Timeless Luxury Watches is proud to announce our first collaboration with one of our all-time favorite watch companies, Zenith. As much or more than any other watch company in the world, Zenith is known for its chronographs, so deciding to make the alligator straps Zenith Chronomaster Heritage Limited Edition fake watches, using their legendary El Primero automatic movement, was an easy choice.
Within Zenith’s extensive portfolio of chronographs, however, the challenge was to create something that was true to the El Primero’s history without duplicating Zenith’s portfolio. To do that, we went back to the classic A273, one of Zenith’s dressiest interpretations of a chronograph.
To recapture its understated appeal, we created a similar, yet unique, dial. As always, we have included a blue element to our limited edition’s sub-dial and seconds hands, just like the A273 had. However, while both use a sunburst metallic dial, our new Zenith Chronomaster Heritage Limited Edition moves away from the original’s silver in favor of a subtle champagne color. We think that this dial color offers a very pleasant contrast with the blued hands. We’re also quite fond of no-date watches at Timeless, so it should be no surprise that, like the original, the Zenith Timeless Chronomaster Heritage features a simple, chronograph-only layout.
While perfecting the dial was challenging, choosing the case was not. The obvious case to utilize from Zenith’s modern portfolio was the Heritage 146 for its strong resemblance to the original. The 146’s lugs are bolder and more contemporary, but the versatile 38mm size was ideal for our purposes and the pushers matched its vintage style perfectly. However, the crown was thicker than what we were looking for, so instead we opted for a somewhat thinner and more understated crown which better contributed to its dressy look.
We’re also pleased to offer three different straps, all priced identically, on the new Zenith Chronomaster Heritage Limited Edition. Collectors can choose between brown, black, and blue straps, as well as three different lengths. That optionality makes this a watch to perfectly fit and match every buyer, right out of the box.
The silver dial Zenith Chronomaster Heritage Limited Edition copy watches will be our smallest run of a limited edition yet, with only 25 pieces being made.
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No watch company understands brand partnerships and how to use them quite as well as Hublot. Obviously, not everyone is going to appreciate these collaborations that span a wide range of products, interests, personalities, and activities. But certain combinations will resonate with certain consumers in a way that not much else does. Hublot’s association with fellow LVMH brand Berluti will likely go right over the heads of watch lovers who don’t get menswear. But for fans of Paris-based Berluti, which is known for leather footwear, the release of the new automatic movement Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto copy watches will make a lot of sense.The new black or brown calf-skin straps Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto fake watches build upon the success of last year’s Classic Fusion Berluti watch. And like last year’s model, the new watches use Berluti’s distinctive patinated leathers for the straps as well as the dials, creating an effect of the strap continuing right through the watch for a very cohesive look.
Two models will be offered, one in 18k King Gold with a brown leather strap, and the other in black ceramic with a black leather strap. Case diameter is 45mm, and the case design is unchanged from the non-limited edition Classic Fusion Chronograph watches. In other words, the traits that define the Classic Fusion Chronograph case, like the H-shaped screws, integrated lugs, and differing finishes on the case, are all intact. Water resistance is rated at 50m.
The 18k King Gold model will get a brown strap and dial while the black ceramic model will get a black strap and dial – both are made using Berluti’s Venezia leather. The hues of the leather are achieved by using a special tanning technique, and the dial’s leather is specially treated to remove all moisture before it is cased. The Hublot logo as well as the hour markers on the dial are all embossed onto the leather.
Powering the watch is the trusty HUB1143, Hublot’s basic self-winding chronograph movement. It’s no integrated chronograph movement, but instead uses an ETA base and a chronograph module from Dubois Dépraz. Nevertheless, it runs at a thoroughly modern 4Hz and provides a power reserve of 42 hours, so even though it isn’t an in-house made and integrated chronograph movement, I don’t think that many will complain about its functionality.
The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto watches will come in a large presentation box that is lined with the Berluti’s Venezia leather. And inside, apart from the watch, owners will find wax and brushes to help keep their straps in tip-top condition.
At the end of the day, the new Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto watch is, very much like its predecessor – a polarizing watch. People who “get it” will appreciate its design and crafts, while people who don’t will wonder what on earth Hublot is thinking. I can’t say that I’m into menswear or shoes in particular, but I can definitely appreciate the spirit behind these new replica fantastic watches and their unique and rather attractive looks. The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto in 18k King Gold will be limited to 250 pieces.
At SIHH 2017, Swiss Audemars Piguet celebrated color – which is clearly the focus for these versions of the popular colorful rubber straps Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver 15710ST copy watches. The independent brand’s offerings are light on novelty but rich in hue, and known as the “Funky Colour Editions.” As such, the company is likely doing what is smart this year as they continue to navigate uncertain economic waters where pouring R&D money into totally new products can be seen as a bit unwise. Despite understanding this fact of necessary prudence, it makes being a watch blogger tough since we are always hungry for annual “newness.” With that said, Audemars Piguet continues to remind myself and colleagues that our desire for “all things Royal Oak” is by no means a new feeling.
