The road to revolutionary Swiss replica watches

MANILA, Philippines – When it comes to the world’s topmost timepieces, trust that all roads lead to Switzerland. With a fine watch-making tradition since 1291, the Swiss have perfected the balance of precision, performance, and panache in timekeeping that luxury replica watches have been the country’s greatest known export, far exceeding supreme chocolates, secured banking systems, and sturdy military-issue knives. Yet while other established Swiss-made brands capitalize on their centuries-old horology traditions, one brand dared to counter the hands of time by focusing on the future. “We want to present something different. We are Rod Original Design, so there are two words there that are very important: ‘original’ and ‘design’,” stated Rod Original Design of Switzerland founder Marc Corven.

Founded in the Swiss ski town of Neuchâtel in 2012, Rod original design may not share the stuffy history of its more gilt counterparts, yet what it lacks in age-old acclaim, the brand makes up for by its avant-garde repute. “Today, to be remarkable in the market of watches, you have to be different. You can be like everybody, but if you do that, the people will perceive you as just like everybody. You have to be really different, and that is why we pay attention to all the details,” Corven enthused. With 25 sterling years working with European timepiece brands and fine jewelry labels in the Middle East, Corven had developed a knack for the finer things that make any luxury item tick. So, found in his rather groundbreaking chronographs are closely the same elements that make any Swiss replica watch covetable: from the scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal display to the surgical-grade 316L steel body that is both hypoallergenic and anti-corrosive. Yet his products, which are a recurring hit at the annual Baselworld, choose not to stop there.

When you work for brands, and as a retailer, you start to have an idea about the product and about the customer. Maybe not the whole market, but at least you understand the requirement of your patrons, observed Corven. “The customer today wants a new experience. With products out there being almost the same, we want to bring celebrated watch silhouettes of the Iconic Grande, Iconic Chronograph, and the limited-edition Camouflage series, is the brand’s trademarked semi-square face fastened by its definitive screws. Every Rod timepiece is its crown protector feature. A study in industrial functions and toughened aesthetic, the steel bar that snugly hides the rotary crown of the watch is a revolutionary observance of timely watch design. “While the crown protection hides the crown and the pusher, it also to protects the back of the hand,” Corven explains. So, despite the watch’s rather colossal 42mm frame, the wrist is unfazed from scratching and discomfort.

And when in the subject of being wearable, Rod’s silicone rubber strap is easy and comfortable to wear, lightweight, waterproof and non-irritating. Indeed a perfect match for the watch’s water-resistance feature of up to 5 atm, making the ROD an exceptional choice as either a sport performance watch or a stylish casual timepiece for any lady or gent. Armed and dangerous: With its tough black steel exterior and sleek militarized display, the ROD Deep Forest Camouflage is a sure-fire target for the urban warrior.

“After that, it’s a question of price. We may be priced a little bit higher than our sports watch competitors, but we are priced lower than our luxury counterparts. We exceed the functions, the details and the performance of our sporty counterparts while maintaining the luxury and the excellent design that come with a Swiss watch. In this sense, I believe that we are totally unique,” Corven enthused. Indeed, with a starting price of P45,000, the ROD timepiece could just as well be anyone’s starter kit when growing a Swiss watch collection, as its distinct futurist form and functionality should prove archetypal for modern timekeeping. Proof that luxury should never be bound by traditions, it is, perhaps, the spirit of innovation that has made the Swiss synonymous to the world’s finest timepieces. And while some houses may have long forgotten this, there are still brands like ROD to remind everyone that a good watch is always all about the revolution.

Women and Replica Watches: It’s Complicated

PARIS Andrea Seifert, the marketing manager of Gatehouse Publishing, travels a lot from Singapore through different time zones on business. She has found a lifesaver in something that used to belong pretty exclusively to the men’s club: a watch with complications, those mechanisms that increase a watch’s accuracy or capabilities. Ms. Seifert’s watch is a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo, a flip-over watch with back-to-back dials that can show the time in two zones. She can set one to show the time back home in the office and the other to show the time at her destination. She not only relies on the functionality of the watch but also appreciates its technical aspect. “What’s unusual is that the two dials are controlled by the same movement,” she said.

Women’s tastes and needs in replica watches are changing, and watchmakers are increasingly acknowledging the change, in models with complications designed with women in mind. “With less emphasis on specific roles within the home and work, this also translates into horology,” said Roanne Orlebar, fine-watch buyer for Harrods in London. “We have certainly seen a trend in ladies interested in complications, with brands reacting to this demand by launching ladies’ complications.” Marina Lunkina, who works in public relations in Moscow, is a case in point. “Today’s world made women as active as men in business, social and many other life spheres,” she said. “It’s obviously affected our style.”

