Based On A. Lange Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Grieb Benzinger Blue Merit Replica Watch


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

Back in 2014, the German team of Grieb & Benzinger that produces one-of-a-kind highly decorated replica watches debuted the “Blue Merit” (read our original article here) which was a lovely timepiece that began life as limited edition A. Lange & Söhne. I encourage you to read that original article about the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit to understand more about the original A. Lange & Söhne model whose movement is used for this ultra-exclusive replica watch.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

Inside the Blue Merit is a movement produced by A. Lange & Söhne which has been taken out of its original Lange case and thoroughly modified. It is the caliber L902.0 which, despite having come out in the late 1990s, is still super cool today. The tourbillon-based mechanism also features a fusee and chain transmission system along with a power reserve indicator on the dial. This layout helped A. Lange & Söhne develop a distinctive look as an early promoter of the tourbillon, and remains utterly classy and classic.

 

 


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

 

At 41mm wide, the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit is easily one of the smaller replica watches made by Grieb & Benzinger, but it still wears very impressively thanks to the tall case. Speaking of the case, I have to say that even though Grieb & Benzinger produce piece unique models, their cases are very nicely made. This is because they have a good supplier – and of course because they pay up, since getting one-of-a-kind anything made in the replica watch industry is ultra expensive.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

Note that this particular case is steel and not the intended platinum. What Grieb & Benzinger do most of the time is produce both a precious metal and steel case for each of their replica watches so that when they travel with replica watches or show them it is less of a risk. But even the “display” steel case is very finely made with excellent finishing.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

The workshop of Jochen Benzinger specializes in using antique engraving machines to produce some of the most beautiful guilloche hand-operated machine engraving around. If you like artistic density and the look of guilloche engraving, then you really ought to love Benzinger’s work. On the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit you’ll find engraving on the bezel, dial, and movement bridges, and pretty much everywhere else that it fits.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

Grieb & Benzinger didn’t just take a naked movement and engrave it but rather specially colored and plated some of the parts to give the visuals a more dynamic look, mixing silver and blue colors with hints of brass. The blue is, apparently, “blue platinum” plating, which sounds interesting. When I first wrote about the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit, I only had the official images from Grieb & Benzinger to work with, so I was quite curious if the replica watch was going to look as beautiful in real life.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

A. Lange & Söhne produced just 50 pieces of the Tourbillon Pour le Merite, stopping in 1998, and the piece came in a 38.5mm-wide platinum case. I doubt collectors who own a Tourbillon Pour le Merite today are utterly bored with their timepiece, but at least one person (perhaps it was someone at Grieb & Benzinger) decided one of these limited edition A. Lange & Söhne tourbillon replica watches should be sacrificed in the name of horological art. I really do want to meet these people who have the balls to choose $100,000-plus (when they were new back in the ’90s) items as the base for a “project replica watch.” I suppose the question is whether or not the intense level of work by Grieb & Benzinger makes this little project worth it for the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

The first thing you notice when you see the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit or any other Grieb & Benzinger timepiece is that it feels as though the decoration was done “organically.” Yes, machines were used in the decoration, but it isn’t as though they are controlled via a computer. That is really the distinction between modern cutting equipment and historic equipment because the latter was hand-operated. The Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit mixes both direct hand-engraved decoration along with guilloche machine engraving with a very “hand-made” look to it. Such replica watches tend to have a lot of “soul,” which, in my opinion, allows collectors to connect with the replica watches more.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

To be honest, if you didn’t know that Grieb & Benzinger used an A. Lange & Söhne movement (or were really familiar with Lange’s products) you’d probably never know where the movement in the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit came from. Grieb & Benzinger can’t exactly use Lange’s name on the replica watch for legal reasons, but the design of the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit is so radically different from that of the Tourbillon Pour le Merite that pretty much anyone would be easily forgiven for not knowing where the movement originally came from.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

What makes the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit somewhat more interesting is that, even though this is very much high-end horology, nothing about A. Lange & Söhne or Grieb & Benzinger is Swiss. Both companies are strictly German, which makes the end product of this “super luxury replica watch project” even more unique since German timepieces don’t typically get this treatment. Moreover, most movements used by Grieb & Benzinger for their other replica watches are originally Swiss.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

What the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit replica watch really symbolizes is how replica watchmakers historically demonstrated pride in their work. The time and effort required to make a fine timepiece was (and is) intense. So much so that replica watchmakers of old also had to become advocates of their own trade by visually asserting the effort and skill required to produce what they do. Engraving or otherwise decorating the visible surfaces of a replica watch movement or case doesn’t add any functional value – but is rather about conveying a sense of importance and prestige to items which required so much labor to produce.


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

This is not only for the benefit of the buyer but also the replica watchmaker or craftsman who is allowed to benefit from pride in their work. This equal opportunity for the maker and the owner of a product to celebrate its value exists in the world of mechanical replica watches as well as some other items which are still produced in small numbers today by hand, in the shadow of their mass-produced counterparts. For these reasons, I believe decorated replica watches have so much aesthetic and monetary value to so many collectors.

 


Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit Watch Based On A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Hands-On Hands-On

 

 

The Grieb & Benzinger Blue Merit is certainly a highlight of their rare offerings, and I like that the brand is really about making individually lovely items that are nevertheless produced with huge effort for a piece unique item. This is really one of the more interesting custom replica watch houses out there, and I recommend them to anyone who is a fan of their particular decorative aesthetic. Of course, none of this comes cheap. The one-of-a-kind Grieb & Benzginer Blue Merit replica watch in platinum has a price of $530,000. grieb-benzinger.com

AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute Replica Watch Hands-On


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The word legend is sometimes used too freely. People seem to think that for something or someone to be legendary it or they need to be rooted in the distant past. But that simply isn’t true. Legends are born in the present day, anointed as such for their effect on the world or others – and it always is more than interesting to be on the lookout for the next one. With the release of the AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute from replica watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi, the young Swiss replica watchmaker takes yet another step towards confirming his place in the modern pantheon of horological greats.


