Logan, Cait, and I like to host snake drafts to divide the writing privileges for each week’s grouping of pre-owned watches – it’s really the only way. This fake Rolex “Zenith” Daytona was my first overall selection. While this week’s group is full of classics, there was no way an 18k yellow-gold Daytona was making it all the way back to my second-round selection, the sixth overall pick of the draft. So, *draft chime* with the first pick in the March 4, 2021, HODINKEE Pre-Owned draft, Rich Fordon selects the champagne dial Rolex Daytona ref. 16528 replica watch, chronograph.
As a vintage guy at heart, the choice was easy really. Beyond the vintage 101 Swiss movement fake Rolex Daytona details – from the Cosmograph’s origin story to Paul Newman’s penchant for the model – there’s so much to appreciate about this watch. Everyone seems to know and love the various 62XX references, as they stuck around the Rolex catalog for decades from the 1960s into the 1980s. For the collector, of any kind, drawn toward a watch with a story behind it, I can’t think of a better candidate than the Rolex “Zenith” Daytona.
There’s so much to read on how this watch came to be. It really starts with the name in quotes, Zenith. The nickname comes from the modified Zenith El Primero movement that powers this generation of Rolex Daytonas. Behind this caliber is the race to create the world’s first automatic chronograph, the Quartz Revolution nearly causing the movement to disappear, and the heroics of Charles Vermot – the man who helped save Zenith, eventually allowing them to provide Rolex with its inaugural automatic chronograph movement. From there, top quality copy Rolex wrapped its first truly modern chronograph Oyster case design around a modified El Primero and completely revamped the Daytona’s dial.
The gold bracelet replica Rolex Daytona ref. 16528 does it all in 18k yellow gold and with an uncommon champagne gold-tone dial. I really fell in love with this watch during our brief time with it, so check out the rest of the details over in the HODINKEE Shop.
Most owners of a platinum Rolex replica would be fearful of tampering with such an insanely valuable watch. One false move, after all, could eventuate in scratching away thousands of dollars of value from that frightfully expensive platinum Oyster bracelet. But Jack Wong is not most owners. The Singapore-based collector – whose stunning array of watches can be viewed at his Instagram account – was meddling with the bracelet of his diamond-studded replica Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch when he made a startling discovery.
Inadvertently, Jack stumbled upon the hitherto unknown fact that within the platinum links of the bracelet, Rolex inserts minuscule ceramic tubes. These are designed to increase the bracelet’s longevity by protecting the precious metal. As Jack reported in his Instagram post on this horological revelation, “When the bracelet moves … it reduces friction as the ceramic tube ensures that the metal pin does not grind the metal bracelet especially when it’s dirty, with grime and dust acting like sandpaper. Great innovation and I have not seen this being used in other brands.”
Rolexsreplicas: What instigated this chat are the fantastic macro shots you put on Instagram of this widely unknown detail of the platinum Oyster bracelet. How did you make this discovery, and what do you feel it adds to the watch?
Jack: I love to size my own watch bracelets or even punch the hole on a leather strap to make the watch work on my wrist. So, as I was sizing my newly acquired 116506 “Platona” with baguette diamonds, I thought I saw the most amazing solution to what is always the main issue and weakness with metal bracelets. Namely, the stretch on the bracelet that will gradually come sooner or later due to wear and tear and abuse.
The ingenious idea of having that ceramic insert to hold the screw not only provides smoother flexing of the bracelet but, most importantly, prevents the grinding of the two metals by sandwiching this ceramic insert, much like how the jewels in the watch movement works. As the insert is made of ceramic, which is not malleable and extremely hard, the size and the dimension needs to be extremely precise: if it is too loose, it will not serve its purpose, too tight and it will not fit. You have to give credit to Rolex for this small but important innovation.
Rolexsreplicas: Do you have any other macro discoveries to share with us?
Jack: Only that the most “expensive” luxury watches often do not have the most perfect finishes. Sometimes it is extremely disappointing to find that many luxury watches that are supposedly well known for their finishing have flaws that I thought should have never been there. Minute dust, imperfect “mirror” black polish, misalignments … I will not go into the details just in case someone decides to put a price on my head!
Rolexsreplicas: What is your collecting focus at the moment?
Jack: At the moment, I do not have a collecting focus, which is interesting when I look back at how I started this journey. Originally I was directed by themes – iconic watches, sports watches from the ’60s, unusual oversized dress watches from the ’30s, military watches and certain overlooked brands. Or I just focused on my three favourites: Rolex, Omega and Seiko. But after a good 18 years of watch discovery, I finally settled on buying/collecting watches that I simply want to wear.
