Replica Guide Trusted Dealers Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers


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About 25 million authentic watches roll out of Switzerland’s manufacturing plants annually, compared to China’s 663 million. It is a known fact that some of these latter watches are illegal copies of others, resulting in a colorful and dynamic, albeit seedy and clearly criminal fake watch industry. Why are some of the world’s top brands copied when others are left alone? Who buys these replica watches and why? What can you do to ensure you’re getting the real thing? Let’s see.

While preparing this article, I spoke with a number of people who freely admitted to being replica enthusiasts. “Just don’t use my name,” each said. One young man told me how he justified buying his first copy watch.

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Real Panerai Luminor (left) vs. fake (right) Photo by Watch Report

“I had my eye on a Panerai Luminor Marina,” he confessed. “But at a price of $6,800, I wanted to be sure the size was a good fit for me. A week on the wrist ought to tell. Right? I put down $55 for the replica. I’m glad I did. The real one is beautiful, but after a week I decided the watch was just too big and uncomfortable.”

So he justified his replica purchase by saving $6,800 on a watch he personally wouldn’t have been happy wearing. Later, he told me how he disposed of the copy – more on that in a bit. Do replica buyers have no moral compass? Are they frauds, poseurs? Or fakes themselves?

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

Image Credit: Oomphoto

Popularity Of Replicas

People spend a lot of time scouring the Internet for replica watches – something the Swiss say has no value whatsoever. Indeed, the replica industry costs the legitimate manufacturers billions in lost revenue annually. Of course, this makes the faulty assumption that the same people buying replicas would purchase the real thing.

When the authorities discover a large cache of copy watches they sometimes make a show of the consequences. In 2010, US Customs officials shot a video of their steamroller crushing 7,000 fake Rolex watches. The message is clear – the US will not tolerate infringement of intellectual property rights by counterfeiters. Along with the 7,000 watches it crushed, ICE discovered 24,000 more fake watches in Binh Cam Tran’s home along with enough parts to manufacture another million pieces. This seizure and arrest cost Mr. Tran $2.2 million in fines and restitution, as well as six years in prison.

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

A collage of social media posing with fake watches. Source: @fakewatchbusta.

The Most Popular Fakes

Counterfeiters aren’t artists. They’re business people. They go for the largest possible market. That means copying watches with the greatest perceived demand. The variety of original watches copied by criminals is enormous. More so, the makes and models copied must be expensive luxury items. Otherwise, the counterfeiters would be competing against the legitimate manufacturers for the same customer.

Remember, those in the market for replica watches are not the same people who buy the real thing. Both types of customers make their purchase decisions for entirely different reasons.

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At times it can be challenging to tell from low-resolution instagram posts. Source: @fakewatchbusta.

Now, it’s not hard to guess what the most faked watches are. Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Panerai, Breitling, and Omega are amongst the brands that you’re most likely to find fakes of. Like Louis Vuitton handbags, the most popular and desirable luxury items in a category are also among the most likely to be faked. According to MSN Money, Rolex lands at the 23rd spot in the most counterfeited brands on earth. This makes it the most counterfeited watch brand, though the range of popularly counterfeited brands includes brands like Cartier, Hermes, and, yes, Viagra.

Ironically, some luxury watch brands take pride at being widely copied. They see it as an acknowledgment of the brand’s popularity. Indeed, according to Ariel, Jean-Claude Biver (CEO of Hublot) once shared with him that the authorities confiscating so many fake Hublot watches is a testament to the brand’s market success.

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Image Credit: Telegraph

Where Do People Buy Replicas?

The answer is pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Most of the replicas come from China, but you can find fake watches for sale in basically every major city on earth. Canal Street in Downtown New York City, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, London’s Petticoat Lane market, and Sungai Wang Street in Kuala Lampur are just a few places that come to mind. However, the most popular venue is the Internet. Amazon, eBay, and others carry the Invicta brand – not a fake watch but a lookalike piece. At least these sites make an attempt at policing fake watches.

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Those set on buying a fake usually go to several of the countless internet sites that proudly sell replica watches. The low price is a sure tip-off. Buyers know (or should know) that they’re getting a fake. The only question is how “good” a fake is it? It’s impossible to tell from the fuzzy picture. Does anything work on the piece? Probably not. These internet sites sprout up immediately after the first is shut down. Check out their ad copy:

“We aren’t going to hide the fact that they aren’t authentic…no one will ever know…we can almost be considered an extension of the actual brands themselves…even qualified people who validate the legitimacy of genuine watches can’t tell which one is real and which one is fake.”

Of course none of these claims is true.

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

A replica Panerai case back. Image Credit: Worthy Living

Remember that fake Panerai the young man interviewed earlier bought to test its size? “I was having lunch with a friend at the end of its week on my wrist,” he told me. “My friend admired it from across the table. Here, try it on, I offered. I carefully slipped its buckle off and made a show of cautiously handing it over, as if… My friend put it on, none the wiser. It looks better on you. Keep it.” I’ve heard the gag before.

“What? What! I couldn’t,” the friend said. “It’s too much.” Then the young man came clean and I showed him how to tell the fake from the real. “First, the crown is way too small for a real Panarai. The leather strap is stiff and machine stitched rather than supple and hand stitched. The crown lock bar is hard to move and is close to falling apart.” Not a remotely convincing fake.

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

Fake vintage Rolex dials. Source: Rolex Passion Report.

