Those who hope that the coronavirus pandemic will cause the price bubble for Rolex’s favorite ‘Unicorn’ watch to pop will have to wait a little longer.
Fresh data shared exclusively with WatchPro from secondary market specialist Chronext indicates that, while there was a drop in prices in the early days of the pandemic, prices have rebounded in some cases spiked as it has become clear that pent-up demand would overwhelm supply due to the mothballing of manufacturing facilities during the lockdown in Switzerland.
A theory doing the rounds in the early weeks of the pandemic was that trade prices were softening as professional dealers rushed to sell and a buyers’ market briefly emerged. “That was the case for the first two weeks of March,” agrees Philipp Man, co-founder, and CEO of CHRONEXT.
“But it has normalized again because demand has normalized. Buying is competitive and customers have options for where they sell their best replica watches on timnodar.com. We want CHRONEXT to be their first choice, so we have to be fair with our pricing. At the moment, you will probably get the same price, potentially even higher than pre-Corona, for many of the unicorn watches,” he adds.
“If you take a close look at the white panda dial Daytona, there has been no change to the rising price trend. It is going up and up,” Mr. Man suggests.
Rolex’s GMT Master II, with a Pepsi dial, had a similar, but less dramatic, rollercoaster ride. The replica watch retails for £7,650 in official stock stores but sells for more than £14,000 on the secondary market. By the end of March, the pandemic price had fallen by about £1,000 but has since returned to pre-COVID levels.
Like tool watches, sports watches are designed to focus on readability, strength, and elasticity, often with additional features to help perform a specific task or operate in a specific environment. Timetables, for example, meet the standard because they can time, as do diving copy watches, which are designed with a high level of water resistance and are often equipped with rotating timing bezels.
These days, there is actually a rather broad description attached to the phrase ‘sports watch’ and it tends to encompass any overtly robust piece or one that is not visibly dressy. That being said, some of the most well-known and admired examples are those which have a unique aesthetic versatility and can be worn with anything from a t-shirt and jeans to a full-on tuxedo.
The sports watch genre is one that really came to the fore during the 1950s and one which has remained extremely popular ever since. Omega can claim much of the praise for promoting and maintaining that esteem, with a host of models such as the Omega Seamaster and Speedmaster that captured the imagination and which have become legendary in the industry.
Omega’s relationship with the world of sports goes back to the turn of the 20th century. The brand’s range of replica Rolex watches was the first option for many of the sanctioned sporting events throughout Switzerland, and Omega’s history as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games dates all the way back to 1932.
In 1948, Omega was responsible for introducing electronic timing to the event, linking one of their timepieces to a remotely operated camera, and recording the first-ever photo finish during the 100m at the London games. That was also the year that saw Omega make a name that has since gone on to become one of the most famous of them all.
The original model, the CK2518 was actually based on the watches the brand had supplied to airmen during WWII, a civilian version of the CK2129. It was a simple, neat, time-only piece that proved to be a hit with the public and the first model used a rubber O-ring gasket to improve water resistance. Still, it’s a far cry from the next generation of replica watches being dubbed masters of the Sea. It is one of three watches that have laid the foundation for the success of the Omega generation.
The second time zone can be displayed in a variety of ways, providing a wide range of choices for watch designers. A watch with a second-time zone can be the center of attention and announce loudly that its owner is a globe-trotter. However, the attached display can also be carefully hidden, visible only when the wearer commands it to appear. Visually readable 12-hour dials are available as explicit 24-hour dials and various non-traditional displays. The target group plays an important role because the second time zone can provide valuable services to very different types of people.
Pilots, who frequently land in different countries, use UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) exclusively for radio communications, flight plans, and logbooks. A watch with a second-time zone is very helpful to pilots. Not surprisingly, some replica watches have been developed specifically for this purpose, in the same style as traditional pilot watches.
The best famous representative of this genre is surely the Rolex GMT-Master, developed in 1955 in response to a list of requirements specified by Pan American World Airways. At that time, the distinctive rotatable bezel was the only option for setting the time in the second zone because the 12-hour and 24-hour hands could not be reset independently. The position of the 12-hour hand could be reset in one-hour increments only after 1982 when Rolex introduced a new movement. The time in a third zone could also be shown by rotating the bezel to correspond with the 24-hour hand, but this meant that the time in the second zone couldn’t be read until the bezel was returned to its original position.
Tudor, a fake Rolex’s sister brand, started using the same color scheme on the Black Bay GMT in 2018 and floats along with the retro wave, while Rolex replica has been building its classic for more than half a century with only minor visual modifications.
