At the turn of the 20th century, a visionary entrepreneur based in London was on the verge of success. What was his goal? To introduce to the watchmaking world of the time a dial signature that was not yet known. Rolex. A new name, invented in 1908, would become one of the world’s most respected brands in the space of a few decades. As Hans Wilsdorf recounts in his memoirs of the company’s early days, the opposition he faced seemed impossible at first.
“Too complicated, too fragile, not adaptable” – the watch was met with skepticism. Yet, relying on his strong conviction, Hans Wilsdorf succeeded in his audacious goal of establishing the Rolex watch – the Oyster Perpetual – as the quintessential waterproof watch: precise, robust, and able to withstand all conditions. But he was more than just a visionary who gave Rolex replica watches their basic technical and aesthetic characteristics. His constant quest for perfection was accompanied by a profound tolerance and an unshakeable faith in human potential.
As an integrated, independent company, replica Rolex has manufacturing resources encompassing a wide range of skills and knowledge. Watchmakers, engineers, designers, and other specialists work closely together from designing to manufacturing a watch. Rolex’s company culture is based first and foremost on the value of people, placing expertise and soft skills at the heart of the brand’s different activities.
Rolex is the organizer of various professions, animated by employees who are experts in their respective fields. The company has complete control over its basic components, from casting gold alloys to the machining, finishing, and assembly of movements, cases, dials, bracelet elements, and gem-setting. The company’s know-how is also available worldwide thanks to an excellent after-sales service network.
To ensure that the brand’s expertise continues, copy Rolex has its unique training center. Located in Geneva, the center is dedicated to pursuing excellence and developing its staff, providing training and mentoring apprentices. The company aims to pass on its pride in its skills and mastery of knowledge to younger generations.
As the world’s first waterproof watch, it played a pioneering role in the development of modern watchmaking. Over the years, the Oyster became the pride of many other innovations – such as automatic winding via a perpetual calendar rotor (1931) – that defined the identity of the clone Rolex collection and forged its reputation for excellence, of which chronometric precision and reliability are among the cornerstones.
Comparing the Rolex Datejust (now called the Datejust 36) and the Datejust II is like comparing Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are both colas. Their tastes are similar to each other. Statistically, one appeals to an older, more conservative demographic and the other to a younger, more liberal group. One has been around for a long time, while the other is a slightly younger upstart.
However, the two are very different. So are these two Datejusts. (We’ll start with the Datejust II, then the currently produced Datejust 41). First, there are similarities. At first glance, one could be mistaken for the other on the wrist across the room. However, there is a 5 mm difference between the two.
Keeping the design in harmony with this 14% size difference has led to a change in proportions between the two. Of course, the overall design of the Datejust has remained virtually unchanged for over half a century (it was introduced in 1945). When Rolex designers decided to project the design of the Datejust II to 41 mm in 2009, the most obvious change was a wider bezel.
Imitation Rolex designers also retained the 20mm strap width, so the Datejust II has slightly thicker lugs. These thicker lugs aren’t as noticeable as the bezel, but they still account for the overall difference in proportions between the two models.
Both models are available with either a fluted bezel or a smooth bezel. On top of that, each one has an incredible variety of features. There are countless combinations of metals, dial designs, finishes, bezels, and straps.
The Datejust 36 is available with the venerable Jubilee strap, which was developed when the Datejust was first introduced in 1945, or with the Oyster strap with Oysterclasp and the brand’s exclusive Easylink comfort extension link. A strap is also an option for certain combinations of functions. In contrast, the Datejust II is only available with an Oyster bracelet and Oyster buckle, regardless of which other option is chosen.
The Datejust is available in 904L steel, yellow gold, or Everose gold (Rolex’s term for its proprietary rose gold). It also comes in a two-tone (steel and white, yellow or Everose gold) combination, while the Datejust II is a two-tone proposition in stainless steel or steel and gold.
The differences between these two models are not just skin deep. The modern Datejust 36 has a caliber 3135 or 3235 under the dial, depending on the year it was produced, while the Datejust II uses the caliber 3136. Each is a COSC-certified chronometer movement with copy Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring, but the newer movements, the 3136 and 3235, also feature high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. Rolex claims these shock absorbers are more resistant to shocks and other extreme conditions.
These are robust movements that carry Rolex’s newly redefined Super Chronometer designation. The new definition means that both movements will run -2/+2 seconds per day when housed in a case. This is more than double the -4/+6 seconds per day accuracy required for COSC certification.
