Amidst the bustle of Design Miami 2023, Hublot launched a new limited edition watch in tribute to the vibrant city. The new Replica Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic City has an ‘80s inspired (think Miami Vice) color scheme on the dial and is housed in a sleek black ceramic case. Naturally, since this is a limited edition watch the production numbers are going to be low at only 35 pieces produced.
The basics of the replica hublot Big BangUnico Magic City are in line with the standard model: a 42mm wide case that measures 14.5mm thick with 100 m of water resistance. The in-house HUB1280 chronograph movement was totally redone a few years back in order to be properly housed in the smaller 42mm case (previous iterations were 45mm). An integrated flyback column wheel chronograph , the HUB1280 is comprised of 354 components and has a 72-hour power reserve.
The real magic, so to speak, about this limited edition is the playfully retro purple and blue color scheme on the dial. And then there is my favorite touch, which is the bi-color palm tree at 9 o’clock where the running seconds sub-dial is. The fake watch comes with a classic black rubber strap but it’s the gradient strap that transitions from hues of pink, light purples, and blue that matches the dial that brings the whole piece together.
Hublot showed excellently balanced restraint in designing the Big Bang Unico Magic City which is demonstrated by the question I always ask myself when judging a themed limited edition: does the watch stand on its own? The Magic City certainly does and as my esteemed colleague Zach Blass noted, it’s perfectly timed with the release of the new Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer that dropped a few days ago.
In this feature from the WatchTime archives, we take a close look at the modern version of ReplicaRolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master, with black Cerachrom bezel and Oysterflex bracelet. Original photos are by Nik Schölzel.
A water-resistant Oyster case, large hour markers and bold hands are essential elements of Replica Rolex Submariner, introduced in 1953 and made for use underwater. In contrast, Rolex’s Yacht-Master, launched in 1992, is a luxury liner – equally at home on board a yacht on the high seas or on land at a ritzy yacht club.
The Yacht-Master was the first watch in Rolex’s Professional Oyster Collection to come in three different case sizes: 29, 35 and 40 mm. The model we tested, launched last year, is offered in two sizes: 37 and 40 mm. We chose the larger version, which we measured at precisely 40.19 mm in diameter and 11.49 mm in height (excluding the magnifying “Cyclops” lens for the date).
The well-known Cyclops date lens was patented by Rolex in 1953 and introduced in 1954 on the Datejust. This magnifying device is made of sapphire, like the watch’s crystal, and has nonreflective coating on both sides. The jumping date advances exactly at midnight.
The watch is powered by a seasoned caliber, the Rolex 3135, used in the very first Yacht-Master in 1992. The 3135 debuted in 1988 in the Submariner. The blue Parachrom balance spring was added to the movement in 2005, five years after it was first introduced in the Cosmograph Daytona. Its paramagnetic alloy resists changes caused by temperature variations and magnetic fields.
The Parachrom balance spring is thinner than a human hair and up to 10 times more resistant to shocks than a conventional balance spring. Provided with an overcoil, it is attached to a large balance wheel with a variable moment of inertia. Fine adjustments are made using four gold Microstella regulating screws. The balance wheel is supported by a height-adjustable bridge. The entire construction ensures rate results that bring the Yacht-Master (as well as the other watches in the Oyster collection) to the rank of “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified.” These words on the Yacht-Master’s dial mean that the watch has endured 15 days and nights of testing by COSC in addition to a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratory. Acceptable rate results for a Superlative Chronometer allow deviations of less than +/-2 seconds per day, while COSC’s test permits average deviations between -4 and +6 seconds per day. In addition, Rolex’s tests are carried out under conditions that correspond more closely to real-life situations than COSC’s tests and are conducted on fully assembled watches, while COSC tests just the movements.
The tests performed by Rolex include a water-resistance check. Unlike the Submariner, the Yacht-Master’s water resistance is “only” 100 meters. This means that the Yacht-Master is not designed to be a professional replica watch, which requires water resistance of at least 200 meters.
The Yacht-Master’s bidirectional bezel also keeps it from being a dive watch. The bezel on a dive watch usually rotates in only one direction so it won’t show a shorter dive time if it’s repositioned inadvertently. But the Yacht-Master’s bezel is impressive: it has 120 ratchets and shows graduations in 5-minute increments using both Arabic numerals and line markers. The first quarter has well-defined minutes markers. Polished, raised graduations on the ceramic inlay stand in relief against a sandblasted, matte black background. The bezel is made of Cerachrom, Rolex’s ceramic material. The Ceramic inlay is set in a deeply grooved ring made of Everose gold, Rolex’s rose-gold alloy. A grooved caseback seals the case hermetically and can only be opened using a special tool. Three dots on the screw-down crown indicate that this watch has been sealed with the Triplock sealing system, a triple water- resistance system developed by Rolex.
