Watch Quality Tiers
|Grouping||Tier||Price range||Example Factories/Sources||Features (not exhaustive)|
|Shitters||Junk||Under $50||Unknown||Folded tin bracelet, bad cyclops, cheap movement, incorrect print/markers|
|Entry||$80-140||'AAA', U1, GDF, TTF, TWF||Screw/pin bracelets, better quality bracelet, better cyclops, incorrect datewheel/placement, average weight|
|Mid||Mid||$150-400||BP, EWF, GMF||Improvements on above, better dial print/markers, medium quality bracelet|
|High Tier||High||$400-800||VSF, CLEAN, GF, PF, 3K, ZF||Closer to 1:1 quality, on NWBIG list, better bracelet quality, correct placements/markers|
|Epic||$800+||Check NWBIG List||Over the top builds, customs, excessive gems, complex reps, tourbillion, correct placements/markers|
Recommended Sellers List
Below is a list of sellers verified through the community as having a variety of content and confirmed legitimacy as a seller at r/ChinaTime tier. Their product quality will range from bottom shitter to high tier, based on your request, preferences, cost and QC approval.
These are different to a Trusted Dealer (or TD) at r/RepTime level, as these TDs go through a stringent review process
WhatsApp: +86 199 2759 6945
WhatsApp: +86 176 0800 5834
Yupoo: https://p719583387.x.yupoo.com/albums PW: 888888 (previously 666666)
WhatsApp: +86 131 1330 7655
The One Watches
WhatsApp: +86 170 8193 4955
WhatsApp: +86 159 1439 7518 & +86 137 3343 7007 (Aaron: +86 186 7944 2775)
WhatsApp: +86 185 8882 2256
Yupoo: https://hanbelsonwatch.x.yupoo.com/ PW: 2022930
Trusted Dealers List
This is a list of Trusted Dealers for r/RepTime tier sales and have undergone a strict process to be approved as a TD.
The websites & email addresses listed here are the only one to be used. Any other website found online or in a post other than from the dealer itself are not recommended. Be careful, copycat websites are one of the most common scam out there and their addresses are very similar. Do your due diligence before making any online order.
Jtime Watch Store
Last update 9/1/2023
Introduction to Replica Watches
Replica watches are a weird thing. People from r/reptime love the word “replica” and get butt-hurt when their $400 Rolex is called “fake”. We can understand that, as those replica watches can truly be works of engineering themselves and can even be of the same quality as the pieces that inspired them.
At Chinatime, though, we do not put on such airs. If our watches are fake-ass watches that cost less than some of my Uber trips, and that’s OK.
We could spend a lot more money on arguably better watches that look more like the originals, but there’s something truly rewarding about tracking down a treasure on Ali Express or DH Gate that looks close enough to the genuine article for $50 that one simply can’t be found when ordering one of the master-class Reptime watches. Sure, one day I’ll have an ARF* or Noob Submariner that would fool my Rolex rep, but for now my U1 Submariner fools my Uber driver and parole officer, and for now that’s good enough for me. Oh, it keeps good time, too, which is nice.
If you’re here to learn more about this world, then that’s great, because this interest in cheap rep watches that you have may turn into a hobby, which may then turn into an obsession. I’ve made friends on this subreddit because that’s what like-minded people do when they all become fans of the same thing, and we’re happy you’ve decided to learn more with us.
Automatic vs Quartz
To get started it helps to know a bit about watches themselves, besides how they look. Most of the watches we talk about in this subreddit are what are referred to “automatic” watches. Most watches in the world are quartz, but for the most part they don’t carry much weight here, because most of the watches we’re interested in the fake-versions-of are automatics, not quartz. This is because quartz watches can literally be found in vending machines, but automatic watches have a degree of engineering and craftsmanship to them, even the cheapest of them. Also, most of the Swiss shit we can’t afford are autos, as well.
An automatic watch is simply one that is wound by the person wearing the watch simply doing their shit. There’s no battery; instead there is a rotor that is connected to the mainspring of the watch. As the wearer does whatever the fuck it is they do all day, their movement moves the rotor, which acts as a pendulum, which winds the watch, and then it tells the user what time it is so they can get home in time to catch their wife in bed with their boss. These are the important matters we deal with.
Not all the watches we deal with here are autos, but the vast majority of them are. Quartz units are generally relegated to the chronograph copies (which means “watches that are also stopwatches that you’ll never actually use”), though there are a few non-chrono quartzes peppered here and there, but not many.
The Rotor & Movement
The rotor of an automatic watch is mounted on what’s called the movement of the watch. The movement is not the sweep of the seconds hand but rather the name for the guts of the watch itself — the gears, the springs, the cogs, and everything else that makes a watch keep time. It is arguably the most important part of a watch to consider when making buying choices, so knowing a few basics can really help you to make the right choice when it comes time to buy your first watch.
For example, a large percentage of the watches on Chinatime will be built around a fairly generic movement called the 2813. The 2813 is a Chinese clone of the Japanese Miyota 8205/8215 movement, which is to be found in a number of Citizen brand watches, as well as high-end Invicta divers and many, many more. The Miyota is a well-respected and sturdy movement, but the 2813 clones not so much. The most famous of these clones is the DG2813, though the rest are made by several factories in China. Because of this the quality varies from movement to movements and thus watch to watch, since there’s very little in the way of quality control when the Chinese factories make our watches for us. This is part of why they’re so cheap, and really part of the fun and charm.
Fun fact! There is an ETA2813 that is an actual Swiss movement, and the Chinese 2813 (often called a2813 where “a” means “Asia”) may have started life as a clone of it, but it’s a Miyota clone now, so there we go.
So now you know what a movement is and why it’s important, but that’s not what you’re here to find. You’re here to find some timepiece that will act as either a panty-moistener or pants-tightener when you wear it around your town/school/cellblock/institution, and most people don’t care about the movement.
Finding the watch you want (or ‘W2C’ aka Want To Cop/obtain)
You probably instead already have a model of watch in mind that you’d like to find a cheap rep for, and there’s a really good chance that there’s at least some Chinatime-budget version out there for you. It’s just a matter of finding it, and that is where this subreddit shines, because chances are that some other cheap fuck had the exact same idea as you, and since so many of our users share their triumphs with the rest of us there’s a good chance you’re watch is linked to in one of the posts already here. I know most subreddits have a “search it first” mantra, and that’s because that shit works, so use it.
If your watch has been found and purchased before, and the users reported back here (which they should do, more on that later), then you can usually find in their post or comment a link to the watch they bought under the label of “W2C”, which stands for “Want to cop”, which is a weird phrase brought over from Chinatime’s big dickhead brother Reptime. Cop or w2c means to “get your hands on” and “want to” is something none of Harvey Weinstein’s victims ever said.
So you find the watch, find the W2C link, and then you’ll be taken to a place to buy the watch. Usually that place will be DHGate, (or The Gate,) a Chinese website that’s sort of a second home for us here. That’s because The Gate has about a thousand vendors selling about a couple hundred (at least) different rep watches at a variety of price points, meaning that you’ll probably be able to find your watch there at the price you want.
DHGate is hard to navigate for most of us because it’s a Chinese website in English and they do a very poor job of quality control when it comes to organization of products. This may be on purpose — selling fake versions of real watches violates international law, and by not making it easy to find a particular watch they get a bit of reasonable deniability when questioned by the authorities. But with some practice, patience, help from here, and luck, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.
Fun fact! Buying replicas of real watches for a fraction of the price is understandably illegal in most countries, so all of us here are, technically, taking part in a huge act of fraud and/or larceny, you newly-minted criminal you. The good news is that Customs in most countries are far too busy with actual problems to really care about what we do here, so don’t sweat the whole petty felony thing too much.
So you’ve got your watch in mind, you’ve searched for the W2Cs on here and found a few, and even checked out the links on The Gate, which is awesome, because that means I’m doing a good job here. The next logical step is choosing which rep watch to get, and this is where things can get a bit tricky — not to mention sketchy.
This may surprise some of our more sensitive newcomers, but it has to be said: Not all of the vendors on sites like DHGate can be trusted! In fact, it’s best to assume that most of them are out to scam you, because it’s very easy to scam someone on the Internet from a completely different hemisphere, and it happens all the fucking time. But you don’t want it to happen to you, and neither do we, so this next part is for you: Do your fucking research.
Also, use our guide of trusted sellers.
There are a few vendors that we like to go to again and again (more on them later) because they are simply good to work with. Some of them might be a couple bucks more expensive here and there but it’s made up for with customer service and not getting your credit card charged for $2500 in the middle of the night in Hunan Province.
Navigate & Communicate on the ‘Gate
It’s worth noting that in Chinese culture there is (traditionally speaking) no such thing as “customer service”. Our western notion of sales customs, where the vendor caters to the customer, is not universal, and certainly not the norm in parts of Asia. This is an important thing to keep in mind, as things don’t always go smooth, and acting like a total Karen will get your messages blocked and you’ll never get a resolution. Always be respectful (but not a sucker) and things will go a lot smoother.
When looking over the different offerings from the different vendors, the two most important things you can do are:
Ask us for advice, such as “has anyone else here ever dealt with ‘TittyBobbyJill20000057’?
Check the customer reviews on the product you’re looking at!
As noted before, there are a lot of independent vendors on The Gate and the other sites, and chances are you’re not the first person looking for your particular watch, so learn from the mistakes and successes of those who came before you. Feel free to ask anyone here, and always — always! — check the customer reviews, especially if they have photos.
Fun fact! There are a few search terms you can use to find the watch you want since you generally can’t find them via their actual brand names because that just becomes blatant counterfeiting, and we can’t have that. For Omegas, search for “co-axial”; for Rolex, search for the model number; for Tag Heuer sports watches, search for “I have no taste in anything and will die alone”. Try it out yourself!
This is because very often the photos of the watch you see on the DHGate listing is not a photo of the actual watch you’ll be receiving. Often it’s the genuine (or “gen”) article in the photos, presumably to help shoppers find what they want. They will often have pictures of the actual units they sell mixed in, so check those, but make sure to check for photos of received units in the reviews, as these are unfiltered and unmoderated feedback directly from and to customers like you. It’s a great tool that will save everyone a lot of grief and headache if used correctly.
Asking for Quality Check (QC) Photos
In addition, reputable vendors are often happy to send you photos of the actual watches themselves if there are none in the reviews. Add to that the fact that we love doing our own reviews here, and you’ll be in good shape to buy the watch you want from a trusted seller and be very happy with it.
This, though, is where things get tricky. Since sites like DHGate and AliExpress are in China, not every bank or credit card vendor will work to place your order, so make sure that you have at least two different accounts to try from. In addition, keep in mind that there are sophisticated hacker-bros in China that would love nothing more than have access to a foreign credit card that works in their country easily. For my own purchases, I use my CapitalOne credit card via their Eno system which generates a one time “burner number” for each of my transactions. See if your cards or bank offer the same kind of thing if at all possible.
If you’ve found your watch, and you’ve found your vendor, and made your purchase, then you should have your watch — sometime in the distant future.
Shipping from China
Cheap quality watches are cheap by skimping on a few things, and one of those things is fast shipping. Most watches include free shipping, (via China’s EMS or ePacket services,) but that free shipping can take a long fucking time. It’s not uncommon for watches to take a month and a half to arrive, so if you’re in a hurry to get something for a certain event, like a court date, use one of the paid services (DHL, etc.) to get it faster. But keep in mind that you still might be in for a wait, because that’s how things in China work.
Some sellers are faster than others, and your research here should tell you which are known for fast shipments, so it’s worth taking into consideration when making your choice.
Customs & Replica Watches
Sometimes, though, things happen, and it’s far too common for things to go wrong on the shipment part.
Fun fact! Chinese people are a lot like you, only way more broke and oppressed. The average person there makes about $15k a year. The few bucks they make off of selling fake watches to the rest of the world is real money to them, so if things go wacky don’t automatically assume that you’re being scammed, just be aware that they’ll also do anything they can to not have to issue a refund, so be willing to work with them.
If your watch gets seized by customs then you’ll get a letter. Ignore it, tell your vendor, and they’ll generally send you a new one. This kind of thing is factored into their prices as the cost of doing business.
If your tracking number shows your watch going somewhere far away that’s not you, there are a few reasons why this can happen. If you’re shipping with DHL you should know that they often recycle waybill numbers (I’m not kidding, it just happened to me). It’s also possible the vendor just mixed up your tracking number with someone else’s, which is also common. Or, also too common, your vendor is trying to scam you. Do not let them off the hook.
Every case is different, so we won’t attempt to tackle a “how to” on dealing with problems like this on sites like The Gate, but enough people here have been through it that they’ll be happy to help you navigate it, since we hate when those fuckers try stuff on any of us.
Receiving Your New Watch
So let’s say you’ve managed to not fuck up all of the above. That means that your watch has arrived and you’re stoked, and you should be! The process isn’t the easiest, but the reward is worth it.
Wear your watch. Get to know it. Maybe you’ll need to re-size the bracelet (we can help walk you through that) or something’s wrong with it (that, too), or maybe you need to brag to some people (that would be us). That is why we do ask that you share it with us. (Don’t forget the lume shot!)
Take photos, videos, post a review, post a W2C link, and answer any questions others may have, because you were only successful because others pass on their knowledge to you, and it would be good to show the other newcomers how it works. It’s part of what makes this subreddit more than just a place to get links and instead a place that’s genuinely fun to waste time on.
We’re glad you’ve decided to take the morally ambiguous step towards becoming a Chinatime bro or bro-ette (for there are more rep-ladies here than one might think) and welcome you to the world of like-minded cheapskates who would still like to enjoy build quality and the classical aesthetics that go along with world class timepieces.
Step by Step Guide for Ordering a Watch
Choosing a Recommended Seller or Trusted Dealer
Recommended Sellers and Trusted Dealers are listed above.
Remember, TD's do not make the watches! They are simply the middle men between you and the Factory (VSF for example). Mostly, the TD's do not have physical contact with the factories or watches, they simply order them, then a courier will drop off a bulk order to them. Then the TD will issue QC photos.
Please do not think they walk to the factory to buy your watch and collect it, it's not how it goes. This is also how delays in QC's happen, as a TD could be waiting for a batch of a certain watch to be made, thus, delaying your QC. Some TD's will have 24 hour QC stock on hand, which you can ask for a list of. Usually however this is previously RL stock or something they have bought in bulk to offer as discounted.
Trusted dealers have earned their way to that status – trusted – because they have a large customer base and are willing to go through investigations through the forums that have a tough and active moderation team (RWI, RWG, etc) if a sale goes awry.
Trusted dealers get not a ton of dough from your sale, but they almost all offer a customs guarantee - you will receive a replacement watch for free if customs seizes it. Be nice and remember that they are doing work for you and should be compensated for that time.
2. Choosing Your Watch and/or Factory
A mid to high tier watch is built by a specific factory. Examples will be: CF, VSF, ZF, BP, GMF, EWF to name a few.
There are also watches that are classed as Not Worth Buying In Gen (NWBIG).
All reps have tells. There is no perfect rep, so RESEARCH first and decide on which flaws you can live with.
3. Purchasing a Watch
Now that you have decided on the watch you want, it's time to buy. There are typically three ways to buy. I will list in the order I believe to be the easiest, and how to go about it. I will also give a mock example where applicable. Be aware it is always common practice to check the factory still exists and are still making the watch you require. This to a TD is referred to as "In Stock".
Option1. WhatsApp (or WeChat etc)
Find the correct WhatsApp number for your chosen TD. (The TD links have already been listed in section 1). Message the TD:
(You) Hi, can you source me a (VSF 116610LN) please, are they in stock at the factory still? How long for QC and how much ? Thanks.
Now, there are such things as time zones, so if you don't hear back from the TD in ten mins or so, consider they may be sound asleep. Allow anything up to 12 hours for a reply. Some Td's have massive inbox queues and it could take 24 hours to receive a reply during busy times. The Td will then reply for example:
(TD) Hi, $568 free shipping. In stock 3 day QC.
It's as easy as that, next you will need to issue payment (see section 4) and give your Name and Postal address. The TD may require an email address to send your QC link to, Some send the QC and deal solely on whatsapp.
Option 2. Purchasing via TD's website.
It is imperative you email the TD before you go this route to check the watch is still being produced. A lot of watches on websites are no longer available as they barely maintain their websites by removing old stock. It is also a great way of taking your money and getting you to switch to something else.
You'll have to make an account on the website and/or fill out your details, then, once you have checked out, the TD will contact you for payment (see Section 4). Do not upload any credit/debit card details if asked. Email is a slow process and it could take 3 days to receive payment details. Some Td's only use email, so this is one of the pitfalls of going this route, especially if you encounter a problem once you receive the watch. QC will likely take longer and in general be a slower process than whatsapp. You Have Been Warned!
Option 3. Direct Email/DM via forum.
Some TD's (Sead from supermirrors for example) are only contactable this way. They will list their current stock on their forum page. You will then have to DM or Email them your requirements the same way as mentioned in option 1. This is another reasonably slow process.
You can simply send a photo of a watch you are after to a TD and they will tell you if it can be sourced.
Option 4. Direct from DHGate
Platforms like DHGate have a payment facility which includes a dispute system and more. More details here.
Most TD's will help guide you through the payment process. Here are some of the ways you can pay.
Wise or Western Union
Easiest way?: install the respective apps or visit the official website, create an account and enter the details provided by the TD. Then issue your payment. Best exchange rate is via Wise and it is easy to use. You can even link the TD's confirmed payment via whatsapp with Wise. Guides on how to use both are on their respe websites.
Some, if not most will require previous transaction history before they dabble in Paypal with you. Some like Mirotime and Geektime usually accept payments this way first off.
Obviously if you pay this way you'll be sending your crypto to a TD's wallet. You'll probably have knowledge on how to use wallets etc. Be sure to record/track the transaction via the blockchain.
4. Credit/Debit card
I would advise against paying via credit/debit card UNLESS you are using a one time use created card number. Many CC company's will provide this. Remember you are dealing in a counterfeit organization ran predominantly (in the eyes of the law) by criminals. Your TD may be Trusted but the third party they use to take payment may not be. Don't risk being cloned or charged for other fee's.
5. QC (Quality Control)
QC photos can take anything from a matter of hours to weeks. It's all dependent on the watch you bought and if the factory are producing batches. Sometime a TD will have stock in hand. Raids, public holidays and batch times can effect the waiting times. If you haven't received QC within 2 weeks ask your TD for an update. It's down to your resolve on if you want to swap to an available watch or require a refund.
Once QC photos are received you should generally get good help over at r/RepTimeQC if you follow the template used there. I would advise to look up previous posts of the watch you ordered to grasp the common QC issues that can arise. Do not be lazy and write "looks good" for everything..
It can take anything from a week to 2 months to receive a package depending on where you are on the planet. 17Track is a good app to use for keeping an eye on your parcel. Most TD's have a customs seizure warranty and will replace any watch taken by customs. If this happens, do not reply to the letter you receive and contact your TD. The consensus is just wait it out, it will get there eventually.
7. Receipt of Package/Watch
- Remember you have bought a rep made in a low wage factory. The finish may have sharp edges and will need the bracelet adjusting. Buy a decent bracelet removal tool and screwdriver to undo the bracelet screws.
- Movement. Now, although replica movements have improved vastly in the past few years, you cannot expect it to be running at +/- 2 secs a day accuracy unless it has been Serviced and properly regulated! Running a non serviced replica is fine, but if its running +30secs a day fast or slow when you receive it, then it's actually acceptable. Yes, your Seiko or homage shitter may be more accurate, but it was assembled in much cleaner conditions, correctly oiled, and assembled in a gen watch factory. When setting dates, forward your hour hands first, so the date changes, then move to 6 o'clock. Now change your date. Automatic watches can be hand wound, so google "how to hand wind an automatic watch".
- Water Resistance. Assume your watch is not water resistant, and get it tested. It is your choice if you want to ride bareback into the waters. Do check the case back for tightness and the crown is screwed in tightly. Source
Glossary of Common Terms
AD: Authorized Dealer who sells genuine watches.
AP: Audemars Piquet.
AR: Anti-Reflective coating. It is a coating that is placed on watch crystals to deflect glare. Can be single or double sided. Double AR can scratch as one layer is on the outside of the crystal.
B&R: Bell & Ross.
BCE: Short for Breitling Chronomat Evolution.
Beginmariner: An entry level Submariner. Referred to by other names such as Noobmariner and VIPmariner.
Bling: A watch encrusted with diamonds or jewels.
Breit: Short for Breitling.
BST: Buy, Sell & Trade
Builder: A Watchsmith or Watchmaker who builds watches from the ground up.
Bump: The process of bumping a thread back to the top of the new posts section because the poster feels it contains information they want others to see.
C1: A model of Concord watch.
CC: Credit Card.
CG: Crown Guard.
CN: Short for China or Chinese.
CNY: Chinese currency or Chinese New Year.
CONUS: Continental United States (See IN CONUS).
