Tissot has turned into the go-to brand for fake watches that pack lots of technological and mechanical punch for not a ton of money (relatively speaking, as always) within the Swatch Group's diverse portfolio of watch brands. Well, Tissot's stepped things up a notch with the Everytime Swissmatic, providing an automatic Swiss-made watch for at a very nice price. But the real question: Is it really so good? Any time you purchase a best watch, you're making compromises. There are no truly perfect watches, so whether the trade-offs have to do with price, size, materials, or any number of other variables, they're there. With watches at the entry-level end of the spectrum, these compromises can be dramatic though. Do you want a better dial or a more reliable movement? Does the watch need to be automatic or would quartz suffice? Longer power reserve or a bit of movement finishing? The dials come in either white or black, with either printed Arabic numerals or applied stick markers. All of the constructions have a very nice minimal, modern look to them. There are no frills here. There's the "Tissot 1853" signature at 12, the "Swissmatic" and "Swiss Made" signatures at six o'clock (Swiss is in there twice, lest you forget), a date window at three o'clock, and three hands. In theory, I really like the layout, and I think Tissot was honest to match the date discs to the dials for a cleaner look. However, ultimately the quality of the dials is a bit disappointing. They've got a real flatness to them that can almost look paper-like at certain angles. The black is better than the silver and would be my choice if I were to pick. If you compare these dials to those of Seiko 5 watches, for instance, they pale in comparison. It's hard to make a cheap dial look nice, but not impossible. Turn the Swissmatic over and you get a look at that all-important automatic movement. It might look a little familiar, and with good reason: it's a new take on the movement developed by the Swatch Group for the Sistem 51, the completely machine-made automatic replica watches that can be had for $150. This one has a few more metal components, including the full metal winding rotor, and the power reserve is a little longer at three days, but it's still mostly made by machines, and doesn't really display any of the traditional finishing you'd find on a Swiss-made movement. According to Tissot, this new caliber is excellent to them, though I wouldn't be surprised to see Swatch Group use the technology elsewhere in the future. However, I do think this is a very special watch, mostly because of the interesting movement inside, but I wouldn't say it's the best watch you can buy at this price either. It's not a typical Swiss watch, but it offers a glimpse into where the industry might be heading.
The second generation of the brand's aviation-themed timepiece, the luxury replica Rolex GMT-Master, had a long and outstanding life. Launched in 1959, it served with great distinction all the way up to 1980; a prolific run of more than 20 years that secures it as one of the easier vintage Rolexes to find, and a gateway into the world of typical watch collecting. However, all GMT-Masters are not made equal and the subject we have here is a really exceptional example. Read on below to learn more about this singular piece. Similarly, the fake Rolex has made extremely limited numbers of co-branded watches for certain entities throughout its history, to present as a particular gift or as recognition for noteworthy deeds. The bestower of these favors range from Middle Eastern royalty to military forces to top professional operations. When French commercial diving specialists Compagnie Maritime d'Expertises collaborated with the fake Rolex on the Sea-Dweller, the resulting watches presented to their elite group of divers each had the legend COMEX imprinted on the dial, making them something of a grail watch among collectors. But together with these specialized examples, some top profile retail businesses have also graced their top performers and most loyal employees with the replica Rolex watches emblazoned with their company logo. Apparently, the special dials distinguish these particular fake watches, giving them a real sense of exclusivity and a corresponding premium in price. Our privately labeled 1675 is one of the last of the series, emerging in 1979. The first of the GMT-Master references to feature a crown guard, the early pointed, or El Cornino, features have made way for the more rounded guards of later years. Meanwhile, it has the red 24-hour hand, topped with the huge triangle that is correct for the era. The bezel, that most recognizable of attributes with its iconic blue and red Pepsi color scheme, has been replaced at service and gives the watch a look almost as pristine as when it was made nearly 40 years ago. The aluminum insert superseded the former Bakelite surround at the start of the GMT's second generation. From the mid-sixties on, the company switched to matte dials as we see on our Mark IV example from the seventies, and the tritium-filled indexes and hands have aged to a beautiful cream. But it's the detail on the dial, just above the six o'clock index, that puts this watch in another league among collectors. The logo of the AB Trucking Company sits atop the GMT-Master name, identifying this as one of just a handful of pieces given out by the firm to its longest-serving personnel.
Hublot has a rather quiet history as a pleasant but extremely small watch brand that did itself the disservice of being founded during the height of the quartz crisis. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Hublot replica wasn't doing very well and was apparently looking for a purchaser. That buyer eventually has to be the Jean-Claude Biver who recently came from the fake Omega and Blancpain. Biver told me several years ago that the Hublot was losing a few million dollars a year when he acquired it and in 2004 he officially became the CEO. In 2005 his radical plan to reform the brand started with the launch of the Big Bang. The design built on the classic porthole sports watch case that the Hublot was founded on, but made for a new generation, in a boldly large size, with a strong, hyper-masculine design. My first experience with a Hublot Big Bang watch was back in about 2006 - about one year after its original release. I'd heard about the replica watches but never seen one on public. This was more than a year prior to when aBlogtoWatch even started. I encountered the Big Bang in a rather unlikely place. The first thing I recall noticing on the Big Bang was the applied military stencil-style hour markers and how cool they looked. The rubber strap design struck me as being a bit odd, and overall I remember feeling as though I'd never held a fake watch in my hands that was quite like it. I didn't know at the time whether or not I was a Big Bang fan, but it left a deep impression in my mind and I could understand why the dentist got so excited about it. If anything, the Big Bang was impressive for being actually quite different than what I think most watch lovers were used to circa the mid-2000s. That would all change a few years later. The Hublot Big Bang 44 watch I am going to talk about is actually the same exact model that I was shown in that dentist's living room over a decade ago. Now it is on my wrist, even if it is one of many replica Hublot watches I've put on my wrist. The last Hublot I reviewed was the spiritual successor to the original Big Bang which was the Hublot Big Bang UNICO watch. As we said, the Big Bang 44 has a unique look and wearing experience. Compared to the Big Bang UNICO, this earlier model is much simpler, slightly smaller, and at this point actually feels more classical. The sandwich-style case design is where a lot of the "art of fusion" comes into play. The popular Hublot designed the Big Bang this way so that it could mix and match colors and materials. Being able to have a modular case design was an important part of the original concept. This best watch case makes use of steel, resin, titanium, ceramic, and rubber. Other Big Bang models have featured a large host of other materials ranging from gold to carbon fiber and even magnesium.