Frankenwatches

Now on to Frankenwatches, which alludes to various types of watches that are cobbled together by different watch parts, both fake and original. Frankenwatches have parts and pieces from all over the place, much like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster which was made of a composite of body parts pulled together from various cadavers. Sometimes equally as grotesque, you can find these Frankenwatches made of fake or partially fake parts. However, there are also timepieces out there that use original parts but from different watches of undeterminable provenance. Still, one can find mostly genuine parts in the modification. For example, the case may well be the real thing. The dial too. However, when the case back is opened, all is revealed. The finished product may be intended to replicate the real thing or it may be something the producer believes is an improvement. Unlike the copy watches that try to imitate regular production pieces, frankenwatches are often modeled after rare and hard to find timepieces. They’re (falsely) represented as vintage pieces.

I spoke to a guy who was accidentally party to the production of a frankenwatch. He, in hindsight rather foolishly, gave his 20-year old Rolex Submariner to his neighborhood jeweler who swore he regularly serviced Rolexes. Silly him. When the watch came back the hands were shiny and new. “You changed the hands?” he asked.

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“They were corroded,” the jeweler stated. “I only charged you $10 for that little service.”

“You used aftermarket parts?!”

“Why pay more for something that looks just like the original?”

“Naturally,” the guy said, “my watch’s richly patinated hands that matched exactly with the rest of the dial had been discarded and were irretrievable.” The Submariner that had faithfully accompanied him on every dive he had made around the world for twenty years was now a frankenwatch. A word to the wise; unless the watchmaker is a close and trusted relative, only use the manufacturer to service your watches and clearly state the work you want done.

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You may recall an article right here on aBlogtoWatch, dated March 19, 2014, Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several ‘Counterfeit’ ROLEX Timepieces by aBlogtoWatch founder, Ariel Adams. Reading the details of the case it sounds more like the issue revolved around re-purposed parts – both real parts cannibalized from other vintage Rolexes as well as unauthorized parts – to make a more valuable single watch.

Today, watches such as the Royal Oak endless calendar skeleton (a benchmark in AP’s collection and one of the best perpetuals available on the current market, in my own estimation), the Royal Oak Equation of Time, the revolutionary Chron-AP, and also this Millenary Minute Repeater demonstrate that AP is without a doubt a top-tier manufacture. AP’s in-house self-winding caliber 3120, found inside the fundamental Royal Oak 15400, can also be one of the best base moves in the world. These are the things that keep AP relevant to “real” watch fans that occasionally get lost in the buzz round the other types of AP buyers.And then there is your typical well-to-do watch purchaser. For me, the best analogy for this other type of AP purchaser is advised using a singular scene in one episode of a single television series that was popular for a period of time some years back. I am talking about Entourage, and I wager the vast majority of you know the way to which scene I am referring.Ari Gold receives a solid gold Royal Oak chronograph (not as the opinion I will review down below) by his then-soon-to-be boss, who describes it as “One of the best watches in the world.” The camera then pans to the solid gold watch in its box, and Ari is in disbelief regarding the gift — and thus, AP is introduced to a whole bunch of potential new clients, the guys who watch Entourage. From this moment on, you see several of the personalities on the display wearing APs. Many at the time believed Audemars Piguet had compensated for the placement, but in discussions with AP over time, it was disclosed to me that not a single dollar was traded. Instead, a specific producer on the show was a large AP customer, and insisted it be a Royal Oak introduced to Ari. Entourage did a lot for AP, but it was not this one positioning that defines the “other” kind of AP customer. It does give you a good notion of where AP is popular, and that is in Hollywood, music, and sports, with the young and moneyed.

Regardless of its outcome, the case embarrassed both parties who probably should have known better. Still, it also cast a bright light on just how difficult it can be to identify minor imperfections buried deep within an otherwise authentic piece. The consequences can be financially disastrous.

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

Image Credit: Shanghai Brooklynites

Who Buys Replicas And Why?

Case in point: I have a client who collects yachts. By last count he has seven in his collection all bobbing in a marina just outside Los Angeles. Yet he proudly sports a replica Rolex Yacht-Master. Even to the untrained eye this paste has a garish orange tinge that glares from across the room. He’s had it going on two years now. He certainly can afford any real watch he wants. So why the knock-off?

“It was a Father’s day present from my kids,” he explains. “It would break their little hearts if I didn’t wear it. Besides, it keeps good enough time. It’s quartz!” So here is my first category of replica buyer – someone who could buy the Real McCoy – and probably has several – but for a reason that makes sense to him he consciously trots out the occasional fake.

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

Image Credit: Travel Past 50

Let’s call my second category – the unsuspecting victim (“un-vics” or “unvics”). Unvics are an endangered species but some still exist. They are walking billboards for handbags, shoes, sunglasses, hats, and – yes – wristwatches. All display the world’s priciest, exclusive logos. Unbeknownst to Unvic, some are fake. Authentic luxury items are sold in company-owned boutiques and the tony shops of authorized dealers located in the nicer parts of town. They are not sold at a deep discount on the street from the trunk of a beat-up Toyota. If it sounds too good to be true…

Confessions Of Serial Replica Watch Buyers Featured Articles

Image Credit: Bob’s Watches

When buying a watch it doesn’t take much effort to be an informed consumer. There are tutorials by brands showing how to tell the real from the fake. Right here on aBlogtoWatch Ariel Adams wrote, The Most Common Fake Watches (May 31, 2014). Another from Bob’s Watches deals with spotting fake Rolexes.  When venturing outside the safe confines of an authorized dealer, having at least some knowledge can save huge embarrassment and often a considerable sum of money. For those who can’t or won’t educate themselves, find a knowledgeable, trusted advisor to assist with the search and authentication. I was in Hong Kong with a client a few years ago. He asked me to accompany him on a watch buying expedition. I was thrilled – buy a fine timepiece with someone else’s money? Now that’s a perfect day.

