In the fourth and final of our baselworld reports, we take a look at four replica watches that might – just might – one day become collector’s pieces.
Watch replica design – how hard can it be? All you need is three hands, a dial and a case, and you’re away, right? Over time, it’s been proved time and again that designing a truly great replica watches uk is extraordinarily difficult. A dial placed slightly off, or a lug shaped a bit oddly can kill a watch in the same time it takes us to look at it – in other words, an instant. So what makes a classic, an icon even? In our final report from Baselworld 2015, Watches of Switzerland’s team of watch experts pick four replica watches that might one day qualify.
Omega Replica Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon – Vintage Black
Inspired by the discoveries of NASA astronauts, Omega unveiled its Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon in 2013. There has been a Grey Side and a White Side but this year, the luxury Swiss brand has expanded the collection even further, bringing out a further four Dark Side models. These are: Black Black, Sedna Black, Pitch Black and Vintage Black – all powered by Omega’s Co-Axial Calibre 9300.
The Vintage Black stands out from its stealth-like siblings with brown indexes and hands, which complement the ‘vintage’ Super-LumiNova and a brown leather strap. But, just like the original model, all versions have a matt ceramic dial that has been created using laser technology. In fact, the case starts out as one piece of ceramic, which is heated to 1,400C to shrink it to 44.25mm. It is then machined using diamond tools and the details, such as the tachymeter scale on the bezel, are lasered on.
‘The Omega Replica Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon is one of the most in-demand watches Omega has made in a generation and will go down as one of the best in the brand’s history,’ says David Lindsay, Watches of Switzerland’s Retail Director of Luxury Brands. ‘It’s full of Omega’s state-of-the-art technical developments, but what makes it so sought-after is that it’s beautifully designed and proportioned, and, to put it simply, cool.’
Breitling Replica Transocean Chronograph 1915
You can tell a lot about a watch from a picture and a press release, but not what it’s like to slip it onto your wrist. Having admired Breitling’s Transocean Chronograph 1915 on paper before the fair, we fell for it hook, line and sinker in the flesh.
The story behind it’s genuinely interesting and had a significant impact on watch design. Breitling was the first watch company to make a wrist Breitling replica watches with an independent chronograph pushpiece, an innovation this watch recalls 100 years later. That pushpiece sits at 2 o’clock where it can be easily operated by an index finger, and it starts, stops and resets the chronograph.
The vintage design details are convincing, particularly the classic Breitling signature on the dial, and at 43mm and cast in stainless steel, this is a modern, masculine watch, with a little 1950s flair in its Milanese bracelet.
‘The Breitling Replica Transocean watches has played a really important role in opening up Breitling to a more style-conscious audience,’ says Robin Swithinbank, editor of Watches of Switzerland’s official magazine Calibre. ‘This model is special because it’s also a heritage piece that underlines the watchmaking equity you get when you invest in a Breitling. And because it’s limited to 1,915 pieces, you can be sure demand will outstrip supply.’
Replica Hublot Classic Aerofusion Moonphase
Better known for contemporary and tool-like watches, Hublot surprised this year with the Hublot Classic Aerofusion Moonphase – a watch that will be remembered because it’s the brand’s first ever moonphase.
It’s available in titanium or Hublot’s King Gold (18-carat red gold with a small amount of platinum), boasts a 45mm case and comes on black rubber and alligator straps. The hardy porthole-like bezel (also in King Gold or titanium) features Hublot’s trademade H-shaped screws, which might look cosmetic, but actually keep the case components together. A skeleton dial shows the working of the movement beneath but leaves room for a calendar and a generous moonphase display.
‘Hublot replica uk always provides something a bit different – even in their take on a classic complication,’ says Faye Soteri, Watches of Switzerland’s Specialist Watch Buyer. ‘Rather than the traditional detailed skyscape, it has included two typographically accurate moons that disappear behind a piece of frosted sapphire – it’s stunning.’
Replica Bell & Ross BR01 10th Anniversary
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Bell & Ross’s legendary square-cased BR01 – the first Bell & Ross replica watches to fully realise the brand’s mission of turning an aircraft cockpit clock into a wristwatch. To celebrate, it has unveiled the BR01 10th Anniversary, limited to 500 pieces.
Bell & Ross has developed more than 150 versions of the BR01 and a further 50 limited editions. Although this 46mm anniversary version may look the same as the original, it’s made of Bell & Ross’s high-tech ceramic. Otherwise, the design remains the same: the black and white colour scheme, the numerals (inspired by analogue aviation counters) and the distinctive shape of the hands.
‘Ten years on it’s quite easy to forget the impact this Breitling replica watches sale had on the watch industry when it was released,’ says Mark Toulson, Watches of Switzerland’s Head of Watch Buying. ‘It showed it was possible to create a timepiece that not only made use of proper watchmaking techniques but was fashionable and different too. This anniversary edition will become a real collector’s piece for fans of the brand.’