These days, watches can easily become too fussy and over-designed. Whether it’s an unnecessarily complicated, unwieldy aesthetic or a misjudgment about innovation, sometimes a replica watch just needs to be a watch. Tudor 41 black bay is a case in point. This is a timer, the first and most important thing is to tell time, be honest and clear. There is not much decoration, not much design, just a clean and simple design, a beautiful blue dial, solid construction quality and almost bulletproof movement. It’s the perfect model, and late last year, our fearless editor Felix Scholz had the good fortune to make it himself.
Now, you may be surprised to learn that not everyone wants a watch bedecked with bezels, chronographs, and other functionality to complicate the equation. Some people are just after a nice watch that tells the time, simple as that.
The Tudor Black Bay 41 is a watch you should definitely look into if that’s something that resonates with you. Introduced several years ago as a 36mm case with a black dial, the collection has since grown to include 32 and 41mm versions, and most recently blue dial options. Today we’re looking at the BB 41, with a blue dial.
Before we get to the major talking point — the new dial — it’s worth recapping the numerous charms of the 41. While the case strongly references the ‘other’ Black Bays — those tall, straight sides, the ‘big’ crown and proud, bevelled lugs — the most obvious difference is the bezel. Gone is the tool-like unidirectional dive bezel of the diver, the 24-hour scale of the GMT or the tachymeter of the Chrono. Instead, there’s a fixed bezel in polished steel. On paper it’s a minor change, but one that radically alters the look and feel of the watch. It’s still utilitarian, but in a very unassuming, everyday way. It’s a watch that will comfortably fly under the radar in most environments – personally, I think this is very good thing.
Don’t make the mistake of being understated and understated equals dull. The dial of this watch proves that it is not at all. Decked out with the same bold pattern of highly luminous dot-and-dash hour makers, together with those snowflake-tipped hour and seconds hands, the dial has that bold Black Bay look. But for me it’s the dial color and texture that seals the deal. Blue dials are hardly anything new, but the way replica rolex has treated this one is wonderful. First, it’s a very interesting blue: rich and deep, but not navy — for me, it is cobalt, with occasional flashes of dark blue in the light. Speaking of light, the end of the dial does add to its charm. It’s a shiny dial, meaning it’s full of vibrant, reflected and refracted light.
The blue-dialed Tudor Black Bay 41 is a well-designed, well-made fake watch that is happy to make a name for itself on its merits. Its job is simple — it tells the time, and only the time. It is a work watch that has achieved an unperturbed, largely restrained style.
You got to know that the Omega had something up its sleeve for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and it is actually a re-creation of the exceedingly cool Speedmaster BA145.0220, replete with the burgundy bezel and black onyx markers. Gold is customary for 50th anniversaries, and Omega replica went all out in creating a special edition that speaks directly to Speedmaster aficionados and of the era that created the Moonwatch.
Apollo 11 put mankind on the Moon in July of 1969, and later that year Omega produced a special edition of the Speedmaster at an appreciation dinner for the Apollo astronauts – the BA145.022. Limited to 1,014 pieces, the first two in the series were presented to President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. However, I had the plenty of pleasure of trying on an original BA145.022 at a fake Omega event in Houston and it’s a fake watch that has always stuck with me. It’s a 42mm Speedy in solid 18k yellow gold with a rich burgundy bezel, black onyx markers, and black varnished hands over a solid gold dial. It’s much gold, plenty of contrast, and a perfect match for that eye-catching bezel.
However, the replica Omega didn’t break the mold for this brand new limited edition, but they surely changed what went into it. Still 42mm wide and keeping steadfast to the overall theme of the BA145.022, the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition trades 18K yellow gold for a new Omega-exclusive 18k gold alloy that the brand is calling “Moonshine Gold.”
This model is surrounded by some commemorative text and two funny elements with various factors in glowing gold. The first is a small cutaway of Earth in gold and blue that shows the Americas. The second, seen across the caseback and rendered in correct
The two bodies are shown orbiting the movement and, while the whole “we took a piece of something particular and put it in the watch” thing is most definitely tired, I have gone back and forth on this use of lunar meteorite. While I only had several minutes with it, this Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a blast on wrist. It’s heavy, warm, and feels like a faithful re-telling of the real model. While it’s certainly a shame there isn’t a new crop of lunar-minded astronauts primed to earn one of these following a 50th-anniversary mission, the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a shining look back at a golden era in exploration and the race for the moon.