Arguably the most eye-catching and original version is the one that Rolex offers with a distinctive blue-and-red 24-hour scale. This colorful model, which its fans have nicknamed “Pepsi,” shows the daytime hours from 6 am to 6 pm in red and the nighttime hours in blue. In the past, this color scheme was used to quickly distinguish between day and night time.
Tissot watches offer a good deal at every price point, especially its mechanical model. On the secondary market, most models are priced under $1,600 and represent a serious value proposition, perhaps the first option for those who want an affordable mechanical watch from a well-known Swiss luxury goods maker.
Since Tissot is part of the greater Swatch Group, the brand has consistent and reliable access to ETA movements. At this price point, having a genuine ETA mechanical chronograph movement is a serious positive. Used in countless luxury watches from a large variety of manufacturers, ETA calibers are the gold-standard for Swiss-made generic movements, and they are frequently used in other replica watches that cost several times the price of Tissot’s various chronograph models.
The Tissot PRS 516 is the brand’s line of sporty chronographs that draw their design inspiration from 1960s race cars. While Tissot offers a big assortment of other chronographs in their more classically styled collections, the PRS 516 series is the go-to choice for those that want a sports watch.
Tissot excels at classically styled timepieces, but the brand’s archives also are home to some truly particular designs that you won’t find anywhere else. What’s more, much like most of Tissot’s watches, nearly everything you are likely to encounter will be priced significantly below $5,000, meaning that you can concentrate on finding something that will make you happy, instead of just something that will come in under budget.
The Tissot Heritage Navigator is a modern-day recreation of a historic model from 1953, which was first launched to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. The fake watch’s signature feature is a central world time disc with city names to represent the different time zones. Although the original model from the 1950s was only 36mm in diameter, the new version has a 43mm shell diameter, greatly increasing space and readability. This is especially useful when referring to various city names during use as a world time watch.
When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in 1969 to start their trip to land the first humans on the Moon, the three astronauts were decorated with NASA-issued Omega Speedmaster Professional chronographs.
Decades ago, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface, quickly followed by Buzz Aldrin – Michael Collins flew the Command Module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while his two crew members were on the lunar surface. And when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon, he had his Omega Speedmaster Professional strapped to the exterior of his spacesuit. Ever since then, the Speedmaster became known around the world as the “Moonwatch.”
However, since the Speedmaster is now such a varied collection of different watches, the models famous as Moon watches are the direct descendants of the replica watches worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts. Like their predecessors, the modern Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch models are stainless steel chronographs with 42mm cases, black tachymeter bezels, black dials, and hand-wound movements. The cases of the Moonwatch professionals are asymmetric, featured by twisted lugs and crown guards.
Today, Omega gives the option of Hesalite crystals or modern scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, along with the chance of a matching steel bracelet or black leather strap. Moreover, those Moonwatch models with sapphire crystals on the dial-side also have sapphire on the display case back for a view of the movement inside. Current production Moon watches run on Caliber 1861, which is distinguished from the original Caliber 321 that powered the original Speedmaster Professional fake watches that went to the moon.
We will find a quick rundown of the main design specs between the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch vs. Speedmaster ’57 next time. These specs apply to the regular-production models and not the unique limited-edition versions.
After the French revolution, Abraham-Louis Breguet was the chief watchmaker of the French empire. At that time, the focus of his life was on accurate timing. The watch embodies that philosophy, having founded the Breguet brand some 235 years ago.
Breguet 7137 is part of the Classique collection, which incorporates multiple engine rotation iterations throughout the dial. Engine turning is the painstaking art of creating patterns on metal, leading to advanced decorative finishes in Breguet, which is a completely hand-crafted affair.
When it comes to precision and design, we find a silicon balance spring, open barrel, and offset rotor. The movement, automatic caliber 502.3, is manually decorated. The movement itself is very thin, and the dial contains a moon phase, an age indicator, a power reserve indicator, and a date indicator.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Breguet Classique 7137 was technically forward-looking but historically respected, inspired by the no. 5 pocket watch and the Breguet replica watches, which moved from perpetual motion to dial and groove cases. Each component, from dial layout to case and movement design, exudes all the elements of the Breguet.
My father has a Breguet dress watch, which he bought 35 years ago. His watch was timed, about 34 millimeters, small by modern standards. The reason I bring it up is the fact that, while there are huge differences in size, movement and complication, if you put my father’s watch next to this one, you will fully understand the basis of Breguet’s design and the amazing quality that emanates from hand-made dials. There is a measure of consistency that is not common in the tabulation industry.