If I buy modern watches, they have to be really special. They might be watches that you don’t really see from the usual crowd, unique pieces with a groundbreaking technological advancement or simply a really well-built and designed watch. On the vintage side, I’ll still continue to hunt for the really rarer pieces that give me that thrill of the chase.
So back to your question, my focus is not to have a focus, in short! This isn’t meant as a criticism, but I have noticed that many collectors have such a strong focus or pursue a single brand so much that they get “tunnel vision” and overlook many great pieces.
Rolexsreplicas: Could you divulge your latest acquisition?
Jack: Not yet! It is a watch that eluded me for the past five years and sadly, prices have appreciated more than four-fold. If I am lucky, I will see it by the end of next week. Here are some hints: it is a pretty rare dress chronograph from the ’90s with a gold case and vintage-inspired dial.
When you’re a 25-year-old footballer earning upwards of £100,000 a week, a standard luxury replica watch can feel a little pedestrian. As Esquire UK’s Finlay Renwick writes in this illuminating story into the lifestyles of football’s elite: “For the best and boldest in Europe, your run of the mill Big Bang, Nautilus or Submariner just won’t cut the Colman’s. They’re after something a little more unique.”
The man they go to in such circumstances is Matthew J. Jones, the man behind MJJ Exclusive. As the CEO and creative director, the 30-something’s day-job involves kitting out playboys, Saudi royals and footballers with watches and jewellery custom-made to their personal specifications. Suffice to say, this isn’t an area where the “less is more” mentality tends to hold sway as this gold, diamond and sapphire replica Rolex Datejust made for Liverpool midfielder Naby Keïta suggests.
“I’d say 95 per cent of our business is to order,” Jones tells Esquire. “A player will come to us and we can create pretty much anything they desire. We’re actually working on a world first at the moment, a watch that is made completely out of sapphires.”
Jones’ client list includes some of the best players on the planet including Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, Liverpool’s lethal forward Sadio Mané and Spain’s visionary playmaker David Silva.
Arsenal winger Nicolas Pépé ordered a blacked-out Patek Philippe Aquanaut, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino went for a custom HYT and gold Rolex Sky-Dweller (amongst others), while Crystal Palace striker, Michy Batshuayi plumped for this head-turning perfect fake Rolex Datejust covered in black DLC with a sapphire bezel and a purple dial swarming with bats.
Jones estimates that the company receives up to 30 new enquiries each single day. “I’ve learnt that if you look after players, they’ll look after you,” he told Esquire.
“We speak to these guys every day on WhatsApp. We know if their girlfriend’s birthdays are coming up, we know if their mum’s birthdays are coming up. We can pre-empt them if we start creating projects that they might want.”
Jones credits Mauro Icardi, the former Inter Milan captain now at PSG, for helping MJJ Exclusive become football’s go-to bespoke jeweller. “I got a call from Icardi and he wanted 25 diamond copy Rolexes,” says Jones.
“We added initials, colouring, the full diamond set for the entire team, they loved it! Off the back of that there was a kind of spiral of customers asking for the bespoke treatment. We’re using different precious stones and different colours and different things that people wouldn’t normally risk.”
Many years ago – so many years, in fact, that I can’t even locate it on this site – I wrote an analysis of a watch auction that I was always fond of. What I did was examine a few interesting lots, and challenge myself to make an argument both for and against why that best fake watch was worth the price it fetched. I thought I’d revive that concept today, because Phillips’ Racing Pulse auction, ostensibly based out of New York, but auctioneered from London, was the most interesting day of 2020 by a country mile for vintage lovers. Things got a little crazy. And that’s crazy even by the admittedly crazy world of luxury watches, and public auctions.
Rolex Reference 5517 MilSub Sells For $567,000
Why This Makes Sense: The black dial fake Rolex Submariners made for and issued to the British defense forces have always been popular with serious collectors – they are, in some ways, the archetype of what makes Rolex cool. They’ve always been dramatically more expensive than a normal matte dial Sub – and that delta jumped considerably on Saturday. This particular example of a MilSub is one of the most compelling I’ve seen. It is, of course, a full-spec watch, but beyond that, it is a rather rare variant, the full Rolex ref.5517 replica for men. The earliest and most often-seen watches are reference 5513s, then you have the dual-reference 5513/5517 wherein the watch is engraved 5513 between the lugs, and 5517 under the lugs, and then finally, the full 5517, which is what this example is. I’d not realized it, but Phillips had never sold a full 5517 reference before, which could well have been a factor in driving up this price. Beyond that, the watch was damn pretty, with an extremely full case, and what’s more, papers from Rolex Bexley verifying the authenticity of this watch. Rolex stopped issuing these papers many years ago, so examples that include them often come with a serious premium. But this extreme of a premium?