DD: Rolex Day Date
DHL: A shipper often used by the dealers.
DJ: Rolex Datejust
DRSD: Rolex Double Red Sea-Dweller
EMS: Express Mail Service. They are the usual courier for packages.
ETA: A Swiss movement used in watches. Also available as a China made clone. Gen (Swiss) ETAs are now very rare in reps.
Fakebreaking: A phenomenon wherein rep buyers constantly break certain models of watches. Even if the movements in those watches are commonly used in gens with no issues. This is caused by a failure to understand the limitations of a mechanical timepiece in general. Gen owners are usually not afflicted by this. An example would be the Rolex Daytona. (See Seconds @6).
Fedex: A package delivery service. NEVER USE THEM FOR REPS!
Fiddy: Panerai 127
Fidestro: Panerai 217
FM: Abbreviation for Franck Muller
Franken: A watch that has had genuine parts added to it in order to make it closer to the genuine counterpart.
Gen: Short for genuine watch.
Group Buy: A forum-wide mass buy where items can be purchased at a discounted price.
GBP: British Pound.
HBB: Hublot Big Bang.
HVS: High Value Sale.
Black Magic: An all black Hublot Big Bang.
IMO: In my opinion.
IN CONUS: A designation when something or someone is in the Continental United States. Also a designation in sales ads when someone will only ship within that area (See CONUS).
IWC: International Watch Company.
Lume: The material applied to a watch dial that makes it glow in the dark.
LV: Abbreviation for the Rolex anniversary LV (Lunette Verde) Submariner. Also used to describe Louis Vuitton.
Modded: A watch that has been altered from it’s OEM state.
Mods: Customisations applied to a watch.
Modder: Someone who performs aftermarket modifications to timepieces.
MOP: Short for Mother of Pearl dial.
NWBIG: Stands for ‘Not Worth Buying In Genuine’. A watch with a replica so good there is no point paying the real counterpart.
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OP: Original poster.
PO: Short for Omega Planet Ocean.
POS: Piece of shit.
PP: PayPal. Also an abbreviation for Patek Philippe.
PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition. A particle vacuum coating process used on watches.
QC: Quality Control, Usually refers to the photos sent by a dealer to approve the watch you will be receiving.
Rehaut: The metal ring between the crystal and dial on a watch.
Rep: Short for replica.
RG/Repgeek: A replica forum.
Rollercoasting: When a watch hand has not been installed level. As it spins it moves up and down vertically like a rollercoaster and at some point touches the inside of the crystal jacking everything up.
ROO: A model made by Audemar Piquet, the Royal Oak Offshore.
RWG.CC: A replica forum.
RWG.BZ: Our sister forum, often referred to as “The wild west of rep fora”
RWI: A forum full of autistic and rude old fucks that think elitism about fake watches is cool.
SEL: Solid End Link. A type of bracelet end link (the bit that joins the bracelet to the watch).
Slevin: Nickname for the IWC Aquatimer.
SMP: Short for Omega Seamaster Professional.
SOH: Breitling Superocen Heritage
SOSF: Short for Superocean Steelfish. It is not SFSO, SSFO, SOF or SF .
SV: Supporting Vendor. A Type of dealer.
Tag: Tag Heuer.
TNT: Another delivery service used by the dealers. Generally for air shipment.
Trustytime ’aka Andrew’: a dealer.
UN: Ulysses Nardin.
UPO: Short for Ultimate Omega Planet Ocean.
UPS: United Parcel Service.
USPS: United States Postal Service
V1/V2/V3/V20????: A term applied to each new version of the previously described ‘Ultimate/1:1/Exact copy’ that was released even though it was already perfect.
VC: Vacheron Constantin
W2B/WTB: Want To Buy aka Where can I find this watch so I can buy it.
W2C: Want To Cop aka Where can I find this watch so I can buy it.
Watch Expert: Someone who has extensive knowledge about timepieces. They are often also a Watchsmith, Watchmaker or Modder (See Builder & Modder).
WU: Western Union. Also ‘Wu’ which is short for the watch dealer WuWatch.
Yachtie: Short for Rolex Yachtmaster.
Buying Replica Watches Common Q&A
Q: I see the watches on DHGate, but they’re missing the logos. Will the watch I get have the logo?
A: Unless otherwise stated in the listing, you bet. The reason that they don’t show the logo in most of the photos is because by not showing them then they have plausible deniability when the authorities come knocking on their door, which happens from time to time. Without the logo, they’re selling “homages”, which is fine. If a logo accidentally falls off the back of a truck and ends up on your faux Patek, then, ya know, oops and shit.
Q: I want to buy something cheap to start with to get used to things. What’s the best watch I can get for $XXX?
A: As stated above, nearly every watch has multiple grades available from different vendors. The Rolex Submariner is probably the most-replicated watch in the world, being that it’s such an iconic status symbol all over the globe. On DHGate you can find them for as little as $12 for a half-plastic quartz shitter, all the way up to $700 clones that are almost completely identical in every way to the original. Not all watches have good cheap versions, but some do. Omega’s Planet Oceans and Seamaster 300s have both inspired rather cheap reps in the $26-32 range that are surprisingly good for the money and make great choices for first-time buyers. (I still wear my $28 Planet Ocean on the regular because it’s a really great watch, period.)
Q: Why r/Chinatime? Why not just merge with r/Reptime?
A: For the most part, Chinatime deals with watches in the $30-$120 area, and anything above that goes to the snobby dudes over in Reptime (JK, fellow rep-bros! Love you too!). Their focus is far more on the complete replications and 1:1 cloning of watches, and some of that shit is fascinating. Expensive, sure, but fascinating.
Since most (but by no means all) ChinaTime reps aren’t in that neighbourhood of sophistication this subreddit was spun off to be its own thing. That said, I’d be surprised if more than ten percent of the people subscribed to ChinaTime aren’t also subscribed to RepTime.
Q: Am I going to go to jail?
A: Not for this, but probably for that other stuff. You need to learn how to delete your browser history.
Q: Shut the fuck up and tell me where I can find a XXX!
A: First off, fuck you. Second off, no, I won’t, but u/SvB78 made this fantastic set of entries that should get you started because he’s a great guy like that. Or girl. It’s the Internet and I don’t want to make any assumptions here.
Q: Did Epstein kill himself?
Q: How long will my cheap fake watch last?
A: That’s a great question and one that could be a whole post this long on its own. In short, it depends, which I know is not a satisfying answer. There are a couple things to consider, namely “what movement is it?” and “was it put together well?”
If you’re rocking a 2813-based model, it can be a crap shoot. I’ve had three U1 Submariners. My first one broke (my fault) so I ordered a second. It froze after a week. I ordered a third and it’s sturdy like a well-trained horse and should last awhile. These all use the 2813 movement mentioned above.
I also have an Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre clone that I got on the cheap that has a Tongji (or Chinese “unified”) movement, one of the most bare-bones and cheap mechanical movements out there, and it’s not missed a beat in nearly a year. (This watch is a good watch, but a bad, bad rep.)
So, again, there’s no easy answer for your question. Your best bet is to ask your fellow ChinaTimers here.
Q: I can’t seem to find the watch I want. What do?
A: If you have a vendor you like then feel free to message them and ask if they can find it for you. It’s not hyperbole to say that every popular luxury watch on the market right now likely has a rep available, so feel free to ask.
Q: So do I now know everything I need to know to ChinaTime right?
A: You know enough to get started, and thanks for using ChinaTime like a verb. That was cute.
There’s more than can be found from RepTime, though how much of it is applicable to ChinaTime is up for debate.
Q: Will I be a fraud if I walk around with a fake-ass Rolex or Patek on my wrist?
A: Yeah, but you’ll be a dope-looking fraud, so who cares?
As a general tip, keep your luxury within reason. It would make sense for a person with a half-way decent job to afford an Omega Seamaster or a Longines, but if you’re attending community college and sporting an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore then you’d best believe that you’re going to need a really fantastic explanation for how you got it, which may need to include a whole backstory that involves cocaine, hookers, a crime spree, an unfortunate night at a Thai brothel, cocaine, a stolen pickup, a Canadian gigalo that goes by “Mr. Mountie”, and cocaine.
Q: Can I get a watch from China and sell it to my local pawn shop/on craiglist/to my idiot brother/anyone else?
A: You might be able to pass it off to someone else as the real thing to make money, but that would be a total dick move. We may be breaking international law here in ChinaTime, but we’re not fucking assholes.
Q: WTF is a [insert unknown watch term]?
A: This Q&A isn’t exhaustive, and there is a lot to know in the world of watches. I recommend spending some time in r/watches as well as r/reptime, but if I were you I’d be careful about even speaking about r/chinatime in r/watches, as I got banned for a week for doing that, because those guys are fucking touchy.
Q: I just got my first XXX! It looks great! I’m going to go to r/XXX and show it off!
A: Don’t get cute. If you have even the best Submariner you can get from the ranks of ChinaTime and try to show it off on r/Rolex then you’ll be banned faster than the Astros can cheat at baseball, and you’ll also bring unwanted attention onto our own little cheap-and-shiesty corner of the internet. Don’t do that shit.
Q: Can I buy a used watch from one of you dudes who seem to know what you’re doing?
A: Sure! We offer trades and sales here often, and “I’d like to buy a used XXX” aren’t uncommon, but chances are someone will have something you want that’s maybe even been improved, so feel it out.
Q: Wait, improved? You can make these less-sucky?
A: Absolutely. Do yourself a favor and get a basic watch repair kit from Amazon for like $15. You can use the tools for basic maintenance — such as resizing the bracelet or regulating the balance wheel. You can also use it if your 2813 breaks down and you’d rather replace it than buy a new one. It’s not that hard with the help of youtube.
Q: I tried to regulate it and I broke it! Fuck you!
A: It’s not my fault you’re a butterfingers. Order another $50 watch, you cheap-but-classy bastard.
Guide to Taobao
Taobao is a website similar to eBay, DHgate, or AliExpress – but completely in Chinese. They don’t have too many cheaper built watches, but a plethora of replica clothes and, most importantly, watch parts.
For anyone people who want to buy a submariner rep, Wu and Jason are good (overpriced, but good) choices. But what if you have just a little bit of class, and want to try your hand at building your own watch? How about swapping a dial, or upgrading a 2813/21j movement to something like a Miyota 8215/Seagull ST16? What if r/SeikoMods is your spirit animal, but don’t want to dish out $300 for your watches or $10 for an extra set of hands?
I mean, let’s get it straight. The website can be a pain to use. Google Translate only gets you so far before you had enough of “new Baby” and “more Baby”. And there is no shipping option to the US.
So how do you ship to the US?
If you’re new to Taobao… it can be counterintuitive. You need an agent – a separate company who ships your items for you from their warehouse in China, to your address. And I’m really not a good person to ask questions to about this (let’s make believe I have no idea). All I’ll say is take a look – Wegobuy is a trusted agent over at FashionReps, and the guide linked above will get you through how to use them.
Not Wu or Jason
WGB’s currency rates aren’t the best. Look on that sub for freight forwarders if you’re brave enough.
Shipping can be expensive – watches aren’t inherently heavy, but to the US, it can be $25 for a single KG (think maybe 3 watches, more in parts if you omit the SS bracelets).
But, as for pros… there are prices here you wouldn’t imagine. Full 2813 or NH35 stainless steel cases for $7, dials and dials for under $3, and swarms of full sets of hands for $1 each. Working 2813’s for $6, NH35’s for $20, ST16’s for $13 or less.
Ever wanted a Wave of Kanagawa or Van Gogh watch build? How about a meteorite or mother of pearl watch face? Try getting that on eBay.
“Yeah, but how do I find this stuff?”
Guide to Quality Checking (QC) a Replica Watch
Junk & Entry Tier QC guide
I’ve seen a lot of QC posts and people arguing about the quality of QC videos/pics from sellers lately.
It needs to be pointed out that ChinaTime level sellers will do a number of things if asked for QC shots of a watch you’re interested in buying. None of which are done consistently by any of them, nor is there a regulated process.
1. A quick view video of a watch you have requested, usually flipped around while being held to show different angles. This is usually one they happen to have on hand (sellers don’t hold on to stock as it’s too dangerous – they source per order)
2. A video they send to multiple buyers (often exactly the same video) of the same watch from the same batch.
3. Photos you’ve probably already seen before used of the watch on multiple different dhgate stores and can easily recognise. These are used by many sellers as they simply don’t have any other photos of that particular watch.
4. Some low quality phone photos of a couple angles. Usually taken when they have one around or have taken before to send QC pics to another buyer.
4. Photos or videos showing you the actual watch you are being sent just before it gets packaged up with your postage label. These are often done after you’ve ordered and paid and it’s about to be sent out.
The ChinaTime QC process is different to the QC process on r/RepTime where sellers show you the exact watch you have bought, allowing for feedback, RL (Red Lighting aka Not happy with quality so sending it back) or GL (Green Lighting aka I am happy with this watch so let’s fucking gooo).
ChinaTime level sellers shift a high volume of product in short timeframes.
Don’t expect a RepTime level QC process for your $80 shitter.
Higher Tier QC Guide
Before we jump into QC, I want to clarify some of my vernacular when discussing replica watches:
Flaw: A difference between a replica in its attempt to imitate the genuine watch (e.g. incorrect hand stack on a GMF BLRO Pepsi)
Defect: An error during manufacturing or assembly that deviates from the specified requirements (e.g. crooked indices on an ARF 114300)
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, in order to understand what QC is, let’s start with what the QC process isn’t.
The QC process is not:
- To compare how close the replica is to genuine
- Window shopping
- An opportunity to correct specific flaws or defects on a replica
QC is not an opportunity to compare how close the replica is to genuine
This should take place before QC during the research about which model to buy. All replicas have flaws. “Super reps” have flaws from genuine. Even genuine watches have flaws! It’s your responsibility as the purchaser to do your due diligence and find watch models from factories that have flaws that are tolerable to you. You should become intimately aware of the flaws of the models you are considering. The forums and this subreddit contain many images of actual watches people receive.
Use the search bar and get well acquainted with the model you plan on purchasing. This way when your QC pictures arrive you aren’t startled when the date font is too bold – looking at you ARF 126334, or some other well-known flaw compared to genuine. If you’re looking for near perfect, buy genuine. Buying a replica watch is a fun experience. Let it be.
QC is not window shopping
Trusted Dealers are running a business. Side note: I’m not exactly sure how the logistics of their business functions, but if a TD or other more knowledgeable person wants to chime in below it would be a happy learning experience for me and everyone else. The remainder of this entry will go on my assumptions as to how the business functions.
TD’s buy replica watches from the factories. They pay for the replicas out of the money you paid them for your order. This is why payment precedes QC pictures. Now they have invested in inventory that needs to be sold. Some inventory moves quicker than others due to popularity (SS 116610LN, AP ROO, etc.) so they probably have a continuous flow of demand for some of these watches, but they don’t really “stock” watches in a traditional sense and definitely not for less popular models.
They source each watch you order individually. When you decide to RL a watch you’re preventing them from selling stock that they’ve already used capital to purchase. Essentially, you’re frustrating their cash flow. They’re now stuck with a watch they need to wait for someone else to order before they can make their money back. This makes it difficult on the TD, harms their business, and may result in the TD refusing to sell you a different watch.
They also have to go and source another watch for you (consuming more capital and eating into their margin). It is my understanding that sometimes they can return a watch to the factories if it is defective, but this is where my knowledge of the business isn’t clear. Regardless, the best-case scenario for TD’s is returning a watch and spending a lot of time and effort sourcing another watch instead of fulfilling a new order (opportunity cost), and the worst case is being stuck with a watch that has nothing wrong with it and having to wait for a new order before getting paid for it. That’s a lose-lose scenario for the TD.
What is important to remember here is that the factories and TD’s aren’t in the best conditions, nor are they participating in legal activities and are under constant scrutiny from their respective governments and law enforcement agencies. Replica watch "factories" aren’t large buildings with assembly lines.
Typically they are small operations that can be easily moved or hidden from police/governments hunting for them. Factories and TD’s have a lot at stake doing business with us and we should ensure we properly acknowledge that and use their conditions as the context for how a replica watch gets in QC pictures. It’s quite a marvel all things considered. Caveat: I am well aware that TD’s sometimes try to hide very obvious manufacturing defects to move undesirable inventory, we’ll cover that more below. Be patient.
I’m not saying to never RL a watch. There are good reasons to do so that we’ll discuss below. I am saying that you should carefully consider the defect on the watch you are presented and decide for yourself if you can live with them. Remember that the images you’re seeing are close up of an object whose size is measured in millimeters. Many defects can’t be seen at wrist level or without close inspection. There is a good reason to carefully consider the decision to RL. QC is not a carousel of watches, rather it’s like a slot machine or a game of Russian roulette because the next one the TD can procure could have worse defects than the watch you RL’d.
I’ve never tried this, but If you RL the watch in your QC pictures I don’t think the TD will sell it to you if the RL’d watch ends up being better than the following watch. So there’s a risk with RL’ing. Keep in mind that manufacturing happens in batches and there is a chance that most of a batch has similar defects. You never know what you’re going to get. Think slot machine, not carousel. That’s part of the fun! Sometimes you hit it big and your rep doesn’t have any serious defects and looks flawless. Other times you’ve gotta swing the RL hammer, but only if absolutely necessary.
This segues well into our next topic.
QC is not an opportunity to correct specific flaws or defects on a replica
I see a lot of new people have a misunderstanding when reviewing their QC pictures that if they ask the TD to correct a specific flaw that it will be corrected. This is not the case. You either accept the watch presented or you RL and are presented with an entirely new watch. They can’t realign indices or center dates in a date window. Nor should they. Their business is simple: source the “genuine” replica watch you request and ensure it is shipped and delivered to you.
They make money sourcing and shipping watches. TD’s exist to protect us from a veritable ocean of scam sites that sell us DHgate watches for thousands of dollars. Buying through a TD means the watch you receive will be made by Noob, ARF, V6F, etc. and that you will receive it despite customs seizures.
They are not watch smiths.
They are not watchmakers.
They are not jewelers.
They are dealers.
Dealers that are trusted because they have a multitude of historical transactions and a reputation that they will deliver “authentic” replica watches from the factories they advertise.
Okay. Now that we’ve cleared up some common misconceptions with QC pictures, where did the concept come from? After doing some digging on RWI, the concept of QC photos was first introduced around 2009 by a previous TD that, from what I can tell, has since ceased operations. QC photos are an inconvenience for the dealer and replicas used to be sent without QC photos; however, in the years following their introduction we have become accustomed to them and now expect them. It benefits TD’s by giving customers a unique experience, for example, PureTime does waterproof testing in addition to photos.
That’s a bit of competitive differentiation in customer experience if waterproofing is of interest to you. It can also help the TD’s to avert negative interactions with their customers by allowing us to see what we will be receiving before actually receiving it. This practice is unlike any other eCommerce practice and I can’t think of another online transaction where I get a preview of the literal unit I will receive before buying except maybe automobiles. And even then, sometimes not. Hopefully, this helps you to understand that we should be grateful we receive QC pictures at all and to give credit where credit is due with the TD’s. There aren’t other eCommerce businesses that operate this way.
What is the purpose of QC? QC Photos are:
- To ensure you will be receiving the correct factory and model of watch ordered
- To find clear defects that do not meet your subjective standard
QC is to ensure you will be receiving the correct factory and model of watch ordered
This is important! If you ordered a ZZF 116610LN V2 it is important that you receive that model from that factory and not a Noob or ARF 116610LN because it will be difficult to make an exchange or other remediations due to the logistical nightmare that is the international business of counterfeit goods. You want the right watch delivered the first time. Sometimes there are mix-ups or errors and I suppose there could be a more nefarious motive, but that has never been my experience and would certainly be a huge outlier. TD’s are trusted for a reason.
That doesn’t make them perfect or free from making clerical errors given their working conditions and language barriers. If you aren’t sure you are receiving the correct model or factory, post it and ask! We love to help. If you ordered an ARF 116500 Panda, but are shown an ARF 116520 white dial, you’ll know to ask the TD to please present you with the correct model you requested. Please be courteous and respectful. I’m sure they’ll be happy to do so. Remember they still must go and return the incorrect watch if they can and go source the correct watch. Be patient.
QC is to find clear defects that do not meet your subjective standard
This is a tricky topic to address. You are looking to identify defects with the replica that aren’t up to your standard. You should be looking for things like crooked indices, alignment of bezel or dial elements like coronets or logos, missing lume, offset chrono hands, and other defects. Also check to see if there are any visible signs of cosmetic damage like scratches, scuffs, etc. on the case, bracelet, clasp, and other watch components.
Be aware that TD’s are dealers or salesmen. They want to sell watches, even ones with severe defects. I’ve seen TD’s move the watch hands to cover a crooked logo or hold the watch at strange angles to make alignment defects look less severe. You can request additional pictures with watch hands in different positions. You can ask for a straight-on photo. This is acceptable and should be done if you have suspicions. Be prepared to wait for additional pictures though. There shouldn’t be obstacles to you being able to see defects, but once you’ve identified defects what do you do then?