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When you aspire to greatness, it’s important to have idols. It must be said, however, that it can be a little depressing when your idols are significantly younger than you are. At the age of 14, Rexhep Rexhepi had already begun his apprenticeship with Patek Philippe. Most replica watchmakers, especially those born outside of the horological hotbed of central Europe, could spend years at any given bench, toiling away for the sniff of a chance of working for Patek. But legends cannot be denied, and the experience of Rexhepi, earned during his formative years, shines through in his latest piece.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said that “God is in the detail.” That’s the kind of maxim one doesn’t normally appreciate until old age. In the case and dial design of the AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute, we can see world class restraint exercised to great effect. The centrepiece of this replica watch is the tourbillon – much like in his previous creation, the Tourbillon Monopusher Chronograph that we covered hands-on a while ago – , lovingly hand-crafted and boldly displayed on a dial that has total confidence in its focal point.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

If you glance at the AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute, you might think it is plain (and that’s probably because it is). But what is also plain is the amount of effort and drafting that must have gone into the design of this tantalising timepiece. This is just the second replica watch from this exciting young brand – with a few others already in the works that we have seen but cannot publish yet – and to have reined in the understandable enthusiasm any nascent horologist must have for the birth of their own brand, is just about as impressive as the craftsmanship on show.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

While an established name arguably gives you better traction; an expensive marketing program could garner you attention; a world first or revolutionary material can set you apart from the crowd; failing all that, a balls-to-the-wall, in-your-face gimmick might be what separates prospective purchasers from their pennies. Or you can just be really bloody good. That’s a bit of an old-fashioned concept, and one heck of a leap of faith – placing your faith in the inherent quality of your wares is not something that is easy to cling to when you are mired in the midst of a long-winded, often combative design process.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

Sure, it helps when you are comfortable charging whatever you feel your timepiece is worth, rather than having to scrimp and save during production to satisfy some heavy-handed investors who want to see margins, margins, margins, and hardly give a damn about what yields them. But again, that takes guts and gumption. The AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute, produced in either stainless steel, 18k gold, or platinum, is a brilliant example of that philosophy. Not that many will know about it, and fewer still will be able to afford it, but those who do and can, will probably be very excited by the prospect of owning such an unusual and evocative piece.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

The dial is, upon first inspection, a simple, matte background that seems to play second fiddle to the tourbillon. But this is no ordinary finish. Created by a time-consuming, nerve-straining process, a mixture of crushed rock and oil is spread over a perfectly flat sheet of glass or marble and rubbed in a circular motion against the mixture until a perfectly homogeneous pattern is achieved.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

The AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute features an in-house calibre, designed and built by the man himself. You can see Rexhepi’s passion in every bevel of this movement. He cares, he believes in the old-school values of replica watchmaking – for a man under 30, this is impressive; for the industry, his passion is exciting. The manually wound movement boasts a 100-hour power reserve and operates at 21,600vph. You don’t have to love this replica watch to appreciate that each aspect of it has been created with diligence and conscience. The plates are decorated with a mixture of striping and matte finishes. The hand-wound movement looks very nice, displayed through an anti-reflective sapphire case back (the main replica watch crystal is also AR coated sapphire). Rexhepi’s logo and the AkriviA brand name are engraved and gilded too.


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Another example of clean refinement can be seen in the steel hands. Elegant spades able to do their job with excellent legibility without interrupting the framing of the tourbillon. In fact, nothing interrupts the hand-built tourbillon. The silver dial (refined as it is) melts into the case to leave nothing obstructing the eye. The brand name is engraved on a screw-down plaque beneath 12 o’clock. No jazzy font; no crazy decals. The hour markers themselves are drilled recesses in a chapter ring of grained steel and the replica watch is kept on the wrist by a simple, hand-sewn blue alligator leather strap, fastened by a clasp engraved with the AkriviA logo.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes



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The case, which I often look to first for brand identifiability, is a familiar shape, but very nicely angled. It is large, measuring 43mm, but the lugs flow in a contoured fashion to keep this thing down on the wrist. The bezel is not edge-to-edge – it stands up in the middle of the case, with a couple of millimetres on either side of it to create the sense of separation, of focus. At first, I wasn’t too keen on this design aspect, but the design has certainly grown on me. There is a sober astuteness in this case design, which requires 30 parts to achieve. But despite the complex case construction, it is all in an attempt to build the perfect carrier for the 63-component tourbillon. When you’ve made it with your own hands, it’s easy to understand why Rexhep Rexhepi would want it that way.


Akrivia Tourbillon Heures Minutes

A lot is made about Roger Smith creating a tourbillon to earn the respect and tutelage of the late George Daniels at a very young age. We know all about Smith because of his subsequent work and the legacy he inherited. Rexhepi does not have that luxury, but he does have the requisite skill-set to be something very special. With decades ahead of him yet, the output of this intriguing artisan could be quite stunning. Assuming that is, the marketplace continues to reward his endeavours. The AkriviA Tourbillon Heure Minute is priced at 99,000 Swiss Francsakrivia.com

Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas Replica Watches Hands-On


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One of the new releases from Swiss Manufacture Royale is the 1770 Micromegas collection which is the first ever (that I know of) dual tourbillon replica watch where the tourbillons spin at different rates. The dial offers the time and a display for the two tourbillons that sit side by side over 6 o’clock. One spins at a relatively rapid pace, making a full rotation each 6 seconds, and the other tourbillon is more traditional in its rate, making a full rotation each 60 seconds.


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Visually, the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas is very interesting as well as unique. The brand’s signature “odd” design ethos is getting a bit more mainstream, but I like that they are still doing things differently. I’ve always sort of placed them in the same aesthetic category as Louis Moinet, but I do feel that the finishing and quality of Manufacture Royale is a lot better – and they also reportedly happen to produce in-house movements, which is a big plus for collectors.

“Micromegas” literally means “small large” and comes from the name of a short story written by Voltaire in 1752. Voltaire was a French philosopher, but he was also an aspiring businessman and actually started a replica watch company in Ferney, France meant to compete with the replica watchmaker in Geneva. It was in 1770 when Voltaire’s first replica watch was produced and he died in 1778, while the company survived for a few years after his death.


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The entire Manufacture Royale brand of today is actually inspired by Voltaire’s replica watch aspirations from the 18th century. There is a fascinating article on this here on Watch Around. Anyhow, while the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watch doesn’t directly have anything to do with the story (aside from the loose connection of the slower and faster tourbillons being the “micromegas” elements), the story is an interesting early form of science fiction that of course blends in a lot of political and social philosophy.


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Getting back to these new-for-2015 replica watches, there is a lot to like for the enterprising and well-funded replica watch collector. Initially, the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watches will come in three variants, being either in a fully titanium case, titanium and 18k rose gold case, or a full 18k rose gold case – with different colored dials. For the truly courageous replica watch lover, I highly suggest the orange-dialed Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watch in titanium and 18k rose gold case with the matching orange-colored alligator strap.


