We're back this week with a fun selection of watches, each with their own unique stories to tell. For the adventuresome, there's an original Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic, along with a descendent of another fake watch released in the same year ?Nivada's Antarctic. If unique rarities are what you're after, take a look at the curious Bangkok hallmark Movado, or the Canadian Royal Navy issued Omega. And for the gilt-crazed, there's the nicest time-only Longines you'll see all week. Without delay, here's your weekly roundup.Movado Calendomatic With Bangkok Hallmark
If you're finding yourself uninspired by most of the vintage replica watches available on the market, I suggest taking a closer look into the Movado offerings of yesteryear. Between the beautifully constructed chronograph calibers and bevy of Breguet numeral-clad dials, there's a lot to get lost in. I've found myself falling down this rabbit hole many times, and I'm always delighted to do so. Earlier this week, I found myself in the midst of a Movado frenzy once again upon discovering a conventional piece that revealed something about the earlier days of Movado replica watches for men production that I wasn't aware of.
This is a Calendomatic, which as its name would suggest is equipped with a date complication, adding functionality. This particular example is relatively nice, with a bright blue dial, along with gold hands and indices, but the main attraction is nowhere to be found when looking at the fake watch right side up. Flip it over, and you'll see that the caseback has a small hallmark of both the Movado hand logo, and a curved line of text that reads "BANGKOK."
Presumably, this fake watch was originally delivered to Thailand, but why it was given a city specific hallmark is beyond me. This is the only example I've ever seen with such a hallmark, and can't think of a reason why someone would fake something like this, so I'd say this is original to the watch. And while on the topic - if anyone else has a Movado with another city specific hallmark, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. The asking price is more than reasonable for a curious rarity like such, leading me to believe that this one won't last long.
An eBay seller based out of Orlando, Florida has this piece listed for $1,500. There's also an auction running until Saturday afternoon with a starting bid of $997, but I'd bet someone will pull the Buy It Now trigger before then. Go here to do just that.1960 Omega Royal Canadian Navy Chronograph
Back in the 1950s, a number of notable manufacturers were contracted by various outfits of the Canadian military to produce purpose-built chronographs. These manufacturers included Breitling, Omega, and Rodania - all of which produced strikingly similar timepieces for the Royal Canadian Navy and Air Force. These replica watches were fitted with white dials, all of which were delivered unsigned except for what are arguably the most desirable and sophisticatedly built of the bunch ?those from Omega.
Unlike the Breilting and Rodania variants, the single pusher chronographs from Omega were cased in oversized 38mm cases, and were powered by a caliber built to a higher standard, Lemania's caliber 2221. Overall, the Omega variant is just a more attractive looking fake watch than the rest, and the further consideration that went into its production is worth noting. Though there's something to be said for a sterile watch, free of branding, the Omega signature gives the appearance an upgrade of sorts.
Condition wise, this example checks a lot of boxes. Its dial is clean, and all luminous plots remain intact. They're also reading as they should with a Geiger, confirming originality. While the luminous compound found in the minute hand has aged to a near black tone, I'd much rather see that than a re-lumed hand. As they say, honesty is the best policy. This piece is of particular interest to yours truly, seeing as it was originally issued in the Royal Canadian Navy. While I'm no naval historian or military buff, it's always exciting to find something that served those who served the country.
Christie's is offering this issued Omega in their current online sale of replica watches running until May 7th. At the time of publishing, the high bid stands at $5,000. Find more details and the rest of the catalog here.ADVERTISEMENT 1958 Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Ref. E168
Jaeger-LeCoultre's commitment to celebrating their heritage is one thing about the brand I've always appreciated. There's a right way and a wrong way to do a reissue, but it's safe to say JLC knows what they're doing and then some. Time and time again, they've looked towards the back catalog in an attempt to educate collectors, which is exactly what they did back in 2014, with the release of the Geophysic limited editions. Unlike your traditional reissue, it could be argued that this instance opened the eyes of modern collectors to a legendary and often overlooked sports fake watch from their past, unlike a simple rehashing of a well known design sought after by vintage collectors. Let's now take a look at the real deal that inspired the modern offering.
What you're looking at is a fine example of the Ref. E168 Geophysic, which dates back to 1958. Like other replica watches intended for the adventurous, the Geophysic's movement was given a number of beefed-up modifications, including a Breguet hairspring, Glucydur balance, and a KIF anti-shock mechanism. This elevated the standard Cal. 478 to the Cal. P478/BWSbr, which featured the watchmaker's most advanced technology, all enclosed within an antimagnetic cage to protect against magnetic forces. In short, the fake watch was and is able to withstand a whole lot.
Finding an original Geophysic is quite the challenge in today's market, seeing as only 1,068 examples of this variant were ever produced. Of that, 1,038 were encased in steel, like the one in question, and just 30 were secured inside 18k yellow gold cases. Understandably, their rarity has made them more than a little sought after. This desirability has only been intensified by the release of the comparably limited reissues. Someone that fancies a subtle bombshell ought to get a kick out of this one.
