— Not necessarily complicated, somewhat understated and definitely intelligent: my favourite replica watches for sale at the Baselworld show all have a special something.
Rarely has a Rolex replica watches show begun with so many clouds on the horizon as this Baselworld 2015. The worldwide economic difficulties and the recent spike of the Swiss franc had spoilt the fake watches UK party at the SIHH. Fortunately, however, the situation has brightened slightly since then, the initial shock wave has passed and this show proved genuinely rich in several ways, particularly when it comes to pricing.
While a number of brands introduced attractively priced products, two of them definitely stand out from the rest. On the one hand, Tudor is now offering its Pelagos diver’s model in an all-titanium, vibrant blue version equipped with a Manufacture (meaning in-house-made) chronometer-certified movement with a 72-hour power reserve, in an eminently wearable 42 mm size and water-resistant to 500 meters – and all this for just 4,200 francs. Enough to make you rub your eyes even on paper, but on the wrist the model turns out to be cool, perfectly finished and certainly does not give the impression of any skimping on quality.
Meanwhile, Hermès has launched an aggressively priced line that is an unaccustomed move for the brand. Slim d’Hermès is equipped with a movement featuring a micro-rotor (made by the Vaucher firm in which Hermès is a substantial stakeholder) and measures a modest 8.1 mm thick. The goal is clearly not to break records, but to offer an unobtrusive, refined, unmistakably Hermès style of wear. Considerable care has been devoted to the dial that features original font options, notably including tiny breaks that lighten up the Arabic numerals. The hands feature a double sandblasted and polished finish creating a trompe l’oeil effect that also gives them a lighter feel. And once again, all this for less than 6,000 francs in the steel version. Here again, the perfectly elegant and understated result proves extremely pleasing on the wrist.
Understatement is the hallmark of the Grand Seiko. Entirely produced in Japan, Seiko’s high-end brand cultivates a pure design that remains untouched over the years, together with mechanical refinement all its own. Its Hi-Beat GMT embodies what it does best. Seiko has its own three-hand plus date calibre beating at 5 Hz and which has been coupled here with a dual-time function. The model is incredibly comfortable to wear since it is made of titanium, although without radiating the typical sporty look of models in this metal. Polishing is omnipresent but not showy. The dial is finely textured, the diameter modest and the final result truly impeccable.
In this same elegant tone, but this time in the haute horlogerie segment, the Chopard L.U.C 1963 Tourbillon brilliantly sums up the range and depth of Chopard’s expertise. Its 40 mm diameter case – a new size for the 1963 collection and indeed for L.U.C models with sophisticated complications in general – houses a tourbillon with a magnificently polished bridge, an 8-day power reserve (a classic Chopard feature), a subtly retro design, and above all a smooth, shiny and luminous Grand Feu enamel dial. While this model takes us out of the eminently affordable range, Chopard still puts a fairly reasonable price tag on this model endowed with multiple complications and above all exuding an aura of discreet refinement.
When it comes to complications and sobriety, the Senator Cosmopolite by Glashütte Original deserves a special mention. The German brand belonging to the Swiss replica watch Group has developed a brand-new self-winding movement equipped with two rare features – a three-quarter plate and a double balance-cock – and coupled it with its worldtime module. The latter was first introduced on their Grande Cosmopolite Tourbillon, a Grand Complication model produced in extremely limited numbers. It displays the time in the 37 timezones around the globe: the 24 standard ones and the exceptions offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by 15, 30 or 45 minutes. In addition, it also enables the user to switch between summer (Daylight Saving Time, DST) and winter (standard) times for the timezones that have adopted this mode of operation. Everything is read off in two discreet apertures with a standard set of hands. It is in fact the most readable and complete worldtime model. As is often the case with Breitling replica watches by Glashütte Original, it will probably go unnoticed – which is all the more a pity given its impeccable elegance.
My last favourite at this cheap fake watches show is at the opposite end of the spectrum: not classical, not understated, not discreet and definitely not affordable. And yet what a model! The Classic Fusion Minute Repeater Carbon by Hublot sounds like no other minute-repeater watch. It features a low-pitched tone that is reminiscent of that heard at level crossings, and above all offers an almost unique acoustic quality. Its chime is loud and lasting. It can be heard from far off and for a long time. Its solid carbon case places it firmly outside the usual parameters applied to minute-repeaters, in terms of both appearance and construction. Hublot is sometimes a genuinely iconoclastic brand capable of the very best in terms of pure horology, as this standout model eloquently demonstrates.