The watch’s technological innovations match the old-school craftsmanship and deliver them in an elegant, dare I say classic, packaging. The engine that turns on the dial has three variations: Panier maille (basket weaving) for the energy reserve display, Damier(checkerboard) for the date display, and colors de Paris (hobnailing) for the main part of the dial.
In a very wearable 39mm, Breguet has been able to accommodate quite a bit of information onto the dial. As mentioned earlier, the dial itself is intended to evoke the feeling of a pocket watch. Pocket watches are called pocket fake watches for a reason. More than 200 years ago, it was crazy to wear them on your wrist. The fact that Breguet is able to translate a dial design to fit a far different clock, and to do so in a balanced and unobtrusive way, is quite impressive. Can they put it all in a box that some people think is the “sweet spot”? Well, that’s just showing off.
Each watch has a separate number (on the dial) and signature. The movement is decorated with ccôtes de Genève, and the dial has an always recognizable open style Breguet handset. The Classique 7137 comes in two variations: white gold with a blue dial and a blue belt or rose gold with a silver-gold dial and a brown belt.
Almost all modern Rolex watches will be named after the “oyster forever replica watch”, but the Rolex portfolio actually consists of two main lines: the professional and the classic. The watch has a waterproof oyster shell, which is different from the Cellini line of pure skirt watches. Professional collections may contain the most easily recognizable names, tool models such as submarines, Daytona, and GMT-master. Each was (and still is) designed to do a specific job, whether it was recording dive times, detour times, or time in other countries.
The classic series also has some heavyweights, such as day-date, the ultimate expression of prestige and achievement, and date-just, an iconic all-rounder who is often seen as a bridge between the two groups. In general, the classic watch is the simplest, both aesthetically and in terms of complexity. The sky dweller’s wonderful almanac and Greenwich mean time features can’t stand the rest of the range being relatively conservative in style and quite modest in features. One of the most humble, low-key is the Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch.
Every watch made by fake Rolex (again ignoring the Cellini line) is technically an oyster forever. The brand name comes from oyster shells, which are at least 100 meters waterproof. The brand developed an automatic winding sport in the 1930s and named it Perpetual. So what we usually call a “Marine” is actually officially known as the Rolex oyster permanent Marine.
However, there has always been a separate collection of watches, where everything irrelevant has been stripped down to three hands telling the time, and nothing as unusual as a display of dates. This is the official Rolex oyster forever line, the brand’s cheapest and arguably the most versatile product.
Like its close cousin Datejust, the modern oyster forever collection is designed to appeal to as many people and as many flavors as possible. It comes in five sizes, starting at 26mm, making it the smallest watch ever made by Rolex. In addition, 31mm, 34mm, 36mm and a relatively new version (2015) are available in 39mm sizes.
Tracing its long history, you’ll find a handful of precious metal versions of 9k, 14k, and 18k gold, in yellow and pink. It was also one of the first to be released as a Rolex. Rolex is the brand’s own combination of gold and steel. Today, these cheap replica watches are made of forged stainless steel, underscoring Oyster Perpetual’s longstanding position as the first choice for entry-level watches.
It’s that time of the week again and you’re in luck as it’s one of the best vintage fake watch hunting weeks in recent memory. There are a number of unconventional clocks in this week’s roundup, including a rare Rolex pocket watch, a large “Cornavin” with a date, and a jaeger-LeCoultre. The jaeger-LeCoultre watch is not really a replica watch at all, but a camera. To make sure we’re grounded in reality, there’s a rare golden permanent oyster that was one of the unsuccessful competitors in NASA’s moon observation. Let’s get started.
Our next watch this week is different from most of the fake watches you’ve seen in this column because it’s not a wristwatch. While it goes without saying that watches no longer enjoy the widespread prestige they once did, I have always believed that replica watches were the ultimate choice for collectors looking for real precision machinery. If your only interest as a collector is acquiring and appreciating fine and complex things, and you don’t necessarily feel the need to bend something from your wrist every day, there are some very good deals. No kidding, there are perpetual calendars and minute hands available for less than 10,000 marks. As I said, these are very good deals.
The watch we are talking about today, however, is not as complicated as you might think, although one might say it was designed by Rolex, who was not known for making complicated things. When its movement shows time alone, complexity enters the equation through a unique “broken table” mechanism that hides and displays the dial. Simply press the pusher found in the crown and watch the two blades retract to show the current time.