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At 45mm wide and 11.8mm thick, the timepiece’s case is not simple, but is much more traditional compared to most other Manufacture Royale replica watches. The bezel does remind me a bit of those from De Witt – which is not a bad thing. Even though tough the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas dial is original, it feels simple compared to the larger theme of the replica watch, but it is growing on me. The design of the open window for tourbillon-style regulators is also interesting and perhaps one of my favorite elements.


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Yes, it is true that from a performance perspective, the tourbillons do not add anything to the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas’ accuracy or dependability. Most serious replica watch lovers know this, and it is a testament to the brand that they don’t try to pass the tourbillons off as anything more than a fascinating exercise in horological art – which they certainly are.


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Inside the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watch is the Manufacture Royale caliber MR04 automatic movement which has 80 hours of power reserve operating at 3Hz (21,600). The regulators use silicon escapement wheels and pallet forks, while, as I said earlier, one tourbillon spins each six seconds while the other spins each 60 seconds. Aside from the dual tourbillons, the movement indicates only the time with those cool looking blued titanium hands.


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The all-18k rose gold Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watch has a white inner dial, while the two-tone gold and titanium has an orange dial, and the all-titanium model has a blue inner dial. According to Manufacture Royal, this colored inner section is in titanium (with a “rubber-effect lacquer”) but is also applied with SuperLumiNova. That means darkness viewing, but given that the hands themselves are not lumed, I would have to personally see this replica watch in the dark to fully appreciate its “night-viewing capabilities.”


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While these timepieces aren’t cheap, they are unique, and that is, I suppose, what you are paying for when it comes to exclusive toys of this nature. Check out the video above if you haven’t already to see what two tourbillons running at different rates looks like. Prices for the Manufacture Royale 1770 Micromegas replica watches are $151,000 in titanium, $163,000 in titanium and 18k rose gold, and $181,500 in all 18k rose gold. manufacture-royale.com

Antoine Preziuso ‘Tourbillon Of Tourbillons’ Triple Tourbillon Replica Watch Hands-On


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Baselworld is the type of place where you can be amazed in the most unlikely of situations. Did I imagine, for example, that I would run into the son of the great replica watch maker Antoine Preziuso at 1am while socializing Basel – who would proceed to show me what ended up being the most visually amazing high-complication replica watch of 2015? That is not typically the type of thing that I anticipate happening in advance. Nevertheless, Florian Preziuso showed me a replica watch that, while under the Antoine Preziuso brand name, is his baby that he has been working on for the last few years.


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Clearly proud of his new invention, the young replica watchmaker held up his wrist wearing a replica watch with three running tourbillons, all on a dial that itself was rotating. Called the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon Of Tourbillons, this new highly exclusive mega-complication is a masterful sight to behold that in many ways sums up the intoxicating, almost hypnotic feeling you get from seeing an amazing micro machine in operation.

A video posted by aBlogtoWatch (@ablogtowatch) on Mar 24, 2015 at 7:31am PDT

Florian explained to me (with quite a bit of passion, I might add) that the height of complexity was really all about three tourbillons, not four tourbillons. Why? Well it seems as though four tourbillons really ends up being two series of two tourbillons that are connected via a differential. Three tourbillons, however, must all be connect via the same differential and are this more complicated because of their inherent symmetry. This, at the heart of the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons is a patented triple-differential gear which not only turns the three tourbillons, but also turns the entire plate on which they sit – making the entire dial sort of like another tourbillon!


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Each of the three finely hand-finished tourbillons spin at a rate of 60 seconds while the entire dial turns at a rate of once each 10 minutes. That might seem slow, but glancing at the dial, you can see it slowing turning, which is rather cool. According to Antoine Preziuso the replica watch is protected by three patents and each of course is assembled by hand.


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If you are familiar with the Antoine Preziuso brand, you’ll recognize the triple tourbillon, “Tourbillon of Tourbillons” replica watch as within the same aesthetic family. The case is produced from titanium and either 18k white gold or rose gold, and there are also some steel elements in the construction as well. Of course, given the target demographic, you have the available diamond decorated model as well. I wouldn’t want luxury replica watch lovers in those diamond-loving parts of the world to feel neglected.


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At 45mm wide and 14mm thick, the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons isn’t a small replica watch, but it wears comfortably enough. A new “AFP” crown logo stands for “Antoine Florian Preziuso.” The dial is a maze of three-dimensional places to look and observe, but legibility is maintained thanks to the very thick hands. With that said, I think it is safe to say that a replica watch like this isn’t worn with the intention that is owner is in strict need of knowing the time.


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One of my favorite visual elements (aside from the coolness of the spinning tourbillons) are the tourbillon cages themselves which when I look at them remind me of artistic renditions of sea turtles. There is a huge amount of design effort here, and even if the style of the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons isn’t to your taste, I challenge anyone not to be impressed by this horological masterpiece. In my opinion, this replica watch is just amazing for what it is, and shows what happens when you have a multi-generational replica watch making environment.


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Inside each Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons replica watch is the in-house made Antoine Preziuso caliber AFP-TTR-3X manually wound movement. The movement has double series barrels that together make for an impressive 48 hours of power reserve (given all the power the movement must use to just move all the pieces around). Each of three balance wheels within each of the tourbillons spins at a rate of 3Hz (21,600).


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For me, this is really what high-end replica watch making art today is all about. This isn’t about calendar functions most people will never use or finishing no one will ever see. This is about mechanical art and the bold celebration thereof. It is hard to be a traditional replica watch lover and not see the value in something as wonderfully ostentatious as this. Price for the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons triple tourbillon replica watch starts at 318,000 Swiss Francs up to 420,000 Swiss Francs with diamonds. antoine-preziuso.com

Geo.Graham Tourbillon Replica Watch Hands-On


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I can certainly understand why brands like to diversify their products and fight the sales war on all fronts, but sometimes, I wish they’d just stick to what they’re best at. Graham, the Swiss-owned, English-inspired brand have recently released the Geo.Graham Tourbillon, which is a simple, smart, and straightforward replica watch that is quite delightful to look at (see our release writeup here). But it doesn’t look like a Graham to me, at least not like the crazy-crowned sports studs they’ve been churning out for the last few years.

When a brand is born, it needs to set itself apart from the crowd somehow. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much. Maybe something as simple as a colour scheme or the shape of the seconds hand; maybe something more arresting, like a novel case shape or obvious movement modification. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it makes the brand’s wares instantly identifiable and consistent with the brand’s ideology. But setting out a clear ideology and brand identity is, in my opinion, imperative.


