Coming once every two years, these great offerings have typically been re-skinned versions of the? Omega’s most significant sport replica watches collections, with details paying tribute to the host cities of the current games; However, there’s a second, rather newer, and lesser-popular collection of Olympic watches that eschew the aforementioned visual codes and dates tied to specific games. These are famous as the Olympic Official Timekeeper Collection watches, which pay homage to the many different original analog stopwatches used to time the games, and today, we’re talking about the newest addition: the Seamaster Olympic Official Timekeeper.
As we talked about before, the Olympic Official Timekeeper doesn’t leverage any of Omega’s existing collections or design language. It’s these timekeeping instruments – the same ones used to measure the fall and rise of world records – upon which the collection is based. The last addition to this collection was motivated by the pocket watches built by the fake Omega to time the 1932 games in Los Angeles. This time around, this new Seamaster took design cues from the dials of stopwatches deployed at both the 1976 Innsbruck winter games, and the summer Olympiad in Montreal of the same year.
While, if it weren’t for the Olympic ring motif at 6:00 on the dial, the black-on-white variant could be mistaken for a vintage auto racing watch, or perhaps the spiritual successor to the original Speedmaster Racing in 3-hand form. Either way, the source material for this special replica watch was significant in that those stopwatches were among the last analog timing instruments used at the games before the full advent of digital timekeeping. Compared to the original 1932 pocket watch, it’s a decidedly racier, albeit slightly austere and modern aesthetic that seems to have more in common with speedometers of sports cars in the early eighties than timekeeping for the global Olympiad.
Now, it’s probably worth saying that this is a Seamaster in name only – aside from the signature twisted lugs, there’s nothing about the new Olympic Collection that would suggest any carry-over from the fake Omega’s current Seamaster offerings. Well, being based on a stopwatch used to measure speed nearly defaults it to being a Speedmaster, but that’s an argument for another day. It’s hardly a knock against the collection though, as this is absolutely a sporty and handsome watch in its own right and one that should age with a little more grace than the more thematic Olympic editions.
Back in 2014, it was as a concept watch that AP hadn’t yet demonstrated a desire to sell to collectors when we first covered it which would later be famous as the replica Audemars Piguet Supersonnerie. The team in Le Brassus’s ostensible goal was to push the boundaries of chiming fake watch acoustics and to provide tangible evidence that the quest for continuous improvement in minute repeaters was as alive as ever.?
The AP set up a sound-proof booth next year in which they could demonstrate the superlative tonality and volume of the new concept watch. I will always remember hearing this minute repeater for the first time, and that’s no hyperbole. The paradox of a minute repeater that chimes louder and clearer on the wrist than off was lost on no one. I would like to know exactly how it worked – and I don’t think I was just the only one.
The lucky thing is, Jack went in-depth on the subject back in 2016, writing the best explanation out there of how Audemars Piguet developed the Supersonnerie and why it’s such a very special repeater. But the story doesn’t stop there.
The Audemars Piguet presented the coolest replica watch each year that you possibly haven’t heard of. On the outside, it’s a platinum Jules Audemars dress watch with a smoky blue enamel dial and white gold hands. But inside, it’s every bit the triple-patented Supersonnerie we know and love.
Acoustically, can the new Jules Audemars Minute repeater match the funky concept watch that preceded it? Considering that it has a platinum case and enamel dial, you’d expect some loss of sound quality from the original, since it was built just for optimum tonality. However, after hearing this watch in a crowded booth at SIHH, I can confirm that it is much louder than your typical minute repeater, and, just like the concept watch, it’s louder on the wrist than off.
This fake watch makes perfect sense in business. It looks like your typical minute repeater, and chances are it’s the kind of design most collectors have in mind when they plunk down six figures for a chiming watch. Of course, the case is large, at 43mm in diameter and 13.15mm thick; but, then again, it’s not unusual for a traditional minute repeater to tip the scales in terms of size. These are not complications typically known for their slimness.