The small calendar Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver fake watches are probably the Audemars Piguet I’d want to next own. I developed a fondness for it back in 2010 when the Royal Oak Offshore Diver was first introduced. Since then, Audemars Piguet has released a number of versions in various case materials ranging from steel to forged carbon, and ceramic (see them all in our Royal Oak Offshore topic page or search “Audemars Diver” on aBlogtoWatch). For 2017, the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver watches are all in steel, but celebrate a host of bold visual styles which echo other products already produced by the brand, as well as a color theme which you can find in other new-for-2017 Audemars Piguet watches such as the much more expensive Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Selfwinding Limited Edition pieces.
Not that any of these watches are inexpensive, but if you are going to opt for a sporty timepiece in mostly electric green, my suspicion is that spending circa $20,000 (the Royal Oak Offshore Diver) feels a bit more appropriate for something that isn’t going to be a daily wear as compared to circa $300,000 for a pure collector’s piece (the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Selfwinding Limited Edition). Most people will likely err on the more conservative side and opt for the same watches in more “classic” colors offered by Audemars Piguet. Then again, if you live a lifestyle where you can pull-off one of these colorful Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Divers as your daily wear, then more power to you.
Last year at SIHH 2016, Audemars Piguet toyed with the notion of dressing the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in flashy colors when they introduced the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph. What I found to be interesting is that they debuted the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph (hands-on here) exclusively in wild colors such as yellow, orange, blue, and green… without a model that would be considered a bit more conservative. That was an interesting move, for sure. As of now, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph still isn’t available in anything but the bold colors.
I was further inspired by Audemars Piguet and the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph when thinking about my recent article on things I’d like to see more of and less of from the watch industry in 2017 and discussing my hope for more bold colors in watches by major brands. It looks like Audemars Piguet shares my enthusiasm. There are five “vibrant” Funky Colour Edition styles of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver to choose from this year including the reference 15710ST.OO.A027CA.01 in dark blue, 15710ST.OO.A070CA.01 in bright orange, 15710ST.OO.A051CA.01 in acid yellow, 15710ST.OO.A038CA.01 in lime green, and the 15710ST.OO.A010CA.01 in white. The latter is extremely similar in design to the white ceramic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver from 2014.
Each of the models comes in a finely finished 42mm-wide steel case that is water resistant to 300 meters. A hallmark design element of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is the inner rotating timing bezel which is operated by the crown located at 10 o’clock. It appears that the blue-colored crowns are coated in vulcanized rubber. Attached to the cases are extremely high-quality rubber Royal Oak Offshore tapering straps in colors to match the bold hues of the watches. Interestingly, blue is the common color across all these new models, and in order to provide a more “safely conservative” option, Audemars Piguet includes an extra blue-colored strap with each watch. The model that already comes on a blue strap gets an extra yellow strap to go with it. That 15710ST.OO.A027CA.01 piece might actually be the coolest model when on the yellow strap.
The dials are what you’d expect, save for the new colors. The Mega Tapisserie face is fitted with 18k white gold bold hour markers and very legible matching hands. The white and blue dials are likely to be the most calming to look at over long periods of time, while the green, orange, and yellow ones might be prone to causing “funky headaches” if you aren’t in the right mood to glance at such bold colors all the time.
Inside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver is the Audemars Piguet caliber 3120 automatic movement. It operates at 3Hz (21,600bph) with a power reserve of 60 hours. These always have a lovely degree of finishing and decoration, and Audemars Piguet has maintained the 300m water-resistance while offering a sapphire crystal display caseback with a view of the movement and engraved 22k gold rotor.
If you are an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak fan and already have a few conservatively-colored Audemars Piguet models in your collection then adding one of these Funky Colour Editions is likely what Audemars Piguet feels you might want to do. The brand’s current strategy is clearly focused on the popularity of the Royal Oak, and part of that means selling more models to existing customers. All these cheap fake watches are ready for you to try .
Panerai returns once more to what they call “Our Sea.” The blue dial Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716 (PAM00716) fake watches are surprise, mid-2017 release from Officine Panerai that actually harkens back to not only its pre-Richemont days, but also to the brand’s first chronograph, produced during World War II…or some time after.
Historically, Mare Nostrum stood for “Our Sea” in Latin and it was the Roman’s name for the Mediterranean Sea. However, if you are more on-point with the history of Panerai than that of the world, you’ll know that Mare Nostrum was the name of the company’s first chronograph, reportedly designed for deck officers in the Italian Navy.
As you would imagine, given the reputation of mid-20th century Panerai, and the appalling circumstances of World War II, the original Mare Nostrum prototype was a proper monstrum of a watch. For starters, it measured some 52mm wide, and was named Mare Nostrum after the phrase first used by the Romans – and, well, later first revived by Italian nationalists following the 1861 unification of Italy and then by the fascists of World War II. As such, the origins of the name “Mare Nostrum” can be traced back to the era of the expanding Roman Empire, but one really need not look back that far in time to have a clue as to why it was named as such in the Italy of the early 1940s.
Funnily enough, most sources say that the 1943 prototype of the Mare Nostrum never made it into production due to the turmoils of the war – sounds like a lazy explanation, since at what other time than during war would a watch designed specifically for the military be of any real use? Anyhow, Panerai also produced other devices under the name Mare Nostrum – so while they weren’t too keen on the watch, they were keen on the name, it seems. Other Panerai Mare Nostrum items included delay and timing devices for torpedoes and some other explosives used by the Italian army during WWII – just check out that impressive looking Mare Nostrum chronograph boasting a Minerva caliber and some nifty anti-vibration devices.
