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The vintage replica watches landing in the HODINKEE Shop every Wednesday should offer variety - that's something we strive to do each week. Since we ramped up our listings at the end of 2020, our vintage selection has aimed to serve as many collectors, vintage enthusiasts, and those just dipping their toes into replica Rolex Submariner watches, as possible. A running joke here on the team is: "Wow, there's something for everyone this week." That joke is about a week away from being banned, that's how overused it has become among our team.
1950s Vulcain Cricket
1960s Certina DS Automatic Ref. 346.825 With Tropical Dial
1968 Replica Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 'Long E'
1960s Lip Chronograph In 18k Yellow Gold
1973 Replica Rolex Datejust Ref. 1603
1970s Heuer Autavia Ref. 11630
1986 Replica Rolex Submariner Ref. 16800
1950s Enicar Ultrasonic Automatic
1968 Tudor Oyster Prince Date+Day Ref. 7019/3 In Two Tone With Spanish Day Disc
This week's listing does feature an array of price ranges and brands for your browsing pleasure. However, within the array, we've curated a select group of our favorite under-the-radar Chronomatic-powered chronographs. The team has picked one each to dive deep into below, so scroll on, and there's even an extra one in the full collection?a ref. 11630 Heuer Autavia. Want to learn more about the Chronomatic movement and the Consortium that made it a reality? Check out Jeff Stein's 2019 In-Depth report.
Yes, there is more to life than early automatic chronographs. Break on through (to the other side) and check out the rest of this week's vintage collection in the Shop.1969 Hamilton Chrono-Matic 'Blue' Ref. 11002-3 By Saori Omura
There are times when chance defies logic and stars align in the universe for unknown reasons, and 1969 happened to be one of those moments for horological history. The Moon landing happened on July 20, 1969, which made history with Omega's Speedmaster being the first mechanical fake watch to go to the Moon, accompanying the Apollo 11 mission. Seiko released its first automatic chronograph caliber 6139 and the first quartz wristwatch (Quartz Astron 35SQ) that year as well. Zenith announced the release of its first automatic chronograph movement, the famed El Primero caliber 3019, on January 10. And the "Chronomatic Consortium," which included Hamilton, Heuer, Breitling, and Dubois-Depraz, held a press conference on March 3 to introduce the group's first automatic chronograph movement, the caliber 11. It's clear 1969 marked the beginning of a new era in the world of watchmaking, truly opening it up to global competition. It was no longer a quaint Swiss tradition, and things have never been the same after that year.
In the dawn of the caliber 11, there were some notable replica watches that came to life, such as the Heuer Monaco ref. 1133, Hamilton Fontainebleau ref. 11001-3, and Breitling Cosmonaute ref. 1809. My top choice this week is the Hamilton Chrono-matic in blue. replica watches with the caliber 11 inside tend to be housed in larger cases, but this Chrono-matic fits just right, measuring 36.5mm in diameter. Although this fake watch was produced around the time the funky vibe of the '70s was about to kick in, this watch's look fits more in with my personal preference, representing the '60s ideal of a classic round case with traditional angular lugs.
On the dial, the tachymeter scale is angled just right, not taking too much space or cluttering the display, something that is always a design challenge in a chronograph. The dial is not the typical satin blue we often see from this period. Instead, it has an unusual soft matte blue with a hint of a grey undertone, which brings out a sense of calmness that works really well with the off-white accents. It might not have been the most attention-grabbing release in the caliber 11's history, but it quietly has the character to stand out on its own merit. Hit the Shop to get the full scoop.1970s Heuer Verona Ref. 110.213G By Brandon Frazin
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word "Verona," or even see the word printed on the dial of this vintage Heuer. It makes me think of Romeo And Juliet, which was set in an Italian town with the same name. Just like the Bard's work, vintage replica watches can be downright romantic. The way a fake watch makes one feel when fastening it on a wrist, or the emotion it evokes when looking at the dial in different lights or discovering a new detail when checking the time one day ?watches of all types can bring out these warm feelings. I catch myself (almost daily) staring at my fake watch and realizing I didn't even check the time; I get caught up in the details and forget everything else.