If you’re a little confused after reading this, don’t worry. To see all the changes between the Datejust II and the Datejust 36, go to the Datejust page on the replica Rolex website and see the difference. Also, since all of the replica watches listed for sale on our website have their corresponding years, it is easy to tell when the different Datejust watches were made.
Recently, we spent some time on the podcast discussing the durability and appeal of the vintage TAG Aquaracer. You can still see them here and there, even quartz replica watches that have been beaten to death while it’s been going for a decade. They have a lovely quality, and I get excited about the Aquaracer watches that often serve as someone’s first beautiful watch.
This week, Replica TAG Heuer announced a new and extensive Aquaracer line of watches that takes us back to the early days and a more minor 40mm case (the specific version we’ll be watching). The new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 is in automatic and Quartz versions.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer was launched in 2004 and is the brand’s entry-level model if you’re looking for a dive watch. Unlike previous models, the new TAG Heuer Racer Professional 200 is downsized to a more wearable 40mm and comes with a choice of black, white, or blue dials.
It should be no surprise that my favorite combination is the black dial quartz version pictured above. No date, no Cyclops, and no sunburst effect – a dial treatment found on more expensive automatic versions. Other features, such as water resistance to 300 meters, Super-LumiNova-treated hands, markers, and an all-steel diving bezel, make this a valuable sports watch for the masses.
What’s more, as availability grows over time, I’m sure we’ll see a better market price, especially for the quartz models. Finally, it would be nice to have a fully frosted bracelet option. So if I buy one, you might see it with a NATO strap. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Automatic costs $2750, and the Quartz costs $2050. It looks like an exciting offering from TAG Heuer and an excellent option for those looking for an old-school diver vibe in a newer fake watch. While pricey, I could see TAG Heuer charging more for this, and I’m glad they didn’t.
As always, when you begin analyzing a vintage Rolex, every little detail matters and should match the “patina all over”. In other words, the case should age to the same degree as the dial, hands, and bezel. In most cases, when the case welder has finished his work, he simply focuses on the lugs and bevels of the watch with the newly added bevels. Don’t forget that collectors want their replica Rolex laser-welded because the case looks very tired and worn out. Logically, the rest of the watch will still show you aging, and once the case looks new, you will immediately notice that it doesn’t match the rest in detail.
But what if the dial is great and the case only needs a little surgery to become more impressive? If it’s not obvious that the parts don’t match, look closely between the lugs and you’ll see that this matte area is much more “worn” than a brand new one. On top of that, the holes in the case are usually newly drilled and you notice that when ringing them up, the inside is different, lacking the necessary patina and looking new.
Next, you have to know what the cheap Rolex case looks like, what the exact curve of the bevel is, and how wide it is, because every reference is distinguished and then you can compare. In addition to the glossy finish, the matte polish on the case tells you if it is a redo or original. A current finished matte finish has a different light break than a matte finish that was finished 20-40 years ago. Small scratches will appear on a matte finish and you will see the depth of it, plus a newly added polish will never have the same structural sanding lines when done later. Here’s a good NOS example of what a small crown looks like when it leaves the factory. Study the lines, polish, curves, and dimensions, but most importantly, the condition of the entire body is matched. Every part is NOS, not just the center case/lug.
Up close, you will see polished examples where the fine lines are not perfectly straight, because most likely the polished case was done by hand, while the unpolished case was done while all the parts were still assembled, and always the same, in one piece. Another important feature of polished watches is that the case looks good at first, but it is mainly on the case back where the engraving is worn and polished.
When Rolex 1675 model replaced the original GMT-Master model in 1959, the company introduced some notable updates to the then-new model. First, the 1675 GMT-Master got a crown protector – a detail that was lacking in the previous model. To accommodate the new shoulders on either side of the winding crown, the 1675’s case was increased by 2 mm to a diameter of 40 mm. In addition, another important change made by replica Rolex is the replacement of the bakelite bezel of the old 6542 with an aluminum bezel on the GMT-Master 1675.
Since Rolex produced the GMT-Master 1675 for 20 years, the replica watch has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. For example, early examples of 1675 had pointed crown guards (known as PCG or El Cornino), which eventually evolved into the more rounded guards we are familiar with today. In addition, the Ref. 1675 changed over time; early examples were equipped with a lustrous gold-plated dial that featured a shiny black dial with gold lettering. Starting in the mid-1960s, the company moved to a matte black dial with white text. Rolex also added the option of an all-black 1675 bezel in the early 1970s, alongside models with the iconic blue and red “Pepsi” GMT-Master bezels.