Commonly, silver cases are quiet unusual in watchmaking today while not unheard of. With much more durable white metals like steel and titanium are easily available, watchmakers make efforts to toward that direction typically, and then choose platinum or white gold to pursuit a higher-end execution. To some degree, it’s a pity that silver watches are relatively rare, since silver has a warmth all its own, and it tends to patina in a way that many watch enthusiast would appreciate, especially for those who are interested at vintage aesthetics.
The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, the first silver-cased wristwatch we are seeing from Zenith which announced at pre-Baselworld, and this new Pilot’s Type 20 comes with a dial made of brushed silver that matched the case perfectly. The dial also has an attractive pattern that is a direct allusion to vintage aviation. And the oversized numerals and hands, paired with the oversized crown, and large 45mm case size, making a really rugged-looking tool watch. There is an automatic Zenith Elite automatic movement inside.
I am very interested in the dial on this watch. Except being made from an unusual material like the case, the dial has a motif that I’ve never seen on any rolex replica watch before. At 45mm in diameter, this is a watch whose size is going to appeal to those who are hunting for a really bold pilot’s watch, which makes an immediate impression for us. The Zenith Flying Instruments decoration on the back of the case reminders us that Zenith has been making watches for aviation for a long time. Actually, Zenith holds the trademark for the Pilot name as it applies to replica watches.
Silver is a material commonly seen in jewelry but rarely seen in watchmaking, it will decidedly has its own character based on how it’s worn and the conditions that the wearer subjects it too. We’ve seen that bronze watches are in rise of popularity. For similar reasons, I suppose if we can witness more silver timepieces hitting the market in the near future too.
As for El Primero, 2019 is the 50th anniversary itself. People who are crazy about watches are really focused on what Zenith may or may not do in the timepieces field this year. This piece definitely not be included, to be honest, but it’s quiet a wonderful chronograph with an interesting case and dial.
Technically speaking, the replica Panerai was meaningful not just for its debut screen time, but for its build, as it exhibited the brand’s first ceramic bezel in a Luminor model, and it was the first anti-magnetic fake watch made by Panerai. It’s quite a handsome look – introducing a fashionable, industrial dive watch vibe to the austere, minimalist aesthetic that’s defined the Panerai design language for the last 60 years or so.
Some of those features repeat in the 1389, which could greatly be called an update to an existing reference, instead of a completely new one. Like the original, the 1389 is built with a titanium case and equipped with an iron dial, and a soft iron Faraday cage encasing its movement beneath, rendering it impervious to the many modern dangers to mechanical watches. Hell, it even comes on the same band as before – Panerai’s excellent 26 x 22mm accordion rubber dive strap that looks as though it was designed specifically for this reference all along.
Otherwise, the situation has changed since 2014. The applied hourly indices are now a razor’s edge thicker, the running small seconds hand at 9:00 is now a cheerful shade of blue, and the luminous application to the hands and indices is now two-tone – the minute hand glows blue to match the bezel pip, while all other markings glow green.
Most notably though, the new 1389 has been updated with the Panerai’s newest automatic caliber: the P.9010, which comes with the same double-barreled, 3-day power reserve as its in-house manufactured predecessor, but now adds an independently adjustable hour hand – a feature that’s becoming increasingly common on many modern Panerai models, and a boon for frequent fliers.
The one thing that remains the same between the 389 and the 1389, is that this is still, a very big watch at 47mm. Yes, it’s rather lighter than a comparable 47mm PAM00372 in stainless steel, but the weight savings do little to reduce the watch’s visual presence, which threatens to overwhelm at most angles. At present, like most Panerai fake models, the 1389 does have greatly downward-turned lugs, and a considerably conservative lug-to-lug measurement. But neither of those amends are quite enough to overcome the wearing limitations for all but those who’ve never skipped ‘arm day.’
