While the tech world buzzes with the Apple Replica Watch, don’t miss the strong traditional replica watch brands also innovating. QUESTION: What makes a strong brand? Answer: You know what it is, you know what it does, and you know what it stands for without being told. An example? McDonald’s. But strong brands sometimes surprise, as McDonald’s did with its introduction of kale salads!
In the replica watch world there are few brands to match the strength of Replica Patek Philippe, and Patek Philippe has surprised us, by launching a pilot replica watch. Patek in the 1930s produced a few pilot replica watches, now on display in the company’s Geneva museum. Customers saw these replica watches and asked for a contemporary version.
The new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time is more refined then most pilot replica watches around today and less slavishly imitative of the instrument panel of a cockpit. And the watch has complications: second time zone, day/night indicator for both time zones, and a calendar—more suitable for a frequent traveler than a pilot. A kale salad is nowhere near as useful. Price: $47,600 in white gold, with a 42mm case (patek.com)
This year Antoine Preziuso celebrates 35 years as an independent watchmaker. Prolific and daring with his designs Mr. Preziuso has been quiet in recent years. At Basel he explained why: He has been working on a new watch, the Tourbillon of Tourbillons, with his son, Florian. The replica watch has three tourbillons connected and synchronized by a differential. Differentials aren’t new in fake swiss watches and neither, of course, are multiple tourbillons. But, the arrangement of one differential and three tourbillons is probably unique. Mr. Preziuso has wrapped his creation in a case of rose gold, titanium and steel; it is 45mm in diameter and 14mm thick. Price: €480,000 (antoine-preziuso.com)
Hublot often produces stylish, in-your-face watches. This year’s entrant in that category is its Big Bang UnicoItalia Independent, designed in collaboration with Italia Independent, a clothing and lifestyle brand founded by Italian entrepreneur Lapo Elkann—thus covering the style side of things. Like all replica watches in the Unico collection this one is a chronograph with a calendar and a 45mm case.
What’s new is the case material: Texalium, an aluminum-coated carbon fiber that, in an oddly attractive way, accentuates the colors, blue or gray, of the case. The blue version also has a denim-covered rubber strap with titanium studs. Price: $28,600 (hublot.com)
If your taste runs more to elegant fake watches inspired by Art Deco, you’re in luck: 2015 sees the 70th anniversary of the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945, a replica watch uk with a medley of curves and straight lines, pink gold and steel and one detail—a round, recessed seconds subdial—that all together evoke one of the first truly modern stylistic eras. The new watch, called Vintage 1945 Small Seconds, has a rectangular case measuring 36.2mm x 35.25mm. Price: $13,050 (girard-perregaux.com)
Let’s end on a musical note: For several years, Swiss entry-level mechanical brand Replica Oris UK has launched replica watches commemorating great jazz musicians. The watch created for this year’s honoree, piano maestro Thelonious Monk, has that indefinable but instantly recognizable quality: cool. With a subtle blue sunburst dial, long, thin hour and minute hands, and a simple 40mm stainless-steel case, this watch will never draw attention to itself—an essential component of cool. When this watch is noticed, its beauty will be appreciated—also very cool. Produced in a limited edition of 1,000. Price: $1,900 (oris.ch)