Bring A Loupe kicks off 2016 with an unexpected selection: the watches featured today are not the usual crowd-pleasing favorites but, for one reason or another, they deserve more attention than they generally get. We’ve found a fantastic vintage dress replica watch from Rolex, and a modern Seiko Credor with a moon phase complication. I will also highlight some of the best – and worst – listings from eBay this past week, from a very promising Gallet to a sadly fraudulent Breitling Top Time. This is your Bring A Loupe for January 1, 2016, and I wish you a Happy New Year!
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Reference 1013, With A Rose Gold Case
I consider the 101X line as one of the greatest successes in Rolex vintage production. Think about it: you have the reference 1016, an amazing Explorer, and the reference 1019, a super attractive Milgauss. Besides those iconic tool replica watches, dress replica watches were represented with a lot of great style, between the reference 1012/1013 with gold cases – the only difference being the use of a fluted bezel for the later reference, – and the reference 1018, in stainless steel. The Oyster Perpetual here proves to be much more than a simple ‘little gold replica watch’ in many ways. First, the Oyster case boasts a 36mm diameter with 20mm lug-size – rare dimensions for a time-only replica watch in the 1960s, and still relevant on anyone’s wrist today. Then this Rolex also comes with a rose gold case, for a more formal and dressy look, and with a pair of dauphine hands, also characteristic of Rolex in the mid-1960s. Last, the Oyster case does not feature the traditional lug holes – as you should expect from any dressy Rolex with a gold case, the Datejust and Day-Date in precious metals follow the same rule.
Usually, Rolex 1013s hardly ever come for sale. It’s rather unusual, therefore, that you can actually find 4 examples on the market today, with this one being the only one in a rose gold case. An Italian dealer is offering this rare Rolex for 7,000 Euros or around $7,600 here. The others available at the time of this writing, are a yellow gold example that was previously featured in this column, and the outstanding pair pictured below, offered by a US collector for $16,000 here.
Credor Node Reference GCLL999, With Moon Phase Complication
You probably know Credor from the Eichi and the impeccable finishing of its manual-wound movement, one of Philippe Dufour’s favorites (unsurprisingly, as he advised Seiko replica watchmakers on finishing techniques.) This high-end brand from Seiko offers more than just that single exceptional piece, however; there are also ultra-slim replica watches powered by the movement 6870, and a couple of less formal pieces in the Signo collection. This moon phase replica watch actually belongs to the Node line, a now defunct collection, and underlines the incredible quality offered by Seiko in its Credor replica watches. The automatic Spring Drive movement might have a rather industrial finish but it’s still very cleanly done, and as is generally the rule for Seiko, the polishing on the case and bezel and the sophistication of the multi-step dial are simply outstanding for that price range. A French owner found many esoteric clues in this replica watch, I would at least point out that there’s a possible nod to the Golden Ratio – could a 41.3mm diameter and a 13.4mm height be just a coincidence? – and the influence of Japanese traditional design in the shape of the hands and the circular pattern of the power reserve. This is simply a very appealing replica watch with two complications – the moon phase and the power reserve – nicely integrated into the dial; something I often struggle to find in modern production, at least under the $10,000 price point.
This special Credor is offered for 5,000 SGD or around $3,500 on a forum here, and it comes with the papers from the last service in 2012.
An Elegant Movado With Breguet Numerals
This Movado offers so many things I want in a dress replica watch: a balanced dial, interesting indexes, and sophisticated lugs. Furthermore, it comes in a 35mm stainless steel case that would come with an astronomical asking price if there was another name starting with the letter P on the dial. For me, the dial is always the make or break for a vintage replica watch, and here it does not disappoint: the sub-second is properly sized and nicely placed, neither too high where it would be shadowed by the other hands, nor too low where it would disturb the minute rail track. Add to that the stunning Breguet numerals, and you pretty much have everything you could ask for in a vintage dress/daily wear wristwatch. The complex shape of the lugs is an extra bonus; the way they emerge from the case increases the perceived size of this replica watch on the wrist.