Add to all this research that Mr. Jose Pereztroika of perezcope.com has conducted – read that here – and you’ll learn that the Mare Nostrum’s case design actually is much closer to what Panerai had been doing in the mid-1950s, rather than in the early ’40s. Panerai has a fairly poorly documented history and the Mare Nostrum is a most fitting example – there is literally one actual detailed image from the ’50s, the one that you see further above, and that’s about it. Still, the Mare Nostrum has definitely existed and it is for everyone to decide how much weight they give to the fact of whether or not Italian navy commanders were rocking it during World War II.
Worry not, though, if you thought this new release was going to be as massive as that from some 74 years ago, or its 52mm tribute-pieces from 2010 and 2015. The Arabic numerals Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716 copy watches measure just 42mm wide. This is not a new-found thing either. There were some limited editions produced in Panerai’s pre-Vendome era. This, by the way, essentially means pre-Richemont (just the names have changed, but nothing else). On a side note, “pre-V” is probably used so much because Panerai, auctioneers and fans of the brand likely much prefer calling it the obscure “pre-Vendome” rather than “pre-Richemont” that mere mortal watch enthusiasts could understand.
Back on topic: back in the mid-90s, Panerai introduced the reference 5218-301/A, a 42mm-wide piece that is remarkably close in its appearance to this new Panerai Mare Nostrum PAM716. It was also followed by two Slytech pieces, in harmony with Panerai’s romance reaching its climax with actor Sylvester Stallone – who, in truth, has done a great deal by helping expose the then-largely-unknown brand, and who remains a fan of Panerai to this day. This neatly leads us to the new-ish Panerai Mare Nostrum Chronograph PAM716, which is equipped with a 42mm-wide, 50 meter water resistant case in stainless steel, a blue dial with tan colored luminescent indices and main hands, a km/h bezel, and a weird and unusual OP XXXIII movement which is actually an ETA 2801 with a Dubois-Depraz module for the chronograph. It has an expectedly measly 42-hour power reserve – no fancy Panerai in-house movement here, arguably because it would not have made much sense for Panerai to expensively develop an in-house chronograph movement that fits into a 42mm case.
The km/h bezel is, to put it kindly, a mysterious addition on a watch supposedly designed for ship commanders. Add to this the fact that this being a regular tachymeter scale, any other unit of speed would work just the same. Take this as a hint on how many people actually use the tachymeter scales on their luxury watches.
On a positive note, the Mare Nostrum Chronograph is one exceedingly unusual Panerai. The traditional, piston-style chronograph pushers, the tachymeter bezel, the small case size, the nicely curved, long lugs, and the blue-tan color combination individually would make any Panerai the odd one out. This could fire back though – the Mare Nostrum has a patchy history, with hardly any documentation or actual pieces remaining from whichever era it actually belongs – and this will raise a few flags for the cautious, super-nerdy collector who this is pretty much exclusively aimed for.
All this noted, it is good to see Panerai do something out of the ordinary, leaving the Luminors and Radiomirs on the side for a moment and presenting a look so scarcely encountered from them – I wouldn’t be surprised (in fact I hope) that Panerai is actually testing the waters here, as I would love to see more unusual and refreshing designs. these fantastic replica watches are far more than the watches but laso the fine art works.
Do you remember when Hublot was all about “the art of fusion?” To this day, I can easily recall one of the many characteristic instances when Jean-Claude Biver started shouting at his audience with great enthusiasm about Hublot and “fuuusion,” where different materials and ideas come together to create something new. I also recall being very impressed by this novel, expensive, and consistently innovative approach that was new not just for Hublot, but any major luxury brand as well. I had to wait until now, though, to have a watch in for review that featured what I expect to prove itself as the greatest achievement of Hublot’s dedication to fusion: Magic Gold, their proprietary gold that “cannot be scratched.” So, my curiosity has at last been cured by spending some quality time with the Arabic numerals Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold copy watches, and I couldn’t wait to see just how magical it really was.
Hublot And Its Love Of Fusion
This whole “the art of fusion” thing appears to have taken the backseat a bit as JCB’s attention is now delegated not exclusively to Hublot but also enjoyed by Zenith and TAG Heuer. These two, in fact, needed his guidance more than Hublot which has been so much more consistent than its “historical” brethren inside the luxury group LVMH.
The “fusion” approach began for Hublot with the earliest Big Bangs and their then-outrageous merging of a full gold watch with a rubber strap – this unusual coming together of materials was a heresy comparable to the Royal Oak’s 1972 coming in steel and costing what it did. Steel luxury watches have for long been completely normal when the gold-rubber combination of the Big Bang caused turmoil among luxury watch lovers… and yet, today, you can walk into any high-end watch store and find a wide range of watches from multiple brands that they will offer for sale in gold, but on a rubber strap.
As they grew, largely thanks to JCB’s marketing genius, Hublot soon had more resources – financial and intellectual – to develop its own niche as being “the brand of fusion.” Credit where credit’s due, Hublot’s success does not only come from a marketing strategy comparable to WWII carpet bombing, but also from merging consistent and, hence, widely recognizable design (which most luxury watch buyers want as, admit it or not, people want others to see how much greenback they dropped on a watch) with bold, new, refreshing ideas and executions.
