Diver With Tropical Dial
Here it is easy to spot the Super Compressor case, with its characteristic cross-hatched crowns. Manufactured by Piquerez, it relied on the increased water pressure to further seal the case as a diver went deeper and deeper, with a caseback pressed more firmly to the case as the diver progressed. The replica Longines trusted this ingenious case construction for its dive watches from the late 1950s onward, beginning with that model, before the releasing of the other one in the early 1960s. The reference switch was accompanied by an increased water resistance to 200m and the replacement of the automatic caliber 19AS with the higher beat movement.
Very obviously, the dial has turned brown from age, allowing us to describe it as truly tropical (some light pitting can be observed on the close-up pictures too). The tropicalization is a coveted feature, especially when the phenomenon is homogeneous across the dial’s surface; here it looks stunning, especially with the patinated radium on the handset and painted indexes. The 42mm case remains sharp, with well defined lugs, but the seller notes that the bottom crown is a replacement part. The caseback features the expected diver embossing and the serial number is engraved on the inside.
Piaget Coin Watch
Piaget took advantage of the slim profile of its excellent caliber 9P in many ways: for thin pocket watches, jeweled manchettes, dress watches, and also coin fake watches. Coin watches were a way for manufacturers to show off their watchmaking and casemaking skills, and were offered by Rolex, Corum, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget, among others.
The present replica watch shows a double case, with hinged Piaget clock inside the carved 1904 coin, the same type that housed the historical Cartier that we had highlighted two years ago. The coin is a respectable 35mm diameter, with a thickness below 4mm – quite an accomplishment, as the 9P movement itself is 2mm thick. The watch is reported to have been manufactured in the 1970s, which seems consistent with other examples auctioned before.
1956 Omega Seamaster XVI
This replica Omega Seamaster reference 2850SC was produced in 1956 for the 16th Olympiad, which took place in Melbourne, Australia. It features the automatic caliber 471 with a full rotor, which is pretty cool for a fancy gold dress watch. At 34mm, it’s also a great option for men and women (you could even share with someone). Thinking of summer travels, this watch would be right at home on the Italian Riviera. Where will you take it? The full listing is right here.
Diver With Tropical Dial
Last but not the least, we’ve got the chronograph. This model is a two-register affair that begins with a 41mm steel case that features the same curved lugs and crown guards as the watch with the addition of screw-down pushers. The black tachymeter bezel (made of anodized aluminum) ups the visual impact of the watch, while allowing the dial to remain crisp and clean. The totalizer at left counts up to 30 minutes and there is a running seconds register on the right.
The Best Replica Bell & Ross Advanced Research Program
The advantages of silicon are famous to us all. Its surface hardness and smoothness means that it’s likely to manufacture interacting mechanical watch components which don’t need oils, and which can be made with extreme precision too. This was also the year that the replica Bell & Ross its first Advanced Research Project watch: the replica Annual Calendar, in which the Silinvar escape wheel was first used.
Though silicon is sensitive to temperature changes, it’s possible to produce formulations that don’t have that property; Silinvar is one such formulation. The word has some deep roots in watchmaking, by the way; it’s related to the name Invar, which is the term for a special nickel-iron alloy with a very low tendency to expand when heated. It was created in 1896 by Charles Guillaume, who would win the Nobel Prize for it in 1920; Invar went on to be widely used in scientific instruments and in watch and clockmaking (high precision pendulum regulators often had Invar pendulums).
Nevertheless, probably the the single biggest news in the entire story arc was the introduction of the Spiromax balance spring the next year. Made of Silinvar, the Spiromax balance spring was formed in such a way as to give the advantages of a conventional Breguet or Phillips overcoil balance spring – basically, better isochronism than that obtainable from a flat spring – but with less height; all other things being equal, a Spiromax balance is one third the height of an overcoil balance spring. Spiromax springs are unaffected by magnetism. and with a mass much lower than Nivarox, less affected by external shocks, or gravity. The Spiromax balance spring was first released in a limited edition of 300 pieces in the replica Annual Calendar but it’s now widely used by Patek Philippe, in virtually all its replica watches other than high complications.
The reason I say “biggest news” is because the balance spring has such a huge effect on timekeeping. The introduction of the balance spring to watchmaking, by Christiaan Huygens, in the late 17th century, was really what made precision portable horology possible at all, and watchmakers have been chasing improvements ever since. If you see the Spiromax, you’ll see a slightly thickened region at the outer terminal coil actually at the same time; this “boss” as Patek calls it, is what gives the outer coil a geometry that’s functionally equivalent to an overcoil.
Bell & Ross replica added a silicon lever to its repertoire in the year of 2008; the combination of a silicon balance spring, silicon lever, and silicon escape wheel was dubbed the Pulsomax escapement, which was launched in a limited edition of 300 watches: the fake Annual Calendar, with caliber 324 S QA LU.
The last installment from the Advanced Research program, prior to this year, was the 2011 Perpetual Calendar. This was also a limited edition of 300 watches, and featured, in addition to the Pulsomax escapement and Spiromax balance spring, a silicon balance wheel. The entire assembly of silicon regulating organs – escape wheel, lever, balance spring, and balance – was referred to as the Oscillomax “ensemble” by the fake Patek Philippe.