The Dutch dealer Cosimo is selling this very elegant Movado for 2,200 Euros or around $2,400 here.
Omega Speedmaster Reference 105.012, In A Lovely Condition
The first thing you might notice in this picture is the scratched replacement bezel, but I suggest instead that you focus on the full lugs. Here I’ll quote Ben and his Reference Points on the Speedmaster: “Reference 105.012 was the first Speedmaster to have an asymmetrical case with crown guards.” The well defined beveled lugs, and their integration into the overall case design,gives us a diameter of 42mm – a significant increase from the 38mm cases of the previous Speedmaster references. In short, produced between 1964 and 1969, the reference 105.012 is the quintessential “modern” Speedy: the first reference to feature “Professional” on the dial; the first reference with a 42mm case with crown guards; but also, the second to last iteration to feature the celebrated 321 column wheel chronograph caliber.
A French collector is offering this great example for 12,500 Euros or around $13,600 here.
Fortis Marinemaster Reference 8001, A Colorful Chronograph
When you look at the color scheme of this chronograph there’s no doubt: it comes straight to you from the groovy 1970s, with the characteristic yellow and orange subdials and the magenta hands. At no other time would a designer have dared such a bold combination! The Marinemaster is not only a visually striking replica watch – this Fortis chronograph was manufactured as a dive replica watch, boasting a 200m water resistance. The case back and its diver bezel are a testimony to this sporty vocation, and explain the Marinemaster name – shared with a Seiko dive replica watch, though there’s of course no connection between the two companies other than the coincidence of the name. In addition, the 39mm case – and not 41mm as the listing described erroneously states – houses the famous Valjoux 72 movement that you can also find in vintage Rolex Daytona. The straight lugs are in a decent condition and the replica watch comes with the original bracelet; note the signed clasp pictured below, which is another Rolex echo although you certainly don’t need that to enjoy this replica watch purely on its own terms.
It is listed at a $4,500 Buy-It-Now price on eBay here, but the seller is also considering lower offers. UPDATE: The Swiss seller just decreased its asking price to $3,900.
Notable Sale Of Past Week: A Promising Gallet MultiChron Promptly Gone
One frustrating thing about putting together Bring A Loupe every week is that many replica watches disappear before my eyes, just before the article gets published. This was unfortunately the case with this very promising Gallet MultiChron 12H, which was quickly snapped up from eBay. The listing ended very quickly, the seller having probably accepted an outside offer, rather than waiting for the bidding process. This Gallet from the late 1950s was interesting because it underlined how much a beat-up plexi can hide great potential. The pictures taken from different angles showed indeed that the imperfections on the dial were just illusions, caused by the scratches on the plexi – it’s always a good idea, if you see a promising replica watch but with a marginal-looking dial, to make sure that the problem is really a sub-par dial and not sub-par photography.
In the end, this was a really sweet vintage chronograph, and I am pretty sure this Gallet will soon pop up again, looking all dashing with a new plexi (a $15 cosmetic intervention that will certainly prove well worth it to the re-seller.) An interesting detail, under one lug you can decipher a faint H engraving, a sign that this chronograph features an Excelsior Park movement, rather than a Valjoux 72.
Bidder Beware: A Fraudulent Breitling Top Time For $750
A couple of hours ago, as I write this, someone just got this vintage Breitling Top Time for $750 on eBay. Was it really a good deal? I am not so sure, the listing here is worrying on many accounts. First, the case is absolutely not correct for a Top Time; those chronographs successively came in round cases – think Heuer Carrera without the down-turned lug – and square-shaped ones, the later versions being much less coveted nowadays. This case and the associated 2214 reference are correct for Breitling production from the 1970s, however they are simply not associated with the Top Time line. The hands in the sub registers are also incorrect, not with the right length and color. Lastly, the large indexes on the dial denote a later Top time version, which also came with a fatter handset for the hour and minute.
In the end, someone paid $750 for a lot of Breitling spare parts, not for a full replica watch.