Finally, Rolex has also updated the movement inside the GMT-Master 1675. The first movement to power the reference 1675 was the 1565 caliber, which ran at 18,000 BPH. By the mid-1960s, this movement was replaced by the 1575 caliber, whose frequency was increased to 19,800 BPH. In 1971, Rolex added a hacking function to the 1575 caliber that allowed the seconds hand to pause while adjusting the time.
This particular GMT-Master 1675 is a later model, made in the late 1970s. Its dial is matte black, and its tritium luminous pattern has been transformed into a warm cream shade. In addition, it has what collectors call a Mark 5 dial, defined in part by the vertical line to the right of the M in “Master” aligned with the middle of the C and H in “Chronometer”.
But it’s the detail on the dial, just above the indexes at six o’clock, that makes this GMT-Master 1675 particularly noteworthy. An AB logo sits above the GMT-Master name, which makes this a co-branded dial. The AB logo comes from the Arkansas Best Company (now renamed ArcBest Corporation), which was founded in 1923 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as OK Transfer, a local freight company. The company was incorporated as Arkansas Best in 1966 and became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. We can only assume that the company issued these AB marked Rolex GMT-Master 1675 co-branded examples to its longest-serving personnel.
The bezel is the most recognizable attribute, with its signature blue and red Pepsi color scheme, which was replaced at the time of service, giving the fake watch almost as original an appearance as when it was made nearly 40 years ago. It may be a pilot’s watch, but the GMT-Master’s legendary toughness and resilience make it a logical choice to honor the needs of the transportation industry.
In addition to the GMT-Master 1675 with the AB logo we highlighted above, Rolex made many other examples of the same model with different co-branded dials. The most famous of these all is the double-stamped Tiffany GMT-Master 1675, with the Tiffany & Co. logo above the GMT-Master name – retailed exclusively at select Tiffany boutiques, of course.
There are also vintage GMT-Master 1675 models bearing the official insignia of Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Oman. These double-stamped copy Rolex watches were often worn by government, military, and police personnel, or given as gifts to civilians by their leaders.
The co-branded dial segment is a fascinating corner of the vintage Rolex market – some collectors focus on researching and accumulating them. the AB branded Reference GMT-Master 1675 is just one fascinating example of a large number of other double-stamped Rolex dial examples.
Wearing certain watches creates an interesting emotion. It’s hard to put into words, but when the Explorer II hugs your wrist, something changes. A feeling of adventure ensues. You’re no longer sitting in a cubicle at your desk – you’re ready to travel to the real ocean. Visions of alpine expeditions and multi-time-zone travel spring up like the plot of an Ian Fleming novel. Some people just see a simple homology between GMT and fake watch design. However, I see something more – a gateway to a different way of life.
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the Explorer II holds a special place in my heart. It was what introduced me to the world of Rolex. Memories associated with this watch include trudging through snowy nights in New York City and warm afternoons spent at country wineries. The Explorer II is not just a watch – it’s a companion. The design changes that distinguish it from the GMT-Master II or Submariner give it a more pronounced rugged look. The brushed steel bezel seems to work as a flint if you find yourself stuck in the woods and need to start a fire (seriously, don’t do that). Let’s take a look at why I can’t get enough of one of the most underrated exact replica watches in the Rolex lineup right now.
The 42mm Explorer II is significantly larger than Rolex’s 40mm Sport. To me, this just adds to the overall sturdy tool watch feel. To complement the size, the brushed steel 24-hour bezel mirrors the black dial. While the white dial version of the Explorer II is currently more popular, I prefer the black dial. It adds better readability by contrasting with the white hands. Regarding the hands, for this version of the watch, Rolex used a black hand base to match the dial and added a phantom effect. As a result, at first glance, the hands appear rather stubby, but over time, this look will grow on you.
To add contrast to the black dial, a bold orange arrow-shaped GMT hand helps you measure a second time zone. And, for good measure, this hand is controlled by its own quick time setting function on the crown. This allows the user to switch hours in just a few seconds. Following more traditional design cues, the date function is located under the Cyclops magnifying window at three o’clock. Hugging all of this tightly to the wrist is a synonym for most of their best replica watches – the Oyster strap. Finished in brushed steel, the strap feels as tough as nails without sacrificing comfort. I wish it had the Glidelock clasp. However, it does have the Easylink system, which allows you to quickly expand the bracelet by about half a turn. This comes in handy when switching from a cold climate to a hot one, or when your wrist is expanding throughout the day.
The steel bezel I’ve been raving about has a downside. It makes the Explorer II more casual than its ceramic bezel counterpart. I’ve always believed that you should wear what makes you feel best. However, for me, the Explorer II shines best in business casual and informal settings. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wear it with a suit, but in general, it’s not a good practice. The larger casing and brushed finish make it more suited to nice jeans and facecloth than anything else.