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Since its relaunch in 1995, Graham has been known for its wild and jagged sports replica watches, typified by bold colours and ludicrously oversized crowns and pushers. It has as many haters as lovers, but you don’t need to get the whole world on side to have success. However, Graham was not always a sports replica watch company. Its origins stretch way back into history, and fall at the feet of George Graham, English clockmaker extraordinaire. When we delve into the foundation of this duplicitous company, its identity becomes blurrier still.

George Graham started producing clocks in 1695. Throughout his life, he made many meaningful contributions to horology. He made improvements to the pendulum clock, as well as inventing the mercury pendulum and the orrery. But perhaps his greatest contributions to our field were his words of wisdom, passed on to his younger contemporaries Thomas Mudge and John Harrison, both of whom would go on to become even more famous and respected than their esteemed forerunner.


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But then Graham died, and very little was heard from his brand for almost 250 years, when, in 1995, the brand was relaunched by a Swiss company that had bought the rights to the name. At this point, having gone to the trouble of buying up the name, you’d think they’d set about honouring it by producing replica watches of which Honest George Graham would have approved.

Then again, launching a highly distinctive, in-your-face sports replica watch that captured the Zeitgeist and continued to separate customers from their cash for the following twenty years of growth seems like an attractive plan of action when all you care about is making millions. So I can see both sides of the coin: either honor the name you’ve inherited, or make it into something totally new and consistent with itself. If a company goes with the latter then you might question their motives (they might just be using a respected name to add unwarranted gravitas to a substandard product), but it is possible they have a genuinely good idea that deserves recognition. Lifting the name of a past master certainly grabs the horological community’s attention! And I do think the modern Graham replica watches are valid additions to replica watchmaking. The Chronofighter in particular is a highly identifiable model, and the Prodive (in yellow) is one of my guiltiest pleasures.

In fact, I like the new Grahams so much, I am happy to overlook that somewhere, deep in Westminster Abbey, the man whose name now adorns the dials of these twenty-first century freak shows, is spinning in his crypt. What I struggle to get on board with, though, is being reminded of that man. I don’t like a brand that has done so little to perpetuate its “history” does so only when it seems to suit it.


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The Geo.Graham range features three replica watches, each one designed to celebrate George Graham himself. Each of the three – the Geo.Graham Tourbillon Orrery, the Geo.Graham Tourbillon, and the Geo.Graham Moon – features a tourbillon, which I’m sure Graham would have liked to see. Unfortunately, the tourbillon wasn’t invented until nearly 50 years after his death, so he never got the chance. Still, the idea is valid. We associate tourbillons with the past, and Graham’s legacy is certainly more closely associated with a nice, classical complication than it is with the petrol-coloured case and bog-eyed display of the Swordfish model.


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These are really high-end replica watches in the context of Graham’s existing range. I guess this was their game-plan – roll out whatever sells until the brand is big enough to release something genuinely interesting that they can charge a lot more for. The Geo.Graham Moon replica watch and the Geo.Graham Tourbillon Orrery are both very busy, rather impressive-looking contraptions. The Geo.Graham Tourbillon, however, is incredibly restrained, civilised, and mature. It is, in actual fact, a very nice replica watch. If this was coming from another brand, say Piaget for example, I would be quite impressed. So from an aesthetic standpoint, I must admit, I do like it. I do not like the indecisive usage of the Graham name, or the total incongruity of the brand’s offerings. But the Geo.Graham Tourbillon is, in isolation, a success.

And to truly appreciate the aesthetic success of the Geo.Graham Tourbillon, you need only turn it over and study the truly beautiful movement. The off-center rotor weight, wonderfully engraved with the Geo.Graham name and an awesome patten is a triumph of flare and symmetry. The arrangement of the functional elements, the symmetry of the bridges, and the excellently balanced circular finish that frames the evenly-weighted engraving is a massive departure from the Graham norm, but a welcome one in my opinion.


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The G1796 movement offers a 72-hour power reserve. This movement is not in-house, but it is proprietary and exclusive to Graham. Impressively, this tourbillon movement is thin – less than a centimetre thin. Given that is also self-winding, that’s quite an achievement. Many of its peers are thicker before you factor in the rotor weight! This surprisingly svelte movement is encased within a 40mm 18ct rose gold housing, which itself is only 9.85mm thick. This all goes together to make an extremely comfortable and wearable timepiece, quite unlike anything one would associate with the modern history of the brand. It’s also water resistant to 50 meters, which I find quite impressive given its materials and thinness.


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Stylistically, the Geo.Graham Tourbillon looks to the past for inspiration. Blued hands and tourbillon cage attachment screws enliven a domed, white, enamel lacquered dial that is decorated with Roman numeral hour markers and Arabic minute markers, separated by a railway track minute scale. The dial and movement are viewable through what Graham describe as a “sapphire crystal glass box” (whatever the blazes that means). The “sapphire crystal glass box” is basically a thick crystal designed to enhance depth and clarity of the movement. All the sapphire is treated with anti-reflective coating. The case back crystal, which is a huge 3.35mm thick, has special cut-out for the rotor weight. There will only be 100 of the Geo.Graham Tourbillon replica watches produced, and they will be priced at $80,420. graham1695.com

Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Replica Watch Collection Hands-On


Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Watch Collection

Collaborations between luxury replica watch brands and world-renowned sporting events are nothing new, but the products these unions sire are always worth examining. It’s pretty tough to guess how a brand, especially those known for serious haute horlogerie, will tackle the task of fusing their ideology with that of another institution. 2015 sees the release of a trio of Armin Strom Gumball 3000 special edition replica watches, designed to celebrate the legendary Gumball 3000 Rally.

The Gumball 3000, as it is known, began life on British shores, but is now a truly global event, with the course changing each year to keep things interesting. The rally, which has not avoided controversy since its foundation in 1999, is popular with celebrities and wealthy civilians, all of whom drive the car of their choice on the public road course in pursuit of glory and/or the trip of a lifetime. The Armin Strom Manual Gumball 3000, Double Barrel Gumball 3000, and the Armin Strom Tourbillon Gumball 3000 are interesting additions to a range that has, in the past, focused on clean lines and conservative colorways. How then, will a project that aims to inject some of the Gumball Rally’s characteristic chaos into the brand fare?


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When I heard of this triple-header release, I had no idea what to expect. The Gumball Rally seemed a really “out there” choice of collaboration for such a strait-laced brand, but one I was looking forward to seeing. I kind of hoped that Armin Strom would go down the wacky Swatch route and totally trick out these timepieces with bold, goofy graphics and eye-popping fonts rather than the (understandably) more restrained approaches of brands like Omega with the America’s Cup Watch or Tag Heuer with the Formula One pieces. What resulted was something in between that could either strike the right balance or leave you feeling a bit flat.