And while by now Hublot’s fusion approach has given us the gold watch on a rubber strap, we’ve also seen the cool but remarkably confusing idea of a non-transparent-transparent watch in black sapphire (hands-on here), a Classic Fusion with a concrete bezel, and watches in blue Texalium (hands-on here) – oh, and one very funny April Fool’s article where many actually believed Hublot did a “fusion watch” with a tiny amount radioactive uranium.
Hublot has its own proprietary recipe for its success, but elements of that recipe were clearly not tuned to prioritize the taste of the hardcore, traditionalist watch enthusiast. In other words, many other brands, by doing the same thing over and over and over again, make it much easier for “purists” to like them, while Hublot, in truth, doesn’t seem to be bothered that much and would rather do as much in 10 years as many others do in 100 (if ever).
However, if you look at that previous and, mind you, not even remotely complete list of Hublot’s achievements in pushing the boundaries of what a watch can be and/or is accepted to be made from, you’ll see that they try much harder than the majority of others – and the most serious achievement of all this self-imposed busyness is Magic Gold, a gold that “cannot be scratched.” Magic Gold – How It’s Made
It has a catchy name, that much is immediately apparent. Most things “Magic” in the life of the ordinary human (myself) include washing powder, non-chargeable batteries, and anything made in Mainland China with a retail price below $5. So, “Magic Gold” sounds just as controversial as it is for a luxury brand to use the term “Magic.” But, unlike the aforementioned items, Magic Gold truly verges on being magical when compared to regular precious metals. Here’s how it came to be.
It was in 2011 that Hublot unveiled its Magic Gold, a scratch-resistant gold that is both certified as 18k by the Central Office for Precious Metals Control, and has a hardness rating of about 1,000 Vickers – 18k gold is 400 Vickers and most types of hardened steel are 600 Vickers. In the words of Mr. Biver, “You can have a [Magic Gold] watch and wear it for any sport, any use, it will just not scratch. It never ever will scratch. It will constantly look totally polished, as new (…), not scratch-able – only diamond can scratch it.” Further, Magic Gold used for the luminescent dial Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold fake watches will never oxidize and weighs less – but more on that latter property in a bit.
Hublot worked with the Swiss Polytechnique School of Lausanne (EPFL) to develop Magic Gold and by early 2014, Hublot had developed and installed its own, fully integrated gold foundry inside their manufacture in Nyon, Switzerland. So, although the know-how was more or less ready in late 2011, it took Hublot over two years to bring it to a stage of volume production.
At Hublot’s opening event for its foundry in 2014, Andreas Mortensen, professor at EPFL, described the project as “fun” but also highlighted some interesting details. They were not allowed to use any coatings in creating a gold alloy that is visually interesting and “makes absolute technical sense.” Not a whole lot more in the project was defined, just the goal of “If you guys could make gold really hard, that would be great” – yes, that’s an actual quote.
The professor, being a professor, also highlights the fact that while Hublot’s “marketing term of fusion” is very descriptive, the actual process of creating Magic Gold is not through fusion but alloying. Magic Gold starts its life as 24k pure gold and ceramic powder. The ceramic (boron carbide) powder is put into a silicon mold very similar in shape to that of the desired finished part. It is here that we should add that boron carbide is “the third hardest thing” ranking behind diamond and cubic boron nitride. The pre-formed boron carbide powder is then compressed at some 2,000 bars of pressure under cold isostatic pressure. The compressed ceramic is then sintered at 2,200°C while the 24k gold is melted at 1,100°C.
After this operation is when the magic happens: 24k gold alloyed with 3% molten liquid gold is injected under very high pressure with inert gas at a high temperature, allowing the metal to fill the ceramic pores and create a “fusion” of the two to produce Magic Gold. Raw Magic Gold is yet to be machined and, because it is so hard, it can only be shaped by diamond-tipped tools, laser- and ultrasonic machining, or wire cutting.
So, while fusion sounds good and is arguably “sexier” than “alloying,” the latter is what better describes the process. Magic Gold is a combination of gold, made hard through alloying. Alloying is the addition of other atoms to a liquefied form which, when you cast it, forms an alloy that then solidifies and retains its identity as something that, in this case, is fully metallic with the ceramic as part of its structure. If you’re a chemistry professor/teacher and have a technical comment on this, you are invited to leave it below.
Magic Gold – How Magical Is It Really?
So, all this technical who-do-you-think-you-are and the result, again, is an alloy that is certified to be 18k gold (like any other watch) but is 2.5 times harder than those and almost twice as hard as most hardened steels. The alloy and the manufacturing technology is protected by a bunch of patents and, Hublot says, the brand has been approached by other brands from the watch and other industries to purchase it – but Hublot says they have not and will not share the Magic Gold technology anytime soon. Last but not least, they say this alloying process can be used to merge ceramics with other precious metals and that other “magical” materials can be expected – though no word on when.