That said, if you love the undeniably cool aesthetic of the 1389, there’s always the more traditionally-sized 42mm PAM682, but you miss out on the anti-magnetic capabilities and ceramic bezel, together with the ability for the dial to double as a serving plate in a pinch. It’s funny to say that it’s clear that the rest of the industry has been responding to a return to smaller sizes, down from the 45 and 47mm replica watches that once dominated fake Panerai’s modern collection.
Now comes the October, and you know what that stands for: fall foliage, sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and auction catalogues. We’ve all been warmly taking part in this season’s auctions – partly because the “you-know-what” is coming up for auction, but also because it’s always nice to peruse the crisp pages of a freshly printed catalogue, and see what’s up. Some seasons are more exciting than others, and this fall’s selection has definitely exceeded expectations. Here are two examples of replica Rolex watches that I had literally never heard of before coming across them this week.
To begin with, we have the Phillips Watch Auction, Winning Icons, on Thursday, October 26th. This is the first Phillips watch auction to take place in New York, and the central lot is, you guessed it, Paul Newman’s Paul Newman. But there are 49 other lots left to chase – all special in their own way, but one that really sticks out is a two-tone Rolex
This two-tone 6265/3 was a custom piece made for Bruce J. Leven, a Seattle-based entrepreneur and gentleman racing legend, who became successful with his waste management company, Bayside Disposal. Leven was famous in the racing circles, and more than held his own as driver, competing at the top level. This, combined with his love of Porsches, soon translated into owning the Bayside Disposal Racing Team.
His wish was granted, and here it is: a possibly special two-tone 6265/3 with box, papers, service papers, and service sticker on the caseback. The 6265 was produced from 1971 to 1988, in yellow gold or stainless steel (with a couple of wild cards in between). It’s well-known for its steel or gold bezel, and for having screw-down pushers. The 6265 also has been known to feature the Paul Newman dial, though most of those have been put in 6263 cases at this point.
In Christie’s November sale we have yet another strange affair. OK, this one actually made me question my complete existence in this world of fake rolex watches, because it is something that I have genuinely never seen before. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought, “Wait, is that a Sub? Coming with a day window and on a President’s bracelet?”
This was another cool and totally surprising Rolex replica – a rare white gold Submariner. This crazy replica watch was sold at Christie’s earlier this year and while most of my colleagues recoiled at the sight of it, I fell head over heels for this unique Sub.
Hey, there’s something really interesting here. We have the second “found in a drawer” Omega replica to surpass the $100k mark in a little over a week. It sold with good prices through Live Auctioneers, which represented Flannery’s Estate Services in the digital auction.
There’s something excited about this, though. We noticed that bidding went quite affordable on this one, sans buyer’s premium, though now it seems to have reverted before the premium, giving us the final nice price. I have reached out to Flannery’s Estate Services multiple times to try to get more information here, and neither my email nor my phone calls have been returned. I will update this story if we learn any more.
The fake watch in question is a fake Omega Speedmaster, made between 1959 and 1962, which was the first Speedy to come exclusively with the black bezel that served as a major design turning point toward the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. Incidentally, though a special model may not have touched down on the lunar surface, as a matter of fact, it did go up into space, in 1962, on the wrist of Astronaut Wally Schirra. It was Schirra’s personal chronograph, not official issues.
Bidding started at just $250, with a funny estimate of $500 to $1,000. As you can see, the watch did not fly under the radar and the end results were in a different ballpark.
The replica watch that sold last week was this guy over here, which broke the $275,000 mark at Bukowski’s Auction House in Sweden. That’s a record for the Ref. CK 2915-1 “Broad Arrow,” the first Speedmaster and a grail for Speedy lovers.
The real version of this model showed a price with buyer’s premium of $110,700. We spoke yesterday to Marianne Flannery, of Flannery’s Estate Services, who told me that the actual price of this Speedmaster, including buyer’s premium, was $103,500. Because the winning bidder was in-room in at the physical sale in Upstate New York, she said, the actual buyer’s premium was 15%, not the 23% that is customarily charged to bidders using the online Live Auctioneers platform. She added that the bids escalated before premium due to “unverified” bidders who registered with Live Auctioneers during the sale itself.
