My Favorite Lots from Today’s Christie’s NYC Auction

Lot #26 – Universal Genève Gold Chronograph Retailed by Hermès

Universal Genève was known as a brand that created groundbreaking designs in the early 20th century. In 1935, the Compax was introduced and it was the first chronograph wristwatch to display both hour & minute registers. Hermès was one of the first retailers to carry the Universal Genève Compax in Europe but the partnership was short-lived, so not many of these co-branded pieces have survived. This example is from 1936 and has an outer track tachometer in blue and telemeter in red, very large registers, original crown and even the original box! What’s appealing about this piece, besides all the aforementioned, are the thick, faceted, down-turned lugs that make this 34-mm case wearable and look not at all too small. Wind added that very few UG co-branded Hermès pieces come to market – maybe under 10 in total and that this is the only known Universal Genève Chronograph seen at auction to bear the Hermès signature in the early script on the dial, a true rarity! Estimate is $15k – $25k.

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Lot #37 – Rolex Submariner 6538 – James Bond

This example is from 1957 and what’s most incredible is that it is in original condition. The original bevels on the lugs are untouched and the case has never been polished; no service marks on the inside of the caseback, it has the original bezel insert, and the bezel itself in great condition! The allure that draws collectors is the fact that this was the best fashion swiss watch online that Sean Connery’s James Bond wore in Dr. No. The large crown without crown guards and the gilt four-line dial (four lines of text on the dial) is what makes this a grand slam. Enthusiastically, Wind expressed that this was his favorite lot of the auction and calls the timepiece a “true survivor.” He also added that the last similar 6538, a slightly younger edition and with a tropical dial, sold in May 2013 in Geneva for $544,000, and that this example is one of the best Submariners to ever come to market. Estimate is $60k-$100k.

Lot 51 – Patek Philippe Ref. 1461 in Stainless Steel

This example features even numerals on the dial and an engine turned subdial at 6 o’clock to display the constant seconds. At 32 mm, it’s on the smaller side of the men’s vintage watch size spectrum but it actually looks a lot better on the wrist than you’d expect. The tear drop (or what Wind calls “the crab-claw”) lugs give the timepiece the illusion that it is larger, so it wears very well. The 1461 appears to be all original and it’s in great condition, which is fantastic for a steel Patek from 1945. This was produced near the end of WWII and at that time precious metals were valuable commodities during the war, so Patek made more watches in steel. Wind emphasized that any steel Pateks are a very special thing and this example is a great formal Patek that contains history at an accessible price point in a timepiece that is extremely rare. Estimate is $8-$12k.

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Lot #81- Vacheron Constantin Single Button Chronograph

One of the most rare and historically important pieces of this auction is this single-button gold chronograph from 1927 that was originally owned by Alexander I, King of Yugoslavia. This example has a white enamel dial that is impeccable; very little wear on the case; Breguet style, black enameled numerals; blued steel hands for both center & registers; and the crest of the king of Yugoslavia engraved on the caseback. Alexander I went to school in Geneva, which might be the reason he collected fine timepieces. Wind claims this rarity looks all original and that “it’s amazing to see a chrono from the late 1920 that still looks so modern.” Estimate is $40k- $60k.

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Lot #45 – Patek Philippe 130 Retailed by Tiffany & Company.

There are several reasons why this example of the yellow-gold chronograph (Ref. 130) is my favorite lot of this auction. Let’s begin with the very unusual spade-shaped hour hand and the minute hand that is referred to as lapidated; the Breguet numerals that were popular for the U.S. market; the great condition of the case; the rarity of being co-branded by the oldest Patek Philippe retailer in North America; and my favorite attribute, the large registers. The oversized registers make this 33-mm chronograph appear larger and bolder than all of its sister examples of the Reference 130, not to mention the registers were most likely a special request by an avid sailor for the ease of maritime-related timekeeping, which makes sense with the engraving on the side of the case and caseback. It reads, “The Point, Great Neck, Long Island” as well as the initials “R.B.C. June 27th 1941″ and a hand holding a scroll coming out of a lighthouse on the caseback. The uncommon engraving on the side of the case is the accretion that makes this example one of a kind and combined with all of the other facets, a gem in my eyes. Estimate is $60-$80k.