In daily use, the larger case size disappears quickly from my perspective. For most watches, I think size comes down to preference. After a few days, you can get used to anything. I never found the Explorer II to be uncomfortable or too big for my 6.8″ wrist. That said, I did notice that the case was not as flat on my wrist as the 40mm Rolex. I just equate it to a sportier look.
It’s certainly not an original idea, but for men, watches are really the only jewelry we can wear every day. The features that make this watch different from the more traditional Submariner or GMT-Master add more personality to the wearer. It shows that you really know what you’re wearing, rather than simply checking a box on the Rolex list. The Explorer II has a depth to it that really makes you feel special when you look down at your wrist. Even if you’re not traveling, you’ll always be ready for the call of adventure. The Explorer II is a watch that will carry those memories forever.
Rolex debuted its Sky-Dweller collection in 2012. It’s not often that Rolex introduces a brand new model, so it’s no surprise that the novel Sky-Dweller was the biggest news at Baselworld that year. the Sky-Dweller was hard to swallow at first – it had a wide 42mm solid gold case with a rotatable fluted bezel that served to control the movement inside. Its dial is packed with information, including two time zones, a date window, and a month indicator – oh, and it’s also an annual calendar. That’s amazing, isn’t it?
Rolex fitted the first two models with matching oyster gold straps and the latter with a leather strap. Two years later, replica Rolex added three more gold versions with additional bracelet and leather strap options. For the first five years of the Sky-Dweller’s history, the watch was only available in an all-gold version, which was out of reach for most collectors. The pair of then-new Sky-Dweller replica watches were equipped with Oyster bracelets and Rolex offered a few Rolex offered some different dial colors.
Perhaps because the steel/white gold combination is more readily available than the previous all-gold version, onlookers can allow themselves to imagine wearing this watch. Perhaps it’s because Rolex used cleaner baton-style hour markers on the dial and dropped the more ornate Arabic and Roman numerals. Another possibility is that the market is increasingly appreciating the Sky-Dweller’s striking looks and mechanical complexity. After all, this is not the first time that a new Rolex model has taken several years to catch on with the public.
The local time is read by a traditional central hand, while the second time zone is read by a small inverted triangle located slightly off-center above the 24-hour disc. In addition to the traditional date window at 3 o’clock, Rolex also features 12 dial windows next to the Sky-Dweller’s hour markers, which are filled in red to indicate the current month. Finally, one of the most impressive features of the 9001 movements is that it is an annual calendar, which means that the Sky-Dweller can distinguish between months that have 30 or 31 days.
However, the addition of the white Rolex Sky-Dweller, and in particular the blue dial, thrusts the entire collection into the spotlight. What the blue dial offers is something different – wearable and seductive, luxurious and sturdy. It is everything that the Rolex Sky-Dweller did not represent when it was first released.
In spite of its aquatic name, the Seamaster wasn’t always a dive watch. It debuted in 1948 with a case measuring just 34 mm. In 1957, Omega released the Seamaster 300, a direct competitor to watches like the Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, featuring a mix of Arabic numerals and painted markers and, most notably, a rotating calendar bezel. The Seamaster 300 became the blueprint for all future Seamaster divers. It paved the way for the 300m collection – it featured prominently on the wrist of one particular MI6 agent.
When the retro craze emerged in the mid-2010s, Omega released a modern-meets-vintage Seamaster 300 with a synthetic sheath. Earlier this year, rumors of an update to the collection were rife, and in March, OMEGA gave the Seamaster 300 a complete update. We wrote about these fake Rolex watches on release day and the consensus among our readers was positive. But those were press photos. We hadn’t seen these replica watches in person. Now we are seeing them.
The dial is a Panerai-style double sandwich. The top layer – black – has markers and cutouts for the numbers on a fully illuminated faux-Batana bottom layer. The effect is much more subtle than you might expect. If your eyes are like mine, to fully appreciate the three-dimensionality, you’ll have to hold the watch close to your face, like reading the fine print on a mortgage agreement.
On the other hand, the new bezel is indisputably better. The bezel of the steel model is reminiscent of the gilt look of the Tudor Black Bay 58. It is now made of oxalic anodized aluminum instead of ceramic – which matches the throwback vibe. The previous 300 series had a monochromatic bezel, but this one features the same aged patina found on the dial.