Flipping the Jules Audemars Minute Repeater over, you’ll find a beautiful relief engraving of a watchmaker at his bench. You’ll also see some perforations around this engraving. The Jules Audemars Minute Repeater is a normal replica watch for selling, but unsurprisingly AP says that very few will be made, and the price is rather affordable anyway.
Founded in Le Locle in 1865 and now owned by LVMH, the Zenith Swiss watchmaker has just released a new replica watch called the Defy Lab which it claims is the most accurate mechanical watch in the world. What Zenith says they’ve done is basically throw out the balance spring principle which has been the embodiment of mechanical watchmaking since British physicist Robert Hooke came up with the idea around 1660, and Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens built a functioning timepiece based upon it several years later. With the Defy Lab Zenith has made a new single-piece oscillator made of monocrystalline silicon, the base material for silicon chips, which takes the place of the 30-odd components of a balance spring system. It is also 10 times thinner at just 0.5 mm.
The Defy Lab’s movement beats at 15 Hertz to put it in perspective and drop science, with an amplitude of +/- 6 degrees and features a 60-hour power reserve, more than 10% increase over Zenith’s iconic El Primero. While the new Defy Lab movement is a bit bizarre-looking, and certainly not as elegant as a typical balance spring engine, it has other advantages including no need for lubrication, ultra-high resistance to variations in temperature, gravity, and magnetic fields; on this last point, the watch exceeds ISO-764 magnetic criteria, meaning it can withstand 1,100 Gauss.
The fake Zenith is unveiling 10 collector’s edition versions of the Defy Lab to start, and all have already been pre-sold. The 44 mm case of the Defy Lab is also a departure from the norm, being the first to be made from Aerosmith, which Zenith replica says is the world’s lightest aluminum composite. The brand developed it using a proprietary “high-tech process” and says it is 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminum, and 10% lighter than carbon fiber. Zenith credits Guy Semon, CEO of the LVMH Watch Division’s R&D Institute, with help in developing the new case and movement, and apparently, LVMH Watch Division President and Zenith CEO Jean-Claude Biver are sending a signal here that LVMH is prepared to invest so much in technological development, another shot across the bows of replica Rolex, which keeps still the leader in vintage watchmaking creation.
The replica Omega‘s Aqua Terra has been a versatile normal man since it first surfaced in 2003, stylish and sartorial, but tough enough for the real world. This year the collection leveled-up to Master Chronometer status and we thought we’d take this sparkly 41mm rubber-clad model for a spin.
The most obvious major changes are adorned on the dial. The AT’s instantly recognizable striped finish is still there, only now it’s horizontal rather than vertical – a decision that Fake Omega explains it evokes the deck of a yacht. While it’s a good story, the levels look better to me and don’t need any other reason. Speaking of the stripes, one thing I noticed only while looking at the photos Jason took for this watch was the uneven lines on the dial. Some are thick and some are thin, creating the optical illusion of a vanishing point in the center of the dial.
The case of the Aqua Terra has not changed significantly, and it is still a classic shape, with sporty, swooping, twisted lugs and polished surfaces. It’s a combination of casual style and sophisticated finishes that contribute to the Aqua Terra’s chameleon factor.
A rubber strap is a rubber strap, right? Well, it turns out not all straps are made to the same level, and this particular version is pretty much at (or close to) the top of its class. At first I thought it was one of those geeky proprietary straps, and thanks to the metal ends, I was getting ready for some old-fashioned righteous indignation. Another nice feature of the strap is the tropical-inspired print, as well as the wavy ridge on the bottom, which is wear-friendly.
The important thing about this movement is that the entire product line is now certified by the Master Chronometer, in line with Omega’s push for technological innovation. This means that the entire watch has been tested to METAS standards within an inch of its lifespan, covering accuracy and power reserve in many positions, water resistance and reluctance status, and self-winding efficacy.
I’ve always thought that Omega is good at making watches with the actual wearer at the center, and this approach to design is the secret to the Aqua Terra’s undeniable charm. The proportions are close to perfect, legible, technically sophisticated and user friendly. The fact that it looks amazing just seals the deal.