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A Great Deal

There are 265 lots in this season’s Christie’s Important Watches sale and we couldn’t cover all of them, but even though I chose five lots that might not have appealed to you, you should know that there are watches from all over the spectrum up for grabs. From a set of four vintage tag heuer replica watches estimated at $1,500 – $2k (Lot #148) to under-priced tourbillons, modern watches at a bargain, historically important books, and even enameled pocketwatches older than your grandfather. Below is a list of some of the best deals, in my humble opinion. Enjoy!

Lot #9 – IWC Pilot Doppelchronograph, Ref. 3717 – Double chronographs, or rattrapantes, are always produced in limited quantities, regardless of the brand, because of how complex they are to manufacture. This one is priced below most regular chronos! Estimate of $4-$6k.

Lot #11 – IWC Minute Repeater – Probably one of the best deals in the entire auction, Grand Complications from such reputable Swiss manufactures usually begin in the six digits. Estimate of $25-$30k.

Lot #101 – J. Petit & Frères Gold and Enamel Quarter Repeating Pocket Watch – Have you ever wanted a watch that could mechanically chime the time? This may not produce sounds down to the minute but can still do the hours and quarters and has an enamel detailed portrait on the back that certainly took ages to complete – for less than that Omega you’ve been eyeing. Estimate $1,500 – $2k.

Lot #198 – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver – Barely four years old and estimated at a third of the retail, buying modern at auction could be the best deal if this is something you’ve been looking for. Estimate $6-$8k.

Lot #139 – Patek Philippe 5000G – A limited edition Patek in a precious metal (white gold) in the four digits is a bargain, especially to be part of the small, exclusive club of Patek owners. Estimate $7-$9k.

Lot 212 – Rolex 5513 – A classic and staple in every watch collector’s arsenal, you don’t have to spend five digits to own a vintage Rolex. Not only is this a no-date Submariner but this piece is actually sought after since it’s a “meters first” model.

What Makes a Dive Replica Watch a Dive Watch?

One leading source offers a definitive answer to the question of what determines whether a timepiece can legitimately called a “dive watch” or “divers’ watch” in this article. 

In the best fashion swiss replica watch world, when we ask “What is a … ?”, the search for the answer often begins with one source: Berner’s Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology, and that’s where today’s lesson begins. Berner’s defines “diving watch” as a “watch designed to withstand immersion to a depth of at least 100 m and to satisfy requirements specified in ISO standard 6425.” So, there’s your answer. If it is not certified under ISO 6425, it isn’t a dive watch. That was easy. Or maybe not. The problem is that very few so-called dive watches are claimed to satisfy all of the ISO 6425 standards. Where does that leave us? Are there only a handful of real dive watches in the world?

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Without doubt, the waters surrounding the question of what it takes to make a “true dive watch” are deep and murky. Our goal today is not to settle that debate (as if we could). For this exercise, we will also ignore dive computers, the acknowledgement of which would end this article right about here. We will also leave aside watches intended for diving with mixed gas. Rather, we’ll take a look at what the ISO thinks it takes to make a dive watch. The standards may raise some issues you have not previously considered. Once you know what’s what, you can decide for yourself what it takes to make a dive watch, and whether you need one that is ISO certified. ISO 6425 has been around in its current form since 1996. Given the popularity of dive watches, you would think the standards would be well known among watch enthusiasts, but they are not, probably because they are not as widely used as COSC’s chronometer standards. They are also rather long, a bit technical, and rarely reprinted in full. The meat of the official guidelines is found in sections 6 and 7. These spell out the physical requirements for dive watches and the methods for testing them.