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The difficulty with pulling off a celebratory collection like this is getting enough event branding into the piece without it becoming a grotesque billboard. With this collection, Armin Strom have managed to integrate the Gumball 3000 script logo into the design, but does it work? Do these replica watches have enough Gumball to send the right message, or does the labelling jar too much with its fancy frame? Let’s take a look at the collection, piece by piece to find out…


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The first piece of the three is the Armin Strom Manual Gumball 3000, which features the AMW11-GB hand-wound movement, offering a 5-day power reserve. This calibre is visible through the display case back and has a definite look of the Old West about it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the almost wood-like graining and the style of the engraved script screams Saloon Bar to me (which I absolutely love). The balance bridge is a finely crafted curve that plays a respective second fiddle to the screw balance wheel. The balance itself, which is, as many of Armin Strom’s components are, refreshingly chunky and easy to observe. Making a centrepiece of the actual mechanics is a great way to make a replica watch seem active. The case appears to be bursting with motion, which, in the case of the this replica watch, is doubly important given the plainness of the movement decoration.


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I really like the sense of space and strength of finish on the back of the Armin Strom Manual Gumball 3000, and the build quality is, of course, excellent, as we have gotten used to seeing from Armin Strom. With a price tag of €15,200, however, it really is aimed at a demographic that has the means to enter and complete the Gumball 3000 rally. I find the dial side to be a little more exciting than the back, with the classic, off-centre cutaway dial revealing the bare metal of the movement, which has been engraved with a playing card motif that surrounds the 9 o’clock sub-dial. And it is there that we see the real branding of the Gumball 3000!


Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Watch Collection

The zany script logo provides the background to the going seconds hand. I don’t love this dial, but I think it looks a lot better on the wrist than on macro photography. The bare metal that shows through the skeletonized dial flashes attractively in real life; in pictures it looks a bit gray and lifeless against the PVD coated stainless steel case. This one, despite being very scaled back, is much more wearable. It could be argued that it is the most desirable of the three based solely on the fact that it actually states the anniversary (17th) and start/finish of the route (Stockholm/Las Vegas). For that reason, it may appeal to Gumball memorabilia collectors more than its two big brothers.


Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Watch Collection

Talking of size, all three replica watches measure 43.4mm across and 13mm thick, and they are water resistant to 50 meters. They also sport slightly conical, fluted crowns. These days, 43.4mm is not the biggest thing you’ll see on the end of someone’s arm, but it is a sizable chunk of metal. I’ve always thought that angling the winding button in this manner is a smart, mobility-increasing move. I recently reviewed the new Hamilton Ventura 80, which also does this to great effect. If you own a replica watch like this, you may well want it to be noticed, but that doesn’t mean you want to constantly notice its presence yourself!


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If replica watch number one was too subdued for you, the level of ostentation is ramped up with the Armin Strom Double Barrel Gumball 3000. This is my personal favourite of the trio. The black case is PVD coated titanium this time, and it houses the ARM12-GB self-winding calibre. The double barrel feature kicks out a 10-day power reserve, meaning this is certainly a replica watch you can rely on for long car journeys! The movement is again visible through the off-centre cutaway dial, but in this case, we can see a few more functional components peeping through. The large, circularly grained wheels catch the light excellently and breathe a great deal of life into this replica watch face. Furthermore, the gold edging of the carbon-inlay bridges adds a lustre and sense of completeness the Armin Strom Manual Gumball 3000 arguably lacked.


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Again, the Gumball 3000 script logo acts as the backdrop to the running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, but it seems much less in your face on this model. This is due to the bi-chromatic colour scheme that drops out the red quarter markers and seconds hand from the first replica watch. We’re left, instead, with a black and white affair that evades scrutiny much more effectively. The replica watch is, in my opinion, better looking for the change, but it does call into question this model’s success as an advert for the partnership between Armin Strom and the Rally.


Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Watch Collection

The script logo does appear again on the reverse, dominating the left hand side of the movement, which is visible through a sapphire case back. All the crystals in this collection (both front and back) are sapphire and treated with anti-reflective coating. As well as the large logo engraving on the flip-side, the ARM12-GB calibre displays the balance wheel in the same fashion as its kid brother. Hopefully, that feature will placate those who find the Gumball engraving a bit too crass to stomach.


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All three replica watches operate at 18,000vph. It’s a slow operating speed, meaning the replica watches would take longer to recover their timekeeping ability after a shock, but the real benefit is the visual effect of a slow-swinging balance – and an extended power reserve. When the balance wheel is so attractive, it is nice to present it to the wearer in a digestible way. And of the three, the one that offers the most in the way of visual delight, is the third and final replica watch of the Armin Strom Gumball 3000 Collection.


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The Armin Strom Tourbillon Gumball 3000 in 18ct rose gold is the daddy of this range. Sporting the hand-wound, double-barrelled, 10-day power reserve ATC11-GB tourbillon movement, this replica watch means business. From the front, it is the least obviously associated with the Gumball 3000 Rally, with nothing but a gilded engraving around the edge of the 9 o’clock sub-dial in the Armin Strom font. In this instance, though, the sub-dial features more than just the going seconds hand – here we can see a beautifully executed tourbillon cage, rotating for all the world to see.


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The skeletonization of the dial and underlying bridges goes up a notch with this replica watch, and here we see a timepiece that would look very much at home in the core catalogue of Armin Strong. So where’s the branding? How is this, the big, bad, rose gold roost-ruler supposed to get away with shirking its advertising duties? Fear not: the case back will take care of that!


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Yes, the Armin Strom Tourbillon Gumball 3000 goes all out with the movement engraving. The Gumball script logo has increased in size from the Double Barrel Gumball 3000 and now covers the calibre, edge-to-edge. There is a small patch of respite, where the tourbillon sits. This almost circular plate is engraved with lots of movement details, which are all gilded. I mean, the Gumball logo on this one is crazy big, but the whole effect is really kind of cool. It’s a good balance between the class of Armin Strong and the maniacal joie de vivre of the Gumball 3000 racers. The flash of rose gold wheels, poking through the gap between the tourbillon bridge and the ¾ plate is really beautiful and coordinates the case material with the movement very nicely.