Now, here is the difficult part. What should you RL and what should you live with? For me, I air on the side of GL all the time. This means I look at QC pictures with the intent of GL'ing and then have to find something outlandish to shift my opinion. Excessive RL’ing can harm the livelihood of the TD’s and ultimately affect the price of replicas in general. I also have a realistic idea of the standard of quality I should expect from a replica before I place my order.
For a first time or inexperienced buyer, this may not be the case, especially if they haven’t done enough due diligence on the model they’re purchasing.
What do I RL? Indices that are egregiously crooked, date wheels that are excessively off-center making them difficult to read, etc. Essentially anything that will bother me to the point of not wearing the watch. This is very subjective and hopefully, your expectations will improve with experience. I highly recommend that before you make a purchase, find QC pictures of the watch you will be ordering and see what others have GL’d and RL’d. Focus primarily on the GL’s. You’ll see many slight defects that get approved. If your watch ends up having them, please GL.
You’ve seen the defects. You know they are present in other watches. Keep the replica economy going. Learn to love and accept these discrepancies. These small defects make the watch unique and many of them can be modded away if they wind up seriously bothering you (crooked indices replaced by genuine or modded dials, etc.) Look and see what experienced users RL. This will help you to establish good expectations and what justifies RL'ing a watch.
Ultimately, it is up to you. Remember, that our small high-quality replica economy depends on the integrity of both TD’s and buyers. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand the consequences of RL’ing and that you’ll put more effort into properly establishing your expectations through due diligence and research. I hope that you’ll give a higher level of consideration to RL’ing.
It isn’t a trivial matter for our TD’s even if it seems as trivial as a set of new pictures in our email inbox for us. Again, I’ll restate that I’m not against RL’ing. I just want people to RL responsibly with proper expectations and education behind their decision. I’m not encouraging you to buy defective products, just make sure you know the difference between defective products and acceptable ones; sometimes the line between the two is exceptionally thin. It’s up to us to preserve the integrity of our niche community because we could just as quickly destroy it.
Most factories won’t take a watch back for a majority of the RL issues, so the dealer has only some choices.
- Order a replacement at dealer cost. Try to sell the RL watch to another.
- Try to fix the issue
- Refund the customer
- Swap for a different watch
- Argue with the factory for a replacement (requires lots of previous examples proving the problem is unique to that one watch. If this happens too many times factory may refuse to sell to that dealer
Guide to Watch Movements
Common movements used in rep watches
1. 21J/DG2813 (note that despite the “21J” description these movements usually run 23 jewels). This is a generic term used to cover a wide variety of cheap Chinese movements – some are better than others, but as a general rule they are low-beat (21,600vph / 6 ‘ticks’ per second) movements, very cheaply built (from as little as $7 for the whole movement) but generally reliable and easy to live with. Usually automatic, but occasionally hand wind, dependent on the watch. A lot of really nice budget watches come with these fitted and whilst the sweep isn’t as smooth as, say, a gen Rolex, they’re damned good value for money and can just be thrown away and replaced if they break or need a service.
There’s also the DG4813 variant, which is high-beat but this has become very difficult to obtain of late, so is not commonly seen. It has largely been replaced by the Z2 (see below)
2. Z2 aka ‘high beat 2813’ aka various other names. Some have suggested that this is one to avoid, but it’s not quite that clear cut. Basically a cheap 28,800vph alternative to the “Asian ETA” movements, these are occasionally swapped into existing models by the factories without informing the dealers. Reliability can be okay – provided you get a good one. The real issue is that there are no parts available, so servicing can be a problem. The Asian ETAs are a much better choice, but these are maybe worth considering if the price is right – just don’t be conned into buying high-priced reps with ’em, it ain’t worth it.
3. Asian ‘clone’ ETA (A2824/A2836 & variants): These are literally copies/clones of the equivalent Swiss (ETA) automatic movements. Generally high quality – although not as well built as the Swiss equivalents – but reliable and with parts generally available (which makes servicing an easier proposition than some other movements). High beat (28,800) and great value. Probably the best choice of movement for higher-quality reps as they give the smooth sweep found in most gen watches
4. Swiss ETA (2836/2824 as above): Supposedly the genuine ETA (owned by swatch group) swiss automatic movements. This is a complete lottery. ETA have not been supplying ebauches outside Swatch group for several years now. There are NO new ETA movements in reps any more – only refurbished (usually with Asian parts). On top of that, as anyone who’s been in the game for a while should know, factories tell the dealer the spec of the watch they’re producing – and the dealers then use that for their sales pitch. That spec often then changes dependent on what parts the factories have available on a particular day – about which they DO NOT inform the dealers. Given that dealers DO NOT take the back off the watch during QC (nor should they), they’re as much in the dark about it as you. At best you get a refurbished (i.e. used) movement with asian parts in it. I wouldn’t recommend spending extra for ETA in a rep these days – more often than not, you’ll be getting an asian clone.
5. Sellita: As mentioned above, supply of ETA movements is getting very difficult as Swatch group are no longer selling ebauches outside their own group of companies. Sellita are another Swiss company who make a very similar range of high-quality movements. We’ve seen a few reps with “Swiss ETA” being supplied with Sellitas, but they’re fairly rare.
6. Rolex 3135 copy (and other Rolex clone movements). This is an Asian clone ETA automatic movement with modified rotor and bridges to make it look more like the real thing. It’s not going to convince anybody who knows their Rolex movements and tends to be less reliable than the alternatives (as well as being more expensive!). There are newer versions beginning to appear which are a little more reliable and look closer to the gen, but they are still near impossible to service and generally inferior to the clone ETAs. Rolex have closed casebacks anyhow, so I really don’t see the point in paying the extra for what is, effectively, just a higher-priced and less reliable Asian clone movement.
There is one notable exception to the above – the Yuki-sourced movement used by JF in their new (as of 2017) high-end subs. This is a proper copy of the Rolex movements (to the extent of being compatible with a lot of gen parts) and is much better quality than the modified Asian ETA-based clones otherwise supplied in reps. A good movement and well worth consideration.
7. Miyota 9015. With the disappearance of gen ETA movements, some reps are now coming with Japanese Miyota-sourced movements. The 9015 is a case in point – a high-beat 28,800vph 25 jewel movement that is an excellent alternative to ETA or clone ETA models mentioned above. Highly reliable and very good quality. Don’t hesitate.
8. Miyota 8215. As above, a solid workhorse movement. The only gotcha is that the second hand on these movements tends to stutter a little and is therefore a lot less smooth than the 9015 or, say, an Asian 2836 clone. The amount of stutter is dependent on the weight of the second hand – the heavier/longer the hand, the worse it’s going to be. I’d certainly avoid this movement on watches such as Tudors which tend to have “snowflake” hands. Although the 8215 is reliable, for this reason I would tend to think carefully before buying a watch with this movement.
9. Sea-Gull. Sea-Gull are a chinese maker of both movements and watches. Quality is very close to that of the Swiss and Japanese manufacturers and they’re generally a very safe buy – they make clones of several well-known movements (such as the 6497) as well as their own designs. The ST2555 has lately been turning up in quite a few reps. As with Miyota, they’re a good choice. Don’t hesitate.
10. A6497/A6498: An Asian copy of the Unitas 6497 or 6498 movement. Common in Panerai and various others – it’s an ultra-reliable yet inexpensive hand wind movement available with or without swan-neck regulator. Note, however, that there are several different grades and some are better built than others. However, they’re easy to service and generally bombproof. Either 18,000vph (5 ‘ticks’ per second) or 21600 vph (6 ‘ticks’ per second) but it is hard to tell the difference visually due to the short seconds hand (where fitted). It can come with or without a seconds hand, but usually with. If it has a seconds hand, the 6497 has the seconds hand opposite the crown (i.e. at 9 if the crown is at 3) whereas the 6498 has the seconds 90 degrees to the left of the crown (i.e. at 6 if the crown is at 3).
11. Swiss Unitas 6497/6498: Again, a hand wind movement. They used to be found in some higher-end Panerai reps but that has now ended since ETA quit supplying ebauches outside Swatch Group some years back.
12. Molnija: Not common these days, but DSN and others have used them on occasion – mainly for vintage Panerai models. This is actually a Russian-built descendant of the Cortebert (latterly Rolex) hand-wind pocketwatch movements used by Panerai and others in the 40s-50s. Very high quality but parts can be tricky to obtain. Functionally similar to the 6497 above and generally reliable, but less robust than the 6497.
13. Asian 52010 aka Liaoning SL6601. This movement has started to appear in the IWC 5007 and could, of course, turn up in other reps with similar functions in due course. It supports secs@9, PR @3 plus date. Liaoning are another well-established Chinese maker of movements – quality is generally good, although parts can be difficult to obtain. Should be relatively easy to service and reliability appears to be decent.
Then there are a few that don’t fit any of the above groups. Movements advertised as “Asian 23J with power reserve” being probably the most common. These can vary from being basic 21J’s with an added module for the PR complication to something like Sea Gull’s 23J PR movement – the latter being of rather better quality than most other low-beat autos and likely to be long-term reliable. You’ll also see ‘Asian 35J” movements advertised fairly frequently – which can also be from a range of sources but are often higher-quality generic Chinese movements similar to the Sea-Gull mentioned above – not as good as a normal Asian clone or other mainstream movement and generally low-beat, but can be good value for money in the right rep. One last oddity worth mentioning is the A7750 as described below. This is sometimes used as a regular automatic movement with the chrono complications removed (most often in Panerai autos). In this form it is much less fragile and many of the caveats mentioned elsewhere no longer apply. Likewise you will – even more rarely – find the same non-chrono A7750 with the auto-wind mechanism removed. This essentially removes the fragile parts that can be damaged by hand-winding on the normal version and is, likewise, not subject to most of the caveats noted elsewhere.
Japan OS chrono (aka Japan Quartz aka a variety of other names): Basically cheap quartz chrono movements (i.e. battery powered). Reliable, great timekeepers, cheap. There’s a couple of varieties with different features, but quality is the same. If you can live with a ticking chrono hand (and seconds subdial) rather than the smooth sweep provided by autos, then there’s no reason not to buy one of these. Note that there are ‘smooth sweep’ quartz movements available and they very occasionally show up in reps. They’re a bit more expensive than regular quartz, but good quality. The smooth sweep applies to center seconds (i.e. the chrono hand) only, however – not running seconds in a subdial.
A7750 (occasionally called Asian Valjoux 7750): The standard automatic chrono movement used in a vast range of replica watches. Usually high-beat (28,800vph), but there is an older low-beat (21,600 vph) variant which still pops up now and again. Occasionally converted to hand-wind and also used in some non-chrono reps. Can be fragile and is difficult to service due to the lack of available spares. When serviced and running properly, however, it’s solid and works well. See the separate sticky about caveats as there are problems with some adaptations to this movement: http://www.replica-watches-guide.com/forum…?showtopic=6101
A7753: This is a variant on the A7750 and not a true clone of the Swiss 7753. Its primary difference from the A7750 is that its native position for subdials is 3, 6, 9 as opposed to 6, 9,12 for the 7750. The resulting lack of transfer gearing needed to move the subdials into the more common 3, 6, 9 position reduces the distance between datewheel and dial eliminating the ‘sunken datewheel’ seen on many reps. These movement also frequently feature a pusher (usually flush) at the 10 position which operates quick-set date. So far it has only made it into a handful of fairly recent models (notably Panerai). In other respects it shares the same strengths and weaknesses with its A7750 sibling, but the lack of transfer gearing does make it a little more robust in some cases.
A7751: This is a goodie as it replicates all the functions of the genuine Swiss movement including working moonphase complication. Found in a limited number of reps (notably a couple of Longines and Patek models). Should be treated gently but generally appears to be reliable.
Swiss Valjoux 7750: Used to appear in high-priced reps occasionally, but no longer available to the rep makers since ETA quit supplying ebauches to makers outside Swatch Group.
Copy Venus (or sometimes inaccurately described as Lemania). Actually a Sea Gull ST19 – fundamentally the same as the original Swiss Venus movement as Sea-Gull bought the original tooling. This is an excellent handwind chrono movement. Very reliable and feels like quality. The most robust chrono movement in reps outside of quartz options. Don’t hesitate.
- 3Hz is also called 21600bph or 6bps, 4Hz is 28800bph or 8bps.
The reason for this disparity (3Hz vs 6bps or 4Hz vs 8bps) is that the balance wheel advances the second hand both on the clockwise turn and counterclockwise turn, so a full turn cycle is 2 beats.
Chinese 21J, Chinese 23J – no-name movements, based on DG2813 (if you’re lucky) or the Chinese Standard Movement and company, that the Chinese have perfected… mostly when it comes to cost of production – they can make a shitty versions for under 10 dollars, but you cannot expect any kind of reliability from it. The worst versions can be found in Chinese street reps and tend to break after a few months of use. If you ever see something like a Daytona with days of the week and month indicator on the subdials, you can bet it sports one of those bad boys.
Some of the more reputable factories sometimes use movement called that and you can expect them to be of a passable to good quality then, but it’s still hit or miss.
Most of them are 3Hz, some are 4Hz.
DG2813 or other DG-something – firstly, it still might be the shitty movements described above (especially if called A2813), them being clones of DG movements, which are in turn clones of old movements from Citizen. If you get an actual DG2813, you should not expect amazing quality, but it is very reasonable for it to work for years (accuracy is another thing though).
Most of them are 3Hz, some are 4Hz (e.g. DG4813).
A2824, A2836 – the best of the best – ETA used to have factories in China, so the Chinese know how to produce the movements. The materials are somewhat worse than ETA required and the quality control is nowhere near what you would find in a gen Breitling or such, but they are reliable, any watchsmith can service or repair them, and replacements are freely available anywhere.
They beat at 4Hz.
A2892 – Chinese copy of a newer, thinner “version” of ETA 2824 – good movement, but way more rare and as such possibly slightly lower quality than the above two. Most of them will probably come from Sea-Gull, which would be good, but they might be QC rejects.
They beat at 4Hz.
A6497/A6498 – clone of ETA Unitas 6497/6498, great movement, simple, handwound, you are most likely to find one in a Panerai rep and you can’t really go wrong with this one.
They beat at 3Hz.
Swiss ETA 2824/2836/others – hit or miss – it depends on how the repmakers sourced it and how they stored it. I have a rep with a swiss movement and it performs beautifully, other people report the opposite – problems and having to replace. Could also get a Sellita instead of ETA (which is in no way a bad thing, Sellita is an excellent Swiss movement manufacturer and a former contractor for ETA).
They beat at 4Hz unless vintage (check specific model) or Unitas 6497 – 3Hz.
A775X (X is placeholder for other digits) – ETA Valjoux 775X clone, used in most rep chronographs. More costly to service and harder to source than other Asian ETAs, also more likely to break – all of this because it’s more complex. Check if the positions of the subdials were modified compared to the original – if yes, that’s a major yellow flag when it comes to relability and servicability. There are exceptions – ZF IWC chronos for example started using a sensible mod that you can safely go for.
They beat at 4Hz.
SA3135 – a modded A2836, may accept a genuine Rolex datewheel. Possibly the worst option you can get in a Submariner.
They beat at 4Hz.
SH3135, SH3131, VR3135 – Chinese “superclone” rolex movements, harder to service than A2836, but a lot of people prefer them because they can fit a genuine datedisc on them (not SH3131 because it has no date). Not actual superclones (as in there are differences between those and actual Rolex movements), but can be swapped for a genuine movement if you can get your hands on one.
They beat at 4Hz.
(S)A3186/(S)A3187 – modified asian ETA with contraptions that make it impossible to service and faulty. Best avoided, but currently the only way to get correct hand stack (as in order of hands seconds -> minutes -> 24hr -> 12hr) and setting method in Rolex GMT.
They beat at 4Hz.
A4130 – a weird mod of A7750 with subdials moved and possibly decorated, which is pointless in a closed-caseback watch. Comments about modified A7750s apply.
They beat at 4Hz.
SA4130 – either a complete superclone of Rolex 4130, or an ARF mod of A7750 – check if it’s from Noob Factory and expensive – if yes, its the former, otherwise the latter. ARF SA4130 simply doesn’t use the minutes and hours subdials (they are frozen) so there is little to no problem with added torque. If it’s not a new expensive Noob or ARF, it’s probably A4130 (described above) with an S tacked in front of the name.
They beat at 4Hz.
A8900/A8500 (in Omega reps) – movements modified to look like Omega calibers. Used to be modified ETA clones or even modified Chinese 21J/23J, but lately VSF started boasting a “superclone” version that gives the same functionality as gen. Some people seem to overhype those “superclones” as actual complete cloned movements – this is not actually the case, but they are reportedly more reliable than SA3186/SA3187s which strive to provide a similar functionality. Also, no rep Omega movements have the correct beatrate currently (3.5Hz), none have actual co-axial escapement (to my knowledge), and they use overlays with fake jewels, so take VSF’s “almost the same as genuine movement” with a grain of salt.
They beat at 3Hz or 4Hz depending on the movement used as a base. VSF “superclones” beat at 4Hz.
Sea-Gull movements – mostly good movements, but the versions used in reps are not exactly high end (more likely factory QC rejects or lower-tier versions).
Check specific model to know beatrate.
Miyota movements – mostly good movements, but the versions used in reps are not exactly high end (more likely factory QC rejects or lower-tier versions). People were high on Miyota 9015 at first (it’s thin like ETA 2892) because it made some thin reps possible, going as far as putting it in Tudor Pelagos for example, but in the end a lot of Miyota9015 reps have noisy rotors (unidirectional rotors can rotate in one direction freely so it’s harder to silence), so their expansion into the rep industry has been halted somewhat. Miyota 8125 is mostly an entry-level movement and often found in Submariner homages for example.
Another thing worth mentioning is that SevenFriday reps use Miyota movements for a different reason entirely – the gens also do.
9015 beats at 4Hz, 8125 beats at 3Hz, movements in SevenFridays beat at 3Hz (at least all of those I know about).
Written by u/eposseeker
Which Factories Make the Best Models
Last updated 25 Oct 2022
In an attempt to help our community, many users have helped cultivate this guide. This is only meant as a guide and all decisions about a specific model and subtle differences aren't discussed in detail here. The intent here is to help you if you're looking for a generalized consensus of "Who makes the best submariner?". As factories frequently change and close down, I am hoping to keep this as updated as possible. Factories are listed in order of best to worst, if multiple factories are listed.
Watches at the chinatime level come from many sources and can be labeled with "factory" names like U1 or AAA. at this level there is no best model from a specific place, they are shitters and they look the part at a glance and will maybe work for a while.
Current brands covered:
2. Patek Philippe
3. Audemars Piguet
4. Vacheron Constantin
5. Richard Mille
7. Gem set 'Iced Out' Watches
126610LN, LV & all variants including gold and two tone:
3235 movement: VSF is best, Clean but has VR3235, then ZF third.
2836, 2824 movements: GMF/BP are good.
116610LN, LV & all variants including gold and two tone:
3135 movement: VSF, Clean, ZF
124060, 114060 (no date): VSF, Clean, BPF/GMF, ROF
Two tone and RG subs (i.e. 116613LB): VSF, Clean, GMF, ARF
Special note: Noob Daytona v4 was the best awhile ago, but are now closed.
All Daytona models:
White dial ceramic bezel: Clean v1, Clean v2, BTF in that order
Black dial ceramic bezel: BTF
Other models: Look at both Clean and BTF variants, as well as QF. All use the clone movement and are good quality.
ARF has gen-like thickness (slightly thicker), but the subdials that would count hours and minutes while the chrono is working do NOT function. If you don’t use chrono often, or want a different style than what Clean has to offer, go for this one.
GMT Master II
PEPSI 126710BLRO, 116710BLRO: C+ Factory, Clean Factory, GMF v6 (get with VR3186 movement if you can)
BATMAN/BATGIRL 126710BLNR, 116710BLNR: C+ Factory, Clean, VRF, ARF (best insert, movement might be unstable)
116710LN: C+, Clean, VRF
VTNR Sprite: Clean, GF, GMF
Rootbeer: Clean, GMF with VR3186
GMT Master I: BPF
GMT Master 6542: RBF (only available via Puretime for some reason), may be out of stock now.
GMT Master II 16710, 16750m 16700: BP Factory (not quite gen spec but best we've got)
Explorer II 216570 - All models: GMF/BP ask for VR3186 if available
Explorer I 214270: BPF
Two-tone Explorer I 124273: GMF
Airking 116900: GMF (904L), BP (316L)
Blue: ARF or BPF
226659: VSF in white and yellow gold
116622: Clean, ARF
126622 (RG): Clean
116655 (Rose gold): Clean, VRF
126655 (Rose gold): Clean, EWF
268622 37mm: ARF
Datejust 36 - All models:
Decorated 3235: ARF. ARF has good dials, but date font can be too bold (v3 might be fixed now) and the crystal lacks enough AR coating on the cyclops.
