sporty version of Movado’s famous Museum Watch, with a 42-mm stainless steel case finished in black PVD. The matte black dial has a polished black dot at 12 o’clock, a date display in a round window at 6 o’clock, blue-filled hour and minute hands, and a thin, gray vertical-stripes motif (somewhat reminiscent of the iconic Yankee uniform pinstripes). The central seconds hand and the reflector ring surrounding the dial are also blue. The aaa grade swiss replica watch is powered by a Swiss quartz movement and comes on a black, perforated rubber strap with a stainless steel, black-PVD-finished tongue buckle. The price is $795. Click here for more on the Movado Derek Jeter Captain Series watches.

Movado Derek Jeter Captain Series Museum SportAre there other world champion athletes with their own watches that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments box below; we’ll be updating the list frequently.

How To Buy Vintage Replica Watches

As noted in my previous article about buying pre-owned watches, the market for truly “vintage” watches is something quite different from that for relatively young “pre-owned” watches. Any replica watch made before 1990 could be considered vintage, although some collectors put the maximum year of “vintage” at 1980 or even earlier. I’d like to use 1990 as the baseline for this article, which offers my tips on buying vintage watches, but in the end you’ll have to decide for yourself whether a given watch is old enough for you to qualify it as “vintage.”

There are two very important questions to consider when it comes to buying vintage watches:

• Can you and do you trust the seller of the watch?

Does the seller has a good reputation when it comes to selling classic vintage replica watches? Investigate! There are enough forums, Facebook groups and blogs out there that might have mentioned the seller in a positive — or negative — manner. Although it might sound cliché, also learn to trust your gut feelings. If the purchase doesn’t feel good or legit, let it go, and rest assured that another nice vintage piece will come along.

• Have you gained as much knowledge as you can on the watch you want to buy?

Reading WatchTime and WatchTime.com is always an excellent source of info (of course)! But also take a look at other partner watch blogs like Watch-Insider, Fratello Watches and so on. There is quite a bit of coverage out there on vintage watches. Google is your best friend if you’re just starting out. Sometimes you will find relatively small websites that specialize in just one brand or even one model, and these can be gems. An example is this website on vintage Omega Constellation watches. A truly amazing source of information, and all for free. And along with websites, we also have these old-fashioned things called books. Don’t forget about those.

Vintage Omega Constellation watches

The publisher Mondani has done a good job on documenting Rolex watches, but the recently released book on Speedmaster watches (by WatchPrint), Moonwatch Only sets new standards. Books such as these may seem expensive, but they can prevent you from making mistakes that will cost you a fortune later. Read here why you should invest in a good book on watches. In the WatchTime Shop, you will find a selection of available titles that might be of use as well. Another interesting source of information are the auction-house websites and catalogs.

Rolex watches book

Beyond all that, there are a few other things to consider, some of which I addressed in my article on pre-owned watches in general. On the next page, I will address them specifically for vintage watches:

Service history

Don’t expect invoices from the 1950s and 1960s to be included in the sale. I assume your parents or grandparents don’t have these anymore either, do they? It is important that a vintage discount fake  watch is technically in good working order. If not, you can go through hell with regards to the availability (and prices!) of spare parts. It can be a long road. I had to wait for over a year on a silly movement part for one of my 1950s Omegas. Some watchmakers are able to reproduce the parts themselves, or reuse something from another movement. It would be best if the watch is serviced at the manufacture, but having receipts from a good watchmaker will also do the job — as long as there is some kind of proof that the watch has been taken care of.

Longines Vintage watch

Box and papers

If a watch is 30 or 40 years old, it is quite common that its original boxes and manuals are gone. If possible, make sure to get the correct box for your watch. It should match the actual watch or at least be period-correct. Through the years, some watch brands used different boxes for their watches. Some brands can supply you with information on the correct boxes and manuals.

One more topic I would mention is “provenance.” Be very careful when a watch seller offers you items that speak to a watch’s provenance in order to prove to you that it is authentic. These may include photos of people wearing the watch to napkins with the signature of the first owner. I’m not joking here, unfortunately. Only real provenance counts. Acceptable items include invoices with mention of the correct serial number and/or movement number and the work performed on the watch, as well as original, stamped papers and warranty cards. Do not pay a premium for items that look fishy or have the slightest signs of being fabricated to make a sale.

