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 The aluminum insert superseded the former Bakelite surround at the start of the GMT's second generation.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.
In Switzerland, when they discontinued the much-loved Sea-Dweller in 2008 amidst great consternation from the brand faithful, it took them another six years before they succumbed to audience pressure and launched its replacement, the Sea-Dweller 4000, which is a well-known particular best replica watch. In between, the languorous watchmakers released the Kraken of all timepieces, the hulking great 44mm Deepsea. Certified to a depth rating of 12,800ft, it was aimed at a niche group of superhuman divers with one especially strong arm, and practically did away with their need for a weight belt. As much as it's admired for its technical prowess, the Deepsea has never quite captured the imagination of purists in the same way as the replica Sea-Dweller, and on its somewhat low-key reintroduction at Baselworld 2014, the updated SD4K was welcomed back like a long-lost friend. The Sea-Dweller occupies that tricky middle ground between the behemoth-like Deepsea and the legendary Submariner. Never selling in as great a number as its little brother, it's fair to say it has lived its life rather in its shadow. It was also the first model to be launched featuring Rolex's patented Helium Escape Valve (HEV). Developed in conjunction with the US Navy and French deep dive specialists Compagnie Maritime d'Expertises, or Comex, the valve allows for the safe release of Helium molecules that accumulate in the watch during long saturation dives. While its looks were very much based on the Submariner replica watch, which debuted a good 14 years before the Sea-Dweller made an entrance, Rolex traditionalists have always been split over the two watches' appearance. Until its most recent incarnation, the Sea-Dweller has never featured a Cyclops lens over its date window, a staple on the Submariner since the mid-sixties. Although undoubtedly making it easier to read the numbers underneath, the lens has divided fans since its inclusion, with many feeling the Sea-Dweller remains the more streamlined, symmetrical and, crucially, easier to read without it. For professional divers, omitting the Cyclops seems to make more sense to a large extent. Aesthetics aside, in the dangerous environments in which the Sea-Dweller was designed to operate, a clearly legible dial would be much more important than knowing what day it is. For collectors, that means the 2014 Sea-Dweller has now become a very significant piece, as shown by the huge increase in demand for the watch on the pre-owned market. The new model continues with the Cerachrom bezel from its predecessor, an obvious inclusion for a saturation diver's watch considering its additional strength and imperviousness to seawater. While there are huge swathes of the faithful severely displeased with the changes to the Sea-Dweller's appearance, the fake Rolex at least gone towards placating them with a brief trip down memory lane. The red text on the dial harks back to the watch's first incarnation, 'Double Red'. Therefore, to draw a conclusion, the Sea-Dweller has always had a stronger sense of exclusivity than the ubiquitous Submariner. More likely to be used for its original purpose than the Sub, it's worn with just as many wetsuits as business suits. As a watch to live with every day though, you'd struggle to find one tougher or more durable. It's going to be a waiting game to determine whether the new bigger size will catch on with loyal followers, but throughout its history Rolex replica has never shied away from a discussion—and what today qualifies as controversial usually becomes highly collectible at some point down the line.