THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT REPLICA WATCHES FROM SIHH
THEY’RE NOT NECESSARILY THE CLEVEREST OR THE MOST EXPENSIVE, BUT TO OUR MIND, THESE ARE THE REPLICA WATCHES LAUNCHED AT SIHH THIS WEEK THAT WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST LONG-TERM IMPACT ON THE REPLICA WATCH INDUSTRY
In our last couple of posts, we introduced you to a handful of pieces the brands had unveiled before this week’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva. Having spent the week there, we still think Montblanc’s connected TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap is one of the most important watches we’ll see this year, but it wasn’t the only one. Here are five more agenda-setting timepieces every self-respecting replica watches enthusiast should know about.
Replica Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph
The venerable house of Vacheron Constantin is celebrating its 260th anniversary this year with a new family of watches – the Harmony. It’s based on a 1928 design plucked from the brand’s archives, and recognisable by its cushion shape and sculptured lugs that follow the case’s form.
There are seven limited-edition Vacheron Constantin Replica Harmony models to mark the anniversary, including a dual-timer, a smaller version for ladies, and a stunning ultra-thin automatic split-seconds chronograph that becomes the world’s thinnest of its kind.
For us, the headliner is the Harmony Chronograph, a monopusher chronograph with a ‘doctor’s’ pulsometer scale that mirrors the look of the historic piece. Being limited to 260 pieces, it’s not going to dominate the high-end chronograph market for years to come, but it’s important because it houses Vacheron’s long-awaited in-house chronograph calibre, planned for roll-out across the collection in 2016.
Developed and manufactured in the company’s Geneva manufacture, Calibre 3300 is hand-wound and has a power reserve of 65 hours. It’s decorated by hand, and a thing of beauty. A landmark addition to Vacheron’s inventory in a landmark year.
Replica Baume et Mercier Classima
Baume et Mercier is the self-confessed little brother in the SIHH family, which also means it’s the show’s real-world-watch champion. While the fine watchmaking brands are launching extremely limited, six-figure pieces, Baume busies itself with classic, elegant, Swiss Made replica watches for those with a little less welly in their wallets.
The relaunched Classima made the point this year. It’s a simple time and date watch, produced in various metals and in two sizes – 40mm for men and 36.5mm for women. Prices start from £1,550 for a steel auto on an alligator strap and go up to £2,900 for the two-tone bracelet option. A great entry-level piece and a timely reboot for a design that’s been overshadowed in recent years by the brand’s successful Clifton.
Replica Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
Montblanc’s stated aim of ‘sharing a passion for fine watchmaking’ gave us a number of memorable pieces last year, including the world’s most affordable mechanical perpetual calendar. This year the world time function gets the treatment – and it’s another winner.
But what makes it stick in the mind is not that it can tell the time in 24 time zones simultaneously (an old trick, but a good one), nor its price point (it’ll start from £3,895). More impressive is its day/night indication, shown on a double-layered sapphire dial. On the top layer, the world’s continents are cut out. Under that is another layer, half of which is dark blue. It rotates with the movement, darkening the continents to show nighttime hours, turning back to white during the day. A clever, novel solution that will remind any remaining doubters that Montblanc replica is not in the watchmaking game to make up the numbers.
Replica IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
Seventy-five years ago, IWC produced a watch it had created for two Portuguese businessmen, and an icon was born. In the time since, the oversized watch first made with a pocket IWC replica watches movement has become IWC’s most successful line. In this anniversary year, the Portugieser been given a gentle lift, rather than a wholesale revamp (you don’t mess with perfection, its legion fans will agree), including some subtle design tweaks, a new IWC in-house base calibre and, for the first time, an annual calendar.
The Portugieser Annual Calendar has three windows at 12 o’clock showing the date, month and day, and is powered by the new automatic IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre, which has a seven-day power reserve. It’s a hugely important watch, partly because it’s one of a family of genre-defining watches, and partly because of that movement – expect a lot more of the same from IWC in years to come.
Note the name change, too – no longer Portuguese, but Portugieser. It’s not particularly romantic, but much of this is to with trademarking and protecting a valuable asset. Understandable, and we’ll all get used to it.
Replica Cartier Clé de Cartier
Many post-SIHH Cartier headlines will centre on the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication, the most complicated watch the brand has ever made. We’ll come to it next week, but for now it’s trumped in our breakdown of agenda-setters by the Clé de Cartier, the first new core collection model in the Cartier line-up since the Ballon Bleu in 2007.
Its tapered case shape and the way the lugs integrate into the case makes it feel almost retro, a bit like some of the pilot’s Cartier replica watches uk of the early 1970s, but in every other way it’s a contemporary piece of design. It gets its name from the crown, which has been developed to look and feel like the traditional keys used to wind up traditional clocks – clé is French for key.
Cartier has only made it using precious metals initially – no doubt there’ll be a steel model in the future – and there are various sizes and diamond-set models in the launch collection. The larger models are powered by Calibre 1847 MC, a new Cartier in-house base calibre. Judging by previous Cartier designs, Clé de Cartier will almost certainly be around for many years to come.