Founded in 1905 in London by Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex became known for a concentration on quality movements, a relentless quest for chronometric precision and the first waterproof and dustproof watch, named the “Oyster”. Rolex watches were present during a number of historical events, including Mercedes Gleitze’s ten-hour swim across the English channel and Sir Edmund Hillary’s summit of Mount Everest.
The watch features a striking champagne dial, with hour markers made from 18 carat gold to prevent tarnishing. The Rolex Datejust is not just a passing trend in horology, but a true style. This model has transcended time thanks to its aesthetics and functions.The watch is placed on a two-toned Jubilee bracelet. The cyclops on the crystal, invented by Rolex in 1953 magnifies the date for easy reading.
The bracelet is a comfortable five-piece link metal bracelet and was designed for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust in 1945. The new model, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 comes in a variety of options, allowing the wearer to customize materials, the bezel and bracelet. Influenced by the pioneering Date just, the date on this model is displayed in a window at 3 o’clock and changes instantaneously at midnight. The watch is powered by the 3235 movement, a new generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. It is certified as a Swiss chronometer by COSC. Rolex invented and patented the world’s first self-winding mechanism in 1931 that remains at the heart of every modern replica automatic watch today. Discover more about Rolex here.
2012 was IWC’s year of their Pilot’s watch. Just before IWC is ready to launch the new Ingenieur collection in the next coming weeks at SIHH 2013, we look back at the Pilot collection with IWC’s Creative Director, Christian Knoop. The introduction party of the new Pilot collection during the SIHH in Geneva last year has been topic of several discussions. Here in The Netherlands, we had our own introduction day of the new IWC (TOP Gun) Pilot collection. A report of that day can be found by clicking here. For the Father & Son Pilot collection, we decided to use different colors for the dial and Super Luminova.
Whether it was positive or not, at least IWC got everyone’s attention for the Pilot collection. I sat down with Mr Knoop in the Dylan hotel in Amsterdam and asked him the following questions:
Mr Knoop, how did you end up working in the watch industry?
I almost had seen every type of product except cars and watches. It was actually by coincidence that I ended up in the watch industry. Compared to the products I’ve work with before, timepieces are certainly the most emotional products. That’s very special in this era. However, my team and I do more than timepieces only. We have a team of 12 designers in Schaffhausen and 5 of them are constantly working on watches. Before I started working for replica IWC, I’ve been active for a lot of different industries. Other members of the team work on our IWC boutiques, packaging, gifts and basically every visual aspect of IWC replica watches. However, the timepieces are our center point of attention.
What struck me most – besides the timepieces – is that at the basis of these products is a company with a long history which does everything by themselves from design to the actual production process of the watch. It’s just wonderful how involved our customers are with our products. Every time I talk to IWC collectors, IWC fans or to the people who visit our museum in Schaffhausen I am amazed how emotional they get about our brand. We also decided to produce both models in stainless steel (as opposed to the platinum & steel set from the previous collection), as we’ve learned that this combination should become affordable for more customers.
It really fascinates me and gives me a lot of input in my work. It displays that it is more than ‘just a watch’ to people, several people live for watches. I live for watches. The Big Pilot (Father’s watch) is an iconic watch already and has its own group of followers. Wasn’t it hard to change certain things about this replica watch, such as the black dial? On to the watches. The Pilot collection has been IWC’s focus in 2012. Let’s start with the new Pilot Father & Son timepieces that were introduced in 2012.
I have been completely overhauling my timepiece collection recently. In the process, I actually found myself Panerai-less for a few days. I actually thought I could do it. But within a couple of days, I felt like something was very wrong. Something was missing… TimeCaptain had lost his mojo.
Allow me to set the stage. For the past couple of years, I have been craving an oversized pilot piece with the vintage and legendary ETA 6497 Unitas physically wound movement. The Archimede XL Pilot was my favorite. As you may know, if you are a fan of timepiece collecting, this brand is all about the case. The complicated structure, incorporating classical and modern techniques and materials embodies ‘the art of fusion’ – a philosophy at the centre of the brand’s identity. I found the riot of textures and materials constantly engaging. It’s the same concept. But these pieces are not easy to find in Montreal. You would need to import one. Soon, I found myself with a new Panerai on my wrist one with that unmistakable watch dial. And I felt like… TimeCaptain got his mojo back!
I can hear you all now. I can. I’ve heard it before. Replica U-Boat is a tacky fashion brand. It’s awful. It’s for 17-year-old’s who just graduated from high school. It’s for muscle heads who wear skin-tight t-shirts and grease their hair before going to the club. Yeah, yeah. I, in point of fact, don’t deny most of this. The problem, in fact, was not having a Panerai at all to strap on my wrist. While I had plenty of other cool pieces to choose from, it hurt to not have an example of my favorite brand to sport during meetings and presentations. I have very thick wrists at almost 7 1/2″ so I can pull off 45mm+ replica watches. A 44mm Luminor does not even look big on me. The SMALL U-Boats are 45mm so the sizes are interesting for me. Current U-Boat timepieces are using ETA movements. How does that differ from Bell & Ross or Longines? U-Boat does not have the heritage, however, you have to love their direction- they went from quartz to Japanese Miyota and then to Swiss ETA. If you like the style of a U-Boat and it uses the same movement as Bell & Ross or something, and then certainly it is a right watch?
And it is a sandwich dial. I mean, you can find all of these features on Luminor models such as the 111. For me, the U-Boat was just a fun toy- something not-too-serious- to strap on once in a while for kicks. And that movement…
Adam has taught me to blog about the feel of a timepiece. At the end of the day, timepieces are absolutely unnecessary luxuries so it’s all about how they make you feel. OK so let’s get back to the ad on Canadian Watch Collector (CWC). So here is this replica U-Boat… a brand I had always considered as an outside candidate for my watch box. Being pre-owned, the price was very very acceptable. As I looked it over, the U-Boat ticked all of the boxes. Oversized? Try 50mm!!! It had my target ETA 6497 movement. And style? You can see for yourself. As for certain, there is a lot of Panerai effect and the style will not be suitable everyone. And people will say the U-Boat is a cheap immitation of Panerai (even with its name hinting at WWII). But I really like the more classic style of certain replica U-Boat models. And this one was all black and stealth something that has been missing from my collection. The U-Boat was being provided at a lower price, which provided a quite distinct style and color scheme to my collection. It had a beautiful box set and it was powered by the very movement I desired.
At the same time, the replica U-Boat just oozes Panerai essence and DNA. It’s manually wound, basic, non-in-house-movement feels authentic and true to Panerai history. Despite the Radiomir not having the Luminor’s crown protector, the U-Boat replica watches looks PANERAI. Anybody who looks at it will know it’s a Panerai. And for me, that’s the whole point! I just wanted something that looks and feels like a Panerai.