The watch must be equipped with a device that allows the user to pre-select a period of time of up to 60 minutes. This may be a rotating bezel or a digital display. The device must be protected from inadvertent manipulation. A bezel must have a scale showing 60 minutes with markings showing every 5 minutes. Markings on the dial must be coordinated with those on the pre-selecting device, and must be clearly visible. The time must also be clearly visible, and the minutes hand must be clearly distinguishable from the hour hand. (“Clearly” is a favorite ISO word.) The time set on the pre-selecting device must be clear, as must an indication that the watch is running. On analog watches, this is usually satisfied by placing luminous material on the seconds hand. Finally, battery-powered watches must have a visible low-battery indicator. Each of these must be visible at 25 cm, or about 10 inches, in the dark. There are also requirements governing salt-water resistance and reliability under water. The “resistance to salt water” test requires that the watch be placed in a sodium chloride solution of 30 grams per liter, which is about the same as seawater, and kept there for 24 hours at 18 to 25 degrees C, or about 64 to 77 degrees F. After the test, the case and accessories are inspected for changes (such as oxidation) and moving parts are tested to make sure they still function properly.

Calibre de Cartier Diver Steel (BACK)

The “reliability under water” test calls for the watch to be immersed in about 12 inches of water (not salt water) for 50 hours, again at 64 to 77 degrees F, after which the watch is examined for correct function. (Note that this is not the water-resistance test – that is discussed below). Both before and after the “reliability under water” test, the watch is subjected to a condensation test to determine whether any moisture has penetrated the case. The watch is placed on a plate and heated to between 40 and 45 degrees C, or about 104 to 113 degrees F. When the watch reaches the temperature of the plate, a drop of water at 64 to 77 degrees F is placed on the crystal. After one minute, the crystal is wiped off, and any watch with condensation on the inside of the crystal fails the test, as this result indicates a leak.

ISO 6425 incorporates both ISO 764, which governs antimagnetic timepieces, and ISO 1413, which covers shock resistance. ISO 764 requires that a watch be placed in a magnetic field of 4,800 amperes along three different axes for 1 minute each and maintain its accuracy to within +/-30 seconds per day as measured before and after the test. So, for example, if the watch was +12 seconds per day before the test and +40 seconds after, it would pass.

The shock-resistance standard is intended to simulate the shock a watch receives if it is dropped from a height of one meter onto a hardwood floor. The test involves delivering two shocks – one to the 9 o’clock side of the case and one to the top or face of the tag heuer swiss replica watch. The shock is delivered by what looks like a croquet mallet suspended between vertical supports so that it swings like a pendulum. Between the supports, at the bottom, is what looks like a large, rubber golf tee. The mallet, which has a plastic head weighing 3 kg or about 6.6 pounds, is raised to a height of one meter and released. The head hits the watch, which sits on the rubber tee, at a speed of 4.43 meters per second, delivering a shock equal to about 5,000 Gs. To meet the ISO standard, after the test the watch must keep time to within +/-60 seconds per day, compared with its rate before the test.

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The next requirements deal with resistance to external forces. The first test applies to the spring bars. With the strap closed, the inside of the strap is subjected to an outward force equal to 200 newtons in each direction. This subjects each spring bar to about 45 pounds of force. To make sure the crown and any other setting devices don’t leak, the watch is subjected to 125 percent of its rated depth pressure for 10 minutes while a force of five newtons, or a little over one pound, is applied to the top of the crown. Both before and after this test, the “hot-plate condensation test” described earlier is carried out to ensure that there is no leak. Note that the ISO guidelines do not explicitly require a screw-down crown. Any construction that passes the test is acceptable.

The next requirement is resistance to thermal shock. The watch is immersed in hot water (104 degrees F), then cool water (41 degrees F), then hot water again. The watch spends 10 minutes at each temperature, and the transition time from one temperature to the other cannot exceed 1 minute.  Both before and after the three immersions, the hot-plate condensation test is applied to make sure no moisture has entered the watch. The final test is water resistance at overpressure equal to 125 percent of the rated depth. The hot-plate condensation test is performed at the beginning to confirm that there is no moisture in the watch. The watch is then immersed in a pressure tester and, within 1 minute, pressure equal to 125 percent of the rated depth is applied. After two hours, the watch is quickly depressurized by reducing the pressure to 0.3 bar, or three meters, within 1 minute, and pressure is maintained at that level for one hour. The watch is removed and dried, and the hot-plate condensation test is performed again.