If you’ve never seen a Rolex replica watch like this before, that’s because this particular reference is very rare. So far, I’ve only encountered one other example, which is quite attractive to finish with a monogram blade, and an ouroboros carving around the dial open. While this fake watch is not the example we discussed, you can see a picture of how it works, showing this fascinating complex feature. I can only guess where the watch ended up, though I would love to see it in a major Rolex collection or in the hands of pocket watch collectors who understand its unique meaning.
If you’re reading this site, or if you’ve ever set foot in an omega retailer, you probably know how the super became the moon watch we know today. If you’re reading this column, you may also realize that speed isn’t the only competitor in the race, and NASA has tested several other timers. Of all the works in this collection, it is fair to say that the next one is the most impressive, perhaps more so than the superpowers themselves — though that is just my opinion.
Aesthetically, there is nothing more important to a watch than the dial. In addition to being responsible for displaying all relevant information, it gives the timer its own characteristics. Get it wrong and the watch, no matter how good it is in other ways, will probably not find an audience.
As important as the face is to a contemporary model, they are, if anything, even more, critical with vintage pieces. Experts reckon anywhere between 80%-90% of the value of classic replica watches resides in the condition of its dial. Even the smallest differences can make a difference of thousands of dollars.
Interestingly, for companies like Rolex, it was only in 2000 that they introduced their own dial internally. That was the year they acquired the dedicated manufacturer, or carrier, Beyeler, one of a number of firms the brand had contracted to make their dials over the years.
As you would expect, crafting such an important part of the watch is a highly involved mix of science and art. Read on below to find out just what it takes. With just a handful of exceptions, all of Rolex’s dials are made from brass. Strong, hardwearing, and easily machinable, it is the perfect material for the job.
If it is to be a simple block colored face, which is achieved with a lacquer coating. For metallic shades, like gold, silver, or rhodium, the blanks are put through an electroplating process. And for some colors, PVD or Physical Vapor Deposition is also used.
If there is to be a decorative pattern added, Rolex employs a rotary pantograph. The machine carves out the desired form on a big model of the finished dial, and the design is transferred mechanically onto the real thing sitting alongside a diamond-tipped engraving tool. The brand has five such devices that are old enough to be called antiques and updated with the latest computerized modules.
The only time fake Rolex departs from using brass is on some of the very particular and rare dials. Anyone who is destined to be paved with gemstones is made from 18k yellow gold, as the softer metal makes setting easier. Moreover, the men’s models with meteorite dials have no need for the underlying brass base, as they are basically a thin sheet of iron. Strangely, on the ladies’ meteor models, a plate is used, with the material applied on top.
Unexpectedly, there was some big news on the Associated Press website this week. What you see now is a traditional Royal Oak box-shaped Audemars Piguet Supersonnerie. Originally announced as the Royal Oak Supersonnerie concept back in 2014, the Supersonnerie is a groundbreaking bell-ringing watch with an unusual distinction, actually, compared to. The voice at wrist key Supersonnerie loud sound gong soundboard mounted by the case back opening.
Following the launch of the first Supersonnerie, the replica Audemars Piguet came with a one cased up in the platinum Jules Audemars case that featured a striking blue dial. Then came this year’s CODE 11:59 Minute Repeater, which just yesterday took home the Men’s Complication prize at the Geneva Grand Prix.
The replica watch we’re looking at today is a 20-piece limited edition in titanium with a blue Grande Tappisserie dial. It has a matching titanium bracelet. According to the Associated Press website, the product is only available at Japanese retailer Yoshida department store. A very similar platinum dial, also black, is also unique to Yoshida, and only 20 are allowed, also appearing on the Associated Press website. It was one that was listed as “royal oak relay Supersonnerie.”Both versions are actually minute Repeaters, powered by a manually wound AP caliber 2959, providing a 72-hour power reserve. These soft launches follow a similar announcement recently by Stephen about the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramics.
In terms of pure desire, these must be the hottest Supersonneries so far. The original version had a huge following, and Jules Oldman certainly had it. The version in the Code 11:59 collection received one of watchmaking’s highest honors in winning the GPHG’s Men’s Complication prize. Still, this is replica AP, so quite naturally, people are going to want their Royal Oak fix. It’s as interesting that AP waited to come with a conventional Royal Oak version of its groundbreaking minute repeater as it is that they released it in such a low-key way, but now that it’s here, I can imagine that many collectors are going to want one. The Audemars Piguet site lists them as “Price Upon Request,” I also want to know their price. I’ll update the story as soon as I know.