HANDS-ON: The Breguet Classique 7147 gets an enamel update

Last year’s slim Breguet Classique 7147 had a spectacular dial, with a central section in detailed engine-turned guilloche and a subdial in a delicate crosshatch pattern. It was, not to overstate things, the star of the show. It’s a very difficult art to master, but there’s no doubt that Breguet has the technique down pat. So, imagine our surprise when we were presented this year’s update of the 7147 and there was not a hobnail or brushed finish to be seen.

In its place is a single piece of lustrous grand feu enamel – an equally tricky technique to master – and this single change creates a completely new look for this dressy design. Thanks to the multiple firings the white enamel is of a brightness and lightness, and has an undulating sensuality, that’s hard to capture in photos (and even harder in words). It also has delicately hand-painted Breguet numerals (of course) and a delightful minute track (the non-cardinal markers are stylised fleur de lys) . The best bit though is the delicate dip that constitutes the small seconds subdial. The hands are pure Breguet, and made of hand-blued steel.

Looking beyond the dial, everything is as it was with guilloche dialled 7147, the same slender 40mm case, with fluted middle section in red or white gold, the same ultra-slim (2.4mm) Cal.502.3SD ticking quietly away, with silicon pallets and powered by an unusual off-centre winding mass, that’s smaller than a regular oscillating weight but that isn’t quite a micro-rotor.

This new enamel dialled 7147 really lives up to it’s name – it’s hard to imagine a more classic Breguet.

Breguet Classique 7147 enamel dial Australian pricing

Breguet Classique 7147, in white gold with enamel dial, $27,700.

VIDEO: Australian entrepreneur Mark Bouris tells us why he loves his replica watch. But really, what is there not to love?

Some people’s love of their timepiece is intensely personal, to a point where it’s hard to fathom for an outsider. Others are entirely easy to understand. Aussie entrepreneur Mark Bouris, who you might know from as the TV face of the local version of The Apprentice and its celebrity offshoot. When he’s not busy being a financial guru he has a lot of love for his IWC Perpetual Calendar, that he refers to – with sweet emotion – as his ‘Double Moon’. It’s a love that knows itself. Here, he lists just how accurate the moon phase is, in detail. It’s also an exclusive love, with Mark listing its rarity – the only blue dial version in Australia to his knowledge – as a key charm. We won’t spoil the surprise any further. But needless to say, his affection for the replica watch is easy to share in. Let the #grail talk begin. Who’s in?

EDITOR’S PICK: Our video review of the Montblanc 1858 Small Second with blue dial

Editor’s Note: The 1858 collection has quickly become a mainstay of Montblanc’s replica watch landscape, with new versions offered in 2017 in bi-material bronze and steel and also with a Dual-Time complication that you can get a glimpse of in this video. Before these welcome developments came a dressy blue dial variant offered in 2016, on an excellent blue strap.

Montblanc 1858 Small Second with blue dial

It started with the 1858, which – in an insanely busy year for Montblanc – dropped out of the big blue sky. We were excited. We were titillated. We were a little flummoxed to be honest. Thoroughly embracing the spirit of the Manufacture Minerva that Montblanc acquired, it was almost a case of innovation overload. Almost. Because when we saw it in the metal, we better understood the play, which seemed to be:

1.Wrap Minerva into the brand story at an entry as well as elite price point.

2. Give the elegant Heritage Chronométrie range a more rugged brother to cover all bases.

3. Tap that evergreen classic military style.

The model was well received and now there’s a whole collection to choose from – at all price points – including this inky blue-dialled beauty, which proves that colour can be just as versatile as black. That’s certainly how Felix felt when he met this dark horse – the Montblanc 1858 Manual Small Second.

Montblanc 1858 Manual Small Second Australian Pricing

The Montblanc 1858 Manual Small Second, with blue dial on leather, $5120

EDITOR’S PICK: What happens in a Rolex Service Centre? We visited one to find out…

Editor’s Note: Working in replica watches, one of the most common complaints is poor aftersales support. If you believe every horror story you hear, servicing or returning a replica watch for any reason can be outrageously expensive, horrendously slow and the result can be of questionable quality. And while it’s best to take these tales with a grain of salt (did you really expect your high end chrono to be as simple and cheap to service as an old Toyota?), the reality is that too many brands overlook the unglamorous service centre in favour of the shiny new boutique. There’s one exception – Rolex. Here’s what I found when I visited their (then new) Melbourne Service Centre early last year. 

Regular servicing keeps your fine replica watch in tiptop condition for the next generation

One of the biggest issues in this industry is what happens to a replica watch long after it leaves the boutique on the wrist of its happy new owner. Aftersales support and servicing may not be as glamorous as releasing shiny new replica watches, but it matters. A lot. There’s no quicker way to ruin goodwill towards a brand than with a negative service or repair situation, and from the anecdotal stories I hear it’s happening all too often, with common complaints including long wait times, unexpected costs and process that can be baffling in its bureaucracy.