Replica Wholesale Center Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Watch In Steel Hands-On


Blink, and you might miss 2017’s subtle updates to the Royal Oak Chronograph collection, but to eagle-eyed Audemars Piguet fans, these could be considered significant edits that bring a healthy dose of modernity and maybe just a touch of controversy to the classic spirit of the Swiss watchmaker’s most popular sport watch – and we’re not just referring to the sweet new bi-color ‘panda’ style dials.

All images by Ariel Adams

Let’s back up a bit though to SIHH earlier this year, when AP had not one, but a slew of new additions to the Royal Oak line – including the show-stopping Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar with a full ceramic bracelet. But there was a method to the Royal Oak madness this year, as the Gerald Genta-designed icon happens to be celebrating its 40th anniversary since being first introduced in precious metal, and its 20th anniversary since coming to life in three-register chronograph form in 1997.

In its two decades of service, the Royal Oak chronograph has understandably seen a small number of iterations over the years (most recently back in 2012), but this time around, the edits in question are all about simplifying the dial, boosting contrast and returning to the visual aesthetic that made the Royal Oak Chronograph a winner with fans in the first place. Most notably, this refers to 39mm references dating back to 2008 – at which time, homage was being paid to even earlier vintage Royal Oak references, making these new chronographs almost an homage to an homage, but that’s probably besides the point.

These throwback touches start with the registers which have been slightly edited – most notably the 6 and 9:00 sub-dials which have been enlarged for better legibility. There apparently wasn’t quite enough room on the dial to enlarge all three, so the running seconds sub-dial at 6:00 has been left the same size as before, while losing its Arabic numerals, resulting in a cleaner distinction of information between all three registers.

As we start looking forward to 2018’s SIHH novelties, we thought it high time to take a better look at some of the year’s favorites, including the richly over-the-top 15202, left for the very first time as a modern, non-limited reference completely in 18-carat yellow gold. It is not merely the all-gold case that lends the 15202 relevance though — there are a couple additional (albeit more subtle) visual cues that set this particular reference apart, and might make it more desirable for collectors in the long run. Probably most obvious, is the very simple time plus date-only dial setup, completed from the ‘AP’ logo at 6:00, which pays direct homage to the initial steel 5402 released in 1972. This aesthetic also tips its hat towards the yellowish gold 5402BA Jumbo introduced five decades later — the first time Audemars Piguet rendered the Jumbo inside this precious metal.However, more notable is the depth — the new 15202 steps a hair over 8mm, 0.2mm thicker than the first 5402, and the closest we’ve seen to people pioneering ultra-thin measurements because the 40th Anniversary editions from 2012 — thus the ‘Extra Thin’ naming convention. This new-but-really-old profile, coupled with the eminently wearable 39mm case size truly feels like the sweet spot for your Royal Oak, also has much to do with why this iconic layout was able to become this kind of future-proof classic in the first place.The Jumbo Royal Oak in its most classic arrangement is a wristwatch that historically, with dimensions, should wear tremendously thin. Those searching for a slightly more toned-down aesthetic still rendered in this metal will appreciate the next of the 15202’s two brand new dial variants: a gorgeous blue, and this, given the spate of blue-on-bronze sports watches we’ve seen this season, is as much on-trend, as it’s slightly less ostentatious.

If you’ve already noted the new position of the date window, consider yourself among an extreme minority that noticed its subtle shift closer to the 5:00 index – a forced relocation as a result of the larger 3:00 sub-dial, and a further disruption to the overall symmetry (if the outgoing variant’s date window at 4:30 could ever be called ‘symmetrical’). Thankfully though, it’s subtle at worst, and likely to go unnoticed by all but a few.

The popularity of the Royal Oak Offshore diver is likely to blame for the third change in question, which introduces a slightly wider, more luminous applied hour markers. Just like the larger registers, this update aimed to boost overall legibility, and create a sportier, more dynamic aesthetic. Unfortunately, this also comes perhaps partially at the expense of the understated elegance that’s defined the Royal Oak Chronograph for the last two decades. Furthermore, the collective tweaks ultimately introduce a greater degree of asymmetry that might be a bit jarring to fans who favor the sleek indices and balance of the Royal Oak Chronograph’s current iteration.

Dial aesthetics aside, from a size and functionality standpoint, the incoming Royal Oak models are still 41mm, and are still fitted with the Caliber 2385, a column wheel chronograph movement with a long history deployed inside AP chronographs. However, the fact that both the movement and the case dimensions are exactly the same as the predecessor further the mystery as to why AP would tweak a winning formula, seemingly without clear rhyme or reason. If a sportier aesthetic were the goal, these alterations feel more like meddling, than a truly purposeful update. If the latter were the goal, it seems like a tonal sub-dial at 6:00 and a re-balancing of the date window would have granted a cool, “bi-compax” aesthetic that would have been a better means of celebrating the collection’s new contrasting sub-dials – but then again, that particular look is reserved for the nautically-driven Offshore chronograph, and so here we are – arguably “neither here nor there.”

But speaking of that look, as expected, the cases themselves exhibit Audemars’ exemplary finishing (an eight-stage process which includes many hours of cutting, sandblasting, lapping, polishing, and varnishing), and are fitted with that “Grand Tapisserie” waffled dial, still cut using a century-old pantograph machine. Now, unless you had them both together in the same room, on the wrist, the general aesthetic and wearing experience of the 2017 chronographs is consistent with the outgoing variants, which are a pleasure to wear. Ultimately, the most immediately noticeable change is the new ‘panda’ look, which is an undeniably excellent update, and one that should otherwise prove quite popular with Royal Oak fans new and old.