Why This Makes No Sense: MilSubs are great. Hell, it was the very first big-time watch I bought for myself – and I paid for it in installments because I for sure could not afford it when I found the one I wanted. But in many ways, along with Swiss made fake Rolex Submariner COMEX watches, they’re a bit like entry-level mega-Rolex watches. They’re not exactly common, but they’re not hyper rare either. This one was undoubtedly great, but the market for a good MilSub as of late has been, what, half this price? Phillips itself sold two 5513 MilSubs in 2018 for $175,000 each. Then, just one year ago, in the December 2019 sale, it sold a dual-reference example with a very cool original owner’s kit, for $218,750. Let’s put a 5517 premium on that and you’d be in mid 200s. Doubling that number for this watch? It feels really strong. But, as we know, all it takes is two guys on Planet Earth who both really want something to make an auction watch go crazy. I’m not saying they’re wrong to do it, but this is already being viewed as an outlier result, not any indication of a market shift.
Dive watches from best Rolex replica are highly sought after. And it’s no wonder with such an exciting history, a number of noteworthy collaborations, unique designs and robust, accurate in-house movements. We explore the various models in this feature from the archives.
Rolex currently produces four different dive watch models: the Submariner and Submariner Date, the Sea-Dweller and the Deepsea (listed here in order from lowest to highest in both size and price). The Submariner and Submariner Date share the same case size. Almost all watches in this collection offer versions with different materials, dial and bezel colors. The Submariner without a date indication is the entry-level piece and is priced at $7,500. Introduced in 1953, it was the first dive watch from Rolex. At that time, it had a bidirectional rotating bezel for measuring dive time. Initially, the Submariner was water resistant to 100 meters, but by 1954 Rolex had already increased this level to 200 meters. In 1955, the English Royal Navy began using the Submariner as its official dive watch and the Royal Canadian Navy followed suit the following year.
Rolex first became famous in 1927 for its water-resistant watches with their patented screw-down crown, and the ingenious Oyster name was an effective marketing tool. During her more than 15-hour attempt to swim the English Channel, Mercedes Gleitze wore a waterpoof Rolex replica watch that withstood the ordeal. Rolex took out a front-page ad in the London Daily Mail to publicize the event that won the watch great acclaim.
Rolex also developed the Deep-Sea Special watch to explore the ocean depths. Between 1953 and 1960 it participated in several maritime expeditions, attached to the outer hull of submarines. The high point (or low point) was reached in 1960 when Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh maneuvered their Trieste submersible vessel down into the Mariana Trench to a depth of 10,916 meters, just a few meters short of the deepest point in the sea. The Deep-Sea Special survived unscathed. Although several pieces of this model were built, it never went into serial production. With a semi-spherical crystal and an overall height of 35 mm, it would still be too large to be considered wearable.
Today’s stainless steel bracelet fake Rolex Submariner measures 40 mm in diameter and 12.5 mm in height, which is slim for a dive watch. The watch without a date indication is powered by the self-winding in-house 3130 movement and with a date, by the 3135. Both calibers boast a power reserve of 48 hours. Chronometer certification from the independent testing agency COSC guarantees accuracy, alongside the company’s own stricter standards, which specify that every Rolex watch may not gain or lose more than 2 seconds per day. The Glidelock system can extend the bracelet for a precise fit and allows the Submariner to be worn over a wet suit. Like all Rolex dive watches, it has a metal bracelet and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a ceramic inlay.
Saturation diving was developed in the early 1960s. When working at deep-sea locations, professional diving companies took advantage of the fact that after 24 hours under pressure, the human body will not absorb additional nitrogen, thereby limiting the time required for decompression. So to prepare themselves for working for extended periods at deep locations, professional divers would spend several days inside a pressure chamber filled with a helium-nitrogen-oxygen mixture. Once their underwater task had been completed, the pressure in the chamber was gradually reduced to normal levels. During this process, crystals from the divers’ watches would often pop out of their cases due to the helium trapped inside the watches. Divers in the Sealab program experienced this problem while helping the U.S. Marines carry out research on the effects of high pressure and various breathing gases on the human body.
A Sealab diver reported the problem to top quality replica Rolex and suggested adding a pressure relief valve to safely release the helium that had penetrated the watch. Rolex then developed its helium escape valve, which would be adopted by many other brands.