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In summary, Armin Strom have produced three very wearable replica watches to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Gumball 3000 rally. The Armin Strom Manual Gumball 3000 has a price of €15,200, will be part of a numbered series, and comes with a leather and a rubber strap. The Armin Strom Double Barrel Gumball 3000 will cost €30,800, will also be numbered, and comes with a leather strap as well as the cool rubber/carbon effect strap pictured. Finally, the Armin Strom Tourbillon Gumball 3000 will be part of a limited series of 5 timepieces, each costing €138,400, and coming on a leather strap with a brown rubber alternative included. arminstrom.com

H. Moser Cie. Venturer Dual Time Tourbillon Replica Watches (Including Sapphire Skeleton) Hands-On


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“What a beautiful automatic tourbillon movement” is probably one of the first things that came to mind when checking out the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time replica watch hands-on for the first time. While most of the Schaffhausen-based brand’s replica watches fall into their larger “Endeavour” collection, the Venturer family features a slightly different case shape and only two models at this point: the Venturer Small Seconds and the brand’s current flagship model – this H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time.


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In addition to the classic loveliness which is the standard H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Dual Time, they produced an interesting one-of-a-kind version of this model known as the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time Sapphire Skeleton. Presented at Baselworld 2015, this piece unique model begins by replacing the standard 18k white or red gold case and producing it in finely machined sapphire crystal. Next, the in-house made movement is finely skeletonized, and last… H. Moser & Cie. uses a strap which has been 3D printed.


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Don’t get stuck on that last statement, but it is totally weird. Look closely at the strap and you’ll see a range of interesting little patterns. Look from a bit further away and it looks (and feels a bit) like Swiss cheese. When I asked H. Moser & Cie. what will happen if and when this delicate strap breaks for the owner of this unique model – they said “we will gladly replace it.” When I pushed a bit more and said “what happens when it breaks again?” The response was “we will replace it as many times as they need – they are paying a million Swiss Francs, after all.”


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Yes, if you are feeling brave, you can visit our friends at Chronopassion in Paris, and check out this exclusive H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time Sapphire Skeleton version that was produced for their store. It is a strange timepiece, for sure, but easily the best part is the skeletonized movement and the ability to view it entirely through the transparent sapphire crystal case. On that note, I am not entirely convinced that I like sapphire-cased replica watches. First of all, they are extremely expensive, costing over a million dollars in most instances (think Richard Mille), and they aren’t actually very expensive looking. Sure, the wearer might know that the case is sapphire crystal, not plastic, and took all too many hours to machine… but that isn’t necessarily obvious to other people.


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There might be something to this sapphire crystal case thing in the future, but for now, I like sapphire crystal as windows, bridges, and sometimes dials. For entire cases, synthetic sapphire crystal seems unnecessary and not even actually blingy. Make a case out of a single giant diamond… and now you are talking some seriously sumptuous decadence. Isn’t that deliciously unnecessary?


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OK, so we’ve had our fun with the 1,000,000 Swiss Franc H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time Sapphire Skeleton, now let’s look at the sans sapphire, sans skeleton version that I think is going to be a bit more interesting to most replica watch collectors. At 41.5mm wide, the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time case feels like a good size for a modern, complicated dress replica watch. H. Moser & Cie. ensures pretty good proportions and smaller lugs so that it wears very well.


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The H. Moser & Cie. Venturer case feels like it has a thin bezel which is good because it allows the dial to appear very wide. Add well-sized hands and elegant markers, and you have a winning design that looks great with the brand’s cursive logo. Well, there of course is the small matter of the tourbillon, as well as the dual time complication to discuss.

Let’s cover this latter element first. As you can see, the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time dial has a third central hand in red. This operates as an extra hour hand which can be used for a second time zone. Unfortunately, there is no AM/PM indicator for the second time zone, but that isn’t a deal breaker, and H. Moser & Cie. typically prefers the minimalist way of doing things.


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It is also worth noting that the second time zone hand can be hidden under the main hour hand if you prefer a slightly cleaner looking dial. This is one of the frequent benefits of having a dual time replica watch with the second time zone in a 12- versus 24-hour format.

The lower half of the dial is slightly recessed and given a different finish. This design technique isn’t terribly uncommon, but I like how H. Moser & Cie. implemented this “terraced dial” aesthetic. One very fine detail is the tourbillon bridge which has been skeletonized. I really have to hand it to the people at H. Moser & Cie. for being able to very frequently render graceful lines and curves – which populate the dial and movement when you look closely.


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I will, however, say that like some other H. Moser & Cie. replica watches, the dial of the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time suffers from a sapphire crystal that is too reflective and some dial elements that reflect too much light. I explained this issue in my review of the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar replica watch here. These issues can be resolved by being a bit more careful in selecting sapphire crystals, as well as working to refine elements on the dial such as the hands and hour markers by affording them the precisely correct finishing and textures.


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Visibility does not, however, suffer at all when looking through the rear of the Venturer’s case and examining the H. Moser & Cie. caliber HMC 802 automatic movement. With about three days of power reserve, this 3Hz automatic movement is beautifully simple and elegant. Some special features include a Straumann Double Hairspring and a pawl-winding system for the automatic rotor. Speaking of the rotor, it is produced from solid 18k gold – and I quite like its design.


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Going back to the dial-side of the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time, you can inspect a lot of details in the tourbillon including the double hairsprings. It is interesting that H. Moser & Cie. got the surface finishing so perfect on the movement while the dial itself has so many reflective elements. It is nevertheless a fantastic replica watch if you are into simple-dialed tourbillons with an elegant flair.


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Attached to the case is a black or brown hand-stitched alligator strap. This particular version of the H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time is the reference 2802-0200 in 18k white gold with the Ardoise (gray) dial. Other versions include the reference 2802-0401 in 18k red gold with the argente (silver), and the reference 2802-0400 in 18k red gold with the red gold fume dial. Each has a retail price of $98,000. www.h-moser.com

Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon Replica Watch Hands-On


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It’s good to be different. The Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon is the latest offering from a brand full of head-turners. Cecil Purnell replica watches look like nothing else on Planet Wrist. You can see flashes of Jacob & Co. in some of the dials, Roger Dubuis in some of the skeletonization, Zenith in some of the complications, but hardly anywhere else will you see this bizarrely beautiful mishmash of technical and artistic endeavour all in one replica watch. And it all comes from a good, wholesome place. In a world of multinational conglomerates, rapacious industry behemoths, and long-established horological heavyweights, Cecil Purnell is run by Jonathan Purnell, the actual grandson of the company’s founder.