Vintage Tudor watch

So what are the best places to find some of these beautiful timepieces? I’m glad you asked. Keep reading.

I have left out one of the most obvious sources — watch auctions — as I have covered that topic in detail elsewhere previously.

• Watch Dealers

Yes, this is another obvious one. Many of these have websites where they list their stock, or use websites like Chrono24 to display their stock. Either way, if they don’t have a website and are not close to you to visit, it becomes troublesome. Make sure to get into a daily or weekly routine in which you visit the websites of these watch sellers so you won’t miss out on the “incoming” watches they have. There are some awesome websites, such as www.subgmt.com, which specialize in specific brands and have a great reputation. Make sure to bookmark them and work your way through them. Descriptions and good(repeat: good) photos are key. I’d rather see a picture that doesn’t have the best composition, or beautiful surroundings, but instead shows all the minor details and essentially the watch “as is.” Nowadays, some dealers are nowadays also show their stock on Instagram, so make sure to follow them there, too.

Vintage watches on table

• Watch Forums

I’ve found some of my best timepieces by using watch forums. Most watch forums, like www.watchuseek.com and www.omegaforums.net, have a “sales forum” on which their members can offer their watches. The latter offers not only vintage Omega watches but also a bunch of other brands. Since you are probably dealing with private sellers, please re-read part 1 of this article again to know what you should pay attention to. The great thing about forums is that the prices tend to be more tempting than those offered by watch dealers. Keep in mind that private sellers rarely offer a warranty, so you have to be sure what you are buying. That task can be tackled by checking the posts about these sellers on the forums that offer the watches. Is it a guy who seem to have a good reputation, a good knowledge of the subject, and so on? Do a check!

• Watch Fairs / Trade Shows

As you might be able to tell by my use of the English language, I am not from the U.S.A. So I can’t speak for the watch fairs over there. However, the watch fairs here in Europe (mainly in Germany) are great sources for vintage watches. The only drawback is that you have to decide on the spot to purchase, and do all the checks on the spot as well. Don’t let the seller rush you and ask for his business card when you want to have some time to think it over or do some online checking. Take pictures of the fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online with your phone. In any case, always ask for warranty (or at least return policy) when you buy at these fairs. Most of the dealers are professionals that use these fairs to sell their stock but also to buy new watches themselves (they often have an hour ahead of the opening time to do their own “shopping”). There are several overviews available that will let you know about watch fairs nearby. Click here for an overview in Europe, here for an overview in the U.S.A.

Watch fair crowd

• Facebook Groups

There are a couple of groups on Facebook where watches are being offered. Is this Marketplace 2.0? Perhaps not, but it is a very efficient (and free) way to advertise for someone who wants to sell his or her watch. Most of these groups are not open to public, so you have to request membership. This is mainly due to privacy/security reasons. Just go to Facebook and search for Watch Sales or similar phrases. You might find a local group in your region or country where vintage watches are being offered.

• Private Sellers / Classifieds

The ideal scenario would be for a seller to find YOU when he wants to sell a watch. In such cases, these sellers need the money and you will get the best price. However, that’s not very likely to happen if you don’t make yourself known to other watch collectors. When you are active on forums or on watch-related Facebook groups and let people know what kind of vintage clone watches you are into, you are bound to be offered something sooner or later. My rule of thumb is: if you actively search for a watch, you will pay the highest price. If people come to you to offer their watch, you get the best price.

Vintage Hanhart watch - 1938

Next week I will introduce you to some interesting vintage watch brands and models which you probably haven’t give much thought to yet. As a preview, check out this beautiful vintage Tissot Navigator Yachting.

Classic vintage replica watch

The majority of classic vintage replica watch collectors always look for a nice bargain. It doesn’t matter how much money we have in our pockets,  we always dream of finding that special vintage watch at a flea market or car boot sale. But also in the drawer of our grandparents or distant uncle or even on eBay (which is getting more difficult by the way).