I’ve had the Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold charming fake watches for 10 days or so, which really isn’t enough time to emulate the trials imposed on a watch case through years and decades. But, that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I have not refrained from wearing this Big Bang as much of the time as possible and haven’t practiced too much concern or excessive care. I reached into my backpack (seven layers of watch hell in there) looking for stuff, wore it when washing the car, and just generally, wore it through the day…
Just when we gambled that Harry Winston might not be able to outdo its mind-boggling Histoire de Tourbillon 7 released last year, the renowned jeweler has just announced the Histoire de Tourbillon 8 – the latest in an ongoing series of tourbillon watches whose degree of complication and unconventional design seems to grow exponentially with each new addition. However, while each new entry had somehow managed to up the ante, the HDT 8 seems to recycle the bi-axial tourbillon complication of its predecessor, while now offering up a new time display with jumping hours and minutes, and some other aesthetic tweaks. It’s far less of a radical update to the HDT series than we’re used to seeing but remains impressive for the same reasons. Now, before we get too deep into the inner workings of the Histoire de Tourbillon 8, it’s worth pointing out the obvious that Harry Winston might be more associated with jewelry than ultra high-end watchmaking in the minds of many. To be fair, the man (and more recently, the brand) has historically spent more time in the headlines as the jeweler of choice for the Hollywood elite, as well as former or current owner of some of the world’s most famous gemstones. The latter includes the 726-carat uncut rough diamond named “Jonker” in the mid-1930s, then the Hope Diamond in 1949, and more recently, the flawless 101.73-carat Winston Legacy. Within that timeline, Winston began selling watches in the late 1980s, but things really didn’t start to ramp up in complication until the brand opened its own manufactory in Geneva in 2007, and subsequently began producing the impressive high-complication series like the Histoire de Tourbillon, which we’re more than happy to gawk at today.
And speaking of gawking, there’s more than an eyeful to go around with the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 8 copy watches with black alligator straps as you take in the twin bi-axial tourbillons. Now, as mentioned, this is the same complication that punctuated the previous HDT entry, but it’s back with a twist. In place of the traditional two-handed time display at the 3:00 side of the dial, we have a pair of rotating discs – hours at 1:00, and minutes at 4:00, which “jump” as each hour and minute clicks by. But the real story here, as it was with the HDT 7, is the twin tourbillons. Granted, little has changed since we last saw them – but the execution is still mind-bendingly complex, and a treat to behold, particularly when juxtaposed against a less traditional timekeeping display – an aesthetic that seems to more neatly fit the overall nü-industrial vibe of the watch. To the left of the time display dance the tourbillons – each of which completes a rotation on a 30-degree inclined axis. Nestled between that rotational movement, a second cage turns on its own axis, completing a rotation every 45 seconds. Within the latter, the balance wheel maintains a steady tempo of 21,600vph, throughout the watch’s power reserve of around 55 hours (indicated by the cone at 6:00).
The whole concept behind a tourbillon itself is to minimize gravity’s influence on the balance wheel, by actively subjecting it to the widest variety of movement positions possible. By putting the tourbillon on a second axis, and then doubling the complication itself, the balance wheel is placed within an exponentially greater number of positions, thereby theoretically yielding an even higher level of chronometric performance. What makes the wizardry of the transparent case back Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 8 fake watches so interesting, though, is not just that we have two independently operating tourbillons, both operating on two axes each, but that their mechanical operation results in a single time measurement. To ensure the accuracy of this single measurement, the HDT 8 employs a spherical differential, which maintains an average between the two – an average which is displayed in the form of the time to the right of the dial.
The case of the HDT 8 itself is made of white gold, the rotating time discs from aluminum, and the tourbillon cages and movement bridges from titanium. Dimension-wise, the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 8 carries its case sizing over from the HDT 7, which is by no means small: 51mm by 17mm. But bear in mind that the calibre HW4503 that houses the twin tourbillons (each of which contains 117 components alone) is 43mm on its own. Large? Yes, but at least there’s a justifiably large amount to look at here, even if it’s a far cry from being legible. In addition to the tourbillons dancing the hours away, the dial itself is a sight to behold – comprised of a single component with 13 different textured elements. Each of these textures is executed through a different finishing technique – from sanded, grained, and satin textures, to the complex honeycomb and engraved script pattern at 12:00.
Only twenty pieces of the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 8 will be produced (ten with the red dial, and ten in anthracite grey). We don’t yet have a confirmed price, if you are also interested in these delicate fake watches, you can refer ti it online.
The Richard Mille RM 039 Tourbillon Aviation E6-B is one baffling watch. I mean, I am struggling to fathom how and why this incredibly complicated watch came to be, who the 30 people are that this million-dollar watch is for, and how 95% of its functions can ever possibly be used if you are not a trained pilot. Still, I went hands-on with it and pushed myself to try and understand it a bit more, and guess what, it actually had a few neat details up its sleeve to sort of work as rewards throughout the process.
Watches. Since we watch enthusiasts see so many of them all the time, we think we can judge after a first glimpse. To start with an obscure, rather than explicit feature of the RM 039, this watch sort of goes against all of that as it exemplifies why giving time to your eyes to see, your hands to feel, and your brain to think is a good idea before jumping to conclusions.
We’ll leave the 740-component movement for a bit later and start with the bonkers exterior. Off the bat, the RM 039 looks ridiculously massive – its round-ish case measures 50mm across and 19.40mm thick. The way it feels is a different story, however. Give it a better look and you’ll realize that it is more of a 45-46mm round watch that doesn’t even extend beyond the edges of my small, 6.75″ wrist. Yes, the 50mm adds up if you measure the watch across its bolstered case sides, but between 12 and 6, where it really matters for wearability, it’s a perfectly round case with some of the shortest lugs around – a design element many “historical” brands could learn from as stupid-long lugs are still very much a thing. Notably, titanium case Richard Mille RM 039 copy watches are widely considered some of the most comfortable watches ever made and they either have no lugs whatsoever or very short and angled ones like we see here.