The United States Army Air Corps standardized paint colors to be used on military assets in 1939. The Joint Aircraft Committee’s Subcommittee on Standardization elected to implement the ANA color standard. This color standard created ANA 616, otherwise famous as “Desert Sand.” Like olive drab, this color is used to define military equipment, and for the general public, it is instantly recognizable as a purely tactical and functional color.
Not surprisingly, Bell & Ross chose the color scheme for the dial of the new BR V2-92 sports watch. The company has made a name – and defined an identity – with huge square-cased watches designed after cockpit instrumentation. But the V2-92 is nothing like those – instead, it considerately straddles several traditional fake watch categories. The V2-92 has the look of a field watch, the bezel of a dive watch, and the personality of something straight from Operation Desert Shield.
There’s a certain balance to this watch that’s difficult to come by; the models typically connected with Bell & Ross don’t quite exemplify the same sort of utilitarian design that the V2-92 gets right. It’s a total military mash-up, with design elements borrowed from field watches and dive watches packaged in a thin case.??
The waterproof performance of 100 meters makes it closer to the field watch site than the diving watch camp, and the two-way watch ring can not provide the same safety as the one-way watch ring, but I don’t think this replica watch is suitable for diving. It’s a universal watch; The jack of all trades does one thing well at the expense of his everyday watches. I don’t think the target population will lose any points because there’s a one in a million chance that a bezel will be knocked off with a few clicks underwater.
While the enthusiast world might have trouble with date wheels, the Swiss industry as a whole just doesn’t seem to want to let them go. Naturally, there is a date wheel on this model, but it’s integrated so carefully that it shouldn’t bother even the most cranky no-date purist. The date wheel is color-matched, and this isn’t a standard black or white-dialed watch, either. It’s a very specific hue of military beige, and the window is rather small. Besides, these fake Rolex watches strike an admirable balance between typically competing camps.
The V2-92 has the same typographic design as other fake Bell & Ross watches, but it looks softer, and the dome crystals deform and diffuse it, reducing the boldness of some of the more recognizable models in the collection. The bracelet also has a polished central link. It balances the core tool of watch aesthetics, but it’s also something you’ll never find on a watch, actually designed for the modern military.
Last year we witnessed a major update to the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M series in Basel. As you may recall, these updates showed us a new version of the ceramic bezel, a ceramic dial engraved with a wave pattern, a redesigned helium escape valve, and an upgrade to the Master Chronometer/METAS-certified Calibre 8800. A stainless steel model, 42mm case, and rubber strap for just $4,750, make the Seamaster Diver 300M one of the world’s most valuable items in modern watchmaking. With a fully tested, highly water-resistant, chronometer-grade, magnetic sports watch with a ceramic bezel, there’s no question that it costs less than $5,000. It’s amazing!
With the arrival of this version, expected sometime in the spring, it will feature a case made from polished and brushed ceramic, and a caseback made of grade 5 titanium. The bezel is also made of grade 5 titanium, and the inner ring is black ceramic. The diving scale on the ring is white enamel, providing the perfect contrast, which translates to great legibility. In fact, there is also a great contrast on the dial, which is also brushed ceramic, although in this case the familiar wave pattern is a laser-engraved positive relief, which hides the date window. The core range of the Seamaster Diver 300M has a 42mm case, while this one is 43.5mm. In addition, this new model comes with a black rubber strap and a black ceramic clasp.
In my opinion, the Seamaster 300 has the best look I’ve seen since the series was released last year. The stainless steel Master Chronometer Seamaster Diver 300M with a rubber strap is currently only $4,750, while the gold and stainless steel versions on the strap are an astonishing $9,700. Right in the middle, this new ceramic and titanium option feels like a good value.
What interests us is that Rolex uses advanced technology, the METAS certified series movement features the Seamaster Diver 300M in ceramic and titanium. Especially since last year’s brand refresh, the Seamaster Diver 300M does tend to fall behind from a technical and watchmaking standpoint, and as a great value for money, although I personally would have preferred a bit more in terms of design. Luckily, this new model raises the bar and I want to get it on my wrist ASAP, how about you?