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Cecil Purnell founded the company in 1918. His passion for mechanical devices rubbed off on his grandson, who, as a visible spokesman for the brand, is unapologetically ardent about the creations made in the name of his grandfather. And so he should be. Cecil Purnell create timepieces that will generate an opinion, and very likely a strong one at that. But it wasn’t always this way. The company had much humbler origins and interests until 2006, when Jonathan Purnell formed an alliance with replica watch industry professional Stéphane Valsamides, and launched Cecil Purnell SA in the Jura Mountains. It was only a matter of time before replica watches like the Cecil Purnell CP-V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon were rolling off the production line – but we probably should not call it that, as “CP” is more of a micro-manufacture than anything else, with a small workshop in Geneva, and with a reliance on a number of select Swiss suppliers to obtain different movement, case and other components


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Quite aside from the fact that every Cecil Purnell features a tourbillon (a differentiating factor like few others), the way in which this most beloved complication is presented is very unusual. In previous models, such as the LaCroix and the Lucky Lady, the case shape has been a cross (totally off-the-wall), and in the Pit Lane range, the case has more overlapping shapes than Guernica and is almost as austere. With such radical housings it is possible for the tourbillon to go unnoticed. When you stick a couple of rarely seen complications right next to it, you may not even glance its way!


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That’s the case with the new Cecil Purnell CP-V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon, which features a tourbillon (obviously) alongside a very nicely rendered 3D world time display, and an artificial horizon indicator, which really has to be one of the coolest and most useless complications I have ever seen. Maybe useless is a bad word. I’m pretty sure you could use it as a spirit level when you’re putting up some shelves, so on that front it is a bargain (why buy a replica watch and spirit level when you can get them in one convenient package for a few hundred thousand dollars?).


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Seriously, though, the world time indicator is excellent. The time is indicated by a semi-circular globe that rotates once every 24 hours. Surrounded by a numbered chapter ring, the countries align with their individual times as the clock turns and the half-globe rotates. It’s not very easy to read, but it is a fluid, handsome, and thoroughly well-executed idea. I kind of like complications like this, and in a way, it reminds me of the ones I saw in the Greubel Forsey GMT (hands-on here) or the Vicenterra GMT-3 (hands-on here) .


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They are little more than an aesthetic innovation, requiring very little technical expertise to conceive. But they do allow art to creep into replica watchmaking without it becoming too contrived. That globe, which looks awesome, is basically a fancy GMT hand. Less precise; more beautiful – a balance all replica watchmakers are always trying to strike. In this instance, I believe the Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon has struck it right between the eyes.


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So maybe Cecil Purnell thought they’d better add a dash of horological clout to proceedings to compensate for the forgivable whimsy of the world timer. Enter the bi-axial tourbillon. Tourbillons are great; bi-axial tourbillons are even better. They are theoretically better at eliminating positional error by moving the balance wheel through three dimensions, but from a layman’s perspective, they just look amazing. They make it appear as if the tourbillon is falling through space, suspended by an almost invisible arm. It is a glorious thing to see time objectified, floating before your eyes, twisting, turning, ticking away in its own environment. The Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon is a treat and a really lovely addition to a range of madcap creations. The marriage of a tourbillon with a horizon indicator is a partnership of complimentary features that enjoy very different relationships with gravity: the former aims to eliminate gravity, while the latter is controlled by it. These polarised relationships create a feeling of balance that transcends the aesthetic.


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On the technical side of things, the Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon replica watch is 45mm wide, water resistant to 50 meters, and comes on a black leather strap with folding rose gold clasp. The movement (calibre CP-V17) has a 70-hour power reserve, 267 components, and operates at 21,600vph. The 13mm tourbillon cage hovers between two bridges, rotating as the seconds tick by. The hands, which are bold in style, but beautifully designed, with a straight-grain finish and delicate chamfer along the edge, are shown in rose gold on the official website, but appear to be blue in real life – at this level you will certainly be given the chance to go with your preferred color combination. Either way, they both look great (I might go for rose gold, as in this style of hand I think it looks a little classier).


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Talking of class, if you get chance to handle this replica watch you should turn it over right away. As a huge fan of engraving, I was overjoyed to see an appropriate map adorning the case back. There are a couple of holes drilled through so you can see some of the jewels, but the main draw of the movement is the bi-axial tourbillon, which is viewable from the back as well. You get a little bit of everything from the back of this replica watch – nice case engraving, well-rendered plate engraving, a flash of motion from the movement, and a great colour contrast between the rose gold case and the dark silver map.


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Now for the bad news. There will only be ten of these 18ct Rose Gold beauties produced. This is sure to result in DIY stores the world over selling out of spirit levels, as everyone who doesn’t jump the queue for one of these multi-functional timepieces rushes to ensure flat shelves. If you miss the rush and decide to settle for a Cecil Purnell V17 World Time Bi-Axial Tourbillon replica watch, you can expect to pay a price of CHF 245,000. cecilpurnell.com

Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon Replica Watch Hands-On


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Cabestan and their star replica watch maker Eric Coudray have debuted a new timepiece for 2015 that is technically interesting and in line with the avant-garde luxury replica watch brand’s established theme. Cabestan is over a decade old but has lived through a rough time, having multiple owners (on owner number three right now, I believe) and having to survive the financial crisis. The coolness of the brand has allowed it to endure, and the brand’s newest timepiece creation is the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon which I got to spend a bit of time with at Baselworld 2015.


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According to Cabestan, the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon replica watch is the first model they have released which was 100% created by Eric Coudray. A devil to photograph, the wedge-style case uses some of the brand’s design codes, and a little bit of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon II replica watch that Coudray also developed. The latter of which I see in the orientation of the movement, the dial, and the style of the tourbillon itself. To best understand the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon replica watch, it is a good idea to separate its key talking points. First is the fully visible movement that sits on display in the case, next is the three axis tourbillon, and, of course, the fusee and chain transmission system that is both complicated but also ensures constant torque delivered to the escapement.


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I want to speak about the fusee and chain transmission system, because it is a core part of the Cabestan brand which helped start it all with the Winch Tourbillon Vertical (that is what happens when you directly translate names from French to English). Like the brand’s flagship model, the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon also features a fusee and chain transmission and a tourbillon – but it does so in a unique manner. The fusee and chain system is an extremely old concept which acts to move power from a slowly unwinding mainspring to the rest of the movement. The conical shaped gear helps ensure a consistent transfer of power, which makes this system one of the most traditional and basic (yet effective) forms of ensuring that as a mainspring winds down, the accuracy of the replica watch does not wildly fluctuate.


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That is all nice and good, but the real reason we love the fusee and chain transmission system today is because they look amazing. The small chain is produced entirely by hand – by Eric Coudray. It is made of steel and has 305 links and 202 rivets for a total length of 204mm. Just imagine how long something like that takes to assemble.