Stainless steel case variants (like this reference 26331ST.OO.1220ST.01) are available with black, blue, or this silver dial – each with contrasting registers, for a price of $24,300 on a stainless steel bracelet. For those who think the Royal Oak is best presented in precious metal, Audemars Piguet is also producing the new chronographs in solid rose gold, which are available in two dial options: brown or blue, each with the option of a solid gold bracelet or matching alligator leather strap. audemarspiguet.com

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is maybe one of the most well-known watches available today, and contrary to other watches of similar fame like the Omega Speedmaster or Rolex Submariner, its basic design also enjoys substantial flexibility concerning complications. From straightforward time-only versions to more complicated offerings, there are many flavors of Royal Oak accessible, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked Material Good watch is among the more complicated examples.As an aside, and maybe it’s just me, but it feels just like brands actually need to work on keeping watch names to a manageable length. Getting back to the watch accessible, this particular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was designed in collaboration with Material Good — a New York-based luxury merchant. As the title clearly indicates, encased inside the Gerald Genta-designed instance is a openworked movement using a tourbillon and a chronograph complication.The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph is powered by the caliber 2936, which will be a hand-wound movement using a 72-hour power reserve. The skeletonization is complicated and elaborate, and effort has gone into the bridge design to be certain that the final result appears visually intriguing and balanced.The bridge at 12:00, which retains the mainspring barrel, has an intriguing arch-like design which matches the form of the tourbillon cage on the opposite end. The bridges are in gold and polished to a brilliant end and with lots of chamfering.

Grade 1 Replica Watches Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm View

As we already begin looking forward to 2018’s SIHH novelties, we thought it high time to take a closer look at a few of this season’s favorites, including the gloriously over-the-top 15202, left for the very first time as a contemporary, non-limited reference entirely from 18-carat yellow gold. It is not merely the all-gold case that lends the 15202 significance though — there are a few additional (albeit much more subtle) visual cues that set this particular reference aside, and might make it more desirable for collectors in the future. Probably most obvious, is the very simple time plus date-only dial configuration, done by the ‘AP’ emblem at 6:00, which pays direct homage to the original steel 5402 published in 1972. This aesthetic also tips its hat towards the yellow gold 5402BA Jumbo introduced five decades later — the very first time Audemars Piguet rendered the Jumbo inside this precious metal.However, more noteworthy is the thickness — the brand new 15202 steps a hair over 8mm, 0.2mm thicker than the original 5402, and the closest we have seen to those pioneering ultra-thin measurements since the 40th Anniversary editions from 2012 — thus the ‘Extra Thin’ naming convention. This new-but-really-old profile, coupled with all the eminently wearable 39mm case size truly feels just like the sweet place for your Royal Oak, and has much to do with why this iconic design managed to become this kind of future-proof classic in the first place.The Jumbo Royal Oak in its classic configuration is a wristwatch that historically, with dimensions, should wear exceptionally thin. People who are searching for a slightly more toned-down aesthetic still rendered in this metal will love the next of those 15202’s two new dial variants: a stunning blue, which, given the spate of blue-on-bronze sports watches we have seen this year, is as much on-trend, since it’s a bit less ostentatious.

During SIHH 2016, Audemars Piguet released two Royal Oak Frosted Gold watches – a 33mm quartz version and a 37mm automatic one. For those who enjoy some bling in their watches and a larger case size, the brand has a added a 41mm limited edition option, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm watch, to the line.

The “frosted gold” used in the making of the case and the bracelet is prepared using a hammering technique by Italian jeweler, Carolina Bucci. The metal is frosted after the components are shaped but before assembly, much like other decorative techniques. For those of you who are curious, Audemars Piguet has a short video which shows a few fleeting seconds of the process underway here – note that this isn’t done by a wise, old watchmaker behind a desk but by an efficient machine.

Sometimes one can get lost in the seductive illusion that more is done by hand than, in reality, is possible with certain techniques and modern expectations for tolerances. The frosting gives the gold a shiny effect similar to that of having diamond powder on the surface, just less reflective. The bezel edges are polished and case edges beveled for some additional pop in between the frosting, and the caseband is brushed (perhaps there is such a thing as too much bling). The “frosted” finishing is not often seen in cases (movement parts and dials, more often), which makes this an interesting and unusual look that should probably be viewed in person to determine just how attractive/wearable/masculine/blingy or otherwise it is. Aside from the use of the frosted gold, this is essentially the blue-dial version of the time-only Royal Oak that we’ve come to know in various forms over the years since Gerald Genta designed it.

While the previous smaller variants were offered in white and rose gold, this 41mm Royal Oak will only be available in white gold. It has the blue tapisserie dial with a matching blue date window. I always thought the Royal Oak shined best with a blue (not white) dial. The hands and applied markers are gold, of course, and filled with a sliver of Super-LumiNova to make the watch legible at night. The bracelet is the familiar and very comfortable design. Like the 37mm frosted gold sibling, it is powered by the automatic caliber 3120, which offers 60 hours of power reserve, beats at 3Hz, and has the customary, solid 22ct gold, decorated monobloc rotor – all of which is visible through a display caseback.