The case, like on any black rubber staps Richard Mille fake watches, are unbelievably well-made. Just look at that chamfer on the titanium edge one image above, or the heads of the spline screws that hold it all together, or the polished edge around the brushed pusher, or that ridiculously complicated crown and its perfectly flush pusher. Every single piece, just as we’ll see with the movement and dial too, is crafted (or rather, for the case, CNC-milled) as though it were a custom piece – which they, come to think of it, sort of are. The case band, the pushers, the sandwiched parts of the lugs, everything is individually milled from a block of metal, never stamped.
Here’s another interesting fact to consider: with only 30 of these ever made, each case-back, case-band, crown, pusher, bezel, and any other major component ever needs to be made 30 times over and that’s it… And while that many pieces could still be much cheaper to produce with a stamp, here they are all milled for a very, very long time.
For the case, after a turning operation lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes turns a billet into a piece of metal that other machines can work on, over 800 milling operations are required, demanding nearly 11 hours of separate operations. That is intersected and followed by meticulous quality-control procedures with the last one taking a full day for each case. The five pushers, their components, and the crown of the Richard Mille RM 039 Tourbillon Aviation E6-B require 10 days of machining, during which they undergo numerous tests for water-resistance and quality control, followed by the manual brushing and polishing of the entire case. That’s about two weeks to produce one case.
Richard Mille has its own case manufacture called ProArt that I visited here, but even with that capable handling of some of the brand’s extremely complex designs, there must be some suppliers needed to source the bezel, rubberized crown, and whatnot… And, since cost of manufacturing and final price has never been a limiting factor for a Richard Mille, they really can work with some of the best out there. It happens year after year with some of the quirkier mass-produced watch releases which require a special piece (maybe a special flange ring, pusher, crown, or weird logo), and said piece just stands out from the rest as the brand couldn’t find the right supplier. This is when said watches are called “a prototype” when we see it hands-on at its debut.
The RM 039 is not all looks and no performance either – it is, bar none, the single most comfortable large watch I have ever worn. Even if I had not looked at it, just the way it felt wrapping around the wrist was a joy and made it really quite hard for me to give it back – my other option was to part with my hard-earned, imaginary 1-million dollars. In all seriousness, while the case construction looks and feels like a million bucks (pun intended), I cannot accept that the overall shape and wearing comfort could not be replicated in watches offered for a lower price.
On a side note, although I have said it before (and will say it again): the more a strap is integrated into the design of a case, the better chance a watch has to be comfortable on the wrist – and now, look at that super deep integration of the strap on the RM 039. Maxing out the wearing comfort is the fact that the Richard Mille RM 039 Tourbillon Aviation E6-B delicate copy watches come with a tang buckle, not a stupid-thick deployant clasp.
Silicon has many, many benefits for watches; anti-magnetism, longevity-of-life, temperature resistance, and not requiring lubricant being among them. However, because of the difficult-to-produce and fragile nature of silicon, hairsprings made of the material have typically been used exclusively in high-end timepieces. And that is why stainless steel case Tissot Ballade copy watches unveiling the Tissot Ballade watches featuring a silicon balance spring and COSC-certified Powermatic 80 movement at Baselworld 2017 is unusual. And the most interesting part of that announcement? It will cost less than a thousand dollars.
Tissot is no stranger to anti-magnetic watches. During the 1930s, they created one of the first anti-magnetic watches with the Tissot Antimagnetique. Ever since then, they’ve been using anti-magnetic components in their watches, so the next natural step would be silicon. That’s not surprising. What’s surprising is the price.
There are seven models of the small calendar Tissot Ballade fake watches, and while the three ladies’ pieces were reviewed hands-on here back in September, the newest “Gents” models are a bit more masculine with a 39mm or 41mm case. All cases will be in steel with a Clous de Paris-patterned bezel and inner-dial disc, which I find a tasteful nod to the 1930s style. Both the men’s and women’s watches will feature bi-tone rose-gold and yellow-gold-plated models, with the yellow gold coming on a stainless steel, bi-tone bracelet, and the rose-gold fitted with a brown leather strap on the Gents, and a white leather strap for the ladies. A full stainless steel case with steel bracelet is also available for both. Each piece has the date window displayed at the 3 o’clock position. While I would normally always go for a bracelet, I find the steel case on black leather to fit the Tissot DNA more than the bi-tone bracelet models. The Tissot Ballade is water resistant up to 50m, and all models feature a sapphire crystal and transparent case-back displaying the movement (sorry we don’t have any pictures for you of it from Tissot).
The Tissot caliber C07.811 Si, or more commonly known as the Powermatic 80, beats at a low 21,600VpH frequency, and is based on the ETA 2824 workhorse. And by “based on” I mean heavily modified. While this movement has been around for almost 4 years, the Tissot Ballade brings some upgraded components. The “80” in its name comes from the whopping 80-hour power reserve increase from the 38 hours of the basic ETA movement. Longer power reserves can be achieved in a few ways, such as slowing down the movement as Tissot has done here from 4Hz in the ETA to 3Hz. The concern that that means accuracy being negatively affected proves unfounded, apparently, as these are also certified chronometers, meaning they are accurate to -4/+6 seconds per day. So the COSC-certified Powermatic 80 featured in the Tissot Ballade also being fitted with a silicon hairspring makes for a welcome, unconventional, and arguably never-before-seen addition to a timepiece in this price range.