Edox Hydro Sub “North Pole” Limited Edition

To meet the ISO 6425 guideline, this overpressure test must be performed on every watch. The other tests can be satisfied by testing a statistically significant sample of watches. This is an important difference compared with the less-stringent ISO 2281, used for watches that are merely “water resistant.” That ISO guideline does not require testing every watch to its rated depth, but only a sample. The next time you see an account of a watch rated to 100, 200 or even 300 meters failing at lesser depths, pay attention to whether the discount fake watch is an ISO 6425 diver or an ISO 2281 water-resistant model. Finally, the ISO standards include an optional test for air-tightness at an overpressure. The watch is subject to air pressure of two bar, or about 29 psi, and the flow of air entering the watch is measured. Comparable methods, for example using inert gasses, are permitted. The standard states, a bit vaguely, that “watches giving a high flow of air shall be eliminated from the test immediately.”

The ISO standards provide that a watch that passes all of the tests may be marked with the word “Divers” followed by the depth rating, for example “Divers 300m” (or similar terms in other languages). Watches that have not passed the ISO test may not be marked “Divers.” Note that the manufacturer is not required to put any specific mark or language on the watch to indicate that it satisfies ISO 6425.

Factory To The Gdr Time

Over 120 guests, among them many witnesses, accepted the invitation of the foundation “the german best fashion swiss replica watch museum glassworks, nicolas g. hayek” opening exhibition „glashütte to gdr time last friday, 12. june 2015. markus dreßler, mayor of the city of factory, and frank kittel, managing director of factory original, welcomed all those present with a short speech. then invited reinhard reichel, director of the german uhrenmuseums glassworks, the guests to the exhibition to explore.

Bürgermeister Markus Dreßler, Museumsdirektor Reinhard Reichel und Glashütte Original Geschäftsführer  Frank Kittel auf dem Ballon, geschmückt mit dem alten GUB-Logo.

With this exhibition appreciates the german watch museum glass factory, 25 years after the reunification of the benefits of the glashütter designers, a toolmaker and precision mechanic. these people succeeded, despite often difficult circumstances at that time, the tradition of watchmaking in the gdr time to receive.

Der Museumsdirektor Reinhard Reichel lädt die Gäste ein, die Ausstellung zu besuchen. Viele Zeugnisse aus der Zeit wurden liebevoll zusammen getragen.

 With the establishment of the state-owned enterprise glashütter uhrenbetriebe, veb aocs, began on 1. july 1951, a new period in the history of the glashütter watchmaking. the company made numerous products in the daily life and science have been used. the exhibition shows how diverse the range of products: tag heuer replica watches, marine chronometer, special machines, wall – and time. the veb glashütter uhrenbetriebe developed by 1990, the largest employer in the region. for this reason, he held many tasks, on the production of clocks and watches beyond: the education and training of talented people and a variety of leisure activities in the former german democratic republic, also in the exhibition highlights. the museum displays, with a selection of the production of watches tools, machinery, materials, drawings and a variety of photographs. advertisements and brochures to illustrate aspects of sales and marketing. the exhibition is up to 1. german watch museum in november 2015 year experience. a companion volume to the exhibition in german and english for 6.50 euros can be purchased at the museum shop.

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.

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.

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

5 Fashion Brands You Didn’t Know Made Men’s Mechanical Watches

Watches bearing the names of big fashion houses tend to get written off by serious tag heuer replica watches aficionados, who tend to think of them as only for ladies or, worse, only inexpensive pieces with quartz movements. In addition to brands like Hermes, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel, who have taken strides to establish themselves in the world of men’s mechanicals, here are five other such brands that may have flown under your radar.

Burberry has introduced a line of high-end watches with Swiss movements. The five models in the Britain collection include three mechanicals: two three-hand date discount luxury watches with automatic movements, and another automatic with a power reserve display. The others are a chronograph with a Swiss quartz movement, and a ladies’ model with a quartz movement and diamond-set case.

Burberry Britain Automatic

Jeweler David Yurman offers a line of masculine sports watches, known as Revolution, featuring Swiss mechanical movements. Yurman teamed up with the late Carroll Shelby, creator of the legendary Shelby Cobra muscle car, to create the brand’s first limited-edition sports watch, the David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000. The high quality replica watches features a 43.5-mm case with rubber side insets and is powered by an ETA/Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement.