Still, it’s easy to see why aftersales support doesn’t get the attention it deserves. There are no immediate returns to be had by investing in servicing. If you had to sign off opening a new boutique or expanding your service network, the boutique must seem like the more attractive option, in the short term at least. But servicing is an increasingly important issue for the industry, because with ever increasing numbers of mechanical replica watches being sold, brands need to meet the needs of consumers by providing an adequate level of support.


Rolex Australia has recently bucked this trend by opening a brand new, expanded Melbourne service centre late last year. Found down a cobbled CBD lane, next to a coffee shop that some might describe as ‘hipster’, Melbourne’s new Rolex Service Centre is perfectly suited to the city in which it’s located, but once inside, the spacious, light-filled, hi-tech space instantly dispels any romantic images of the lone artistic replica watchmaker working in the same fashion as his 18th century predecessors.


This service centre is state of the art, with polishing, testing and parts storage systems available. The storage system in itself is impressive. Should a part be required for pretty much any Rolex reference, the technician responsible for managing the parts inventory will pull it up. And I mean that literally, the storage system is a massive, computerised wall unit, and in our short demonstration of how it works we cycled through seemingly endless trays of dials, movements, bracelets and all the rest. This degree of organisation might seem like overkill when a simple set of drawers would suffice, but this is Rolex, and it seems that their quest for perfection and efficiency doesn’t end with the replica watches themselves.


Until I walked through the service centre I didn’t fully appreciate how much work went into a Rolex service. Again it’s that notion of the lonely replica watchmaker at his desk, regulating and lubricating delicate replica watch movements. The reality is a little different, with equal importance placed on case refinishing and testing, each of which have dedicated spaces and specialised staff.

This isn’t to detract from the work done by the men in lab coats who look after the movements. In fact, so confident is Rolex in the quality of its movements and the people who service them that last year they boosted their existing three-year warranty to a hefty five years.

Rolex is leading the market in Australia when it comes to taking aftersales support seriously, and the significant scaling up of capacity at the new Melbourne Service Centre speaks volumes for the brand’s confidence in the Australian market – an example other brands would do well to pay attention to.

EDITOR’S PICK: Our A. Lange Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds video review

A. Lange & Söhne’s Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is an unusual and very serious replica watch. The jumping seconds, or deadbeat seconds, is perhaps the most stealth complication out there – most people would assume the ticking seconds hand is powered by a battery rather than intricate gearing. It’s also a complication that’s finally enjoying its day in the sun, with brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaquet Droz and Grönefeld all releasing their take on this once-obscure complication. Lange’s version adds a regulator-style dial and some classical German good looks.

The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Australian pricing

The Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, in platinum, $120,000


VIDEO: Have you noticed this guy on Australian TV (or Netflix) wearing Tudor replica watches?

Editor’s Pick: Last year we received a tip-off that popular Australian actor Rodger Corser has a Tudor story to tell. Not only does he wear a Black Bay on his latest show, Doctor Doctor (he’s also in zombie series Glitch if you’re OS and also thinking he looks familiar), it turns out the vintage model he sported in ‘Doctor Blake’ was also a Tudor. And not just any Tudor…

Australian actor Rodger Corser (Underbelly, Glitch, Doctor Doctor) wears his grandfather’s Tudor on-screen

I first noticed it for a split-second in Channel 9’s new show Doctor Doctor. Pause. Rewind. Yep, there was no mistaking the black bezel and dial on the wrist of Hugh Knight (the titular doctor) – definitely a Tudor Black Bay. I filed that knowledge away in the part of my brain dedicated to celebrity replica watch-spotting, not imagining for a minute that a few weeks later I’d be having a drink with Rodger Corser, in a tiny laneway bar, talking about that exact timepiece.

Watches tell you a lot about a character, and a bad choice is immediately obvious. But for Rodger, the Black Bay Black is more than just a smart props decision, it’s a deeply personal link, one that ties into his other on-screen personas and informs his craft. Of course we spoke about more than just replica watches – we discussed how he felt coming back to his hometown of Melbourne, as well as the importance of timing, and making the most out of opportunities when they arise.


EDITOR’S PICK: Going back to Cali with the Panerai PAM 629 video review

Much like the state they’re named for, California (or Cali) dials have something inherently cool and playful about them. With their nonchalant mixing of formal Roman and casual Arabic numerals, you just know these replica watches don’t play by the rules. Which brings us to the Panerai PAM 629, first seen at Replica Watches & Wonders in 2015. This stealthy/sexy replica watch raised a few eyebrows when it was released, as it was the first time the brand had paired a Cali dial with the sportier Luminor case shape.

