A sale that will likely run collectors of replica Patek Phillippe and Rolex up against connoisseurs of watch history, anxious to make the personal acquaintance of a watch that might not set the wider world alight, but does represent one of the most significant staging posts on the journey of the wristwatch from useful, time-only personal effect to heirloom and artwork combined.
In tandem, these qualities describe what’s thus attractive about a complication that, for most watch lovers, constitutes their first “affair”: refinement (speaking to the chorological skill required to make superbly accurate timekeepers) and legibility (recognizing their role as one of the first “tool” replica watches – the category that gave birth to today’s all-conquering sports watch). By selecting a relative handful – 88 in total – to represent Phillips’ first ever chronograph-only auction, it takes place in Geneva next month.
Originally a term used to describe a device capable of recording elapsed time using a pen and ink system – quite literally chrono-graph – with the advent of mass mobilization. By the Fifties, these tool watches entered the mainstream, thanks to accurate and above all reliable movements from a host of watch makers, many of whom sadly wouldn’t survive the quartz crisis of the early Eighties.
Both civil and military, the need to measure often lengthy time-periods accurately gave voice to a number of manufactures anxious to perfect what some might argue is a timepiece’s most useful secondary function.
All cases are in the genuine tool watch’s material of choice: stainless steel. Phillips is showing that its dedicated replica watch department, set up in 2014 by expert auctioneer Aurel Bacs, is nothing if not purist: merely ‘true’ chronographs have been listed (so no lunar calendars known as ‘moon phases’) creeping in.
The result: ask Paul Maudsley, international specialist director of the London watches department at Phllips’ Auction House on Berkeley Sqaure, what constitutes a “collectible” chronograph, and he’ll say a level of refinement and superior legibility.
However, the hand-wound movement does allow for a greater power reserve. In other words, things can go backwards or sideways just as easily as forwards. This is particularly true in the world of replica watches, where the latest object of desire is just as likely to be the reiteration of an old classic (with a twist – naturally) as a technological leap forward.
Most of us like to think that progress is linear. Experience, nevertheless, teaches us that, like crowds of people rushing through an airport. Take IWC’s Portofino Hand-Wound Mono-pusher.It is rather more like Brownian motion – the random movement of particles suspended in a fluid.
And, personally, I find the very action of winding a watch rather soothing, which more than beats the stress of missing your train when you – very occasionally – forget to do so. This may be the first time that replica IWC has presented a single-button chronograph but, traditionally, single pushers were used on pocket replica watches to start, stop and reset. A hand-wound movement is now also a rarity, thanks to the convenience of self-winding – ie, automatic – versions.
Unlike its predecessors, nevertheless, when it comes to its chronograph function, the new Portofino Mono-pusher is the very model of discretion, with the pusher integrated into the crown with merely the most modest of protrusions signaling its presence.
It performed these functions admirably, but was to be overtaken by its double-pusher parvenus thanks to a simple weakness – with merely one button you couldn’t pause your timings. In spite of the discretion, this is no shrinking violet, with a case that measures a substantial 45mm – the size allows it to boast an eight-day power reserve.
The PAM 232 OOR was originally sold circa 2009, several years after the initial release of the Pam 232-I series. This watch represents a rare and unique find seldom seen available for sale in the secondary market. As much as that prevents viewing and appreciation of the movement, Panerai wanted to keep this watch as authentic as practical to its original DNA. OOR watches are typically released several years after the initial release or the discontinuance of a particular PAM reference number.