Why is this important? It’s bringing previously and otherwise unobtainable technology into an affordable market. Swatch, being the juggernaut that it is, has the resources, equipment, and channels to produce a silicon hairspring, fit it into an affordable movement, and reach more enthusiasts with higher-quality components. Being that Tissot is one of the largest producers of watches in Switzerland, this could open a lot of doors for the industry, and for Swatch. With an 80-hour power reserve, and a silicon hairspring, I would be hard-pressed to find the same features in many other fantastic replica watches at this price point. Pricing for the Tissot Ballade Powermatic 80 COSC ranges from $925for the stainless on leather to $1075 for the two-tone steel and gold.
A Steel Sky-Dweller… This is a watch many of us were secretly hoping for (we did) but we knew chances of actually seeing it would be small. Well, it seems that dreams can become reality, as here we are: for Baselworld 2017, Rolex introduced its most complicated watch – and what certainly is the ultimate traveller’s watch – in commoner attire; meaning a more casual look and more accessible prices. Here are the Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel ref. 326934 and Two-Tone ref. 326933, both of which come with more than just a material evolution.
What is the Rolex Sky-Dweller? Basically, it is one of the most practical watches you can think of, the perfect instrument for travellers or busy business people piece. It is a complex watch, with many functions, but not just for the fun of it. Indeed, as nice and mechanically interesting as a perpetual calendar can be, it has a rather subjective inherent purpose. An annual calendar however, which is much easier to develop and assemble, only slightly less precise and much more accessible, offers real added value, compared to a normal calendar. This is one of the functions of the Sky-Dweller. Add to that an extremely practical function for business travellers: the dual-time display, allowing you to keep track of home-time when traveling or another time-zone when you’re working with colleagues in another city/country for example. We all love the beauty of an integrated perpetual calendar, however this combination annual calendar / dual-time makes the Rolex Sky-Dweller fake watches with self-winding movements one of the most rational offers on the market.
With such a description, you might have envisioned an extremely complex watch – which it is indeed, being the most complex Rolex in the catalogue – however this complexity isn’t reflected on the dial. Rolex is Rolex and legibility and functionality are key. For the Sky-Dweller, the “Crown” imagined an extremely simple and perfectly legible display for the annual calendar. How many months in a year? 12. How many hours on a dial? 12. You get the idea. Next to each hour marker is a small rectangular window, which corresponds to one of the months of the year. The current month is highlighted in red while all the other windows remain white. Simple, clever, legible. Linked to that is the everlasting date window at 3, located under the no-less everlasting cyclops (a hallmark of all Rolex watches with date, even the Sea-Dweller now).
The dual-time function created some debate at first, when the watch was introduced, simply because it was quite oddly positioned on the dial. Rather than a 24-hour bezel (as on the GMT-Master II) or a dual-time window (like many competing brands), Rolex decided to equip the Sky-Dweller with a rotating 24-hour disc, with an off-centered position (yet with a look and fonts that recall the GMT-Master II). However, this display animates the dial and gives the watch a rather unique look. Plus, legibility is great – a triangle at 12, below the Rolex logo, points to the current hour on the disc. Local time is indicated classically by 3 hands (hours, minutes, seconds) on the central axis.
Another part of the Rolex Sky-Dweller’s greatness is hidden, however you’ll enjoy it as a wearer: the way adjustments are made. Combining the winding capacity, plus the adjustment of the date, the month, the local time-zone and the reference time-zone into a single crown should be too complicated in theory. However, recessed pushers are not Rolex’s style (bad for water resistance). So, what Rolex did is create a way to adjust all these settings via the bezel using a system that it calls “Ring Command Bezel”. Instead of pulling the crown in X positions or pushing small buttons, you simply rotate the crown in one of the 3 positions and then the selected function (date, local time or reference time) can then be rapidly adjusted in either direction using the winding crown. This patented “Ring Command Bezel” mechanism is composed of no less than 60 components. The best thing is that no one would guess that this classic Rolex fluted bezel is such a complication and that it actually rotates. It is clever, it makes adjustments easier and it improves reliability.
The top Rolex Sky-Dweller replica watches are powered by a specific movement, developed especially for this watch: the Calibre 9001. It is one of the most complicated movements that Rolex has ever developed. It is of course a Superlative Chronometer, it boasts 72 hours of power reserve, it features Paraflex shock absorbers, a large variable inertia balance wheel and the blue Parachrom hairspring (antimagnetic). And even with the Ring Command Bezel and the SAROS (annual calendar) mechanism, it is built to last a lifetime (and then some).
The 2017 Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel 326934 and Two-Tone 326933
The Rolex copy wacthes with blue dials have always been available in multiple versions (12 models, with 3 different golds, on strap or bracelet, with many different dials – rose, champagne, silver, black, brown). Yet, until now, every one of these models was manufactured in precious metals (white, yellow or pink / Everose gold) with prices starting at EUR 34,850 (yellow gold on leather) and going up to EUR 44,700 (white gold on bracelet). Clearly not what we would call a cheap watch, which explains why, despite all its intrinsic qualities, it remains quite rare in the wild. However, times are changing: the market is not in the best shape ever, stainless is hot these days, the trend might be more for sporty chic than for precious gold and finally, Rolex has a younger CEO.