EXCLUSIVE: “We stretched into fields where we are not necessarily legitimate.” 5 brutally honest quotes about Cartier’s recent releases

The Cartier ‘Drive de Cartier’ was about as close to a number one hit as you can get in the replica watch industry. From the minute it was released, it was popular with journalists the world over – us wholeheartedly included. It appealed to round and small replica watch markets like Asia as well as tastemakers in other markets, and it was smartly priced. In a refreshingly frank interview, Cartier’s International Marketing and Communication Director, Arnaud Carrez, details how, after a wayward period where brands “tried to be everything and everywhere”, the Drive is powering Cartier to new heights.

1 – The Drive refocused Cartier on what it does best – “masculine elegance”

“The Drive came at the right time, because it was years after the birth of fine replica watchmaking at Cartier, after the Calibre and Calibre Diver replica watches. I think these stories were very nice, but we probably stretched into fields where we are not necessarily legitimate.

“Our masculinity is not muscles, sport, achievement, performance. It’s a different masculinity.  It’s more elegance, and style, and refinement, and we are fine about it.”

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that kind of replica watchmaking. We created an impressive momentum in fine replica watchmaking. We were really right in doing it that way, but we probably launched too many novelties, created too many movements, and made too much noise around it. It probably overshadowed other stories.”

2 – The Calibre Diver “could be another replica watchmaking brand” but the Drive is “the soul of Cartier”

“As for the Calibre Diver, I personally love the replica watch and I wear it, but it could be another replica watchmaking brand. I think Drive reflected our new ambition to refocus on masculine elegance. This replica watch is the epitome of masculine elegance, it’s about style. It’s the soul of Cartier. Cartier is classic replica watches.

“Being a jeweller first and foremost, it means that we have a different tone of voice in the replica watchmaking industry and we shouldn’t try to be everywhere. I think in the 2000s and in the last decade, all brands tried to be everything and everywhere, saying, okay, we can go on conquer the classic market, the sporty market, the male/female market. I think for us it was an interesting exercise in the last two years, to reclarify who we are, our identity. We are a feminine maison first and it has an impact on our style of masculinity. Our masculinity is not muscles, sport, achievement, performance. It’s a different masculinity.  It’s more elegance, and style, and refinement, and we are fine about it.”

3 – The Drive is versatile and will have many variations

“We thought about the whole story for the Drive when we created this replica watch. We said that there would be other opportunities, but we needed it as a core model. We said we needed automatic, precious, non-precious, because if you look at the price of the automatic, it’s very competitively priced at €5,000, so we need it.

“Then we said that this replica watch has an amazing potential, so you can explore other fields, have a slimmer version. We can even think about a metal bracelet for the slim version, but the choice of the metal bracelet is critical, because it has to remain the same. The case is so elegant, so pure, the choice of the metal bracelet is rather a challenge. I am not even sure we will do it. We are exploring it, but we’ll see whether it makes sense or not aesthetically.

4 – The Drive is now Arnaud’s personal favourite replica watch (replacing the Santos-Dumont)

“You know we have a similar model? The Santos-Dumont. It used to be my favourite replica watch, but I think the Drive’s probably moving the other one over. [The Santos-Dumont] doesn’t exist in steel, which means it remains a very exclusive, very aspirational, collectible replica watch.”

5 – The Drive is selling

“It has been a sales success. It has. Sales-wise we are well above our expectations for a male exclusive design, being a feminine brand and being used to launching unisex products. Looking at our original expectations, we are far above our expectations. And it’s unusual, because we have good results in pretty much all countries, including markets like China, which are round replica watch markets and smaller replica watch markets. The Drive has been a fabulous success.”


LIST: 10 replica watches I’ll never forget from my first Baselworld

Editor’s Note: Andy Green has pretty much been part of the Time+Tide team since day one. But it wasn’t until 2017 that the stars aligned and he was able to attend Baselworld. And I think it’s fair to say that Andy had a quintessential first Basel. He was blown away, occasionally overwhelmed, but most of all I think he loved discovering new things and meeting the replica watchmakers he’s admired and the people he’s DM’d from afar IRL. Andy’s personal Top 10 list really reflects this. Sure, it’s about the replica watches, but the people behind the scenes are just as important. Hope to see you at Basel 2018 Andy. 

 H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds in Steel

I’ve always been a big fan of H. Moser & Cie, and have been especially fond of their recent marketing campaigns. So, when I turned up to their stall and was told that for the first time, they had a new release in steel, I got pretty excited. This was my pick of the fair (which will come as no surprise to my IG followers). I just love everything about this replica watch: the stunning fumé dial, the curvaceous crystal and the famous Moser ‘less is more’ approach. As a steel replica watch, the price is also very attractive, opening up the brand to a whole new customer base.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono

Easy. This was the first Basel release I saw, and it was at the famous Tudor pre-Basel party – something I’d been dying to attend. Being one of the first few dozen ‘outsiders’ to see this replica watch in person was a special and memorable experience. And you know what they say – you never forget your first.