Let’s be honest though; the chances of finding a truly valuable vintage watch for pennies are pretty much zero. As far as I’m concerned, I do not really believe in a “barn find”. Collecting vintage watches wisely and buying a few sleepers. But what is a sleeper watch and where and how can we find it? The answer is probably much more simple as one would think it is.

vintage watch

A sleeper is a fashion swiss replica watch that has no significantly high price tag in current times but is likely to gain value or become more sought-after in a few (or more) years time. This could be because of historical significance, because it was produced in a smaller number or maybe because – like everything in life – fashion change. Five years ago nobody would care about a 1980s Casio or Seiko quartz watch, nowadays thousands of trendy teenagers rummaging throughout their dad’s drawers in hope of a working example that they can wear with their skinny jeans, knitted hats and flannel shirts.

A sleeper watch can be of any brand. Obviously the better the brand the higher the price, the bigger the profit will be if the watch indeed turns out to be a sleeper and you want to sell it.

One great example is the Omega Speedmaster 125. This vintage watch was produced in a very limited number of 2000 examples more than 40 years ago (1973). It also houses a movement Omega has never used in any other model except the Speedmaster 125. Yet, prices for a decent example are not exceptionally high and you might be able to find a used, honest example even cheaper. All you need is a great watchmaker and you have a wonderful time piece in excellent condition from one of the top brands.  

vintage watchvintage watchAnother Omega I could put money on becoming a sought after model in the long run is the Seamaster 300M Chronometer worn by the 007 portrayed by Pierce Brosnan.

Omega-Seamaster-001 Omega-Seamaster-002So what would the ideal sleeper watch be that once will turn into a sought-after or at least appreciated vintage watch? The ideal sleeper watch is mechanical. There are a few quartz examples but I don’t see them still functioning in another 50-70 years. A mechanical tag heuer replica watches uk on the other hand will still bring you joy for many  years to come.

As said before, originality is King. Imagine you find a vintage watch like a 1960s Rolex Datejust or Omega Speedmaster. That won’t be too hard, right? Now picture that watch with its box, papers, hand tags, extra bracelet links and the rest. It changes the whole game.

For decades from now, or for the next generation, you can source a sleeper watch like the aforementioned Seamaster 300 2531.80 with boxes and papers – everything complete – for a relatively small amount of money. Now all you need to do is store the watch safely, only take it out every 5 – 7 years for a quick change and seal swap and you might have yourself a little treasure there for your grand kids .They will be thrilled and thankful when they find it when they are rummaging through your drawers one day.

Star Time: Celebrity-Branded Sports Watches

There is no shortage of celebrities, many of them celebrity athletes, who serve as “brand ambassadors” for watch brands, appearing in ads and attending events wearing their watches. However, a few of these stars go the extra mile, giving input and often even becoming involved in the design process, for special celebrity fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online to which they lend their names. Below is a list of 13 celebrity watches developed in honor of, and named for, their famous representatives.

Richard Mille has developed several watches in collaboration tennis star Rafael Nadal, including the RM 035 Chronofiable® certified, the RM 027 Tourbillon, and most recently the RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal. Nadal often wears (and occasionally loses) his Richard Mille watches during his games. The RM-027 worn by Nadal was donated to the Only Watch auction in 2011 to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His latest discount luxury replica watches, the RM 27-01, was first unveiled in Geneva during SIHH as the “the world’s lightest tourbillon” at 19 grams.

Nadal wearing the Richard Mille RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille RM 027 Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille also designed a watch for professional golfer Bubba Watson, the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson. As Watson golfs while wearing a watch, Richard Mille designed the best quality replica watches with an emphasis on shock resistance, so that the tourbillon could endure the force of a golf swing. The RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is a limited edition of 38 pieces priced at $525,000. Click here for more details.

Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson

After partnering with the L.A. Lakers, Hublot made NBA star and known watch lover Kobe Bryant its newest brand ambassador. The brand subsequently unveiled the King Power Black Mamba, named for Bryant’s NBA nickname. The watch, priced at $25,200, is a limited edition of 250 pieces, of which part of the proceeds will go toward the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. The watch features gold and purple details as an homage to the L.A. Lakers’ uniform colors. More on the watch, and the partnership can be found here.