A 18k Everose version of the Rolex Sky-Dweller (ref. 326135)
This is why for Baselworld 2017, the Rolex Sky-Dweller copy watches with brown crocodile straps have undergone a significant overhaul. Two new references are added to the collection, and for the first time on this model stainless steel has been used for the 42mm case. Along with the Day-Date (and the Cellini collection too), the Sky-Dweller was the only Rolex model to be offered exclusively in precious metals. Those days are over. Two new references: the Ref. 326933, in Rolesor, meaning a combination of steel and yellow gold, for the fluted bezel, the crown and center bracelet links – which means that the price goes down massively at EUR 15,650. The second reference added to the collection is the even more interesting Ref. 326934, which comes in full stainless steel (case, crown, entire bracelet) with the exception of the fluted bezel, which is made in white gold (traditional for Rolex) – and here, it means that the entry-level price for the Sky-Dweller goes down to EUR 13,150, almost a third of the yellow gold / leather version. Quite an interesting deal!
The introduction of stainless steel is not the only evolution to note. Indeed, following the recent evolutions adopted on certain watches (Day-Date, Datejust), these new version of the “Sky” receive a redesigned, modernized dial. Say goodbye to the old-fashioned Roman numerals or the omni-present present Arabic numerals. The 2017 Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel 326934 and Two-Tone 326933 feature sportier and more contemporary rectangular indexes, in line with the 2017 Steel Datejust for instance. Combined with the cold look of steel and the use of metallic bracelets only, the 2017 Sky-Dweller becomes more casual than before (luminous indexes) and simply more modern. Some will probably argue that Rolex should stop with “maxi dials” (it’s true that the indexes are quite fat) but the “Sky” still benefits from this overhaul. Another small detail concerns the hour and minute hands, which are now slightly larger (to complement the new indexes) and longer.
The 2017 Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel 326934 replica watches are available in three versions – white, blue and black – and the Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel-and-Gold 326933 in three versions too – white, champagne and black. Not only was the good news about the much more accessible prices but also the evolution of the dial of the Sky-Dweller gives a fresh, modern look to a watch that was probably not the easiest to sell previously. You asked for it, Rolex brought it to you.
To commemorate the beginning of their fruitful partnership, Hublot have released the special edition “SELECÇÃO BENFICA LISBOA” replica watches with black crocodile straps. Limited to only 113 pieces to celebrate 113 years since Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s inception in 1904, the “SELECÇÃO BENFICA LISBOA” is one badass looking watch. As a football (or soccer) enthusiast, I think it’s wonderful to see watchmaking brands and footballing institutions coming together to create timepieces of passion, reflecting both the watchmaking atelier’s genome and the rich history of such an iconic sporting club.
Now onto the piece itself, and I must say, I am a fan. The black schematic theme that Hublot have implemented is quite breathtaking. I am a huge advocate of full-black watches. I find them versatile, good looking and super wearable. The Classic Fusion Chronograph “SELECÇÃO BENFICA LISBOA” Special Edition replica watches further reinforce my thoughts about full-black watches. But with those hints of red on the dial and black alligator leather strap, the whole piece comes to life. The 45mm wide, 13mm thick satin-finished and polished black ceramic case is a work of art. It’s a simple design that has resonated with Hublot for years now, and it’s one that we will identify with Hublot for many years to come. The bezel is also made of the same material as the case, and the uniformity of the piece comes together quite effortlessly. The matte black dial is simple and informative. The time function is where you’d expect it to be, the date window at 6 o’clock is subtle and welcoming, and the added BSL17 logo on the 3 o’clock sub-dial counter reminds you just how special this piece is.
Turn the piece over and the magic continues with the automatic Hublot calibre HUB1143. Ticking at 4Hz over about 42 hours of consecutive timekeeping, this calibre is in itself a workhouse. Imagine something containing 280 components moving along effortlessly while you go about the day. Therein lies the magic of any mechanical watch. The artistry and symbolic nature of the piece continues onto the back of the piece, too. Renowned Portuguese artist Diogo Machado has created the story of the Hublot-Benfica partnership into the ceramic. He has combined the representation of an eagle, motifs inspired by the watch’s movement, the red colour emblematic of Benfica’s club colours with the torn and overlaid images typical of his work to create a micro work of art at the back of the black dials HUblot Classic Fusion copy watches.
While I’m not a fan of Benfica, I do respect their heritage and what they’ve done for Portuguese football. I think it’s wonderful when such iconic and highly regarded watchmaking brands like Hublot take the time to integrate themselves in other passionate ventures, like football. Benfica join the ranks of Chelsea, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Ajax to be part of a family of footballing giants supported by a horological giant, Hublot. The Hublot fake watches with self-winding movements are interesting and well designed. The integration of Benfica’s motifs onto the dial and caseback adds that element of exclusivity to the lucky purchaser of the piece (no doubt a Benfica fanatic, too!). While I’m unsure of pricing (of which I will update this article as soon as I have it confirmed), I don’t expect this piece to be super expensive. A solid daily wearer with a touch of footballing passion, how can you go wrong?