Parthian fake watch Company has this example of the E168 Geophysic listed with an asking price of $31,500. Find the full listing right here.Nivada Antarctic
Sports fake watch names of the 1960s are pretty funny. While some have deep meaning and significance related to the brand's heritage or the intended use of the watch, some are just cool names. This next fake watch is a bit of both, seeing as the original Nivada Antarctic, much like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic, came to be during the International Geophysical Year. It was during this year that a group of countries set out to explore the poles and traverse mountain ranges, in the name of the exploration. Just as JLC had their Geophysic, Nivada had the Antarctic, which was designed to accompany Admiral Richard E. Byrd and the U.S. Navy on a journey to the Antarctic known as Operation Deep Freeze.
Knowing this, it makes sense that the original Antarctic was manufactured with advanced lubricants capable of withstanding the low temperatures while maintaining timekeeping accuracy. Over the years, the Antarctic relinquished its exploratory, purpose-built roots, and became more or less just a good sounding name Nivada would stamp on dials. This is why you see countless variants of the Antarctic if you poke around a little bit ?divers, GMT watches, funky square-cased things, etc.
While this isn't an original Antarctic, it's still a fake watch I felt worthy of inclusion in the roundup, seeing as it's simply a great looking piece. With its unique case style, and pseudo "racing dial," with red and white accents ?there's a lot to love here. The crosshairs are also a nice touch, adding to an already aesthetically interesting piece. What's more, is Nivada Antarctics are relatively accessible watches, with most staying below the $1,000 mark. If in the market for a bargain that'll put a smile on your face, I'd advise looking in this direction.
An eBay seller based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has this piece listed in an auction ending later today. At the time of publishing, the high bid stands at $112. Check it out here.1941 Longines Ref. 4366
While many regard Longines as a true master manufacturer of chronograph calibers, I've always been drawn to their early, time only offerings. Don't get me wrong, I love a good 13ZN as much as the next guy, but a well executed time only fake watch will always have my heart first. With this in mind, I was pleased to come across what might be the best time only Longines I've seen since, well, since the same dealer listed another outstanding example not too long ago. It's fitted with a "rose gilt" dial, which is always an appreciated detail, and features an untouched, razor sharp case, with all original lines intact. What's not to like?
At 35mm across, this is a perfectly sized piece for everyday wear that's small enough to fit under a cuff with ease, without appearing too small on the wrist when exposed. I'd attribute this to the dial's edge to edge, black gloss surface, and the subtle nature of indices that don't immediately demand your attention. The more discrete lug style probably plays a role in it appearing larger on the wrist, as well, so as to direct more attention towards the dial.
The fake watch is being offered with a Longines Extract from the archives, confirming its serial number, reference, caliber, and the fact that it was originally invoiced to an Italian location of the authorized dealer Ostersetzer in 1941. As a side note, Longines' archive program is one of the best around, providing free and detailed extracts to anyone who desires some additional context surrounding their timepiece. If you've got an old Longines kicking around, might as well see what the folks in Saint-Imier have to say about it.
Miami's Menta replica watches is offering this Cal. 12.68Z-equipped Longines with an asking price of $12,000. Find the full listing and additional details here.Buyer Beware: A Cartier-Signed 'Explorer'
To end things off for the week, we've got a scary buyer beware with a fake dial bearing an equally fake retailer signature. Although the seller has made no outright declarations of its authenticity or originality, the starting bid is quite rich for a piece fitted with an undoubtedly fake dial. With this in mind, I thought this would make for a decent opportunity to show you just exactly what a fake dial looks like.
Right away, the Cartier signature can easily be identified as fake, based upon the weight of the typeface. Replica Rolexes fitted with Cartier dials are among the rarest retail signature pieces produced by the brand, but examples do exist. Compare this signature to other verified examples, and you'll see that the printing is nowhere near close. Additionally, the coronet style found on this dial is far too late for a fake watch supposedly of this age, and the printing below it is closer to what you'd find on a true Explorer. On such 34mm Oyster Perpetuals fitted with Explorer dials, the "ROLEX" text is rather large, as is the "EXPLORER" text.
Ref. 5500 Oyster Perpetuals were at one point produced with Explorer dials, most of which were fitted with Ref. 1002 casebacks. Confusing, I know, but stay with me here. Though the fake watch was indeed produced as such, it's also a combination you see frequently faked, so as to increase the value of an otherwise standard watch. Based upon the seller's description, I believe this to be a straight-up Ref. 1002, and not a Ref. 5500, further confirming the inaccuracy of an Explorer dial's presence, fake or not.
My bet is this started off as a Plain Jane Ref. 1002 Oyster Perpetual, and at some point had its dial swapped, so as to dupe an unknowledgeable collector into thinking they had struck gold. Unfortunately this is not the case, and I'd hate to see you make the same mistake, so as the heading reads ?buyer beware.
The starting bid on this piece is a handsome sum of £2,950, but I'd advise steering clear of this one. Check out the fake watch here to see what you should certainly avoid.Bring-a-loupe