It is widely speculated that OOR series Panerai watches occur when Panerai realizes it has back stock or excess availability of movements, cases and other components such that they are able to release a micro-edition of a currently discontinued watch. The PAM 232 Radiomir 1938 was released as a special limited edition, one-time production of only 1,938 pieces for the “I series” in 2006. OOR watches are offered in very small batches of typically 25 to 50 pieces, and they are usually distributed on an exclusive basis primarily through the Panerai boutique distribution channel. OOR watches refer to limited micro-edition releases of discontinued or one-time-release Special Edition Panerai watches. As such, they usually sell out very quickly. For that reason, OOR Limited Edition watches in the secondary or resale marketplace are very rare, few and far between, and they are considered prized possessions. As a tribute to the original, all of these watches have sandwich dials and solid stainless steel casebacks. These watches are a unique anomaly exclusive to Panerai and represent a unique “quirk” within the contemporary history of the brand. The Panerai boutiques use OOR watches to leverage customer relationships, affinity and repeat business by offering their top clients right of first refusal on these watches.
In the case of the PAM 232 OOR, Panerai quietly and discreetly re-released a very limited number of PAM 232 models as a special OOR series of only 40 watches. Nineteen thirty-eight is a significant number because this watch is a remake of the original 1938 Radiomir. The PAM 232 OOR is identical to the original PAM 232-I in every way, including the special edition massively over-sized burlwood presentation-box set and Special Edition Parchment Scroll (individually numbered to match the watch), with the exception of the millesimation marking on the caseback, which in the case of this PAM 232-OOR is identified as “OOR xx/40” for its edition number.
Just to clarify, there are no hard or fast rules as to OOR watches being produced exclusively for regular editions or special editions, and this is confirmed by the fact that there are OOR models that are both regular and special editions. As a special edition release, the protocol was to retire the PAM 232 reference number after its initial release in 2006.
What happens if you purchased a Rolex prior to July 1, 2015? Can you still take advantage? Rolex has always been proud of the durability and longevity of its timepieces. So here is some help with the most frequently asked questions I’ve encountered. Compared to these examples, Rolex’s move is far more significant. What most people perhaps don’t know is that Rolex also offers an extended two-year guarantee on watches where it has performed a complete and official service maintenance.
The novel guarantee period will be extended from two to five years on all watches purchased from an authorized cheap replica Rolex watches retailer on and after July 1, 2015. And in an increasingly competitive market, the brand with the crown in its logo made a big move in 2015 to confirm its leading position with the new Rolex five-year guarantee.
This is two-and-a-half times longer than the two-year guarantee that was previously offered, and miles ahead of most other watch brands. My bet is that we will see a lot of brands lengthen their guarantee periods in the near future as a result of this move. However, as there is no official communication on this, it might be a tad difficult to understand how to take advantage. The short answer is no.
That said, if you have purchased a Rolex between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015, you will be granted one additional year on top of your current two-year guarantee for a total of three years. Addendum: We have just been informed that Breitling also offers a five-year guarantee on its in-house movements.
How does this compare to the rest of the industry’s guarantees?
There are exceptions, however. Like the original luxury Rolex replica watches guarantee, most Swiss and German watch brands currently offer a two-year plan. Ulysse Nardin, for instance, has a two-year guarantee but offers an additional year if you register your watch on the Ulysse Nardin website.
Rolex is the first quality watch brand to offer a five-year guarantee. Bedat and Casio both offer five-year guarantees, but on inexpensive quartz movements. Bremont, though not Swiss, has always offered a generous three-year guarantee right out of the gate with online registration as well. Fossil has an eleven-year guarantee, but again on quartz, and at those prices the client can simply be shipped a new watch without much pecuniary damage to the company.
This exclusive guarantee has been in place since 2012. I’ve never spoken to a retailer who wouldn’t drop everything they have to become an authorized retailer of best replica Rolex watches timepieces.
Fake Rolex Oyster GMT Master II Watches
What does this mean for the industry?
Naturally, this is voided if a third, non-Rolex-authorized party has meddled with the parts or accessories. It’s no secret that every brand would love to have the brand-name strength and power that Rolex does.
Omega watches have a few different guarantee periods depending on the type of movement in the watch. Omega offers a two-year guarantee on quartz movements, three years on ETA-based calibers, and four years on the in-house co-axial movement.