2824: GMF is well executed overall, gold plating does not cover the side of the midlinks/endlinks, but the date font is better overall. There are a few other factories in the 36mm space, and GMF and ARF do not cover all dial variants. Take your time and look around and compare to gen
New 2021 & 2022 dial variants: GMF or BP.
Datejust 41 – All models:
3235 Clone movements: VSF (best movement), Clean (better movement)
2824: ZF, ARF, GMF and BP in that order
New 2021 & 2022 dial variants: GMF or BP.
DayDate 40 & 36 – All models: BPF, GMF
SkyDweller – all models: Noob v2. Has low beat movement, and other issues with the movement not being like gen, but it’s the best we’ve got.
Datejust 28 – all models: GMF
Oyster Perpetual 41: GMF, UBF with VR3230 movement.
5711 all color dials - All models: PPF v4 best overall factory but has a fat bezel. 3KF v2 has a good movement but small date font.
5811 41mm Nautilus - no rep out yet
Iced out Nautilus - R8 factory. Very well done. DM v2 is also well done and differently styled (baguette bezel)
5712 (moonphase date) - PPF v2 (sometimes call v3) (now ZF). All functions are the same. Excellent rep.
5726 (triple calendar) - PPF (now ZF)
5980 Chronograph - I cannot recommend any good model. All have poor date font, too thick and not done very well. TWF, BPF and a few others are in this space.
7010 Ladies 33mm - PF. Overall well done, quartz movement.
7118 Ladies 35mm - PF. Very well done.
5067 ladies 35mm aquanaut - PPF. Thin, quartz, but gen like.
5164 Travel Time - GRF v2. Too thick compared to gen, time zone functionality does not work. Gray dial and rose gold model are the only good options here.
5165 37mm - All models ZF. Excellent rep as well.
5167 40mm - All models: ZF Factory best overall factory, despite the "5" flaw (the line of the grenade pattern extends below the lower left of the 5 numeral, unlike gen). 3KF has a clone movement but machining is not as nice as ZF. OVERALL BEST AQUANAUT REP IN GENERAL is the ZF.
5168 42mm Blue and Green - ZF. Blue dial isn't quite as nice as gen, green dial and strap misses the mark compared to gen. Overall best execution though. 3KF has clone movement.
5968 Chronograph - OMF. Very thick, overall not recommended unless you like the look.
5077 - Notre Dame & Bhutan enamel craftsman dials - FLF Factory
5088 - FLF Factory
5089 Azulejos enamel craftsman dial - FLF Factory
5119 - TW Factory
5120 - TW Factory. Very nice execution.
5123 - TW Factory. Overall decent execution.
5196 sub seconds - AIF.
5296 (open caseback) - All models: ZF Factory. OVERALL BEST CALATRAVA IN GENERAL
5297G (diamond bezel) - ZF Factory
5153 (officer's caseback, smaller case) - All models: ZF Factory
5227 (officer's caseback, lacquer dial) - All models: ZF Factory. OVERALL BEST CALATRAVA IN GENERAL. 3KF has clone movement and is thinner.
6007 - ZF Factory. Dial and strap color are not as dark as gen.
7112 - KGF. Decent execution, not amazing.
4968 Ladies moonphase - KGF.
5070 - There is a rep, unsure of the factory. Not all versions are in stock though.
5205 Triple calendar moonphase - GRF v2 or KMF. Both are not great compared to gen, honestly, but look fine enough.
5396 - GRF for all models.
Known issues: sunken date disc, smaller day and month font than gen.
5524 Travel Time - GRF v2. Get the blue textured dial with brown strap, but the GMT hand is fixed on a 24hr loop, and the inner circle of that hand should be blue and not white. time zone switching is faux. Dial is not as nice as gen, but overall nice try and relatively thin.
6102 Celestial map - TZF. Looks good, but functions nothing like gen. Not recommended overall unless you love the look.
NOTE: Patek has almost never put a tourbillon in a watch and had it visible from the dial side. They have for a select few references a long time ago.
15500 41mm – ZF v3 with clone movement, APS v3 with clone movement (thick date font)
15400 41mm – ZF with clone 3120 movement, APS also with clone
15510 15550 37mm: TWF and IPF have a poor clone out
15450 37mm – JF
15202ST 39mm ultra thin – XF has thinner hand base, ZF has better dial color. Choose according to your preferences they are both great. XF is no longer available.
15202IP – ZF, XF (no longer available), BF
15202 green dial and diamond variants – BF v2
16202 - not available yet
15703 & 15710 42mm Offshore: APS has a clone movement. ZF and JF are overall similar enough.
Note: colored variants of these models will be from JF or BPF
15720 42mm Offshore: all 3 variants - BF Factory
67540 Ladies Offshore 37mm: unknown factory, but a high quality rep is out there with real diamonds. Ask your TD.
Royal Oak Tourbillon – R8 Factory
JF made a good ultra-thin tourbillon (but still ~11mm)
26579 Annual Calendar – ZP factory
26331 Chronograph – BF and OMF, but none are great.
Open work tourbillon – R8 factory
77350 34mm Royal Oak (ladies) – 8F
Royal Oak Offshore 44mm: JF for nearly all models
Overseas Ultra-thin 2000V: XF for all models (black, grey, blue) - currently closed. Cross is a bit flat below the 12 marker, movement finishing isn't great, but overall a great rep. 8F is good.
Overseas generation 2 reference 47040
JJF Factory is no longer making these, but in general had a good rep if you find it on M2M. Their v2 was superior to their v1.
MKS Factory - seems to take cues from JJF. Best models are the grey and blue models. Gen-like thickness.
Known flaws: Black and white dials have different dial patterns than gen. The triangles/pyramids should be stacked on top of each other, but they are instead offset between rows - not a big deal IMO. Grey dial bezel should be titanium, but appears to be painted (unvetted claim). All models have a flat cross below 12, gen has a nicely beveled cross
Overseas generation 3 reference 4500V
ZF/PPF (same) Factory for all references. No other factory comes close. I used to list BP Factory, but ZF blows them out of the water.
Chronometre Royal 1907: MKS factory for all models. Good not great rep.
Patrimony reference 85150: PPF is best, then AIF, MKS, and FKF.
Fiftysix reference 4600: ZF for all references.
Fiftysix complete calendar: ZF, MXF ( may have day alignment issues - right justified)
Historique reference 86300: GSF for all models. Not great, but good rep
All other references - check the TD listings for other models available, but most are either too thick, or have other significant flaws.
RM011: KVF - thick but best deco, older models for thinner cases but worse deco. Glossy ceramic instead of matte, carbon fiber reinforced plastic instead of NTPT
RM035: ZF - real NTPT, closest to 1:1 size and proportions, v4 for absolute best, but all acceptable
RM055: BBR Factory has a 'clone' movement, and overall great execution. ZF - real ATZ matte ceramic case, closest to 1:1 size and proportions
RM027: EURF - serviceable tourbillon movement
RM056: EURF - sapphire bezels, plastic midcase, serviceable tourbillon movement
RM052 Skull: JBF - sometimes branded as ZF, serviceable tourbillon movement, out of production. EURF model may be available from some sources, may be same thing as JBF (unconfirmed)
RM012: KVF - thick case and weird deco, but real tourbillon. May be serviceable movement
RM68: RR Factory
RM010: RR Factory
RM07: RM Factory – including bon-bon model
Seamaster: All permutations – VSF (true clone movement), ORF, OMF
Aqua Terra: VSF (true clone movement), OMF
Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT: VSF (true clone movement)
Diver 300M: VSF (true clone movement), ZF, OMF
Planet Ocean (39mm, 42mm, 45mm): VSF (true clone movement), MKF, BP
Speedmaster Racing: HRF
DeVille 33mm: UVS Factory
No Time to Die Seamaster: VSF, ORF
Deville Dew Drop 33mm: 3S Factory
Tresor Quartz 39mm: 3M Factory
Deville 36mm: HR Factory
Speedmaster 57: OMF (but not great)
Deville Prestige 39mm: ZF
Santos (2018) 35mm or 40mm: GF for steel, BVF for two-tone or gold. GF has fixed their crystals in the most recent batches, and is the only one with a consistently gen-like bracelet. GF > BVF > V6F > 3KF. Important note: GF has been noted to have some screws fall off, whereas BVF does not seem to have this issue on the bracelet.
All AF Cartier reps are top tier, but they are not as active as some other factories, so alternatives are listed.
Tank Louis: DRF
Tank Solo: AF; K11F decent alternative.
Tank Must (2021): F1.
Tank Francaise: 8848F.
Ballon Bleu 33mm or 36mm: AF with Cal.076 or quartz; 3KF with Cal.076, or V6F with quartz are decent alternatives. Recommended to avoid models with Seiko NH05. Ballon Bleu 28mm or 42mm: AF; V6F decent alternative.
Panthere: GF for steel, BVF for two-tone or gold.
How to Read a Timegrapher
So you’ve got the QC images or your brand new best replica but what about your timegrapher results?
Frequency, the vibration of a movement. The number of balance wheel swings per hour or how many times the watch ticks per hour. This is a preset, depends on the watch you order.
14,400 bph = 4 beats per second
18,000 bph = 5 beats per second
21,600 bph = 6 beats per second
28,800 bph = 8 beats per second
The angle the balance passes through while interacting with the pallet fork. Important to be set correctly in order to calculate the Amplitude. This preset is per caliber specs.
Most modern watches have a lift angle of 50 – 52 degrees. Generally lift angles range from 44 to 58 degrees. Some other settings are present, for instance Gen co-axials angle is 30 degrees.
How fast / slow the movement runs (in seconds per day)
great : +/- 5 s/d
acceptable : +/- 12 s/d
If higher / lower?
It is possible to adjust this yourself or ask your dealer to nudge it a bit.
The measure of the amount of rotation in the swing of the balance wheel, in either direction.
Amplitude is higher when a watch is lying flat and usually falls when the watch is in a vertical position, due to increased friction. Amplitude can also fall as the watch winds down and the mainspring delivers less power.
Amplitude is a good indicator of the movements health and if is too high or too low, or that changes too much in different positions, can indicate a problem with the movement.
great : 270-310
acceptable : 250-270
If higher / lower?
Ask for a different watch or have your watch serviced
The amount of time by which the duration of swing differs from one side to the other in the oscillation of a balance wheel. Generally speaking to get a beat error of zero, the roller jewel in the pallet fork must be perfectly centered.
great : 0.0-0.5 ms
acceptable : 0.6-1 ms
Ask for a different watch or have your watch serviced.
* Please note that if you are reading your QC from the dealer, you will generally receive only the results of the watch lying flat. All the above recommended measurements are from that position. The measurements in other positions may vary.
Rate is the first number you see on the top left side of the display. This number describes how much time the watch is either gaining or losing per day. The great watches that has been tested and certified has a rate within +/-2s per day in 4-6 different orientations. For these rep movements and low-end Asian movements you can be pleased with +/-10s per day in the "dial up" orientation.
The second number is the amplitude. This number is how far the balance swings from its resting position, i.e the total swing angle of the spring. This number can vary quite greatly without to much impact on the time keeping and the number varies based on how far the mainspring is wound, the best way to test the amplitude is to wind the mainspring fully wait 1 hour and then test it. Most movements stay within 260-300º, with a lot of rep movements hitting higher than that.
A common misconception is that you want a super high amplitude.
While it's true that a high amplitude is an indication of a healthy watch, to high of an amplitude can cause damage to the escapement parts and wear it out faster or cause an issue known as "knocking" where the impulse pin swings to far and hits the pallet "in the back". (Graph showing knocking)
The third common number is the beat error. The beat error is the difference in time between the "tic" and the "toc" of the watch. This number in a genuine watch, even lower grade is most often 0.0ms. In a rep movement I believe you can be pleased with everything under 0.7-1.0ms. Bigger differences in the beat error can be a early indication of damage to the balance spring.
The last number is this lift angle. This number is a predetermined number which is based on the angle between when the impulse pin hits the pallet and when the pallet catches the next cog on the escape wheel.
Another number that can be seen often in the QC pictures are 21,600 or 28,800. This number is the number of beats per hour or BPH. This equate to 6 or 8 beats per second, most common in alot of high end reps is 28,800.
The lines on the graph can help you get a visual representation of how the watch movement is behaving. The rate of the watch determines the angle of the lines, lines going "up" means the watch is gaining time and lines going "down" means the watch is losing time.
The beat error determines how far apart the two lines are, if the beat error is 0.00 you should only see one line on the graph.
The 'Not Worth Buying In Gen' (NWBIG) Guide
Commonly accepted as Super Reps NWBIGs
Audemars Piguet ROO Diver JF 10 15703
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (black) Best = Noob V1 (not sold by TD anymore) #2 = ZF
Breitling Avenger II GMT GF (first batch with correct DW, includes the polished SS and the blacksteel / DLC) infos here
Breitling SuperOcean Abyss
Breitling SuperOcean Abyss Chrono Noob
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Black Noob V2 (not available on TD anymore)
Breitling SuperOcean II 44mm (Noob) (black only)
Breitling Transocean Day Date Blue - V7F
Breitling Navitimer 1 41mm - V7F (blue is best, then black/white)
Bvlgari Diagono Magnesium GF, last version
Cartier Santos XL V6
Cartier, Ballon Bleu 42mm, V6F V4
Cartier, Ballon Bleu Pink Dial 33m, AF (CAL.076)
Cartier Tank Solo W5200025 RG AF
Franck Muller Casablanca Automatique 8880 - GF
Hublot Big Bang V6(F) "V6.5" SS (not the carbon fiber ones)
IWC 3777-01 ZF
IWC 3878 Spitfire V6F
IWC Big Pilot 5009-01 ZF
IWC Laureus Sport Ingenieur 2824 Noob
IWC Da Vinci by TW
IWC Portofino AF
IWC Portofino "150 years anniversary" blue dial (maybe others too) by V7F
Jaeger-LeCoultre Diver Master Compressor Noob
Montblanc Timewalker Chrono - Noob A7753
(list of PAMs below only shows the bests Super Reps for that particular model)
PAM 000 - Luminor Base Logo (44mm) N-series Noob V2.5
PAM 005 - Luminar Marina Logo (44mm) N-series Noob V2 / N-series H maker V2
PAM 026 - Luminor Marina Destro PVD (44mm) K-series Noob V3
PAM 029 - Luminor GMT (44mm) M-series Noob V2-improved
PAM 057 - Luminor Power Reserve Titanium (44mm) DSN
PAM 087 - H maker F-series w/ A-7750
PAM 088 - Luminor GMT (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 104 - Luminor Marina Automatic (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 111 - Luminor Marina (44mm) N-series Noob V3 (and later -> current best : v11)
PAM 112 - Luminor Base (44mm) M-N series Noob
PAM 127 - Luminor 1950 "Fiddy" (47mm) Latest Noob
PAM 164 - Luminor Marina Automatic (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 176 - Luminor Base Titanium (44mm) M-N series Noob V3
PAM 177 - Luminor Marina Titanium (44mm) N-P series Noob
PAM 187 - Luminor Submersible Chorno 1000m (47mm) Noob 7753
PAM 217 - Luminor Marina Militare 1950 Destro "Fiddy" (47mm) 2012 Noob
PAM 243 - Luminor 1950 Submersible (44mm) M-series Noob V2
PAM 285 - K-series KW/V6Fac with A7750 decorated like OPIII)
PAM 288 - Radiomir Chronograph (45mm) K-series H maker
PAM 292 - Radiomir Black Seal (45mm) J-series Noob
PAM 297 - Luminor GMT (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 299 - Luminor Marina Automatic (K-series) (44mm) O- series Noob
PAM 318 - Luminor Marina Logo (44mm) L-series Noob
PAM 346 - Radiomir Titanio (45mm) KW/V6F
PAM 356 - Luminor Chrono Daylight (44mm) O-series Noob 7753
PAM 364 - Luminor Submersible 1950 Titanium (47mm) P-series Noob
PAM 390 - Luminor Boutique Edition (44mm) N-series Noob
PAM 411 to 420 - Luminor Marina Boutiques Special Edition (44mm) KW/V6F
PAM 432 to 434 - Luminor Marina Boutiques Special Edition (44mm) H Maker
PAM 441 - Luminor GMT VSF V2
PAM 508 - Luminor 1950 Submerislbe Ceramica (47mm) KW-V6Fac Ceramic decorated A7750 Inverted KP9000 // P-KW-V6Fac Ceramic decorated Seagull NON-inverted KP9000-Seagull V2
PAM 569 - Luminor 1950 Submersible Dextro Titanium (47mm) KW-V6F Q-series Seagull Non-Inverted KWP9000-Seagull V2
PAM 571 - ZFac P-series P.9000 decorated A7750 NON-inverted Improved ZP9000-V2.5 // KW-V6Fac P-series P.9000 decorated A7750 Inverted KP9000-V2. KW-V6Fac P-series P.9000 decorated Seagull NON-inverted K9000-SeagullV2.
PAM 607 - KW-V6Fac P-series Ceramic decorated A7750 NON-inverted KP9000-V2) The most interesting version for A7750 lovers. // KW-V6Fac P-series Ceramic decorated KP9000-Seagull V2 NON-inverted The most interesting version for Seagull lovers
Rolex 114300, 39mm, Grape and Grey dial JF (now ARF, service is recommended)
Rolex Sub 16610 TC
Rolex TW Best/WM9 (Sub/Bluesy/DD)
Rolex 116900 AIR-KING GMF & BP (last versions)
Seven Friday (V6F) P series (P1-1, P3-1), V series (V2-1) and M series (not the M2-2 one)
Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300 (White Dial on Ronda with SS bracelet)
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 SS on Rubber - SW200
Tudor Black Bay Red 2016 ZF (last shield version)
Tudor Heritage Ranger SS S Factory
Tudor Black Pelagos V6F/XF V2/3/4
Tudor Blue Pelagos V6F/XF V2/3/4
Commonly accepted as First Class++ NWBIGs
These are Super Reps on the wrist, minor tell only on the open caseback or a missing function so unless you take it off, show it to an expert and give him a few minutes for close inspection, these ARE CONSIDERED SUPER REPS
PAM 438 - VSF V2
PAM 687 - Acciaio Brevettato SF
Longines, Master Collection LGF Top Edition
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m LMPO Noob V5
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2019 Real Ceramic Case VSF (v1 only unless you get a fixed version)
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R RG/LE ZF with MY9015 Mod (WG could be too, need feedbacK)
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296G SS ZF White Sector Dial/Blue Hands
Under debate / No Consensus yet
Likely Super Reps but needs more feedback, definitely FIRST CLASS NWBIGs
Cartier, Ballon Bleu 28 and 33mm, V6F
Cartier Santos 100 V6F (Black Dial, Titanium Ultimate Swiss SW)
Cartier Ronde Croisiere WSRN0002 GP
Cartier W5200025 ZF
Chanel J12 38 mm - FR Factory
IWC 501902 Top Gun Miramar ZF
IWC IW388002 V6F
IWC IW327010 MARK XVIII by V7 Factory
IWC Big Pilot IW502001 Real Ceramic ZF V2 (waiting for new batch, short minute hand issue)
Longines, La Grande Classique SS 37mm JF
Longines Avigation Bigeye ZX
Omega Aqua Terra 8500 Clone - VSF
Omega AT Master Co-Axial 8900 - VSF
Omega De Ville SS RXW A2892
Omega De Ville SS GPF V2
Tudor Heritage Ranger V6F
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Special Edition Premier League GS
Zenith Pilot Extra Special 20 - Black dial (V6F > ZF)
FIRST CLASS NWBIGs
Audemars Piguet 15703 ZF
Audemars Piguet 15500 Black and Blue - ZF & APS
Bell & Ross 03-92 ZF (not the Golden Heritage one that has a very bad Dial)
Bell & Ross 03-92 Horolum Watch Achive Custom
Bell & Ross 03-93 GMT Watch Archive Custom
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (Noob V2)
Breitling Navitimer World 46mm GMT (black only) BP
Breitling Avenger Blackbird (GF/ GF V2)
Cartier W6701011 ZF (really subtle difference on DW and window)
Franck Muller Master Square GF
Hublot Classic Fusion 42mm JJF black dial (V2) - Back is wrong and screws are randomly falling
IWC Portofino White Dial V5 MKF
IWC Portofino "150 years anniversary" white dial MKF
IWC Mark XVII Le Petit Prince MKF
IWC Mark XVII MKF
IWC Portuguese 7 days ZF (last version)
IWC Black 3714 - ZF V3 (slim movement)
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master-Ultrathin Moonphase ZF (black dial, possibly the others too, moon & back / clasp are little off)
Montblanc Heritage Spirit M Factory
Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre VSF
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2018 VSF V2
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m 42 and 45mm (CrPO) Noob
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (45.5 / 42mm) CrPO (8500 Super Clone) VSF
PAM 382 - VSF V2 (small issue with the font on the crown guard)
Patek Philippe Calatrava 6007A ZF
Rolex DateJust 41 by VSF / ARF
Rolex Explorer (214270) SH3135 V2 (JF)
Rolex Day Date 18239 TW Best/WM9
Rolex Daytona 116500 (Asia 4130 Mod) White/Stk - Noob
Rolex Daytona 116520 (Asia 4130 Mod) - Noob
Rolex Submariner 116610LN ZZF v2
Rolex Submariner No Date ZZF v3
Rolex Submariner 116610 Date VSF (GET THIS ONE, might even be Super Rep once Rehaut is fixed)
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 (116660) ARF 904L Steel SH3135
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 (116600) Noob V2
Rolex Sea Dweller 2017 Baselworld 126600 904L ARF & Noob (latest versions)
Rolex Yacht-Master Rhodium Noob 904L Steel SA3135/VR3135
Tag Heuer Carrera calibre 1887 V6F - Ceramic Bezel Black Dial on SS
Tudor LHD Pelagos - XF
Tudor Black Pelagos - ZF V2/V3
Under review (likely to be FIRST CLASS, some could be Super Reps but need more feedback)
Audemars Piguet - XF V2 FC Diver 15706
Breitling SuperOcean SeaWolf H-factory v2
Breitling Superocean Heritage II 42mm - GF V2 (wrong pearl, font too bold, date font)
Concord C1 - H Factory
Cartier Panthère Secrete DJ
Cartier Tank Solo W5200025 RG AF 1:1
IWC Big Pilot 5009-12 ZF
IWC Big Pilot 5009-16 ZF
IWC 5009-08 LPP ZF V2
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT 600m
Omega De Ville SS MKS
Omega Planet Ocean 600m GMT (Black/Orange) VSF 8605
PAM 616 - CarboTech Submersible VSF A7750
PAM 424 V2 California Dial Super Clone P.3000 ZF
Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea (DBlue) Noob V7
Rolex Date-Just 116234 ARF
Rolex Explorer II 42mm 216570 Noob (Correct Hand Stack)
SevenFriday P2B/03-W ‘Woody’ NFC V6F
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue XF
Tudor Blue Heritage Black Bay (Bucherer) XF
Vacheron Constantin Overseas White JJF MY9015 Mod (need feedback on movement noise and cross engraving thickness on the back)
Zenith Extra Special Bronze Edition V6F/KW
NOT ACCEPTED as NWBIGs/Super Reps (naked eye instant tell(s)/waiting for update)
Tudor BB Red Rose Edition ZF - V4/V5
Blancpain Villeret 6654 SS (with complication) OMF : moon phase goes the wrong way + adjustment wrong side of the case
Glashutte Senator Sixties - GF
Rolex Celini MKF
Tudor Black Bay GMT Baselworld 2018 ZF
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 PPF White
How to set up your Manual Watch
WATCH WITHOUT DATE or WATCH WITH DATE, WITHOUT QUICKSET
The crown has 2 positions:
1. Normal position - wearing position
In this position the watch can be wound using the crown. Turn the crown forwards until you feel resistance - DO NOT OVERWIND THE MECHANISM. Winding the watch once a day should be enough to ensure the correct functioning of the watch. When the crown is positioned against the case this ensures that the watch is water resistant. Please note that must of Factories and TD do not guarantee the watch being waterproof or water resistant.