Those wanting to stock up on some bling will have to hurry as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm is limited to 200 pieces only. If you happen to miss out, you could always console yourself by purchasing a set of Royal Oak cufflinks that the brand released with the watch. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm is available at retailers and boutiques for $55,000 and a pair of the cufflinks will set you back $4,200 for the gold and $1,600 for steel. audemarspiguet.com

Replica Watches Free Shipping Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Salon Watches


The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph are three new, pre-SIHH 2018 references that we’ll see in stores next year, when AP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Royal Oak Offshore line.

When Audemars Piguet unveiled the first Royal Oak Offshore some 25 years ago, I don’t think they expected it to be the success that it is today, even though it largely built on the original Royal Oak recipe: go very large, very bold, and expensive. Many forget that at the time of its debut in 1972, the now-classical 39mm Royal Oak caused quite a stir with its price, its on-display screw heads in its bezel, its steel case and bracelet, and its extremely high price, unprecedented for a steel watch. Now, all this was to be taken to the next level with the Royal Oak Offshore.

The first Royal Oak Offshore reference 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01. Source: watchuwant.com

It was large and brash, and purists who saw it at Basel back in 1993 screamed that the Royal Oak had been desecrated – probably the same people who cried out to about the original Royal Oak desecrating luxury watches in general. Truth be told, the Offshore was a bold move by Audemars Piguet, but now we all know how well it has paid off. Today, the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore are Audemars Piguet’s best-selling collections – basically synonymous with the brand itself, which clearly isn’t a good thing, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.

As 2018 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet will commemorate the occasion with three special Royal Oak Offshore offerings – with certainly a few more in the pipeline, waiting to be launched at SIHH 2018. Here’s your first look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph.

The first watch is a re-edition of the very first Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph from 1993. Yup, “The Beast” is back, and this re-edition Ref. 26237ST stays very much faithful to the original. It features a 42mm stainless steel case and bracelet and a blue “Petite Tapisserie” dial. Like the original, the re-edition also has blue rubber pushers for the chronograph and a screw-down crown. Unlike newer Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs that have sapphire display casebacks, the re-edition features a solid caseback engraved with the Royal Oak Offshore logo. Water-resistance is 100m. The main differences that we can see between this 2018 version and the original are extremely subtle, namely in the seconds track and ‘Swiss Made’ print on the periphery of the dial.

Inside the re-edition Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph beats the Caliber 3126/3840, the same movement used in other modern Royal Oak Offshore chronograph watches. Aside from the time, of course, this movement features chronograph and date complications, a 22k gold rotor, beats at 3Hz, and has a power reserve of 50 hours.

Fortunately, it isn’t all teary-eyed past-reviving that’s happening at this anniversary – kudos to AP for that. Therefore, alongside the re-edition Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, we see the launch of the new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph, namely Ref. 26421ST and 26421OR, that have a completely new design in two different case materials.

Based on two earlier Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches, specifically the Ref. 26388PO (see our hands-on with it here) and 26288OR, these new Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watches come in stainless steel and 18k rose gold respectively, and feature a new case design that has a thinner bezel and hence a more open dial. Even so, the distinctive Royal Oak Offshore design traits are all intact. The 45mm case is still angular, the bezel is still octagonal, and there’s no missing those exposed hexagonal screws on the bezel. Completing the look are black ceramic pushers for the chronograph and a screw-down crown. Water resistance is also 100m.

On the dial, one can see the exposed movement and the tourbillon at 9 o’clock. Opposite the tourbillon at 3 o’clock is the 30-minute counter for the chronograph. Also clearly visible are the two mainspring barrels. The skeletonized bridges extend from each of the eight screws in a way that is rather unique and ties the design of the case, dial, and movement together in a way few watches manage to do so.

These watches are powered by the in-house hand-wound Caliber 2947, which is an open-worked version of the Caliber 2933 found in the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Ref. 26388PO & 26288OR. This particular movement features 338 components, an integrated chronograph movement that has a column wheel mechanism, a beat rate of 3Hz, and a power reserve of a whopping 237 hours. Royal Oak Offshore fanatics are certainly eager to know the prices, and we will update the article when we are able to confirm. Each Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary model is limited to 50 pieces. audemarspiguet.com

Once the hammers strike the gongs, this membrane vibrates and acts like the sound board of a guitar, dramatically amplifying the looks of their gongs. Additionally, the actual titanium case back is slightly raised to cover this membrane and has apertures along the border to allow sounds to escape. This results in one of the loudest minute repeater watches we’ve ever heard. And interestingly, the watch seems even louder when it’s worn on the wrist!At that the end of the day, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is yet another powerful showcase of this brand’s almost breathtaking technical know-how and unique design sense. It’s a thoroughly modern take on a few of horology’s oldest complications, and we can observe that in the case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph view, it has also been thoroughly improved.And should you believe all this won’t come cheap, you’d be right. Though the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is not a limited edition, it has a princely price of $597,400.

Replica Trusted Dealers Our Take On Your Timepieces To Be Sold In The Watch 2017 Charity Auction


Auctions are best suited to the sale of unique items that aren’t otherwise available on the market. For that reason, I always look forward to the interesting watches that are donated to the Only Watch auction series which is currently being run by the auction house Christie’s. Only Watch is an event that we’ve covered a lot over the years on aBlogtoWatch, and the next installment of this biennial auction sale will happen in Geneva on November 11th, 2017.

The Only Watch auction series isn’t as strong an event as it used to be, but its main theme continues to be respected. The idea is that watch brands submit unique watches made especially to be donated and sold at the auction. These are unique prototypes or are the first in a limited-edition series. The proceeds (minus all sorts of fees, I am sure) are to be given to Association Monegasque Contre le Myopathies (AMM) whose goal is to fund medical research to help treat a form of muscular dystrophy.