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor

Romain Gauthier is a relatively new brand for me. In my very limited experience with them, I’d only ever seen one of the earlier models on the wrist of a friend. I was excited to book a meeting, and especially keen to try on their new Insight Micro-Rotor in the metal. The finishing and detail on this replica watch are truly topnotch, making it a great alternative to better known brands.

Urwerk UR-210 Amadeus

If there was one thing I loved seeing after a week of replica watches, it was innovation – something Urwerk has in spades. The UR-210 Amadeus was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The engraving alone takes over 250 hours to complete – about six or seven weeks full-time work. By the time I had a chance to see the piece, it’d already been sold.

Omega “Speedy Tuesday” Speedmaster Limited Edition

As we met with Omega to see their new releases, I found myself seated in the middle of a long table. On one end was Andrew being presented the new collection, and on the other was Felix filming. I happened upon a replica watch roll, in it the Omega “Speedy Tuesday” Speedmaster. Not long after, it dawned on me that I was one of a small number of people to actually try on and experience this sold-out but not-yet-released timepiece. That was cool.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller

There was so much talk about the new Sea-Dweller (and rightly so), that in the early days of Basel, the steel and white gold Sky-Dweller took somewhat of a backseat. But I’m a sucker for a blue dial, and we know by now that Rolex does coloured dials very well. Another thing I love about this replica watch is that it’s actually a very strong value proposition (an annual calendar for under 20k… c’mon), and potentially a sign of shifting consumer demand.

Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec

When you know, you know. Blancpain was my very last appointment at Basel, immediately before I left for the airport. A demonstration of the moisture indicator and run-down of the history of this replica watch had me over the line. I’ve always been a fan of the Fifty Fathoms, but the extra ‘cool factor’ on this LE really won me over.

Nomos Club Aqua in signal blue

After a week in an apartment with Australia’s biggest Nomos fanboy (AKA Felix), I began to share his love for the brand. The Club has always been great value and nicely sized – and the new dial colourways are really attractive. My pick is (again) the Signal Blue, which in the metal is quite striking, especially when paired with a cream nylon strap. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing quite a few of these comesummer time. (A big thanks to @WatchesOfInstagram for the snap.)

Sarpaneva Korona K0 Daredevil

Sarpaneva is a brand I’ve kept an eye on ever since seeing their collaboration with Black Badger several moons ago. I couldn’t help but love their new Korona K0 Daredevil, which is just a cool-looking replica watch. Spending some time with founder, Stepan, was also a great experience, and a nice way to get to know the brand a little better.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

Wow. I mean, I just wasn’t expecting this from Bulgari. The weight, the thickness – the comfort! Seriously, they turned the heat up this year and stole the show with this incredibly thin piece of engineering.

HANDS-ON: The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” lives up to its name

While one of the key trends of Basel 2017 is a move towards more wrist-friendly dive replica watches (see exhibits A and B), there’s no doubt that big and bold is still the name of the game. Omega’s latest PO, the “Big Blue”, delivers on both fronts, thanks to its whopping 45.5mm wide by 17.8mm high case made from bright blue ceramic. Why Big Blue? Well, asides from the obvious, it’s an homage to a super funky (and super collectable) Omega diver’s chronograph from the ’70s.

This Big Blue follows on from last year’s release of the fully ceramic “Deep Black”, itself an evolution of successful ceramic Speedmasters, notably the DSOTM. From all this activity we can deduce that Omega is increasingly serious about integrating ceramic in a big way, well beyond bezels, movement components and the odd limited edition. And why not? If you’ve got the technical know-how and production capacity (like Omega does), you might as well use it. The case and dial of the Big Blue are made from pigmented zirconium oxide powder that’s sintered into an ultra-hard ceramic, then machined with diamond tools and plasma-treated to its final shape.

It’s not just the case that’s impressive: the Calibre 8906, with GMT complication, meets Omega’s Master Chronometer standards, some of the most stringent in the industry. So it has what it takes inside and out, but what’s this replica watch like on the wrist? Well, it’s not one for the faint of heart. This is not a stealthy blue, and the orange elements remove any possibility of this replica watch flying under the radar. If the fearless use of colour hasn’t sent you running for the hills, I suspect you’ll love this latest PO. The orange accents are cool, especially the piping on the woven-look rubber strap. If you’re after a replica watch to start a conversation, Big Blue is your guy.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT “Big Blue” Australian pricing

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue”, $15,075