Make sure that when you handle the crown in any way the watch is in your hand, not on your wrist. This is because there is a possibility you bend or damage the crown tube and / or case of the watch, should you handle the crown when the watch is on your wrist.
2. Pulled out position - time (and date) setting
When the crown is pulled out, it can be used to set the time. The crown can be turned forwards and backwards. To set the date please keep moving the the crown forwards (clockwise) to the desired date.
WATCH WITH DATE QUICKSET
1. Normal position - wearing position
In this position the watch can be wound using the crown. Turn the crown forwards until you feel resistance - DO NOT OVERWIND THE MECHANISM. Winding the watch once a day should be enough to ensure the correct functioning of the watch. When the crown is positioned against the case this ensures that the watch is water resistant. Please note that must of Factories and TD do not guarantee the watch being waterproof or water resistant.
2. Pulled out once position - date setting
When the crown is in this position the crown can be turned upwards to change the date. When using the quickset function to change the date please make sure the time is first set to 6 o’clock. This is because around 12 o’clock the watch itself is mechanically changing the date. Should you try to change the date manually when the watch is using this function there is a chance you damage the mechanism. When the time is set at or around 6 o’clock this mechanism can not be damaged.
3. Pulled out twice position
Time setting When the crown is pulled out twice, it can be used to set the time. The crown can be turned forwards and backwards.
Using a chronograph:
1. Your watch has 2 pushers. The top one, pusher A is usually used to start and stop the chronograph. The bottom pusher, pusher B, is used to reset the chronograph. The chronograph can be used as a stopwatch, for example to measure lap times. Note: never push both pushers simultaneously.
2. The second-hand of the chronograph is the long central hand on your watch. A watch with a chronograph usually has a small seconds hand in a separate sub- dial, for the time function of your watch. Please do not keep the chronograph running all the time, as this takes a lot of power reserve from the mechanism.
3. Usually a chronograph has 2 or 3 sub-dials / counters. One is used to show the seconds, this hand is always moving as it shows the seconds of the time, not the seconds elapsed when using the chronograph. The other two sub-dials are used to show the elapsed minutes and hours when using the chronograph. When the chronograph is not being used the hand of these sub-dials should be centered pointing towards 12 o’clock.
ROLEX OYSTER DAY-DATE, QUICKSET
To change the time or date, or to wind the watch by hand, you must fist unscrew the crown from the case, ‘hen pull it until the required position is reached. Always perform these operations with the watch in your hand and not on your wrist. When you are done, make sure the crown is Screwed down to the case again before you wear it.
ROLEX OYSTER WITH DATE FUNCTION
To change the time or date, or to wind the watch by hand, you must first unscrew the crown from the case, then pull it until the required position is reached. Always perform these operations with the watch in your hand and not on your wrist. When you are done, make sure the crown is screwed down to the case again before you wear it.
List of Known Watch Factories
ZF: High quality factory for most non-Rolex watches. Overall a good factory with solid releases. Just starting to branch into AP and RM, and they are pretty good.
Noob / N Factory: NOW CLOSED 🙁 Noob factory is probably the most famous factory among others, they started a very long time ago and really developing their piece of replica. Noob makes a decent submariner, but have a great Daytona with clone movement, and a good pepsi insert. Besides Rolex, Noob also developing some brands like some Planet Ocean Omega, Blancpain, some Audemars Piguet models, and some Panerai model. Recently (5/12/21) Noob was hit very hard in a raid so their models are on hold for ~6 months (rumor on timeline).
VSF/V6F/XF/HBB/KW: re-opened. All fall under a common parent company, but VSF specializes in Omega and Rolex super-reps and Panerai, V6F does quite a bit of projects (though the name isn't used much nowadays) and XF focuses on Audemars Piguet but recently ventured into Vacheron Constantin. HBB does Roger Dubuis.
ARF/JF: JF is the brand name of AP reps. High quality, great detail, though ZF is showing them a run for their money these days. JF also makes middle-high tier Rolex watches among others. ARF is a division that focuses on high quality Rolex releases that focus on finishing. Rumor that JF is closing.
JVS: Newer factory as of 2021, takes inspiration from VSF and aims to release high quality Rolex releases.
ZZF/Clean: Quality releases recently for Rolex. Rebranded to Clean factory. Be aware of fake
PPF: Supposedly family of ZF, but focused on Patek. Has the best current Nautilus
BP/GMF: BP is one of the OG rep factories. Has reps of most brands and models, and are at an affordable price. GMF seems to be a higher end brand focusing on finish, but sourcing from similar places.
MK/MKS: Focuses on IWC, Patek and Omega releases, though they have branched into other brands too.
TF: Specializes in tourbillons (hence "T" F), but most are 42mm and kind of thick.
GF: Originally started focusing on German watches ("G"F), but have branched into many other Swiss brands like JLC and Cartier. Creates 'copy cat' models for a bit cheaper, and sometimes surprises with improved details
FK: Makes quite a few reps, most are not very good or just barely miss the mark for one specific reason. However, their Breguet 5177 v3 watch is superb!!! So do not underestimate any release of theirs.
R Factory: Rolex
YLF: Connected to ZF, focuses on IWC
VRF: Specialized in the Rolex arena with an excellent sub, excellent new VR3135 movement, and gold wrapped subs too.
OMF: Focuses on middle tier quality and prices, but recently have high quality Omega releases
PF: Revolutionized the Nautilus market with the first thin Nautilus. However, they were recently outdone by PPF and 3K. Focused on Patek, but have other releases.
3K/BTF: clone Patek movement releases and excellent Daytona reps.
JJF: Focused on Vacheron and Patek releases, came out with the great Overseas rep. Rumor is they shut down though.
TTF: Higher end Entry tier quality watches.
GDF: Higher end Entry tier quality watches.TWF: Taiwan Factory. Specialising in Cartier but with a number of other watches for low prices but decent quality.
How to Identify Scammers & Avoid Scams
What can we do to prevent being scammed? And, whom exactly is responsible for preventing or at least reducing the potential of being scammed here?
Simply stated: It is up to each and everyone of us to conduct our own best due diligence to prevent being scammed prior to participating in any m2m sale.
Of course we know to research an item before making a purchase. The more we know, the better the experience.
Always commit yourself to finding out as much about the member posting the item for sale as possible.
The forum makes it rather simple to check out the selling members join date, along with his/her posting and sales history. Take time to read the type of comments the selling member makes in his/her post history. Look for any potential red flags, negative or derogatory comments. See if you can follow a previous sales post involving the seller whereas he/she was the actual buyer.
If you find any comments that appear to be misleading in any way, dig deeper:
- What kind of buyer or seller have they been?
- Is there a previous history of nuked sales, withdrawn sales?
- Have they been repeatedly asked to clarify or provide documentation?
- Did they fail to respond to specific questions?
- Any history of hesitation or refusal to respond to a sales mod?
- Is the seller using the correct sales form and have they completed it accurately and clearly?
- Are they claiming to be selling the item for a friend ?
- Is the seller keeping the sales post open after claiming it is sold?
- Has the seller suddenly sent you a PM offering a special lower price , if you buy now or send payment via PayPal family and friends?
- Does the seller appear to be posting several items for sale all at once?
- Are they listing items for sell at considerably lower than average pricing?
- Is the seller posting several sales in various m2m sales areas for gen items, replicas etc?
- Does the seller react adversely to questions or comments concerning authenticity of the item for sale?
- Do you get a feeling that something is off about the seller or the item for sale?
We all have an inner sense of intuition. If you have a gut feeling something is not quite right, dig deeper, ask more questions. If you are not satisfied with his/her answer – walk away. There will always be another great watch that you just have to have.
Remember, patience is a prime factor in this hobby.
Before you spend your first dollar in this hobby, ask yourself this question: Can I afford to lose my hard earned money?
If you feel in any way that you can’t afford a loss, then just don’t do it.
You are responsible for you. You are the only one responsible for your actions. The forum is not responsible for your decisions or the choices you make here, nor are the admin/mods, the TD’s, or anyone else, Just you. If you can’t take full responsibility for your own actions, decisions, you certainly can’t expect anyone else to.
The absolute most important thing after accepting responsible is to be prepared. Prepare yourself to avoid being scammed by educating yourself. Use the forum resources to educate yourself on every aspect of this hobby. Educate yourself to know the best factory, the pros and cons of each replica. Educate yourself on the genuine watch you like.
Familiarize yourself with the brand. Know what the gen looks like, feels like, it’s specifications, how it functions, the type of movement it has. How can you expect to find the most accurate replica if you don’t know all there is to know about the gen.
Finally, make your own decisions based on your own research to spend your own money.
Each of us must be prepared to take the full responsibility of our actions.Source
Wrist Watch Size Guide
Find the best watch size for your wrist. Use this guide to size up the watch to best suit your wrist width.
Here is a complete watch size table, including lug to lug distance, that will help you find the perfect watch for your wrist size.
Always remember: in any case, you don’t want the lugs to overhang the width of your wrist.
Factors That Affect the Subjective Watch Case SizeRemember: the case size is only a small portion of the watch size equation. Many other factors will change your perception of a watch size.
The Lug to Lug DistanceA really important aspect of a watch size is the lug to lug distance. This is almost as important (if not more) as the watch case size in itself.
The lug to lug distance is the distance between the lug (or tip) of the watch at the top of the watch head and the lug at the bottom of the watch head.>
The lug to lug distance should be as small as possible to work with your small wrist. Try to keep the watch head within the limits of your wrist width as much as possible.
The reason is simple: we want the watch head to fit within your wrist width.We don’t want it to stick out or overhang. It just doesn’t look good.
If you have small wrists, you might have a hard time finding watches that fit within your wrist width.
My wrists are so thin that most watches visually touch both ends of my wrist. There is just no way around this for me, given my tastes and budget. But I try to keep that lug to lug distance as short as possible.>
So, what’s a good lug to lug distance for your wrist?
The lug to lug distance of a watch will suit your wrist when it is 75 to 95% of your wrist width. The variation accounts for the different wrists shapes and personal preferences.
You see, some of us are blessed, some not so much.
The weird thing is that your wrist size (or circumference) does not relate directly to your wrist width.
If you have a flat wrist, you’re lucky. Most of the circumference of your wrist will serve as the flat area where your watch will sit, allowing for a larger lug to lug distance.
But if you have thicker or rounder wrists (or if your wrists are very small like mine) well, you’ll have to settle for smaller timepieces. Don’t fear, there are still plenty of great mens watches for small wrists.
(Again, to have an estimate of your wrist width (its flat surface), you can easily measure your wrist size in millimiters and divide its size by 3. And remember to check in the watch size guide table above what lug to lug distance will work on your wrist.)
Now, an interesting thing is that the lug to lug distance is not in direct proportion to a watch size. Some 41mm watches have ridiculously long lugs, with a 50mm lug to lug distance (I’m looking at you, Tudor Black Bay!).
Some are the exact opposite. A notable example is my beloved Citizen Promaster Nighthawk: 42mm in diameter for 46.5mm lug to lug distance only!>
So always try to know (or measure by yourself) the lug to lug distance before committing to buying a watch. And remember: a small watch doesn’t always have a short lug to lug distance.
The good thing is: the other way around is true too!
The Shape of the Lugs: Flat vs Curved
Something else to know about the lugs (even if it seems pretty obvious): some are almost flat, and some are more curved.
If you have smaller wrists, you want to get a watch with curved lugs as they will hug your wrist better, and not stick out like marshmallow roasting sticks.
And if you really like a watch with flat lugs, just make sure that the lug to lug distance is still within your wrist width for the best results.>
Trust me: I’ve bought 3 watches with a 50mm lug to lug distance and flat lugs. The watch would not sit flush against my wrist at the lug tip, leaving a big and gap between the tip of the lug and my wrist.
Not to mention that they overhung… Not only was it painful to look at, but it was really uncomfortable. Don’t make the same mistake.
The Hour Markers Circle
Okay, now we’re getting serious. Remember when I said that the watch case size is not everything? Well, here is a not so obvious reason why.
The hour markers circle size is another important factor that makes a watch look bigger or smaller. Maybe you read or heard some people telling that a “42 mm watch wears like a 40 mm”.
This is because the hour markers circle size is small for the watch case.
This is not really a physical dimension, but it’s one that is most definitely visible when you look at the dial of a watch.
The hour markers circle size is measured from one tip of an hour marker on the dial to the tip of the opposite hour marker.
Again, you can get more information about this in my How To Measure A Watch Case Size article.>
As you can see on my Citizen Promaster Nighthawk (on the left), the crystal is huge. It fills most of the 42 mm case, yet the hour markers circle only measures 26 mm.
On the other end of the spectrum, that 42 mm Hamilton Pilot Day Date Automatic (Amazon link) has a whopping 35 mm hour markers circle size. Yet it has the exact same case size than the Citizen!
I love the Hamilton, but it looks huge on me – even with its 48 mm lug to lug distance.
The Hamilton has thick lines at the edge of the dial that really stand out in real life (more than the numbers). That’s why I measured the hour markers circle there.
As soon as I began to get this measurement on watches – either in real life or on pictures – I could know if a watch would suit my wrist (granted the case size and lug to lug distance was good too).
On my 6 inch wrist, I find that 30mm is as big as the hour markers circle can get. I only get a watch with a greater hour markers circle size if all the other boxes are ticked and I really, really, really like it.
So, watch out for this hour markers circle.
Watches with a bezel have a smaller hour makers circle, and so will look smaller. A 40mm watch with a bezel will always look smaller than a 40mm watch with no bezel.
For example, my Orient Ray 2 has a case size of 41.5mm. Yet it looks smaller than my Seiko SRPB41, measuring only 40.5mm.
The Orient has a 25mm hour markers circle, while the one on the Seiko is 32mm! (I know I said 30mm is the maximum for me, but I don’t care, I really, really like it :P)>
If sports watches are more your thing, finding a watch that will suit your small wrist should be fairly easy. Sports watches often feature a bezel.
The two most common bezel types are the ones you find on dive watches and chronographs.
- The first one features a rotating bezel counting the elapsed time underwater by 5 minutes increments.
- The second one is a tachymeter, giving you a speed by timing the time you take to drive one mile.
There are other bezels out there, but they will all reduce the hour markers circle size, so pick your favorite one.
Some dress watches feature a bezel too, but not as thick and prominent as the one you might find on sports watches.
If you’re really into the more dressier side of watches, pay attention and get a watch with a bezel (that is part of the case, most of the time), if possible.>
For example, the Rolex Explorer above (which looks stunning, by the way) has a fixed polished bezel that will reduce the size of the dial. And consequently, the hour markers circle as well.
The Chapter Ring
Sometimes, the rotating bezel is not on the outside of the watch, but rather under the crystal. Inside the case, it’s not called a bezel, but a chapter ring.
And guess what: a chapter ring also changes the perception you have of a watch size. It will give you the same benefit as a bezel, but with a different look: you’ll get a much bigger crystal.
Just be aware that a watch with a bigger crystal will still always look bigger than a watch with a smaller crystal.
But once you know that, it all depends on the look you’re after. Bezel or chapter ring? It’s up to you.
Many watches have chapter rings, including watches with bezels. Some are thin, some are large. Some are fixed, some are rotating.
It doesn’t matter, they have the same effect: they keep the hour markers away from the edge of the case. So that the subjective size of a watch with a chapter ring will be smaller.
One of the most pleasing chapter rings you get (in my opinion) is the one you find on some pilot watches: the slide rule.
It looks good and it’s super useful (to convert currencies while abroad, for example). Another popular chapter ring is the compass you find on hiking watches. Again, pick your favorite style.
The Color of the Dial: Dark vs Light
If you take two exact same watches – one with a light dial and one with a dark dial – the one with a dark dial will always look smaller. This is because of the way our brain perceives the light reflected by objects.>
Of course, you don’t have to get a black watch just because it looks smaller.
But if you have smaller wrists and you like light dials, you should get a watch with a smaller case size and hour markers circle size than you would normally get to compensate that perception.
The Case Thickness
Thin watches for the win!
One last thing about the watch case itself. A watch will always look a bit smaller if it’s thinner. The effect is not as visible as having a small case size, lug to lug distance, hour markers circle, or dark dial, but it certainly helps.
You’ll have an easier time getting a thin watch by getting a dress watch (quartz or mechanical). Most quartz watches are super thin too.
You’ll get the added benefits of having a watch that fits easily under the cuff, and that is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Thick watches (of more than 12mm) tend to be really top heavy, especially if you wear them on a band or strap.They might turn around your wrist and will always look a bit bigger.
Watch and Strap Sizing FAQs
Here are the answers to some common questions about watch sizing.
How Do I Choose a Watch Size?
The easiest way to choose a watch size is by using your wrist size and comparing it to the watch case size and lug to lug distance using the chart above.
We recommend a case size that’s 60% to 75% of your flat wrist width and a lug to lug distance that’s 75% to 95% of your wrist width.
Are Watches One Size Fits All?
It depends. If you have a fairly average wrist size, then you probably don’t need to worry too much about watch or strap size.
But there’s also a lot of misinformation out there in the form of people wearing watches that are too big (more common) or too small (less common). That’s why it’s important to know your wrist size.
Can You Adjust the Size of a Watch?
No. You can adjust the size of the strap, but there’s no way to reduce the size of the watch case.
How Do You Tell if a Watch Is Too Big for Your Wrist?
The easiest way to tell is by simply looking at it. If it looks too big, it probably is.
What Size Watch Band Do I Need?
The size of watch band you need for a watch depends on two factors: the lug width of the watch case, which correlates to strap width, and the circumference of your wrist, which correlates to strap length. See our sizing chart above for more information.