Ms. Lunkina owns a man’s SevenFriday, a Swiss-designed watch built around a Japanese mechanical movement, and a Maurice Lacroix moon-phase watch that she uses to keep track of hair appointments — but for reasons that, like the watch, are complex. “Hair will grow faster if you cut them on a growing moon,” she wrote in an email, while a waning moon is better “if you would like to keep the hairstyle unchanged.” Moon-phase swiss replica watches seem to have a particularly strong appeal for women, and not just those who frequent beauty salons. “Ladies appreciate the moon-phase,” said Pascal Raffy, who in 2001 bought the Swiss luxury watch brand Bovet Fleurier, which has been making timepieces since 1822. One of his first initiatives was to introduce a moon-phase because, he said, “it’s a complication women need, it’s an animation of the movement, it’s emotional.”

A moon-phase captured the attention and heart of Eva Malmstrom Shivdasani, the creative director of Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas, based in Bangkok. She doesn’t wear a watch often, but when she does, it’s an Audemars Piguet moon-phase that she bought at auction 10 years ago. “I love the look of it, and the movement of the moon,” she said. “It’s a stunning watch, so beautiful. I don’t use it for the function, I just like the beauty of it.” Watchmakers are aiming to satisfy women who are intrigued by complications as much as those attracted by appearance. A wave of new models combines function with fashion.

Franck Muller, the self-titled Master of Complications, offers a Lady Tourbillon with a heart-shaped tourbillon “designed specifically with women in mind,” said the brand’s director, Nicolas Rudaz. “Women buying complicated women replica watches is certainly a trend we see here,” Mr. Rudaz added. Chanel has seen the same trend. “The offer of complications for women has grown very much,” said Nicolas Beau, Chanel’s international watch director. But where “men buy for the mechanism, women buy for the beauty of the mechanism,” he said. As a result, Chanel designed the tourbillon as a stylized camellia in the Première Flying Tourbillon Camellia, making the mechanism a decorative element.

Complex replica watches prettified with hearts, flowers — and lots of diamonds — are a far cry from the offerings of a few years back. “Remember those old Casio replica watches uk with all the buttons?” said Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council in New York, recalling Casio’s early digital models with stop replica watches and alarms. “They weren’t pretty. Today women are looking for something more fashionable.” Béatrice Rouhier, Chaumet’s watch manager in Paris, says women are looking for poetry. “For women, the point is, yes, it is a technical watch — but it is a watch that tells a story,” she said.

In Chaumet’s “Catch me … if you love me” watch, the hands are replaced by a spider and a bee, spinning in a web that replaces the hour markers. The symbolism is “seduction, it is creativity, it is poetry, it is joyful,” Ms. Rouhier said. Van Cleef & Arpels believes in the power of poetry so much that it has trademarked “Poetry of Time” and “Poetic Complications” to describe a collection of jeweled replica watches with complications (including one that features fluttering butterflies). Mr. Raffy, the Bovet Fleurier owner, said, “Women are now interested in how a timepiece works.” In Asia, he said, women “are passionate about mechanical timepieces.”

Daniel Chang, managing director of Jaeger-LeCoultre in China, says his brand holds master classes in China, at which a watchmaker shows a small group how to take apart and reassemble a mechanical movement. “We see female customers coming to the events,” he said. Ms. Giberson said: “We’re more comfortable now with technology. Things that used to seem geeky or intimidating are now common.”

The Political Power Replica Watch Stops Ticking

Sam Brownback, the Republican governor of Kansas up for re-election on Tuesday, wears a steel Timex with a black leather band. Bob Beauprez, the Republican challenger for Colorado governor, stumps in a cheap Waltham replica watch he bought for his father around 1970. Fred DuVal, a Democrat running for Arizona governor, opts for a hand-me-down Bulova Caravelle that may cost less than $100 new. The conspicuous lack of luxury timepieces in this year’s midterm election cycle is in line with current trends in American political wrist armor. President Obama routinely poses at photo ops with sleeves rolled, flexing a Jorg Gray JG6500 series chronograph that could pass as an altimeter from a Boeing 767, and retails for less than $400 — roughly one-thousandth the cost of the $540,000 Vacheron Constantin of Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s billionaire former prime minister. What ever happened to the wrist replica watch befitting a world leader? Consider that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the sartorial equivalent of oyster crackers, appeared on a 1952 cover of Life magazine wearing an 18-karat gold Rolex Datejust that nowadays would look flashy on a Maserati-driving Miami timeshare broker.

The political power replica watch — a subtle yet potent symbol of leadership, with deep roots in American politics — has been redefined. In an era when any hint of elitism is the third rail of modern statecraft, and even the tiniest fashion faux pas (see: Mr. Obama’s “dad jeans”) is dissected mercilessly, most office holders, in the United States anyway, seem unwilling to risk C.E.O.-level timepieces that were once the birthright of the ruling class. For the contemporary technocrat, the timepiece art-object has been replaced by an Everyman tool that sends a more politically palatable message: youth, fitness, fiscal prudence. Think of them as running shoes for the wrist.