What is left of the “dial” is essentially a satin-brushed, ruthenium-toned ring round the border and the two anthracite sub-dials. There is a rehaut printed with a second chapter ring too. In my experience, legibility isn’t the strongest suit for a skeletonized watch, but that is less of an issue in the case of the watch. The usage of pink gold applied hour markers and pink gold baton-shaped palms, both filled with lume, should offer adequate legibility in most lighting conditions. The “Audemars Piguet” logo is printed onto the surface of the sapphire crystal on front, which gives it a nice floating effect.The sub-dials are easy with white printed text and white baton-shaped hands. The sub-dial in 3:00 indicates chronograph minutes and also the one at 9:00 shows constant moments. 1 possible issue with legibility must do with the chronograph seconds hand, which can be black with a lumed white tip. Between just how thin the seconds hand is and the colour, reading the chronograph elapsed time may be more cumbersome than individuals may like. It’s hard to say for certain until we get our hands on a tangible case of the watch.I’ve abandoned the situation and bracelet description to the past because those are some of the most recognizable areas of the watch. This is the same Gerald Genta layout that is popular among many collectors however with 44mm by 13.2mm case measurements. This is a somewhat large watch with a wide bezel on both the front and back. All the straight lines and sharp angles additionally give it a bigger appearance. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph can be obtained in two case substances — titanium and rose gold. There will be the obvious visual differences in both substances but what I find intriguing is that titanium is usually a light material with high tensile strength, while gold is a compact but soft material. This signifies is that the experience of wearing every variant should be substantially different, and that I personally find this interesting.

Only Watch is only as strong as the watches which are donated by watch brands. These are tax write-offs as well as a way to get publicity and an ego boost. Brands love to see their products go under the gavel and get bought up by collectors. With that said, there is nothing to stop brands from bidding on their own watches either directly or via a proxy. So, in my opinion, the actual numerical value of what the watches end up going for at the auction should be taken with a grain of salt. That same philosophy should be applied to the results of any auction, as they merely represent what one buyer, who happened to be present, was willing to do on that day.

This year, Only Watch decided to debut all of the watch auction lots on the same day, which is a departure from their more traditional tactic of slowly releasing watches over a several-week or several-month period. Nevertheless, certain brands didn’t quite get their acts together and get stuff done on time. I will go into that a bit more below. Another semi-new element to the auction is that many of the auction lots include an experience such as a trip or special meeting – along with the watch, of course. These experiences (which are not attached to all the lots, should help liven up the bidding quite a bit when the experiences prove as interesting as the timepieces.

A total of 49 lots will be auctioned off during the event in November that, unfortunately, won’t be able to benefit from the glitz of having an event in Monaco itself. With that said, the watches (well, the complete ones) will be traveling around the world “on tour” so that potential buyers can check them out. Click the link above to see if you are in one of the nine cities that will have the watches there for a few days at a time starting at the end of September 2017.

In the video that is embedded in this article, you can hear myself and David Bredan talk about all 49 of the watches/clocks. We spend just a few moments on each in order to bring you our take. This year’s lots aren’t bad as wearable items, but leave much to be desired when it comes to actually being interesting or unique. Allow me to go over some of the most interesting and important lots from Only Watch 2017. For a full list of the watches along with technical specifications and auction price estimates check out the watches at the Only Watch website.

Patek Philippe always uses this occasion to release a one-of-a-kind version with a titanium or steel case of an existing watch they produce or have produced. This year’s model is a bit more on the conservative side, but is very high-end and will easily be the auction’s top lot with a price that is almost guaranteed to be over a million dollars. The watch is the Patek Philippe 5208T-010, which is a version in titanium on a blue cordura strap of their perpetual calendar chronograph minute repeater. At 42mm wide, this is among the larger timepieces that Patek Philippe makes – and of course, it is considered to be a “grand complication,” which means it is far more exclusive than more standard Patek Philippe products. The 5208 is a really nifty Patek Philippe, and this version – like all the titanium or steel models for Only Watch – will be coveted by collectors.

Audemars Piguet offers a blue-dialed version of its all black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar as the reference 26599CE.OO.1225CE.01. Audemars Piguet also points out that the caseback and the oscillating weight (rotor) on the movement are also ceramic – which I believe is a first for the ceramic Royal Oak models. It will go for a fair amount of money, but nothing mind-blowing, in my opinion. This is just another uncommon (in this instance, unique) watch for one of the world’s many Audemars Piguet fans.

The last Only Watch auction was the first that Tudor participated in, and even though their watch was among the lowest when it came to the auction estimate, it went for a really high price. Once again, Tudor comes to Only Watch with a small change on an existing model which is a lefty version with an olive green bezel and dial of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze. They call it the Black Bay Bronze One, and it is the reference 7925/001. It isn’t the most amazing thing in the world, but it is pretty and it should attract a price likely several times what the stock Black Bay Bronze goes for. With the Tudor watch comes the experience of being invited to the Tudor headquarters in Geneva – a place that is normally not open to guests.

Ulysse Nardin’s Only Watch 2017 entrant isn’t all that original either, but pleasant enough, with a steel-cased version of the Marine Tourbillon known as the Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Only Watch. It has the same type of engraved and then blue enamel painted dial as this Ulysse Nardin Classic watch – so it should be truly striking in person. I would love one of these if I had the money.