Is a 40mm Watch Too Big for a 6-Inch Wrist?
Yep—we recommend not going above 38mm for a 6” wrist. (That said, if the 40mm watch has a short lug to lug distance, you may be able to get away with it, but it’s unlikely.)
Guide to the Best Budget Mid-Tier Watches ($250-$400)
On a budget? That's okay! This list is for you. These are not the $500+ versions with super clone movements or hyper fine details. These are the better than bottom barrel, 'good enough' versions.
Last Update: October 25, 2022
All models with an * are considered High tier (aka the best you can get and are quite good).
Submariner 116610LN, LV and others: BP Factory ($350) (ZF 116610LN is $400), VRF ($320-$350)
Submariner 126610LN, LV and others: BP Factory ($350)
Submariner 116040 and 126040 (no date): BPF ($300)
*Explorer I: BP Factory ($300)
Explorer II 216570: BP factory ($350)
*Seadweller 16600: BP Factory ($300)
Daytona: VRF V2 (Panda / Black) modified 7750 at an affordable price of $378
GMT Master II (Batman, Batgirl, Pepsi, LN): BP Factory with incorrect hand stack movement A2836 ($300)
GMT Master II 5 digit 16710/16750: BP factory $330
Datejust 36 (all variants): BP Factory with 2824 movement ($300-$320), ARF ($400)
Datejust 41 (all variants): BP Factory with 2824 movement ($310-$320)
DayDate 36/40: BP Factory ($300+)
Oyster Perpetual 41 and 36: BP Factory ($320)
Yachtmaster 40mm: VRF with 2836 movement ($350-$370)
*15450 Royal Oak 37mm: JF for $380
15400 Royal Oak 41mm: APSF v1 (might not be widely available) for $300
15500 Royal Oak 41mm: MPF ($300)
15703 RO Offshore: ROF ($400)
No other 'good enough' reps for AP. Recommend higher price bracket. See AP section for who makes the best.
Nautilus: BP Factory for $350.
Aquanaut: BP Factory for $350 (unsure if still made)
*Calatrava 5296: ZF for $400
Still recommend higher price bracket for Nautilus and Aquanaut
*Patrimony Date: PPF for $318
No other good recommendations - for Overseas go for ZF (higher price bracket)
*BB58: ZF ($300)
*BB36: KRF ($340)
Pelagos: ZF ($360)
*Planet Ocean 600m 39.5mm: VSF ($390)
*Seamaster Diver 300m: VSF/SBF with clone ($390), ZF with modified 2824 ($360)
*Seamaster Spectre: VSF v2 ($390)
*Speedmaster Racing Chrono 40mm: HRF ($380)
*Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m: VSF ($400)
*Tank Louis: DRF for $248
*Tank Solo: K11 for $280
*Ballon Bleu 42mm: AF for $250
*Ballon Bleu 42: AF ($200-250)
*Portofino: V7F ($310)
*Mark XVIII Pilot: V7F ($350)
There are more <$400 IWC model available, check TD websites.
Master Ultra Thin Moonphase: AZF ($380)
Reserve de Marche: ZF ($390)
There are reps that are <$400, but look for anything by VSF from a TD website
Nothing noteworthy in this price range.
Omega Buying Guide
What models this guide will cover: 2018 Seamaster Professional Diver 300m, 2019 Seamaster Diver Titanium model, Seamaster 300 "Spectre", Aqua Terra 8500/8900 series, De Ville Hour Vision, De Ville Prestige (Including Orbis), Constellation. I will update it time after time, probably the soonest update will be dedicated to Planet Ocean model and then im planning to add info about all 007 limited models.
If, after reading that guide, you would have any Omega related questions/thoghts, feel free to PM me or comment here.
1. 2018 Seamaster Professional Diver
· Width 42 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 13,7 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8800, METAS-certified
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 5200 USD
VSF Seamaster Diver 300m V2 Specs:
· Width 42 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 14 mm
· Movement: Asian ETA 2824 decorated to Omega 8800 Caliber
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 350 USD (bracelet version)
· Short crown guard in comparison to the gen (minor)
· End links have their 2 mid lines not flat like gen or like bracelet, they are still rounded (like a half pipe), should be flat like on the bracelet.
· Lume color (some people claim the lume color to be yellowish/greenish instead of being pure white. In my personal opinion its not a flaw, cause it really depends on the lightning very much, not to mention that charged lume changes color. Ive seen some gen watches with the same lume.
· Blue model color is a little off
· In my opinion grey dial needs a little more visible brushing
All case dimensions are correct (or if 0,3 mm is a flaw for you – almost correct). All the issues with the V1 were corrected with the V2 - pearl, bracelet, black balance wheel. The bezel is great, the crystal AR is great. Movement is reliable and easy to fix if something goes wrong. The engravings on the dial are correct (but sometimes it happens that they have sharp edges, putting attention to this point is needed during the QC, especially blue and grey dials)
Overall It’s a great replica out of the box!
BEST current option is to get ZF watch (due to the correct crown guards shape + correct balance regulator pin on the movement) and an ORF bracelet (due to correct end links shape)
2. 2019 Seamaster Ceramic bezel Titanium case
· Width 43,5 mm
· Lug width 21 mm
· Thickness 15 mm (I actually had to call my AD and ask him to source this info for me, cause they do not have that watch at stock)
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8806, METAS-certified
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 8100 USD
2019 VSF Seamaster Diver Titanium V2 Specs:
· Width 43,5 mm
· Lug width 21 mm
· Thickness 14,5 mm
· Movement: Asian ETA 2824 decorated to Omega 8806 Caliber
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 410 USD
Main differences from a regular model are case dimensions, material, no DW, dial is made in a opposite way (its matte black with glossy waves)
Flaws I can see:
· Bezel dots look flat on VSF (Gen seems to have some depth)
· Pearl seems to be too deep on VSF
· Same issue with the crown guard being a little shorter (minor in my opinion)
I think its still a great rep, all the flows are really minor.
3. Seamaster 300 "Spectre" Limited Edition
· Limited series - 7007 pieces
· Width 41 mm,
· Lug width 21 mm
· Thickness 14,8 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8400
· Retail price: around 7500 USD
Seamaster 300 "Spectre" Limited Edition VSF V2 Specs:
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 21 mm
· Thickness 14 mm
· Movement: VSF 8400 Clone movement
· Price: around 370 USD (bracelet version)
· Dial on the version 2 was improved with better matte finish, now it looks similar to gen.
· Bezel teeth are still not improved. They are supposed to be rectangular shape, but VSF's are circular shape.
· The font on the back cap is a little wrong. "Spectre" should have been written in bold font (kind of more dark), same as 007, but it’s written in a regular as all the other words.
· Seconds hand (lollipop one) has a nob on the top of it, instead of being round
· Some people claim bracelet has wrong spacing (I cant judge based on photos) and recommend getting MKF bracelet.
4. Aqua Terra 8500 / 8900 series
Gen 8900 Specs:
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 13,6 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8900, Co-axial
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 5700 USD
VSF Aqua Terra 8900 Specs:
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 13 mm
· Movement: VSF 8900 clone movement
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 380 USD (bracelet version)
Short comparison (based on owning both gen and rep):
· The dial looks absolutely perfect (even considering that my gen is another color, ive tried gen with the same white/orange) at my AD and I consider it "1:1"), it reflects light and changes color same as gen.
· All size dimensions and finishing are right. That 0,6mm thickness difference does not feel on the wrist at all.
· The weight is right. At least they do feel the same in hands. The bracelet is same light as on gen.
· You can actually see the difference in vph when you know its there and your seconds hands are aligned on both watches (it looks like 40 fps with 60 - smth like that, hard to describe)
· The main difference I found is the bracelet feel, it needs an oil bath for sure (mine got it, now its better)
· Clasp is a little loose, it does not feel on the wrist unless you actually tap on it.
· Also the closest colors are black and white, blue seems to have some purple shade in it (gen does not have it).
· Some people claim that the grey dial DW color is wrong (i went to my AD specifically to check that aspect, IMO it is fine)
Gen 8500 specs:
· Width 41,5 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 12,8 (13) mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, Co-axial
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 6000 USD
VSF Aqua Terra 8500 Specs:
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 12 mm
· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 340 USD (bracelet version)
Main differences with AT 8900
· Size is a little different
· DW is at 3 marker on 8500 and at 6 at 8900
· Bracelet links are turned upside down on the newer 8900 (links are trapezoids, AT 8900 braclet has its links wide side up and 8500 wide side down)
· Different clasp design
· Blue dial is wrong color (VSF did not nail the blue color at all their reps) Black and white are really good.
· Thickness (just a little)
· Same situation with frequency
· Some people claim the bracelet a little thinner (controversial, did not find any confirmation)
Both 8500 and 8900 models are really well repped by VSF. I did not find any info stating that VSF clone movements failed (both movements are available more than for a year), my watch smth also confirmed that the movement is pretty solid. So it will more depend on what design you prefer. Especially if you will choose black or white color.
Updated VSF AT Spectre Gauss 15007 V2:
· New updated dial has its texture really well done (blue color is also correct), may be the ovals need to be a little more smooth - minor
· Rotor is well decorated (same 3D shape as gen)
It absolutely is a winner in comparison with KW (with flat dial and flat rotor) version and a good rep to get.
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 13 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, co-axial
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 7700 USD
VSF De Ville Hour Vision 41 8500 Specs:
· Width 41 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 13,8 mm
· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 438 USD (leather strap version)
The actual comparison found here
· The dial circles surrounding the dial are wrong shape (they have to be engraved a little under the angle to the center of the dial).
· Those circles should have smooth angles (like a pipe) and VSF has them like rectangles.
· The DW window metal surrounding should go down flat till the actual DW (VSF one is not that deep and flat)
· The metal markers on the gen have a big angle on the top of them (while VSF ones are almost flat)
Overall they nailed colors really good. Even the blue one. Case shape looks pretty good also. Dial and DW need improvements
6. De Ville Prestige (including Orbis)
· Width 39,5 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 10 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 2500, co-axial (its an ETA 2892-2 based movement with added co-axial escapement)
· The watch actually comes in A, B, C and D. AFAIK, C and D are 25,200 VPH while the A and B are 28,800 VPH.
· Retail price: around 3900 USD
MKF De Ville Prestige Specs:
· Width 39,5 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 10 mm
· Movement: Asian Clone ETA 2824-2
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 270 USD
MKF De Ville Prestige issues:
· Overall the dial is pretty good (however the white color seems a little off under some lightning)
· DW font is a little off (smaller than gen)
· Logo on the clasp looks bigger on MKF than on the gen
· Caseback engravings are deeper and wider on gen.
Cant say why it is listed in the NWBIG list, but to my eye it should not be there (at least for now), I mean it’s a good rep, but some work still have to be done (pretty easy work).
RXW De Ville Prestige Orbis Specs:
· Width 39,5 mm
· Lug width 20 mm
· Thickness 10 mm
· Movement: Asian clone ETA 2892
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 290 USD
RXW De Ville Prestige Orbis issues:
· Leather strap color is too light blue comparing to gen
· Date font misalignments
Overall it’s a very decent rep. But changing strap to gen is recommended. Also I recommend asking your TD to send you some more photos of DW with different numbers during QC process.
· Width 38 mm
· Lug width 25 mm
· Thickness 13 mm
· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, co-axial
· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)
· Retail price: around 5900 USD
VSF Constellation 38 8500 Specs:
· Width 38 mm
· Lug width 25 mm
· Thickness 13 mm
· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement
· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)
· Price: around 390 USD
· Textured dial models have their texture pretty close, but still lacking the wave texture on the rhombus top right side (except that, they are pretty decent)
· Some colors of dials on VSF are lacking all the brushing, they just have a matte finished dial, when gen has brushed finish centered at the star on the dial. For example black dial lacks it, and brown has it right. I find this strange, but at least it looks like that now. And it’s a major flaw
· Also they have the same flow as the De Ville Hour Vision - The DW window metal surrounding should go down flat till the actual DW (VSF one is not that deep and flat), it’s a ladder shape, but needs to be flat and deep sitting
Since those models are not that popular as some others, I do not really think we will ever get some improvements. And considering that even gens are not so popular in a wild, it will be hard to spot those imperfections. If you like it, you can go for it. I also contacted one TD for providing me some more info about some flat dials, cause its really hard to spot some things on the photos.
Guide to Known Clasp Codes for Rolex
93150 – Submariner – Non SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:
D12 – Raffles – stamped 62523H 18 – Bracelet stamped 70216 – Endlinks stamped 455b
MA11 – Yuki – stamped 93250 – Bracelet stamped 93250 – Endlinks stamped 448b.
Z10? – JKF/Cartel – stamped 76753? – Bracelet stamped 93150 – Endlinks stamped 580.
93250 – Submariner – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:
EO6 – JF – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
EO6 – TC V1 – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
DE6 – TC V2/WM9 – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
PJ4 – TC V5 – stamped 93250 – No engraving to SEL.
PJ4 – TC V6 – stamped 93250 – ??
PJ4 – TC V7 – stamped 93250 – No
DE6 – BP – stamped 93250.
CL1 – Sean – stamped 93250 – ??
CL1 – TW Best – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved AD 93288. (Being sold by Detroit Watch Works as genuine. Although their SEL engravings show AD 93250. See here:
CL10 – ARF – stamped 93253 – SEL engraved EO 93250 – *904L
93160 – Sea-Dweller – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:
OP10 – BP – stamped 93160A – SEL engraved EO 93160A
EO10 – TC – stamped 93160A – SEL engraved EO 93160A
93253 – Submariner – SEL Bi-Metal Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:
CL1 – MBW – stamped 93250 – Bracelet stamped 93250.
OP3 – WM9 – stamped 93253 – Bracelet not stamped – SEL engraved 93253 (Wrapped)
OP10 – BP – stamped 93160A – Bracelet not stamped.
?? – Sean – stamped 93150 – Bracelet stamped 93250 – SEL engraved CL 93250 & 16613. (Wrapped)
1LD – CF bluesy – SEL engraved ??
1RD – VSF bluesy- SEL engraved ??
SI9 – VSF YG – SEL engraved ??
97200 – Submariner – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Glidelock Clasp:
PJ3 – NOOB V1 2014/BP/REGMARINER – SEL engraved ??
2VU – NOOB V2 to V5 – SEL engraved RS 97200
1FY – NOOB V6S – SEL engraved G3Z 97200
ST9 – NOOB V7 – SEL engraved 80K 97200
ST9 – NOOB V7 – SEL engraved RS 97200
ST9 – NOOB V8 – SEL engraved RS 97200
ST9 – NOOB V9 – SEL engraved 80K 97200 – *904L
ST9 – NOOB V10 – SEL engraved G3Z 97200 – *904L
T1G – NOOB V10 – SEL engraved G3Z 97200 – *904L
ST9 – NAIL – SEL engraved 6YZ 97203 – *904L
ST9 – VRF – SEL engraved RS 97200 –
J9K – VRF MAX – SEL engraved ?? 97200 – *904L
ST9 – BP – SEL engraved RS 97200
PJ3 – BP – SEL engraved ??
6YZ – BP V2/GM Factory – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – ARF V1 – SEL engraved 590 97200
E5N – ARF V1 & V2 – SEL engraved 5VM 97200 – *904L
X7F – LF – SEL engraved 5WD 97200
PJ3 – JF V1 – SEL engraved ??
PJ3 – REGMARINER – SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF V2 – SEL engraved 590
ST9 – DJF – SEL engraved ?? – *904L
0HA – DJF – SEL engraved T4J 97200- *904L
6YZ – GMF – SEL engraved 6YZ 97203 – *904L
M7J – EXF – SEL engraved ??
7KY – ORF – SEL engraved ?? – *904L
C4R – ZZF V2 – SEL engraved P5M 97200 – *904L
C4R – ZZF V2S – SEL engraved RS 97200 – *904L
7QJ – RXF/XF – SEL engraved T2A 97200 – *904L
1NQ – EWF 41 mm – SEL engraved ?? 316L
UTN – EWF 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 316L
1LD – CF Date / No Date – SEL engraved ?? 904L
H7Z – VSF Starbucks & Cookiemonster – SEL engraved ?? 904L
7GJ – VSF Date / No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L
H7Z – VSF 41 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L
1LQ – VSF Date 41 mm Rehaut: 2R… – SEL engraved ?? 904L
6SH / 7GJ – VSF No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L
T1G – VRF Andrea Pirlo No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved “??” 904L
1NQ – GD Factory (low-tier) selled as VSF be aware!
97220 – SD43 – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:
453 – VRF – SEL engraved H4Y 97220
4RL – ARF – SEL engraved C4R 97220
4RL – ARF V3 – SEL engraved C4R 97220 – *904
C4R – Noob – SEL engraved ??
C4R – NOOB V2 – SEL engraved 0NW 97220 – *904
453 – GMF – SEL engraved H4Y 97220 – *904
98210 – DSSD – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:
T4J – BP V2 – SEL engraved ??
Z6Y – ARF V2 – SEL engraved D2Y 98210 – *904
98220 – DSSD – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:
T1U – ARF – SEL engraved 8UF 98220 – *904
78200 – GMT – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster polished centre links with Fliplock Clasp:
OP8 – Noob V2 – engraved 15/423 – SEL engraved OP 78200
5NF – Noob V7 – SEL engraved ??
5NF – Noob V8 – SEL engraved ??
71H – Noob CHS – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v2 – SEL engraved ??
PJ1 – BP – SEL engraved ??
0HA – DJF – SEL engraved 6GF78200 – *904
T1G – Noob V9 – SEL engraved 6GF 78200 – *904
T1G – Noob V10 – SEL engraved ?? 78200 – *904
6MW – VRF 3186 Clone – SEL engraved 89K 97200 – *904
P3L – ARF 3186 clone – SEL engraved P3L 78200 – *904
5XZ – GMF – SEL engraved ?? 78200 – *904
CF Oyster & Jubilee – SEL engraved “??” 904L
69200 – GMT – SEL Stainless Steel Jubilee Fliplock Clasp:
6LX – DJF – SEL engraved A3W 62611 – *904
6MW – GMF – SEL engraved K8P 69200 – *904
6MW- BP – SEL engraved K8P 69200
6MW- Noob – SEL engraved K8P 69200 – *904
6MW- Noob – SEL engraved 1LD 69200 – *904
6MW – VRF – SEL engraved 1LD 69200 – *904
97203 – Submariner – SEL Bi-Metal Oyster with Glidelock Clasp:
Y8C – JF – SEL engraved 469 97203
6YZ – VRF – SEL engraved ??
2VU – Noob – SEL engraved PJ 97203 (Wrapped)
6YZ – BP- SEL engraved ?? (Wrapped)
78590 – Daytona – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:
7CD – ARF – SEL engraved 9US 78590 – *904
5NF – Noob – SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF 7750 – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v1- SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF – SEL engraved ??
7GT – BP v2 – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v2 – SEL engraved E0 78493
OP8 – Phong – Clasp engraved 15/423 – SEL engraved AS 78490
Z1H – Noob 4130 clone – SEL engraved ??
T1G – Noob 4130 V2 – SEL engraved Z6S 78590 – *904
5NF – JH – SEL engraved C1Z 78590
7CD – GMF – SEL engraved ?? – *904
63600 – Datejust – SEL Stainless Steel Super Jubilee bracelet:
COC – ARF – SEL engraved 931 63600
CL5 – BP – Clasp engraved 72200 – SEL engraved ??
K6G – VSF 41 mm SS – SEL engraved ??
72600 – Datejust – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp:
7UM – ARF – SEL engraved UOP 72600A
3NY – BP – SEL engraved ??
M8N – EWF 36 mm – SEL engraved ??
7UL – VSF 41 mm SS – SEL engraved ??
70400 – Oyster Perpetual – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp:
7UM – JF – SEL engraved 7GT 70400
Below are some models which I added:
Day-Date 36/40 – Clasp-Codes Stainless Steel plated / non-plated with presidential Bracelet:
7GT – BP 36 & 40mm 316L – SEL engraved “??”
7GT – GMF 904L – SEL engraved “??”
2EM – EWF – SEL engraved “??”
7GT – Noob – SEL engraved “??”
Yacht-Master I 37-/ 40-/ 42 mm -Stainless Steel plated / non-plated with Oysterclasp:
W5T – 226659 VSF 42 mm Rubber/SS – SEL engraved “??”
5XZ – 226659 GMF 42 mm Rubber/SS – SEL engraved “??”
9AX – 268622 ARF 37 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
7CD – 116622 ARF 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
3DD – 116622 Noob 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
5XZ – 116622 BP 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
7CD – 116621 ARF 40 mm RG – SEL engraved “??”
6OD – 116655 ARF 40 mm Rubber/RG – SEL engraved “??”
138 – 116655 Noob 40 mm Rubber/RG – SEL engraved “??”