Kobe Bryant and the Hublot King Power Black Mamba

Hublot previously partnered with another NBA player, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, to create the Hublot King Power “D-Wade.” Wade collaborated with the brand to design the watch, which features a dial resembling a basketball and a strap with a basketball net-like pattern. The watch also has the color scheme of the Miami Heat uniform. Proceeds from sales of the watch — a limited edition of 500 pieces — went to Wade’s charity, the Wade World Foundation. (Click here for WatchTime’s interview with Wade about the watch. Hublot has also produced a special Miami Heat “team” watch; you can read about it here.)

Dwyane Wade wearing the Hublot King Power “D-Wade”

Ulysse Nardin produced a watch in honor of official “friend of the brand” and baseball legend Randy Johnson, aka “The Big Unit.” The Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph features several baseball-related details, including the number “51″ on the bezel — Johnson’s number — where the “50″ would normally be, as well as a small baseball icon as the counterweight of the seconds hand. The watch has a retail price of $15,500. Each of the 100 watches in the limited edition comes with a baseball autographed by Johnson. Click here for more on the Ulysse Nardin Big Unit and its origins.

Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph

Audemars Piguet has produced a series of tag heuer replica watches for a longtime friend of the brand, actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an avid watch collector. Their collaboration resulted in several special editions, all with Schwarzenegger’s design input, most recently the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph. (Click here for audio excerpts from WatchTime’s exclusive interview with Schwarzenegger about his partnership with AP and his love of watches.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph

In 2013, yet another NBA superstar got his own personalized watch, also from Audemars Piguet. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James limited edition, designed with the input of “King James” himself, combines a rose-gold case with a brushed titanium bezel for a more understated look than that of his former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade’s Hublot. (Click here for details on the LeBron watch.)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James - front

Couture 2015: Bell & Ross Courts Cigar Aficionados with Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada

One of the most anticipated events at each year’s JCK and Couture watch and jewelry shows in Las Vegas is Bell & Ross’s Friday evening cocktail party at its villa in the Wynn. And one of my annual traditions is enjoying a fine cigar — rolled on the premises by a skilled torcedor — with Bell & Ross CEO and fellow cigar enthusiast Carlos Rossillo (the “Ross” in Bell & Ross) at the party. This year, the experience was extra special, since the cigar in question was an all-new, official Bell & Ross cigar — a Nicaraguan puro made specifically to accompany the brand’s Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada timepiece, packaged in a unique box that doubles as a humidor.

The Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion, Limitada, with its rich brown and rose-gold color scheme  is Rossillo’s attempt to blend the diverse but similarly tradition-rich worlds of watchmaking and cigar making. The 42-mm-diameter rose-gold case is fastened to the tobacco-brown alligator leather strap with fine wire lugs that echo those of the earliest wristwatches, first seen in the World War I era from which the discount fake watches takes its name. The font of the Arabic numerals, the highly domed sapphire crystal, narrowness of the strap, and the gilded hands are also elegant, vintage-style touches, and the text on the dial is in Spanish (contrasting with the French verbiage on most Swiss-made watches), a tribute to the language of Cuba and other cigar-making nations.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - front

Since cigar smoking is a leisurely experience, in which one is not expected to be concerned about whether or not one’s timepiece needs winding, Bell & Ross has equipped the Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada with an extra-lengthy five-day power reserve. It’s indicated on the dial by means of a hand that moves along a semicircular arc with the inscription “Reserva de Marcha 5 Días.” The manual-winding movement (Caliber BR-CAL.202) has two mainspring barrels and a three-quarter mainplate, adorned with a côtes de Genève finish and punctuated by blued screws, all visible through a clear sapphire caseback. The front of the watch also offers a glimpse of the inner mechanism: the movement’s balance peeks out of a round aperture at 9 o’clock on the dial.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - back

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - box

The Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada, a Bselword 2015 premiere that also highlighted the brand’s new products showcased at Couture 2015, is limited to just 99 pieces. It is presented in a distinctive, color-coordinated box made of Makassar ebony, designed to be converted into a cigar humidor (which can store up to 50 cigars) with the addition of a humidifier and a hygrometer. Below, you can check out a few live shots of the fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online and the cigars, snapped at Bell & Ross’s villa at the Wynn.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - wrist