I have a feeling that the second most valuable watch at Only Watch 2017 will be the piece submitted by F.P. Journe. Interestingly enough, there are two watches in the auction with movements produced by F.P. Journe’s Geneva factory. The F.P. Journe Chronographe Monopoussoir Rattrapante (chronograph monopusher split second) is likely going to be very nice looking in person. It begins with a unique tantalum case that is 44mm wide (bigger than pretty much anything F.P. Journe makes) and has a dial that is “blue chrome” with orange and yellow accents. The watch’s movement is further extremely beautiful being the caliber 1517 and was apparently developed just for the Only Watch 2017 auction. That makes it one of the few unique movements for the event. This watch has “half a million bucks” written all over it.

Replica Watches Essentials Audemars Piguet Extra-Thin Jumbo Royal Oak Ref. 15202 Gold Watch Hands-On


Regardless of whether or not you’re into all things that glitter, it can’t be denied that 2017’s SIHH trends were punctuated by heaps of the 79th element in yellow, white, and frosty hues. And no one had more to show in this camp than Audemars Piguet, whose Extra-Thin Jumbo Royal Oak (reference 15202) in gold didn’t quite steal the spotlight from the showstopping Perpetual Calendar in ceramic, but it certainly came awfully close – especially for those who’ve been following the last 40 or so years of the Royal Oak.

All images by Ariel Adams & David Bredan

As we already start looking forward to 2018’s SIHH novelties, we thought it high time to take a closer look at some of this year’s favorites, which include the gloriously over-the-top 15202, rendered for the first time as a modern, non-limited reference entirely in 18-carat yellow gold. It’s not just the all-gold case that lends the 15202 significance though – there are a few other (albeit much more subtle) visual cues that set this particular reference apart, and might make it more desirable for collectors in the future. Perhaps most obvious, is the simple time and date-only dial configuration, completed by the ‘AP’ logo at 6:00, which pays direct homage to the original steel 5402 released in 1972. This aesthetic also tips its hat towards the yellow gold 5402BA Jumbo released five years later – the first time Audemars Piguet rendered the Jumbo in this precious metal.

The black satin-brushed dial is partly skeletonized to show the inner workings of this watch. The hour and minute hands are made of 18K white gold and are partially skeletonized as well. However, because they’re fairly chunky, telling the timing is not overly difficult, but legibility isn’t ideal. That being said, this isn’t really a bit where the hands are the focus. The running moments hand to your chronograph is bright yellow to provide contrast against the dark dial.Finally, the respective moment markers as well as the mark to the 30-minute chronograph in 3 o’clock are rendered in white and yellow to provide maximum contrast and legibility. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock can be exceptional since it displays the elapsed minutes with a retrograde indicator. And finally, at six o’clock is that the tourbillon.The motion is where the magic all happens. It’s obviously in-house, also it’s the calibre 2937. And like all luxury chronograph movements, it’s a column-wheel and lateral clutch.What’s unusual about it, however, is its two gongs. Rather than mounting the gongs into the motion plate, they’re attached to what Audemars Piguet requires a “sound board” Essentially, it is a thin membrane made of a special aluminum alloy which covers the rear of the movement, held in place by screws, and also forming a water-tight seal. This explains how the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is able to get a water-resistance score of 20 meters, which might not seem like much to some casual observer, but that couldn’t be more incorrect. The 20 meters is actually rather impressive considering the intricate construction of the watch.

However, more noteworthy is the thickness – the new 15202 measures a hair over 8mm, 0.2mm thicker than the original 5402, and the closest we’ve seen to those pioneering ultra-thin measurements since the 40th Anniversary editions from 2012 – hence the ‘Extra Thin’ naming convention. This new-but-really-old profile, coupled with the eminently wearable 39mm case size truly feels like the sweet spot for the Royal Oak, and has much to do with why this iconic design was able to become such a future-proof classic in the first place.

The Jumbo Royal Oak in its most classic configuration is a watch that historically, by all measurements, should wear exceptionally thin. However, this new reference is one that still manages to jump off the wrist, thanks to its solid yellow gold case, and light-gobbling “Petite Tapisserie” tonal champagne colored waffle dial. Those looking for a slightly more toned-down aesthetic still rendered in this precious metal will appreciate the second of the 15202’s two new dial variations: a gorgeous blue, which, given the spate of blue-on-bronze sports watches we’ve seen this year, is as much on-trend, as it is slightly less ostentatious.

Despite the svelte profile though, the gold 15202 is a surprisingly heavy watch. This tactile illusion is due, of course to the fact that gold’s density is nearly three times that of stainless steel, lending the assertive wrist presence of a much larger sports watch to one that can otherwise slide easily beneath the cuff of a dress shirt. When you look at the bracelet and case when considering the weight of the gold, the slim profile but solid gold look presents a contrasted personality that works well. It’s safe, but a modern design icon in an old-school material.

From the dial-side, the look and feel of the 15202 is distinctly classic – like a vintage re-issue of the original 5402 in gold. Inside though, beats a different story. Here we have the Caliber 2121, now produced in-house by Audemars Piguet (in the Royal Oak’s formative years, the 2121 was actually produced by Jaeger LeCoultre). It’s an ultra-thin automatic movement measuring 3.05mm thick, and characterized by a unique 2.75Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour), though that slightly lower-than-average alternance isn’t readily visible as the 15202 doesn’t feature a running seconds hand. Unlike the 5402 that inspired it, the 15202 gets a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, through which the cal. 2121’s 21-carat gold rotor is visible, as it glides back and forth on the circular rail running the circumference of the movement – one of the tricks enabling the 2121’s signature thinness.