BECAUSE THERE ARE ACTUALLY FAKES OF FAKES I WILL MENTION THEM ABOVE:
1LD – 11661X FAKE CLEAN SUBMARINERS – rehaut engraved “U9N5” (here is important, that the fake CF has 1LD smaller than “Steelinox”)t
he stickers are not that clean than the real ones.
andFAKE CLEAN MONKEY
/u/pmtu´s mentioned thread
2R2 – 126619LB FAKE VSF COOKIEMONSTER –
andGuide to distinguish a real CF by /u/LinxujiaSource
List of Trusted Watchsmiths
The Rules as follows for the process of becoming a watchsmith, and what we hold as an agreement with each and every watchsmith that becomes trusted.
1 – ID verification
2 – Sticked post on your own profile stating services that watchsmith provides.
3 – Information about the movements watchsmith has experience servicing.
4 – Rough public estimate of the cost of service (price range).
5 – After becoming a TWS (Trusted Watchsmith) At least 2 monthly contributions to the subreddit that are educational in nature.
6 – Warranty on all the services provided by the watchsmith (water damage is not included)
7 – Provide proof (photos) to the client about the services performed
8 – Open a sticky for customers feedback
9 – Before becoming a trusted watchsmith you will be vetted by mod’s and Watchsmiths alike.
TRUSTED WATCHSMITHS *This will be updated as more become available.
Beginner’s Guide to Clone Movements in Rolex Replica Watches
When buying a high end replica watch, it’s important to consider both what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside. The factories in China have invested millions of dollars in re-producing exact copies of various Swiss watch movements from ETA, and in-house movements from Rolex, AP, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille. The accuracy of the replication varies, as does their reliability of these movements. In this guide I hope to be able to give you a basic understanding of which mechanical movements are good, which ones are ok, and which ones to avoid, and importantly, how to tell the various movements apart, since the information listed on Trusted Dealer websites in the descriptions isn’t terribly accurate.
Rolex has by far the largest market share of all replica watches. As such, it’s not surprising that there are a plethora of clone movements available for the popular Rolex models.
For 40mm submariners (i.e. those with reference number 1166XX) There are six options:
For reference here’s the genuine Rolex caliber 3135. Note how there is only one arm (the beat adjustor) on the balance bridge of the genuine movement. This is because the genuine movement has a “free sprung” balance. That means on the genuine movement the speed of the movement is regulated by adjusting the moment of inertia of the balance wheel via tiny weighted screws on the rim of the wheel. On all replica movements, regulation is done via a regulation arm that can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten the effective length of the hairspring. That’s why you see only one arm on the genuine movement, but two arms on the replica movements.
Gen Rolex 3135
Excellent quality part finishing and engraving. Hairspring mounted clockwise. This is the best super clone movement of the 3135. Note, there is a VS3130 version of this movement which is used on the no-date 40mm VSF subs (ref number 114060). The VS3130 is of equal quality to the VS3135, it is the best option for a no-date 40mm sub.
Good quality part finishing and engraving. Hairspring mounted clockwise. This is the second best clone of the 3135 movement. Note, there is a no-date version of the VR3135 called the VR3130. The VR3130 is a good quality no-date movement, second only to the VS3130.
Very low quality finishing, hairpsing mounted counter clockwise. Avoid this movement if possible. There is also a no-date version of this movement called the SH3130 (or sometimes the AR3130) which is of similarly poor quality. Avoid both the SH3135 and SH3130 (AR3130).
Reasonable quality of part finishing, poor quality engraving. Hairspring mounted counter clockwise. Go with the VR or VS movement if you have the choice or budget. There is a no-date version of this movement called the SA3130, which is of similar quality to the SA3135; as such a better choice for a no-date 40mm submariner is the VS3130 or VR3130.
This isn’t a clone of a Rolex movement, rather it is a clone of an ETA 2824 movement. This movement is reliable and easy to service and get replacement parts for. However, it doesn’t even remotely resemble what you’d find inside a Rolex. If you don’t care about what movement powers your rep, this isn’t a bad option.
Another clone of an ETA movement that is never found inside a real Rolex. This movement is also reliable and easy to service. Some people prefer these movements since they are easy to fix or replace and “nobody can see inside my rep submariner”... the functions at the crown i.e. the direction you have to twist to set the date / time, will not necessarily be the same as on a cloned movement.
It’s worth noting that there are some 36mm Datejusts that use the VR3235 movement, but the majority seem to use an ETA clone. The VR3235 is a good movement, so if you’re looking for a Datejust 36mm try to find one that has a VR3235. Unfortunately, the 3235 movement is too big for the 31mm Datejust case, so all replica 31mm Datejusts use lower end Asian clones of ETA movements. This is just a function of market pressure: there’s not a lot of demand for replica watches in lady sizes.
The genuine Rolex caliber 3235 is a relatively new movement with an astonishing 72 hour power reserve. Just like the genuine 3135 the genuine 3235 doesn’t have a regulation arm on the balance bridge since the movement is regulated by adjusting micro screw weights on the rim of the balance wheel. All the replica 3235 movements have a regulation arm, so you’ll always see two arms on the rep movement balance bridges.
Gen Rolex 3235
This is an incredible movement that is currently only available in VS Factory subs and DJs. The movement has an amazing 70+ hour power reserve and is part compatible with the genuine Rolex movement. This means that it’s possible to swap gen parts into this movement to improve it. A common part swap on this movement is to replace the balance complete, pallet fork, and escape wheel with gen parts. With those parts swapped, the movement is virtually indistinguishable from the genuine caliber. Note: The easy way to identify this movement is to look at the position of the two arms coming off the balance bridge: on the VS movement they face outwards. Note: there is currently no non-date version of the VS3235, that is a "VS3230" movement doesn't exist (as of August 2022). The best option for a no-date 41mm submariner is the VR3230 movement (see below).
This is a very common movement that is used in Subs and DJs from many different factories. This movement is technically not a clone but more of a hybrid between a 3135 and 3235 movement. This movement is reliable, although it doesn’t have the same power reserve of the VS3235, at only around 40 hours. While spare parts for this movement can be hard to find, a replacement movement is only around 100 USD on AliExpress, so it’s often more economical to replace the movement with a new one rather than service an old one. This movement is easy to identify because it has a “fake” beat adjuster arm pointing outwards from the balance bridge, but the two functional arms (beat and rate) are hidden underneath the balance bridge and face inwards. Also of note, the end-shake adjustment screw on the balance bridge isn’t functional, so adjusting the end-shake of the balance needs to be done with foil shims. Note: there is a no-date version of this movement called the VR3230 which is used on Clean Factory (CF) no-date 41mm submariners (as of August 2022). The VR3230 is the best option for a clone movement in a no-date 41mm submariner.
This movement appears in some DJ41s and DJ36s. This is not a great movement, and should be avoided. The movement is decorated with poor quality plates. In the images it’s possible to see paint flaking off of the “reversing wheels” of the automatic model. This movement can easily be identified by the decoration at the center of the rotor that is trying to make it look like the rotor runs on ball bearings like the VS and VR (and gen) movements above. Furthermore, the shock setting spring on the balance bridge is a three sided closed spring vs. the paraflex springs that are present on the gen, VS and VR (although on the VR the paraflex spring is part of a decoration plate, and the real shock setting can be found underneath). This is a movement to avoid.
SA3235 (Low quality paint flakes)
This is not a clone of a Rolex movement, but rather an asian clone of an ETA movement. This movement was discussed above in the 40mm submariner section. But here again, the movement is reliable and easy to service, but not functionally the same as the genuine movement in terms of the functions of the crown for setting / winding. With the ubiquity and low cost of the VR3235, this movement is found on very few high end 41mm submainers.
For GMT movements, there are movements that have the correct hand stack (CHS) and incorrect hand stack (ICHS) on modern (6-digit) GMT models (1167XX, and 1267XX). Correct hand stack means that the hour hand is on the bottom, the GMT hand is next, then the minute hand, and the seconds hand is on top. Incorrect Hand Stack means that the GMT hand is on the bottom, the hour hand is on top of the GMT hand, then the minute hand, and the seconds hand on top.
This is the movement you want. The VR3186 is reliable and has an hour hand jumping mechanism that isn’t weak. The VR3186 is sometimes engraved with the number 3285, but it’s the same movement. Below are two pictures showing the same movement with different engraving. Note that this movement is easily identifiable by the position of the arms on the balance bridge: both the beat adjuster and regulator arm point inwards and there’s a fake beat adjuster arm facing outwards.
The VR3185 with 3285 engraving has shown up recently (Summer 2022) on C+ Factory model GMTs. There are rumors that there is a new true 3285 clone movement in the works, and the C+ Factory will be the first to get access to it. But as of August 2022, C+ Factory is using the VR3186 movement and simply engraving 3285 onto it.
VR3285 (actually a VR3186 with "3235" engraved on it)
This is a time-bomb movement that should be avoided. The hour hand jumping mechanism is weak on this movement and is prone to breaking. Furthermore, the hour hand jumping mechanism isn’t gen-spec, so it can’t be repaired with gen parts. This movement can be identified by inspecting the balance bridge: the two regulation arms point outwards (unlike the VR3186) and the shock setting has a steel cup (rather than a brass cup like the SA3186).
This is another time-bomb movement. Like the SH3186 this movement has a weak hour hand jumping mechanism and should be avoided. This movement can be identified again by the position of the regulation arm on the balance bridge and the fact that unlike the SH3186, it has a brass cup for the balance bridge shock setting.
This isn’t a clone of a rolex movement, but rather a clone of an ETA movement that is decorated to look like a rolex movement. ETA GMT movements are reliable and inexpensive to service and repair, however, the functionality does not match the Rolex GMT calibers. A better option is the VR3186.
It’s unclear why this movement is labeled as an Asian clone of the ETA 2836, since the ETA 2836 is not a GMT movement. It’s more likely that this is a clone of the ETA 2893 movement. Nonetheless, this movement is not going to function like a genuine Rolex GMT movement, and has the wrong hand stack on the dial. A far better option is to go with the VR3186.
This movement is also known as the Noob4130 / N4130 / Dandong 4130. They are all the same. This movement is one of the highest quality replica movements available. For a long time it was exclusively available to Noob Factory. When Noob was raided and shut down in 2021, this movement disappeared from the rep scene. However, in early 2022 Clean Factory (CF), and then Better Factory (BTF), and Q Factory (QF) started making Daytonas with this movement. Daytonas with this movement are more expensive than Daytonas with a 7750 movement. However, if you care about the reliability and longevity of your rep, go for the 4130. It’s worth the extra cost.
The 4130 movement is also compatible with genuine Rolex parts. It’s common to replace the balance-complete, and the chronograph seconds wheel to build a movement that is nearly indistinguishable from the genuine Rolex caliber 4130.
The 4130 looks completely different from the 7750, learn to tell the two apart so that you can validate any claims made by a seller.
Noob / Dandong 4130
This is an Asian clone of an ETA 7750 movement. The reason that this movement isn’t great for the Daytona is because it is thicker than the 4130 movement, so the movement is often slimmed down (and thus made less reliable) to fit inside a 12.4mm thick Daytona case. Furthermore, the Daytona has its small seconds at 6 o’clock, but this is not the default position for the small seconds complication on the 7750 movement; various additional wheels need to be added to the top of the 7750 movement to get everything into the correct position. This complication adds stress to the movement and reduces reliability. With the clone 4130 widely available, it's a good idea to avoid Daytonas with the 7750 movement.
Guide to Movements in Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe & Richard Mille
This guide will be an introduction to the clone movements found in Audemars Piguet (AP), Patek Philippe (PP), and Richard Mille (RM) replicas. Just like with the clone Rolex movements, the clone movements for AP, PP, and RM are of varying quality in terms of how well they replicate the genuine movement in form & function, but also quality. However, unlike Rolex clone movements where there can be multiple different clones of a single movement (e.g. the plethora of Rolex caliber 3135 and 3235 clones), with AP, PP, and RM, there's usually just one clone movement, so I'll try to compare and contrast the clone against the alternative which is often a decorated Japanese Miyota 9015 movement.
The most popular AP replica (by far) is the Royal Oak (RO). There are two replica AP movements, one for the RO 15400: the clone 3120 movement by Z Factory (ZF). And one for the RO 15500: the clone 4302 movement by APS Factory (APSF). The alternative to these cloned movements is the Japanese Miyota 9015 movement.
The clone 3120 movement is found in both the Z Factory (ZF) and APS Factory (APSF) AP RO 15400 replicas watches at present (summer 2022). However, both factories used a decorated Miyota movement several years ago before the clone movement became available. So be careful when buying an AP 15400, just because it’s from ZF or APSF doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a clone movement.
The clone movement can be distinguished from the Miyota by the position of the balance wheel at 8 o’clock vs. 5 o’clock on the Miyota. Furthermore, the Miyota has a non-function shock setting without a spring on the balance bridge, whereas the clone has a functional shock setting on the balance bridge.
Unfortunately, both the clone movement and the Miyota 9015 have a slow date change at midnight, whereas the genuine AP 3120 movement has an instant date change at midnight.
Clone AP 3120
The Miyota 9015 is a reliable workhorse movement, and older / lower end AP 15400 replicas used a decorated version of this movement. However, the clone 3120 movement is reliable and is a more authentic option over the Miyota if you’re looking for a genuine appearance through the transparent caseback.
Miyota 9015 decorated to look like an AP 3120
The clone 4302 movement is new (as of summer 2022), but appears to be an excellent movement. The initial review by a watchsmith at RWI said that the movement is on par with the Noob Daytona 4130 movement (the 4130 Daytona movement is widely considered to be the best clone movement ever made, so this is VERY high praise). Like the genuine AP 4302 movement, the clone features an instant date change at midnight. The quality of this movement makes it the no-brainer choice for an AP 15500.
This movement is used in both the ZF and APSF version of the AP 15500, however, the ZF version has a spelling error in the engraving / printing on the back side of the movement (the word JEWELS is spelled JEWEES on the ZF version as of August 2022). This may be something that gets corrected soon, however, it’s worth checking during QC to ensure this error is not present.
Clone AP 4302
The Miyota is no longer a good choice for the AP 15500 due to the fact that it has a slow date change, and while it is reliable, it is now competing with an extremely high quality replica movement.
Miyota 9015 decorated to look like an AP 4302
There are only two clone movements available for Patek reps, the caliber 324 for the Nautilus 5711 and Aquanaut, and the 240 for the Nautilus 5712. All other Patek reps use a Miyota or another Asian movement.
Both the 5711 Nautilus and the 5167 Aquanaut share the same Patek Philippe caliber 324 movement. This movement has been cloned and is available in reps from 3K Factory (3KF). However, older Aquanauts use the Miyota. For the 5711 Nautilus there is a version of the Miyota that has been well decorated and rotated so that the balance wheel appears to be in the correct location compared to the gen 324 movement. However, all of these movements have a slow date change at midnight, whereas the genuine movement has an instant midnight date change.
The Clone 324 movement can be found in 3K Factory reps of the Nautilus and Aquanaut. This is a good movement, but doesn’t have a very large power reserve and requires a large amount of winding or rotor spinning (possibly due to non gen-spec gearing in the automatic module). The movement can be identified and differentiated against the rotated Miyota by the functional main train wheels visible above the balance wheel which are not present in the rotated Miyota.
3KF Clone 324 movement in an Aquanaut
3KF Clone 324 in a 5711 Nautilus
The Miyota 9015 is a common movement that has been discussed above, it is often found in lower end or older Patek reps. It is reliable, easy & cheap to service. It doesn’t have an instant date change at midnight. And it suffers from a loud rotor. This movement is easy to distinguish from the clone 324 because the balance bridge (cock) is anchored on the crown side which is reversed in the clone and gen movement. There are also noticeable differences in the screw and ball bearing assembly of the rotor at the center of the movement. This isn’t a bad movement if you don’t really care about an authentic look, However, given the open caseback on Patek watches, the clone or rotated Miyota are better options.
Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 324
PP Factory (PPF) has developed a rotated and well decorated Miyota variant that looks more similar to the gen movement than an undecorated Miyota, but is still noticeably a worse imitation than the 3KF clone 324 movement discussed above. This movement is easy to differentiate from the clone 324 movement due to the lack of main train wheels above the balance wheel. Also, the fake “jewels” where the main train wheels should be, are red and the rest of the functional jewels in the movement are purple. The rotated Miyota also doesn’t have its rotor running on ball bearings, whereas the clone and gen both do. The 3KF clone movement is a better option if you want a more gen-like rep.
Rotated Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 324
The 5712 is a Nautilus with a lot of complications. The gen model features a power reserve indicator, small seconds, date, and moon phase indicator. Furthermore, the genuine Patek 240 caliber features a micro-rotor to keep the movement incredibly thin. With all of this complication it is truly impressive that PP Factory (PPF) has managed to build a fully functional clone movement which has only minor cosmetic differences from the genuine Patek 240 caliber. The clone movement doesn’t appear to be available exclusively from PPF, as it has appeared in 5712 reps from GR Factory (GRF) as of summer 2022.
The clone 240 movement is an impressive feat of engineering. This is a thin movement with many complications. This movement is still very new (as of summer 2022), and as such, there is not yet a consensus as to its reliability, although an initial review by a watchsmith on RWI confirmed that the build quality was good, and there were no surprises.
Clone PP 240 movement
There is an old version of the 5712 that comes with a decorated generic Asian 23 Jewel movement. This version is much thicker than the gen which makes rep 5712s with this movement 10.5mm thick vs. 8.4mm thick for reps using the clone. Also, this movement doesn't have a functional power reserve indicator. With the availability of the clone 240 movement, this is not a recommended option.
Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 240
Richard Mille watches are extremely complicated and use many exotic materials. So far there has only been one attempt at a clone movement for a Richard Mille: a clone movement for the RM 055 by BBR Factory of the RMUL2 movement. Previously all RM055’s used a decorated version of the Seiko NH05A movement.
The clone movement is impressive, but flawed and unreliable. This is a movement that should probably be avoided until there is an improvement to its reliability. The movement looks considerably closer to the gen RM movement than the NH05A movement which is used in other RM055 replicas. However, there are obvious flaws, for example the balance wheel shock setting jewel of the clone movement is purple, whereas the gen jewel is clear / white.
More worryingly, there have been many reports of this movement arriving dead after a watch was shipped from a TD to a customer. Additionally, the movement has significant stuttering of the second hand due to backlash between gears.
While this movement is an impressive feat of engineering, this movement is not currently recommended.
RM 55 clone RMUL2 movement
The NH05A movement is well decorated and dressed up to look like the gen RM055 movement, but it is obviously not genuine, and that fact is on display due to the open worked design of the RM055 case. This is a reliable movement. However, a gen RM055 is a roughly half million dollar watch, unless you own a Ferrari, nobody will need to look at the movement to know that your RM055 is a rep. If you like RM reps, buy them, wear them, enjoy them, and don't worry about how real or fake the movement looks.
Seiko NH05A movement decorated to look like an RM movement
Guide to who Makes the Best Ladies Replica Watches
This guide was created to help guide those who are interested in Ladies watches. The factories listed are in order of best to not best, but for many of these there is only one factory making the particular model here.
Note: where it says “unknown factory”, it means a replica exists, but you’ll need to ask your TD with a picture of the watch you’re looking for. Some of these are from smaller factories, with smaller batches, and could be out of stock.
Datejust 36mm: GMF, ARF, BPF
Datejust 31mm: GMF, GSF, WF, APS has the new 2022 dials, EWF
Datejust 28mm: GMF, BP, WF, CSF
Daydate 36mm: GMF, BP, EWF
Explorer 36mm: BP, EWF
Oyster Perpetual 36mm: EWF
Oyster Perpetual 34mm: ANF
Yachtmaster 34mm: BP Factory
Pearlmaster 34mm: K6 Factory
Nautilus 7118 35mm: 3KF (super rep), PF, MSF
Nautilus 7010 32mm: unknown factory
Aquanaut 37mm: ZF
Aquanaut 35mm: PPF
Twenty~4 25mm: AW Factory
Royal Oak 67540 37mm: RXW (super-rep)
Royal Oak 15450 37mm: JF
Royal Oak 77350 34mm: BF (SS, YG, RG, Two Tone)
Royal Oak 67650: JF (potentially out of stock)
Royal Oak Frosted 33mm: OMF
Royal Oak 67601 33mm: RF
Royal Oak Offshore 26231 37mm Chronograph: RXW
Ballon Bleu 33mm: AF (if available, comes in white, pink and diamond bezel), otherwise 3KF
Ballon Bleu 28mm: AF, 3KF
Cle De Cartier 31mm: DR Factory
Cheetah series (27 x 37mm): GF, K11 factory, BVF
Must de Cartier (round): unknown factory
Panthere de Cartier (small 22mm): BVF
Pasha: 3KF, BVF
Santos 36mm: 3KF, GF
Santos-Dumont (medium 38 x 27.5): F1 factory
Tank Americaine: GSF
Tank MUST de Cartier (medium 33.7 x 25mm): F1 factory (red, green, white and blue dials), White dial also with bracelet, K11F
Tank Must de Cartier (small 29.5 x 22mm): F1 factory with bracelet (with and without diamonds), K11 Factory, DR
Tank Solo (small & medium): AF
Sweet Alhambra 4-leaf clover: VCA Factory
Charms Collection (25mm, 32mm, & 38mm): BVF
Pont de Amoureux 38mm: 5GF
Poetic Complication: VCA Factory
Lady Feerie: 5GF
Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantee: 5GF
Heure H watch 26 & 30mm: BVF
Kelly 2: unknown factory
Ladies Overseas 33mm: RXW. Good date font, comes in polished or diamond bezel.