David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000

Dior makes ladies’ luxury replica watches with both quartz and mechanical movements, but also offers some significant men’s models, including the Chiffre Rouge C03, introduced at Baselworld 2013. The watch is powered by Zenith’s Elite 691 movement and is made in a limited edition of 100 pieces.

Dior Chiffre Rouge C03

At Baselworld 2013, Gucci announced the Gucci Dive, the brand’s first official divers’ watch, certified to adhere to ISO standard 6425. While Gucci’s other mechanical watches use a standard ETA movement, the Gucci Dive is powered by the automatic GP3300 movement, made for Girard-Perregaux by the Sowind Group. (Both the Sowind Group, which owns G-P and JeanRichard, and Gucci are part of the luxury-goods group Kering, formerly known as PPR.)

Gucci Dive

Versace introduced a new skeleton best quality swiss replica watch for men at Baselworld, the DV One Skeleton. Its dial is divided into two hemispheres, with only the “east” half skeletonized. The watch also features a Dubois-Depraz chronograph movement, the inner workings of which are partly visible through the skeletonized half.

Versace DV One Skeleton

Omega’s 4 New Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” Watches for 2015

Omega turned heads in 2013, when it debuted the first Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon tag heuer replica watch at Baselworld. And in 2014, the brand complemented it with a sister in gray. But for those who have wanted more variations on the Dark Side of the Moon, look no further: in 2015, your time has come. Here are four new versions of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon that Omega presented at Baselworld.

All four of the new Speedmasters bear certain crucial similarities. They’re all certified chronometers. They all have a bicompax chronograph layout: the chronograph hours and minutes are in the 3-o’clock subdial, running seconds are at 9 o’clock and a date window is at 6. They all bear a tachymeter scale around the bezel. There are nonreflective sapphire crystals on the front and back.

Under the dial, all have Omega Co-Axial caliber 9300: an automatic, 4-Hz movement that runs in 54 jewels. It has two serially mounted barrels for a 60-hour power reserve. Its balance spring is made of silicon and it has a column-wheel chronograph mechanism. There are Geneva waves on the movement and the screws, barrels and balance wheel have all been blackened to keep to the dress code.

Omega DSOTM_4 watches 560

The first of the new swiss replica watches has an extra-demonstrative name: the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Black Black.” So nice they had to say it twice, the Black Black has a polished and brushed ceramic case and a matte black ceramic dial. The brushed hands are blackened, as are the applied indexes. The chronograph subdial hands as well as the indexes have black Super-LumiNova on them. On the bezel, the scale for the tachymeter is in black lacquer. The Black Black comes on a coated nylon fabric strap with a black ceramic clasp. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Black Black 560

Next up is the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Pitch Back”.Its case is in polished black ceramic, while the ceramic bezel has been brushed for a different finish. It has matte black subdials with varnished hands. Its distinctive feature is the Super-LumiNova coating for its indexes and on its tachymeter scale. It has a black leather strap with ecru stitching and a ceramic folding clasp. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Pitch Black 560

Omega used its special proprietary alloy for the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Sedna Black.” The brushed black ceramic case is complemented by a bezel ring in 18-karat Sedna gold. Also adding that rosy accent to the Sedna Black are the applied Sedna gold indexes and hands. A laser ablation process was used to mark the text and graduations on the dial. A shade of “vintage” Super-LumiNova, not unlike that used on last year’s Omega Seamaster 300, coats the three center-mounted hands, the hour indexes, and the two dots at 12 o’clock. The Sedna Black comes on a black leather strap with a ceramic folding clasp. Price: $15,000.

Omega DSOTM Sedna Black 560Finally, there is the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Vintage Black.” The only high quality replica watch in the set on a brown leather strap, the Vintage Black has brown hour indexes to match the “vintage” Super-LumiNova used on the hands and dial. The tachymeter scale is also embedded with the same color of luminous coating. It has a brushed ceramic case and a matte ceramic dial. The centrally mounted hands are blackened, while the subdial hands are brown. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Vintage Black 560

All of these Dark Side of the Moon watches have a case diameter of 44.25 mm and a case thickness of 16.14 mm. They are water resistant to 50 meters. And of course, all of their caseback rings bear the name “Dark Side of the Moon.”