In total, the 15202 will be available in three variants – the new gold options (yellow gold on champagne yellow, or yellow gold on blue) join the existing stainless steel 15202 which was re-introduced back in 2012. While the stainless steel Extra-Thin Jumbo Royal Oak starts at roughly $22,000, those looking to ‘stay gold’ can expect to part with over double that – $55,000 for the 18-carat gold variants. audemarspiguet.com

Replica For Sale Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch If You Purchase?


Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Guest post by Lex Stolk

When Vacheron Constantin introduced the revamped Overseas collection in 2016, a seed was planted in my brain. During this year’s SIHH I got my hands on the full range of Overseas models causing that seed to make a growth spurt. The Overseas is an ultra-luxurious sport watch just like the benchmark in that category, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Question is: can the new Overseas be a real alternative to the Royal Oak?

It was at a five-star hotel in Amsterdam where the Vacheron Constantin representative showed me the new Overseas World Time back in 2016. Earlier that year a completely revamped Overseas collection took the limelight during the 2016-edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). The Overseas World Time indicates 37 time zones, including those that are offset by 30 or 15 minutes. It is available with three choices of dials and comes with a steel bracelet, plus a leather and a rubber strap. Inside the steel case beats the caliber 2460WT, the same Hallmark of Geneva movement as used in the Traditionelle World Time. All in all, a very well-built and exquisitely finished watch. I asked for the price of the sporty World Time. The answer was around $40,000. Then I inquired about the price of the Traditionelle World Time in either red or white gold. Around $50,000 was the answer. As a reference point I asked for the price of the steel Overseas Chronograph that was introduced earlier in January. $30,000 was the response, which made me very curious about the motivation behind the price.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

8 Movement Components

Allow me to summarize and paraphrase the explanation I got regarding pricing of the different Overseas models. The Overseas World Time is positioned exactly between the gold Traditionelle and the steel Overseas Chronograph. You pay $10,000 more for a superbly finished and decorated, complicated 255-part world time movement in comparison to the 263-part chronograph Caliber 5200 that is also a Hallmark of Geneva and arguably just as complicated. To put it bluntly; you pay $10k more for 8 movement components less. The price gap between the Overseas World Time and the Traditionelle with the same functions in a gold case is also $10,000 USD. Because both watches use the same movement, that $10k is essentially the price for a gold case.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Over coffee we had a lively discussion on how the final pricing set in the Genevan headquarters. The Traditionelle World Time was already in the collection and the difference in price with a steel watch with the same movement was quite difficult to determine. The ‘VC’ management had to look up at the Traditionelle and down at the Overseas. Price it in the nearness of the Overseas Chronograph and the price of the Traditionelle World Time would look excessive. Price it within close range of the Traditionelle in gold and the new steel creation would seem excessively expensive. The consensus was found smack in the middle. With the introduction of the Dual Time at the end of 2017, VC introduced a $24,700 watch in the expanding Overseas collection that is $5k cheaper than the Chronograph, and you can have this watch in red gold for almost the same price as the steel World Time – although you don’t get three, but two straps, whereas a solid gold bracelet would skyrocket the price.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Bonus Straps

Since we’re now on the topic of bracelets and straps. The new Overseas range is equipped with a clever quick release system which allows for easy switching between a steel bracelet, the rubber, and the alligator leather strap; the gold version doesn’t have a matching bracelet but only a leather and a rubber strap. This system and the triple strap choice for the steel models is used by VC as a justification for the price. Let’s crunch some numbers. If you consider that the combined cost price of the rubber and leather strap is about $400 USD (this is generously calculated), it’s not really a significant part of the total price. The extra straps are a nice bonus a jeweler can use in his effort to sell the watch, but that’s it.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

The different Overseas creations are in the same price bracket as the watches in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection. The Royal Oak is the benchmark for many and hence is the watch to beat in the category of ultra-luxurious steel sports-watches – the Patek Philippe Nautilus reigns in the hyper-luxury category (I know, we are running out of superlatives, just how these big brands like it to be).

To fully understand the market situation, we have to look into some rather more obscure chapters of watchmaking history. Traditional high-end brands like those we just mentioned, you will find, have at least two things in common: they have been around long enough to play the “long-standing” and “historical” cards while they all strive to remain as high up in the market as possible – even if, in most recent years, we have seen them take more or less successful efforts to gain some traction in lower price segments.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: Which Luxury Sports Watch Should You Buy? Featured Articles

Here is your first look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph.The first watch is a re-edition of this very earliest Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph from 1993. Yup, “The Beast” is back, and this re-edition Ref. 26237ST stays very much loyal to the original. It includes a 42mm stainless steel case and bracelet and a blue “Petite Tapisserie” dial. Like the first, the re-edition also has blue rubber pushers for the chronograph and a screw-down crown. The main differences which we can see between this 2018 version and the first are extremely subtle, namely in the moments monitor and ‘Swiss Made’ print onto the periphery of the dial.Inside that the re-edition Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph beats the Caliber 3126/3840, the exact same movement used in other contemporary Royal Oak Offshore chronograph watches. Aside from the time, needless to say, this movement comprises chronograph and date complications, a 22k gold strand, beats at 3Hz, and includes a power reserve of 50 hours.

Nevertheless, when you look at Chrono24 – the world’s largest online specialized watch platform to buy and sell watches, which therefore is a good barometer of the market – the prices of new and pre-owned Royal Oaks and Overseas models tell a different story. Try finding a decent Royal Oak below $15,000; an almost impossible task, unless you are willing to go with smaller (36mm) cases. But if you’re on the lookout for an Overseas with less than $10,000 to spend, the search is not so difficult. Why is that?