The fake watch we are talking about today is the Heuer Verona ref. 110.21G. The Verona is a cool and not very common vintage Heuer. These came out circa 1978 and were offered with a black dial or grey dial (like this one), as well as two-tone versions of each. The reference numbers either have G (grey) at the end or N (noir), which is something Heuer is known for doing. This was not a very long-lived model; Heuer offered the Verona for approximately only three years, so they're relatively rare. Heuer came out with many different models during this time and for me, the Verona is one of the most attractive. This was an interesting time in the fake watch world, with quartz replica watches starting to reign supreme, so fake watch companies needed to be creative with marketing. The different city names Heuer used were meant to connect with the people living in those areas and boost local brand recognition and sales. I'm not sure if a tactic like this would work today, but a "TAG Heuer Brooklyn" sounds quite cool.
This is the first Heuer Verona I have seen in the metal, and I've become smitten with it. The grey dial and nicely curved brushed case are just speaking to me. It reminds me of other Heuers that came before, like the manual-winding Carreras, but it also has design elements similar to automatic models like the Autavia, i.e. the crown on the left side. I realize I am fortunate to have seen so many replica watches here at HODINKEE and from my past auction career; it's a good thing because I tend to become obsessed with replica watches I haven't seen before, just like today's Heuer Verona. Check out all the details here.1970s Breitling Cosmonaute Ref. 1809 With 24-Hour Dial By Rich Fordon
This is an outstanding example of Breitling's "pizza case" Chronomatic. You'll find Chronomats and Navitimers within this large, hexagon-shaped case but a Cosmonaute remains fairly uncommon. When it comes down to it, the Cosmonaute is really a Navitimer with a 24-hour dial ?and that's exactly what NASA Astronaut and member of "The Mercury Seven," Malcolm Scott Carpenter, wanted. Mr. Carpenter lived quite the life, intersecting with wristwatches seemingly all along the way.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Carpenter took action by enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of 18. After years of training, he became a Naval aviator, flying patrol and anti-submarine missions in the early 1950s during the Korean War. Strapped to his wrist over the Pacific was a brand-new Breitling Navitimer, the finest aviation fake watch government money could buy at the time. Carpenter had such fond memories of the Navitimer that, in 1959, when he was selected to be one of NASA's first astronauts, he asked Breitling to make a version with a 24-hour dial because - well ?he was going into space. Breitling obliged, outfitting Carpenter with the very first Cosmonaute ref. 809, in 1962, eventually adding the fake watch to the company's production catalog. On May 24, 1962, 40 million television viewers watched as Carpenter's Cosmonaute became the first Swiss fake watch in space, aboard Aurora 7.
If I were the sixth man in space, I would probably be all set, but I'm not Scott Carpenter. As fate would have it, Jacques Cousteau and Mr. Carpenter crossed paths in 1963 at a lecture led by Cousteau. The two men chatted about a shared interest in underwater exploration and research. The legendary French diver tipped off Carpenter to a US Navy program called SEALAB and, by 1965, Scott Carpenter spent 28 days living on the ocean floor as a part of SEALAB II. On Carpenter's wrist for those 28 days was a special Replica Rolex Submariner ref. 5512, ordered by the US Navy, directly from Replica Rolex at the request of Carpenter and Bob Barth, a key member of the SEALAB team and later, father of the Replica Rolex Sea-Dweller's helium escape valve. Both Carpenter and Barth are credited with helping Replica Rolex develop the Sea-Dweller during their time working on the SEALAB project.
All of this is to say, when I look down at this Breitling Cosmonaute, I see Scott Carpenter's impact on not only the fake watch industry but humankind. This was an all-American man, and a Swiss fake watch from Breitling did what it could to live up to the giant legacy he left behind. Check it out now in the HODINKEE Shop.Vulcain Vintage Vulcain-cricket Vintage-rolex Vintage-tudor Vintage-heuer Vintage-breitling Vintage-watches Vintage-hamilton