This, again, is all part of the Cabestan caliber CAB EC 17 manually wound movement which is mostly produced from German Silver, and if I understand Cabestan correctly, also entirely by Eric Coudray. It is rare these days to find mechanical movements produced by a single replica watch maker, but it is one of the apexes of replica watch collecting. The movement in total has an amazing 1044 parts and a power reserve of 50 hours, operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph).


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There is also the matter of the rather amazing looking triple axis tourbillon. There are other three axis tourbillons out there, but none quite like this one that is presented so visibly and fully. The entire system sits on a rotating base plate that turns, and then the tourbillon moves on two more axis points. The rotation times are 60 seconds for axis one, 19 seconds for axis two, and 17 seconds for axis three. Those are some fast rotation times, so one of the major interesting elements of the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon is just how much movement you can enjoy in replica watching it operate.


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Technically very cool and visually remarkable, the prototype Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon replica watch that I saw had a pretty rough movement in terms of finishing. I am going to chalk that up to it being the “Basel replica watch,” and that most brands rush to get their pieces made in time for the show. Sometimes, these are just proofs of concept, and the final versions will be finished much better. I’ve seen a number of other “retail ready” Cabestan replica watches which have much better finishing, but in my photography, you can see how rough many of the surfaces are. It is actually interesting to see that, because it helps people appreciate the time and effort required to decorate mechanical movements so that they offer the aesthetic appeal high-end replica watch collectors are going for.


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The Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon case is not exactly what I would call elegant looking on the wrist, but this isn’t meant to be an elegant replica watch. It is, however, much more easy to read than other Cabestan replica watches which use things like turning drums to indicate the time. The Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon uses a more traditional dial for the time. The case itself is 50.25mm wide and 45.50mm long (48.30mm with the crown). It is also a stately 22.30mm thick. The case here is in 18k rose gold, but Cabestan will build them in titanium, PVD-coated black titanium, 18k yellow gold, 18k white gold, or platinum.


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The sapphire crystal is actually a single tube and, apparently, is both tooled and finished by hand. That means it sort of wraps around the entire case with two metal endpoints. It certainly makes for an interesting and unique case construction. With the replica watch, you get your choice of straps as well, made from things like alligator, calfskin, peccary, or rubber. Of course, you get a handmade box to go with it – this is common on such limited production timepieces so dependent on artisanal labor.


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Cabestan is one of those unique brands that continues to plod along in a modern age doing things like they used to be done long ago. The Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon is remarkably complicated for being such a hand-made project replica watch by a single replica watch maker. Assuming the final versions have better finishing, I could easily consider it as a more avant-garde alternative to the more classic-style independently produced high-end replica watches out there from masters such as Roger Smith and Kari Voutilainen. Perhaps Cabestan will not be able to match their masterful decoration and finishing techniques, but Cabestan does win when it comes to originality and some welcome weirdness. Price for the Cabestan Triple Axis Tourbillon is 250,000 Swiss Francs. cabestan.ch

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator Replica Watch Hands-On


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Among the more utilitarian new super luxury replica watches from Hublot debuting for 2015 is the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator that comes in either titanium or 18k King Gold. Why utilitarian, you ask? Well, in the most strict of senses, this ain’t no tool replica watch, and at around $100,000, I wouldn’t dare refer to it as practical. But with that said, it is straight-forward with a more-or-less clear definition of what it is supposed to be and a clear purpose in mind. What you have is a large-diameter tourbillon on the dial, a useful power reserve indicator – rendered in a new way for the brand – which makes sense with a manually-wound movement, and an impressive skeletonized movement designed for your viewing pleasure. You don’t have to love the replica watch, but you have to admit this is an Hublot tourbillon that is very comfortable in its own skin.

The other new Hublot tourbillon for 2015 is a slightly more exotic, even esoteric model that is the (more expensive) Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Carbon (hands-on here). It is a replica watch that combines a range of sporty and classic elements for an extremely niche audience. The Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator is all Hublot, and all contemporary, with its modern Big Bang 45mm wide case and movement that combines classic elements of horology with bold, masculine looks designed to impress convey a sense of status and strength.


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I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if you aren’t a fan of Hublot (or whatever brand) this model isn’t going to make you a convert. But what Hublot does here is offer a deeply Hublot DNA-branded experience that includes a lot of what their core customer base is looking for. Inside the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator is a new in-house made calibre HUB6016 movement whose bridge design work revolves around the round shapes of the tourbillon. At 13.6mm wide, the tourbillon case has an interesting black-colored bridge that includes an interesting arch-style design new for the brand. Emanating from the tourbillon are a series of concentric circle motifs in the movement that are echoed both on the dial side of the replica watch as well as on the movement visible on the rear of the case (the latter of which is, in my opinion, a very cool detail).

The HUB6016 is manually wound with 115 hours of power reserve (about 4.8 days, which Hublot rounds up to 5 days). There is a new style of power reserve indicator on the dial near 9 o’clock. It isn’t meant to be the world’s most covert power reserve indicator, but it uses a turning disc versus a hand. I do like it when a manually wound movement has a power reserve indicator, especially when they have a longer time in between winding periods. The movement operates at 3Hz (21.600 bph) and is produced from 175 parts.


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At 45mm wide, the newer Big Bang case (originally released in 2013) offers that bold Hublot style with a lot more comfort than the King Power case (that you may have noticed Hublot hasn’t been using all that much). I continue to love the pushers that offer a quick release for each of the straps that allows you to mix up the look of most Big Bang 45 cases. Of course, there is a proprietary lug connector system, but when you are spending these prices it probably won’t irritate you too much to go to Hublot for new strap options.

Legibility for a timepiece like this is surprisingly good. On paper, if I would describe the make up of the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator replica watch it would not speak to legibility. Nevertheless, the applied brushed out indicators filled with black-colored luminant and matching hands offer enough contrast to read them clearly against the open dial backed with a skeletonized view of the movement.


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Water resistant to 30 meters, this isn’t a replica watch you can go swimming with or wear while engaging in sports – but what tourbillon really is? What you are getting is a distinctive sporty lifestyle replica watch meant to evoke a sense of wealth and success with its tourbillon-based movement – yet a youthful, active lifestyle. Hublot does that very well, which is why it has gathered so many fans as well as poignant critics.

The Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator replica watch will be produced as two limited edition models – each produced as a set of 99 pieces. There is the reference 405.NX.0137.LR which is $97,700 in titanium and the reference 405.OX.0138.LR which is $115,000 in 18k King Gold. hublot.com