Heritage 31mm: TWF
Rendezvous Night & Day: ZF super rep, all variations. GF is another good factory
Rendezvous Moon: CCF
Rendezvous Tourbillon: RMS
Reverso One 20mm: IMF (could also be TWF?)
J12 Electro Dream: TWF
J12 33mm: KOR, East Factory
J12 38mm: KOR, East Factory
Code Coco: unknown factory
Camelia watch, with moving cover (multiple variants): VAV Factory
Mademoiselle Prive: TTF
BOY FRIEND: BVF
Premiere Rock Pop 16mm: BVF
Ruban Bow Tie: VCA Factory
Ruban Bow Bracelet: VCA Factory
Constellation 24mm : 8848F, GF
Constellation 27mm: 8848F
Constellation 29mm: TWS Factory
Deville 27mm: BVF
Aqua Terra Seamaster ladies 34mm: VSF, RWF
Happy Sport all sizes (30mm, 33mm, 36mm): BVF, YF, LT Factory
Happy Diamonds: TF
Imperiale: unknown factory
L’Heure Du Diamant Round: unknown
Reine de Naples: ZF (super rep)
Divas Dream: unknown
La D De Dior 25mm: unknown factory
LA D DE DIOR ROSE CÉLESTE: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)
Gem Dior 27mm: TWF multiple dials
Limelight Stella: CCF
Limelight High Jewellery 31mm: unknown factory
Limelight Gala: unknown
Bee watch with two tone bracelet: unknown factory
GRIP watch 38mm: unknown factory
G-Timeless Cat Head: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)
Vintage Quartz flip cover: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)
Diamantissima 22 & 27mm: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)
Tambour Monogram 34mm: AF
Tambour Horizon Smart watch: unknown factory
Guide to buying watches directly through Chinese sellers
Here is a long winded Q&A of what I've learned after purchasing about 20 watches on the cheap directly from Chinese sellers, bypassing DH and Ali. Don't be alarmed at the length of the tutorial, once you do it once it is pretty easy.
I'm just going to assume since you are reading this your native language is English. And as always do your own research, this is not financial advise.
- How do I buy from China, I only speak English? Me too! Google translate is amazing. First thing you need is a buyer's website, I am using www.sugargoo.com. Super easy to register, and I use paypal for payment.
- WTF is a sugargoo? I have no idea, but www.sugargoo.com is a website that will act as your personal shopper on China based websites. It looks like these websites sell to the people you are already buying from on DHgate and Aliexpress. Sugargoo is cutting out the middle man by buying for you direct.
- I've registered on sugargoo, now what? You need to find that sweet automatic "roleplay" watch all the kids are wearing now a days. First try searching on a Chinese based website like www.1688.com. Don't even think about buying quartz either, people on this reddit will hunt you down and cut off a finger!
- How do I search www.1688.com, I only speak English? This is probably the hardest part of the whole process. If using Chrome, it usually just translates to English and you can just type in what you want. YOU WILL GET WILD PRODUCTS IN THE RESULTS! Some NSFW, so be careful.
- I found the best way to search is by downloading an image of the watch. Could be an image of the gen watch or just one you found on DH gate that is out of your price range. Just use the camera icon in the search bar and select the image.
- Another trick is to use the Google box. Go to https://translate.google.com/ and type in what you want to translate to Chinese simplified. Try 'seamaster automatic watch' and it comes out 海马自动腕表
- Take 海马自动腕表 and plug it into the 1688.com search bar, but make sure to switch back over to simplified Chinese translation first in Chrome. And Bam! You have a nice list of sweet Omega Seamasters to buy, but also some other weird watches pop in there too.
- I found my dream Omega Seamaster but it's $160, I thought this was supposed to be cheaper??!! No silly goose, it's in Yuan. That's actually $25 (exchange rate is about 0.15)
- Oh, cool that is cheaper. Now I can look like James Bond! No you cannot. James Bond wears a real Omega and is a rich athletic, super spy, that's slick with the ladies. YOU are buying "roleplay" watches, driving a 2009 Toyota, and can't do a single pullup.
- All true, but I want to buy that sweet watch anyway. How? That is simple, just copy the first part of the web address of that watch from 1688.com and paste it into the sugargoo.com search engine. This is one I actually purchased, https://detail.1688.com/offer/687033449495.html.
- Sugargoo says I have to add at least two watches to my cart, why? True, you are buying wholesale so most sellers require at least two watches. I typically find a seller that has various colors of a style I like and buy two. But I have been told on this Reddit, you can message the seller through Sugargoo first and ask to buy just one to check the quality. You can also add two to the cart and remove one before the final purchase. Then message the seller through Sugargoo after purchase. Only issue is, if the seller says no, the refund goes back as a credit on Sugargoo. Buyer beware. The message system is pretty quick and you can ask via the message button for any extras from the seller like watch boxes. Sugargoo is negotiating on your behalf.
- Wow, shipping only takes 4 days. Sweet! Stop being obtuse, it only takes a few days for the seller to ship to Sugargoo. Not to you, who lives in a different hemisphere. Once Sugargoo gets your watches, they take purty pictures and post them for your enjoyment. You can then return those watches if you don't like the quality.
- I love my Seamaster's from the pictures, how about shipping? There are a bunch of shipping options and time frames. Just click on the watches you want shipped and hit submit parcel. You can also research shipping cost under the 'estimate shipping' button. I typically wait until I have several watches to ship (Sugargoo holds your items for up to 100 days) and package them together. I just received package of 8 watches for $33 in shipping to the US. Beware, if you buy boxes to go with your watches the package will be too large for the cheaper shipping options. The cheap options have been very slow due to COVID (about 4 weeks). Here is a link to a discount code for redditers: https://www.reddit.com/r/Superbuy/comments/xd30hs/superbuy_long_term_discount_code_renew_again_add/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Pros: Very cheap alternative to DH and Ali.
Cons: Wacky search engine, required to buy more than one watch, no reviews or actual pictures from buyers attached to those reviews. Source
Guide to Watch Glass
There are various materials used for watches that are labelled as “glass”. For example, plastics, mineral glass, sapphire coated mineral glass and pure sapphire crystal.
We have to distinguish between untreated and tempered mineral glass. The chemical name is silicon dioxide (SiO2). Rock crystal and smoky quartz are closely related to mineral glass. By adding different oxides, such as aluminium oxide or boric oxide, mineral glass can be refined. This leads to better scratch resistance and hardness. In general, mineral glass is harder than plastic, it is neither osmotic nor does yellowing occur.
Though scratches cannot be as easily removed through polishing and the material can break. In the worst case, it splinters and can damage the movement and injure the person wearing it.
Mineral glass coated with a thin layer of sapphire
To compensate for the disadvantage of mineral glass, many manufacturers use mineral glass with a thin laye of sapphire, as this is only marginally more expensive. Erroneous, they often claim to have a ´sapphire glass´, which leads to significant misinformation of customers. The quality differences are huge compared to a pure sapphire glass. Therefore, when you are looking for a watch, you should always keep an eye on the type of sapphire glass that is used.
As indicated by the name, the material consists of a plastic named polymethyl methacrylate (short: PMMA). This plastic is better known by the names Perspex, acryl glass, or hesalite glass. The main advantages of these materials are: They are very lightweight, relatively impact-resistant, easy to polish and quite cheap. The major disadvantage, given by the low density, is the significant vulnerability for scratches. UV rays and time may lead to yellowing of the material. Moreover, due to its osmotic characteristics, it can also be slightly water-permeable.
Pure sapphire glass
Although sapphire glass is transparent, the name “glass” is misleading. Sapphire glass contains a crystalline structure which makes it highly scratch-resistant. After the moissanite and the diamond, it is the third-hardest transparent material on the planet. Sapphire glass is made out of a pure synthetic sapphire (monocrystalline) which is produced from melted aluminium oxide (Al2O3). The production creates huge crystals which are cultivated by the means of electrolysis. Subsequently, the crystals are divided into slices and the shape of the watch glass is later time-consumingly cut out of these slices.
Consequently, domed sapphire glass is the best watch glass in the world. It might only break if extreme forces are encountered and can only be scratched with a diamond or moissanite. If you encounter any scratches on your sapphire glass, they are probably caused by aluminium and can be easily removed with a rubber.
Guide to Watch Clasps and Buckles
A watch clasp is essentially the security system that binds the ends of a timepiece’s bracelet or strap together. Just like all the parts of a timepiece, the watch clasp is a significant element. It plays a huge role in terms of making sure the watch fits and is kept safely on our wrists. Without it, we would not be able to keep any watch secured around our wrists, and having one would be quite pointless.
Pin Buckle of Hamilton Khaki Aviation Ref. H76645540
One of the most popular types of watch clasps is the pin buckle. We are sure you have encountered this type of traditional watch clasp in many timepieces. This watch clasp goes by several names, so you might be a little confused about what to properly call it. It is also sometimes known as the “tang buckle or the Ardillon buckle.” Regardless, these terms are interchangeable and essentially mean the same thing.
The pin buckle functions similarly to how waist belts are used. A buckle, made mostly from metals like stainless steel, titanium, or in some rare cases, platinum, rests on the shorter end of the strap. A pin, also known as the buckle tongue, is placed right in the centre of this buckle. While wearing the watch, the longer side of the strap, with various adjustment holes, passes through the pin buckle. The pin is then inserted into one of the adjustment holes, allowing it to accommodate wrists of any size. The strap is then secured by the free loops placed just below the pin buckle.
Folding Clasp of Rado Captain Cook Ref. R32105313
Just like the pin buckle, the folding clasp is one of the most frequently employed types of watch clasps. This watch clasp variant is most often seen on metal bracelets. Depending on what type of material the bracelet is made from, the folding clasp usually follows its construction as well. As such, it can be made using stainless steel, titanium, platinum, or ceramic.
The folding clasp is typically composed of three components that simply lay over one another when being fastened onto the wrist. The clasp is then sealed shut in place by one or two protruding bolts, which are fitted into a designated lock. For instance, the image of the Rado Captain Cook Ref. R32105313 above shows off an unlocked folding clasp with its laid-out sections. You can also see the two push buttons that are used to release them.
The folding clasp is one of the most convenient types of watch clasps and it renders the watch very easy to both wear and remove at the same time. However, this can be a drawback at times because of how easy it is to unlock the folding clasp. You might find that the folding clasp is prone to unintentionally snapping open while the watch is being worn, especially if you are engaging in vigorous activities that jostle the clasp.
Deployant Clasp of Omega Seamaster Ref. 22.214.171.124.03.001
Compared to the previous entries, the deployant clasp is a slightly more complicated type of watch clasp that combines both the pin buckle and the folding clasp. This clasp is made up of a metal pin buckle on one end, one or two folding sections in the middle, and a spring bar on the other end. The spring bar is attached to the shorter side of the watch strap, while the metal pin buckle is inserted into the longer side of the strap, which has multiple adjustment holes.
Once you have selected the right adjustment hold that ensures a snug fit on your wrist, clip the metal pin buckle down. Like the folding clasp, the folding sections of the deployant clasp can be laid over one another and clicked into place. The longer side of the strap is then tucked into the free loops of the strap.
The deployant clasp is usually made from stainless steel and sold separately from the watch. It is quite rare to find a timepiece that comes with the deployant clasp. In fact, many watch wearers tend to dismantle the traditional pin buckles on their leather straps before installing deployant clasps as replacements. This is because deployant clasps are easier to wear and provide more security than the traditional pin buckle.
Safety Deployment Clasp
Safety Deployment Clasp of Breitling Superocean Ref. A17367D71B1A1
For those seeking a watch that will not easily slip off of your wrist, the safety deployment clasp is probably one of the most secure types of watch clasps you can find. It operates just how a traditional folding clasp does, but with an added layer of protection. The safety deployment clasp has an additional flap that is sealed on top of the folding clasp, functioning as a reliable double lock mechanism.
Cartier deployment clasp for leather strap.
For a dive watch like the Breitling Superocean Ref A17367D71B1A1, which has to withstand strong underwater currents, the extra flap of its safety deployment clasp serves as an improved safekeeping system. With this type of clasp, you will not have to worry about accidentally opening the lock of your watch’s folding clasp, even as you explore the cavernous ocean depths. In the unfortunate circumstance that you do accidentally jolt your folding clasp open, the flap provides an additional level of security that ensures your watch will not just fly off your wrist.
Butterfly Clasp of Cartier Santos de Cartier Ref. WSSA0009
The butterfly clasp, also known as the hidden folding clasp, is a wonderfully seamless and subtle design. This type of watch clasp consists of two folding metal hinges. When the butterfly clasp is locked, both of its components are hidden on the inside of the bracelet, so that its exterior is presented as a consistent, immaculate display.
As demonstrated by the image of the Cartier Santos de Cartier Ref. WSSA0009 above, upon closing the butterfly clasp, its two foldable sections are kept hidden underneath the bracelet. Since the lock of the butterfly clasp is kept on the inside of the bracelet, pressed against your wrist, it is harder to jostle or accidentally open it. As a result, the butterfly clasp tends to be safer and more secure than a regular folding clasp.
One downside, however, is that this design might feel a little uncomfortable on your wrist, especially if you are wearing the watch for long periods of time.
Butterfly Clasp of Cartier Santos de Cartier Ref. WSSA0037
By simultaneously pressing the two push buttons of the clasp in the middle, you can unlock the clasp. This results in the butterfly clasp spreading its two uniform, foldable sections out in a symmetrical manner, resembling the wings of a butterfly, hence the catchy name of the clasp.
Sliding Buckle Clasp
Sliding Buckle Clasp of Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SRPD69K1
The sliding buckle clasp gives its wearers an especially hassle-free way of putting on a watch. The buckle of this clasp usually lies in the middle of the longer side of the strap. You can adjust the buckle at any time by simply sliding it along the bracelet. Attached to the other end of the bracelet is the metal clasp, which clamps down onto the sliding buckle and securely locks it in place.
When wearing a watch with the sliding buckle clasp, all you have to do is press the clasp down onto the buckle until it clicks shut. If you find that it does not fit quite right, simply slide the buckle either up or down the bracelet, until you have found the proper length that best suits your wrist size. This type of watch clasp can be seen on watches with stainless steel mesh bracelets, such as the Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SRPD69K1.
Diver Clasp of Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0125-83E
The diver clasp, more commonly known as the diver extension, is a type of clasp designed solely for professional dive watches. The composition of the diver clasp is actually quite similar to that of the folding clasp. The only difference is that the diver clasp has an additional built-in adjustment tool located underneath it. This adjustment feature can be operated to allow for either a tighter or looser fit. This allows for easy, efficient adjustment of the bracelet’s length. This is especially useful for divers who have to wear diving suits while underwater.
An example of a watch with the diver clasp would be the Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0125-83E. In order to utilise the adjustment tool of this watch’s clasp, simply press the two push buttons on the clasp, and then slide it in a forward or backward motion to change the length of the bracelet to your desired size. The diver clasp is locked in place by tooth-like notches, which serve as a reliable security feature that keeps the bracelet safely around your wrist.
Glidelock Clasp of Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LN
In every sense of the word, the Glidelock clasp is essentially the same thing as a diver clasp and serves the same function. The primary difference is that the Glidelock clasp is patented by Rolex and operates in a slightly different way. As a result, the Glidelock clasp is found exclusively in Rolex dive watches, such as the Rolex Submariners and the Rolex Sea-Dwellers.
For instance, take a look at the Glidelock clasp on the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116610LN, pictured above. From the image, you can see that this Rolex watch’s Glidelock clasp has a couple of adjustment notches situated in the middle of the clasp. The fit of this bracelet is altered by snapping out the removable side of the clasp and then pushing it forward for a tighter fit or backwards for a looser one. The clasp is then secured in place by the adjustment notches in the centre. Once you have found the desired bracelet length, all you have to do is snap the clasp close in the same spot where you opened it.
Jewellery Clasp of Gucci Horsebit Ref. YA139507
The jewellery clasp is seen quite frequently in watches that cater solely to women. As can be seen from the Gucci Horsebit Ref. YA139507 above, the jewellery clasp is made up of two components: the latch and the hole. In a nutshell, the latch on one end of the bracelet goes through the hole on the other end of the bracelet. The latch is folded over the latter, clicks into place, and snaps shut with its own built-in locking mechanism.
The jewellery clasp tends to be very slim and demure, exuding elegance and femininity. This is why it is often used in timepieces for women. However, one big disadvantage of the jewellery clasp is that it only comes with one hole that can be latched onto. As a result, it is absolutely impossible to adjust the bracelet lengths of watches with jewellery clasps. This can pose some difficulty when it comes to finding fashionable women’s watches with suitable sizes for your wrist.
Velcro Strap of Omega Speedmaster Ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.005
Velcro is not necessarily considered a traditional watch clasp, but in the context of helping to fasten a watch’s strap in place, it sure functions as one.
Velcro works in a simple hook-and-loop manner. One long end of the textile or nylon strap is attached to tiny hook fasteners, while the other end is embedded with loop fasteners. When these two surfaces are pressed against each other, they cling to each other, in turn achieving a firm and secure fit around the wrist. One advantage of having a Velcro enclosure is that it is highly adjustable and can fit all types of wrist sizes.
How a 2836 GMT Movement is Made
The only GMT movement that ETA produce is the 2893. Enterprising folks in far off countries have modified 2836 movements for quite some time with a homebrew GMT complication added to the movement.
You can also do a more complicated swap by taking the balance wheel, pallet fork and escape wheel and replacing them on the 2836 movement to gain a low beat movement.
Here you can see the original 2836 movement on the left. I have removed and replaced the following components with the original swiss parts on the 2846. These are parts that are modified by the chinese factories to allow the GMT function.
Part 2595 - Date Jumper Maintaining plate - This part has been modified slightly to allow for the modified Intermediate Date Wheel
Part 2543 - Intermediate date wheel - This has a small secondary gearing placed atop the original gear. This turns the GMT wheel during the normal cycle of time. It meshes with a gear on the underside of the GMT wheel.
Part 242 - Canon Pinion with Driver - Taller canon pinion to account for the additional GMT wheel.
Part 255 - Hour Wheel - as above, taller to allow for new GMT wheel.
Part 2567 - Day Corrector - originally the part to allow quick setting of the day disc. Replaced with a new bi-directional gear that allows quick setting of the GMT hand.
Seen below is the GMT wheel itself. The upper gearing meshes with the gear running where the day corrector normally would and the gearing on the underside runs off the intermediate date wheel. And finally as installed on the finished movement with the brass washer in place.
Genuine Rolex Watch Weight Guide
Gen Rolex Watches Weight Guide
Weight differences may apply for various reasons.
This article is not meant to be a definite weight list for Rolex watches.
The weights mentioned below are with a full-linked bracelet.
In some cases, the weights stated may or may not be full-linked.
Weight of Submariner 114060: 152.9 grams. 2 links removed.
Weight of Submariner 16618: 175 grams.
Weight of Submariner 5513: 119 grams.
Weight of Datejust 1601: 83 grams.
Weight of Datejust 116201: 145 grams.
Weight of Datejust 116233: 136.8 grams.
Weight of Datejust 41 126334 Oyster bracelet: 143 grams.
Weight of Day-Date 118206: 225 grams.
Weight of Day-Date 118209: 179 grams.
Weight of Deepsea Sea-Dweller 116660: 215 grams.
Weight of Sea-Dweller 16600: 147 grams.
Weight of Sea-Dweller 126600: 194 grams.
Weight of Daytona 116509: 200 grams.
Weight of Daytona 16528: 156 grams.
Weight of Daytona 116520: 140 grams.
Weight of Rolex Daytona 116500: 141 grams.
Weight of GMT-Master II 16718: 164 grams.
Weight of GMT-Master II 116710LN: 152 grams.
Weight of GMT-Master II 16713: 138 grams.
Weight of GMT-Master II 16710: 127 grams.
Weight of Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR/BLRO: 140.04 grams.
Weight of Milgauss 116400: 150 grams.
Weight of Milgauss 116400: 150 grams.
Weight of Yacht-Master 16622: 146 grams.
Weight of Explorer II 16570: 126 grams.
Weight of Explorer II 1655: 118 grams.
Weight of Explorer 214270: 132 grams (one link removed).
Weight of Explorer II 216570: 156 grams.
Weight of Sky-Dweller 326933: 191.5 grams.
Weight of Sky-Dweller 326934: 174.6 grams.