On the wrist, the new 300 feels like 42mm, despite listing the same size as its predecessor as 41mm. The sapphire case back adds considerable thickness to the bottom, resulting in a fairly high gap between the case and wrist at the ends of the lugs, but this kind of detail is only noticeable when you’re actually looking for it, and the watch is comfortable to wear on a strap or bracelet.
Also, a matching bracelet for the bronze and gold watch would be great. In typical OMEGA fashion, these replica Rolex watches represent a strong value in the broader dive watch market – a market where certain models from certain brands are not even available. With this update, OMEGA has made the Seamaster 300 even more coveted than it has been for years.
Grand Seiko has always drawn inspiration from nature and applied these influences to its timepieces. In the past year alone, we have seen the Grand Seiko Ref. SBGR321, which celebrates the morning skies of Mount Iwate in Japan, and before that, the Grand Seiko Toge Special Edition, which evokes a mountain path through the same slopes, to name just two of several examples. Today, we take a look at the luxury watchmaker’s latest nature-inspired creation, the new Heritage Hi-Beat “White Birch” watch, Ref. SLGH005. SLGH005
As its name suggests, the replica watch is most inspired by the white birch forest that grows next to Shizukuishi Grand Seiko’s atelier in Japan. According to the brand, this is where the birch trees grow in abundance, standing beautifully and mysteriously in every season, shimmering in every morning light, and providing a luminous silhouette at every dusk. The ever-innovative watch designers at Grand Seiko have used this stately backdrop as the template for the birch-patterned dial of their new model.
The 40mm diameter steel case is 11.7mm thick and, like all its counterparts in the collection, features Grand Seiko’s signature ‘Zaratsu’ style of ultra-sharp brushed and mirror alternately polished surfaces. The case has a relatively new shape, introduced by the brand exclusively for its Heritage collection, known as the “Series 9” style. Among its unique features, the Series 9 case design features wider lugs, a low center of gravity for a tighter fit on the wrist, and a flat-topped brushed bezel surrounding the dial.
The bark-inspired ‘White Birch’ dial is covered by a vintage-style box-shaped sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. The Series 9 style dial features a more contemporary set of traditional dauphine hands, matched with fluted applied hour markers. In addition, the outer edge of the dial is embellished with a curved minute ring at each 5-minute position. A steel contoured date indicator at 3 o’clock, partially affixed with the Grand Seiko logo, occupies the upper part of the dial, and simple blued steel seconds hands accompany the Series 9 hour and minute hands.
Inside the SLGH005 is the Grand Seiko Caliber 9SA5, one of the major Japanese fake watch manufacturer’s own ‘high-beat movements. Launched in 2020, this self-winding movement is one of the brand’s most prestigious movements, boasting a high frequency of 36,000 Vph, 47 jewels, an impressive 80-hour power reserve, and an accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day. Protected by a sapphire case-back that makes the watch water-resistant to 100 meters, the movement is exquisitely decorated and topped by a skeletonized rotor.
Rolex’s dive watches are highly sought after. It’s no wonder that Rolex has such an exciting history, many noteworthy collaborations, unique designs, and powerful, precise internal movements. We explore the various models in this feature.
Rolex currently produces some different dive watch models: the Submariner and Submariner Date, the Sea-Dweller, and the Deepsea. The Submariner and Submariner Date have the same case size. Almost all of the watches in the collection are available in versions with different materials, dials and bezel colors. The Submariner without the date is the entry-level piece. Introduced in 1953, the Submariner was Rolex’s first dive watch. At the time, it had a bi-directional rotating bezel for measuring dive time. Initially, the Submariner was water-resistant to 100 meters, but by 1954 Rolex had increased that level to 200 meters. In 1955, the British Royal Navy began using the Submariner as its official dive watch, and the Royal Canadian Navy followed suit the following year.
In 1927, Rolex first became known for its water-resistant watches with patented screw-down crowns, and the clever Oyster name was an effective marketing tool. During the more than 15 hours that Mercedes Glaze attempted to swim the English Channel, she wore a Rolex water-resistant watch that stood the test of time. Rolex advertised the event on the front page of London’s Daily Mail newspaper, earning great acclaim for the watch.
Rolex also developed a special deep-sea watch for exploring the depths of the ocean. Between 1953 and 1960, it participated in a number of sea expeditions, attached to the outer hull of a Submarine. In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh manned their submarine Trieste to dive to the Mariana Trench, at a depth of 10,916 meters, which was just a few meters short of the deepest point of the ocean. The Deep Sea Special survived unscathed. Although this model was built several times, it never went into mass production. Due to the use of a hemispherical crystal and an overall height of 35mm, it was still too large to be considered wearable.