Rolex began working with the French diving specialist Comex in the early 1970s and supplied watches to all Comex divers, who then shared their experiences and helped with the ongoing development of the watches. Comex laid underwater cables, took care of diving work on oil rigs and salvaged shipwrecks. While doing so, they developed their own special tools and experimented with breathing gas mixtures. Comex set a number of depth records and a Sea-Dweller was on the wrists of their divers as they subjected themselves to each torturous trial. In 1972, two divers withstood 50 hours in a pressurized chamber measured at 610 meters deep. Later, Comex employees worked in the ocean at more than 500 meters, and in 1992, a Comex diver achieved a depth of 701 meters inside a pressure chamber. What Comex really needed was the Sea-Dweller with its three times higher water resistance and a helium escape valve.
In the mid-1960s, Rolex supplied Comex with specially equipped Submariner models to test the helium escape valve. Today, these “copy Rolex Comex” watches (Ref. 5514) are as expensive as they are rare. The Sea-Dweller went into mass production in 1967, equipped with a helium escape valve. The new model was able to withstand pressure to a depth of 610 meters. It remained similar in design to the Submariner. In 1980, Rolex doubled the Sea-Dweller’s water resistance to 1,220 meters. And to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller in 2017, Rolex issued a new model that replaced the previous model introduced in 2014. With a current diameter of 43 mm and a height of 15 mm, and with the iconic Rolex Cyclops date magnifier, the watch looks much like an enlarged Submariner but with continuous 60-minute markers on the divers’ bezel and red lettering on the dial.
Bob’s Watches is back with another Fresh Finds, this time the auction is themed on the iconic watches of Hollywood. Each watch has been selected to represent a legendary movie icon and the respective watch that accompanied them in their films.
First up is the auction for a Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 (starting price $165,000 USD). Bob’s Watches chose this watch to pay homage to Sean Connery with his recent passing, dedicating the James Bond Submariner sale to the original agent 007. Next up is a perfect fake Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona ref. 6239 (starting Price – $165,000 USD), a best fake Rolex GMT Master (Pussy Galore) ref. 6542 (starting Price – $150,000 USD), a quality fake Rolex Submariner (Steve McQueen) ref. 5512 (starting Price – $29,000 USD), and finally, the modern OMEGA Seamaster 300 seen on Daniel Craig in Spectre (starting Price – $6,500).
Watch fans and movie lovers alike can check out the full Fresh Finds: Iconic Watches of Hollywood listing over at Bob’s Watches’ auction page.
In other watch news, Sylvester Stallone joins Phillips Auctions for the sale of his personal watch collection.
I like the hypothetical and that brings us to a seemingly outlandish question that may become a little less so. By the end of this article, you will get to answer whether you’d put down your hard-earned money to buy a steel sports luxury Rolex replica watch even if you don’t want it. It seems like an easy one, but let’s see…
I don’t daydream enough, but when I do it’s often about scary great white shark encounters or hitting a World Series deciding homer in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a full count. Sometimes, though, I think about watches. And when I do, it’s a thought that’s probably not too original. I’ve got this wild plan where I’m in some sort of out of the way town and there just so happens to be a Rolex AD. I decide to walk in and have a look in the showcase and I find either a brand new Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master II replica with black dial or a stainless steel Daytona staring right back at me. I pine for neither of these steel sports Rolex models, but I’m confronted with a question. Should I buy one (or both) even if I don’t want to own either?
Steel sports Rolex here and now
Now, if we are talking right here and right now in 2020, the answer to the question seems pretty obvious. If you have the money, you go for it simply to flip it for a profit. If you don’t have the money but have the credit the decision starts to get a little grey. Well, it does for me because I simply don’t do debt unless it’s for a house or a car. And then, there’s the super grey area where perhaps I had another watch in mind. I’ve saved for it, I’ve had my heart set on it, and then this horological fly in the ointment appears. A salesperson is happy to take your money irrespective of the watch, so he or she isn’t of much help. So what do you do?
Let’s go back to 2011 in Europe
Travel back with me to 2011 and I’ll paint a picture that actually wasn’t a daydream. I moved to Germany during the Summer of 2011 and I found myself downtown in Frankfurt looking through the windows of the many watch shops here. I went into one shop and tried on something and I asked about the steel Rolex Daytona availability. Genuine curiosity drove this because this was really the only steel replica Rolex sports watch in high demand. I got a proper chuckle and was told five years. Well, I returned his chortle with one of my own and told him that the USA was a far easier situation.
You see, in 2011, the world was still coming out of one hell of a global recession. The debt hungry US consumer was still on hold and struggled to get cheap credit. As a result, it was pretty damn easy to score a Daytona. My Dad, who loves his watches but isn’t a flashy high roller VIP at any boutique, even got a call during 2009 (and, yes, he bought it). So yes, steel sports fake Rolex models were good and plenty in the land of opportunity.