Panerai Watches are always working so hard while making preparations for the sale of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona and other amazing pieces in its New York “Winning Icons” sale next month. The auction house, which is quickly becoming a contender for the title of top collector watch auctioneer, has another collection of impressive replica watches slated to cross the block.
While the exquisite Patek Philippes are bound to get most of the attention, what caught our eye was a duo of ultra-rare fake Panerai models from the ’40s and ’50s that are some of the most historic and great Panerais ever sold. The estimates look low on these beauties, so if it’s an indication that the market for antique Panerais is softening, we’d say it won’t last and savvy Panerai collectors should get busy with the auction paddle – not least because it may be years before watches like these become available again.
The big draw is a replica Panerai Luminor manufactured circa 1955. Different from the newest releases of the fake Panerai collection these historical watches are connected to one giant Swiss watchmaker. Like all Panerais from this early era, it features a movement and case by Rolex. And this example is crucial important because it was formerly owned by Admiral Gino Birindelli, a true hero of the Italian Royal Navy, which originally commissioned the Luminor for its elite Decima MAS underwater commandos. Admiral Birindelli was a commander of the Decima MAS during World War II, was later made chief of the fleet of the Italian Navy and received the Gold medal of military valor among other distinctions. He himself rode the famous manned torpedoes that did such damage to the British Navy during the war.
Nearly as important and appealing is an even older Panerai, this stainless steel Radiomir-style model is known as a “Type C” and features longer fixed lugs, and an inside caseback signed Rolex S.A., along with the reference number and serial number. There are only 211 known examples of the model. There has been some evidence advising Panerai did this deliberately this so that any commandos captured by the enemy would not have their origin betrayed by their wristwatch. We have to mention it again that this fake has an extremely interesting provenance, and was formerly owned by combat swimmer Helmut Rösel, who was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit. The multimillion-dollar Pateks may be more valuable but there’s nothing cooler than this pair of Panerais.
The replica Rolex GMT-Master was made particularly for Pan-Am Airlines, after the company applied a reliable watch that was capable of displaying multiple time zones at the same time – for use on transatlantic flights. By adding a 24-hour hand and a rotating bezel with 24-hour markings, pilots could quickly reference another time zone by simply switching the bezel and using the 24-hour hand as an indicator.
The fake Rolex released an update to their GMT-Master line with the new model in 1959. In addition to a new movement and a slightly re-designed dial, the most obvious difference was the addition of crown guards to the case of the fake watch. Initially, the watch had a case with pointed crown guards; however around the mid-1960s, Rolex fake watch changed the design to the more traditional crown guard shape that can be found on later renditions of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II lines of replica watches.
Early examples of the watches were fitted with gloss dials, small 24-hour hands, and Rolex’s Caliber 1565 movement, while later examples received matte dials, large 24-hour hands, and the Caliber 1575 movement. What’s more, while the GMT-Master was originally fitted with a red and blue bezel insert – to match the company colors of Pan-Am Airlines – Rolex watch introduced the option of an entirely black bezel insert during the early 1970s.
These various changes were not all implemented uniformly; and since Rolex manufactured the fake GMT-Master for over two decades until production ceased in 1980, surviving examples of the watch can be found with a wide variety of different dial, case, bezel, handset, and bracelet variations. These numerous yet subtle differences, along with the overall condition of the watch, can be responsible for great differences in resale value for seemingly very similar watches.
While the fake Rolex’s latest iteration of the GMT-Master has received a large, Triplock winding crown to match many of their other sport watch lines, the GMT-Master was fitted with a smaller, Twinlock crown that was similar in size to those found on the Datejust and Day-Date watches. The superior water resistance of the Triplock crown was initially not deemed necessary for a pilot’s watch.
Given that GMT-Master is a vintage watch, brand-new examples have been unavailable through authorized dealers for several decades. While the pre-owned market is currently the only place to find a model like this, examples can still be found in pristine and unworn condition, with all of their original boxes and packaging materials. Due to its remarkably long production run and the numerous variations in dials, hands, movements, bracelets, and bezel inserts that were fitted to the rolex replica GMT-Master, prices can range surprisingly depending on the individual watch and its overall condition.