“Expensive replica watches have been a casualty of Washington, D.C.’s, obsession with optics, and a shift in what politicians and campaign strategists believe the American people want in their elected leaders,” said Will Welch, the style editor of GQ. “No matter what a politician’s biography, business record or tax returns may say, the accepted wisdom is that a politician has got to look the part of an average American. Not too stylish. Not too privileged. Definitely not so clueless as to wear the entire incomes of a lot of American families on a single wrist.” Such is the no-frills state of horology in the political sphere that Bob McDonnell, the former Virginia governor convicted in federal court on 11 counts of conspiracy, bribery and extortion in September, seemed to distance himself from not just a gifted Rolex, but the very idea of a Rolex.

“It was big, gaudy, just too big,” Mr. McDonnell testified in court in August, referring to the Swiss timepiece that he said his wife gave him for Christmas, but was said to be paid for by a local businessman, as reported by Politico. The governor, who later returned the replica watches uk, said he always preferred inexpensive, utilitarian brands. “As long as it was accurate — everyone knows I’m always on time,” he added. With his testimony, Mr. McDonnell hit the cheap-replica watch exacta for the modern elected official. “Politicians wear a cheap replica watch both as a way to show they are a no-frills non-elitist and also to subliminally convey that they value time, meaning that they would be good managers,” said Eric Wind, a writer for the popular replica watch-enthusiast site Hodinkee, who deconstructed the replica watch choices of American presidents earlier this year.

While it may seem trivial to analyze an elected leader’s wrist instead of, say, his stance on health care, the wrist replica watch is a talisman, at least for male politicians, who are generally locked into to a uniform of blue suits and party-appropriate red or blue ties, with few other opportunities to express personal style. And it would be naïve to assume that no one is paying attention. President Obama’s left wrist has been in the spotlight since he entered the political stratosphere. Bloggers hailed his choice of an old TAG Heuer 1500 — a rugged diver’s replica watch favored by middle managers — earlier in his career. “Many swiss replica watches admirers appreciated that he seemed to wear something of a ‘beater’ on his wrist, as it projected a good work ethic,” wrote The Escapement, a replica watch blog, in 2009.

It is not just horology geeks taking note. After the president took office wearing his new Jorg Gray, a birthday gift from his security detail, The Chicago Tribune noted that “a man’s replica watch is the equivalent of a woman’s handbag: often scrutinized, sometimes coveted. So when the left-handed president signed documents on Day 1 of his presidency, many noticed his black chronograph with a Secret Service seal, in place of the Tag Heuer he often wears. Often, the wrist watch serves to underscore a politician’s perceived strengths. Mr. Brownback’s simple Timex, for instance, quietly advertises his role as a no-nonsense fiscal conservative. But just as often, a strategic choice shores up a perceived weakness. With its he-man, commando air, the president’s Jorg Gray hinted that a bookish Ivy Leaguer who had never awakened to reveille was ready to assume duties as commander in chief.

George W. Bush struggled with a Yale party boy image, so a drugstore Timex helped to offset his custom suits. During the 2012 election, Mitt Romney seemed to lean on his modest Seiko as a rebranding tool, to counter perceptions that he was an out-of-touch corner-office type with a $200 million fortune. Then there was Bill Clinton, whose cheeseburger eruptions were dissected nearly as much as his bimbo eruptions during his 1992 presidential run, proudly displayed a jogger-friendly plastic Timex Ironman. Though it was derided as a “wrist gargoyle” by The Washington Post, it was the symbol of Bubba, born again hard.

There was a time, however, when cheap chic was a foreign concept to statesmen. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the architect of the New Deal, wore a gold Tiffany-signed Movado triple calendar with no apparent shame. Another populist of plutocrat origins, John F. Kennedy, counted among his collection a Cartier and a dainty gold Omega, according to Hodinkee. Lyndon B. Johnson, father of the Great Society, owned a quiver of fine Swiss replica watches, including a Patek Philippe, a Vulcain Cricket (a presidential staple), a LeCoultre and a Rolex. Even Fidel Castro, a leader with class sensitivities if there ever was one, at times wore two Rolexes on the same wrist.

The mid-20th century, in fact, was a more stately time when politicians, particularly presidents, “presented themselves as men who ordinary citizens could aspire to be: accomplished, glamorous, stylish, classy and wealthy without being gaudy,” Mr. Welch said. “So the shift in watch preferences is a tidy metaphor for the larger philosophical change about what a politician should be, what the American people want.” To date, the phenomenon seems largely an American one. In Russia, for instance, Vladimir V. Putin has reportedly amassed a replica watch collection worth nearly $700,000. “I guess if you feel assured of the popular vote,” said Style.com’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, “you can wear whatever watch you please.”