The screw-down crown sits securely inside the case between two crown guards. Releasing the crown allows it to spring away from the midsection, which makes it easy to use for manual winding, rapid date change and setting the hands.
The dial has a characteristic Rolex look. The applied markers and elongated triangle at 12 o’clock are filled with Rolex’s luminous substance, Chromalight, and are displayed on a matte black background. The hour hand has a “Mercedes” circle filled with Chromalight and the seconds hand has a luminous Chromalight dot. The stark contrast of black and white ensures excellent legibility during the day; at night the Chromalight emits a blue glow for easy reading in the dark.
This watch is the first Rolex with an Oysterflex bracelet. (We use the term “bracelet” rather than “strap” because the Oysterflex, unlike standard rubber straps, has metal on the inside.) Combining a rubber strap with a gold case is nothing new, but at Rolex, known for its conservative approach to design, it’s a major innovation. The patented bracelet has a core made of nickel-titanium alloy blades, which provide excellent flexibility and are coated with a black elastomer, a synthetic type of rubber. When the material is subjected to tension and pressure, it returns to its original shape quickly. It resists environmental changes and is long lasting, waterproof and hypoallergenic – a good alternative to a metal bracelet. The bracelet’s black color goes well with the ceramic bezel and with the Everose gold case, presenting a modern, two-tone look.
Inside the bracelet is a patented cushioning system that increases wearing comfort. The bracelet accommodates changes in wrist size. The single-sided Oysterlock folding clasp made of Everose gold offers additional flexibility; it allows for three length adjustments. Screws attach the clasp securely to the bracelet. A safety bar makes opening the clasp more difficult but prevents it from opening accidentally.
As I’ve previously mentioned in my take on the Jaeger-LaCoultre Reverso, I have a soft spot in my heart for square and rectangular watches. To me, they represent a period long past: an era pre-Golden Age horology, pre-Quartz Crisis, and pre-Modern: a time when a watch was either a tool or an event accessory, with little else in-between. The ReplicaCartierTank watch is no exception to this nostalgia, and is in fact considered one of the icons of this style, as evidenced by the many imitators that followed it.
Cartier (the brand) has long prided itself on the Tank’s rich history. Originally developed in 1917 by Louis Cartier, and released to the general market in 1919, it went from being among the first watches handed to American General Pershing for his service during World War I, to being chosen as the timepiece of choice for President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, to becoming — perhaps most impressively — one of the very few watch models just as popular with men as it is with women. The Cartier Tank is nothing to scoff at, and while I have number of reservations about the series overall (mostly due to the use of quartz movements in several of them), the watch has earned its place in horology and continues to evolve as a truly classic piece.
While the Cartier Tank long has long been known as a rather fashion-forward series, Cartier has always kept one or two models in its rotation that directly honor the early pieces of the 1920s. Today, those models are the Tank Louis Cartier and the Tank Solo, the first of which we will look at. The Tank Louis Cartier, for the most part, keeps to the original spirit of the Tank watch. Hitting many of the major Tank keys, the piece is housed in an 18k gold, 29.5 mm x 22 mm case, maintains a white Art Deco-style dial with black minute counter and Roman numerals, uses steel-blue sword hands, and, possibly most characteristic of all, has a sapphire-beaded crown.
The most noticeable change between this watch and its historical predecessors is the movement; I’ll spoil the plot and tell you right now that it’s quartz. Now, of course I have already admitted to an anti-quartz bias, and Cartier has been known to focus almost primarily on quartz movements since at least the 1970s (go check out the vintage Les Must de Cartier collection), but to me, there is little excuse for Cartier’s most historically important timepiece not to contain a traditional mechanical movement.
In truth, however, the reason why Cartier uses uses quartz movements in these watches is abundantly clear: the Cartier Tank was (and is) famous not because of superb or innovative mechanics, but much more due to a design that made it the watch that so many people want as their personal accessory. Andy Warhol somewhat notably said, “I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. Actually, I never even wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the luxury watch to wear!” I can only imagine that many other people shared this sentiment, and Cartier was smart enough to adjust the product accordingly.
In the spirit of Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy, the second watch we will look at is the more contemporarily designed Tank Anglaise. This watch was released in 2012, with its stated aim to “perfectly embody” Louis Cartier’s desire for seamless design. While the watch is available in 17 different variations in many different metals, sizes, and bracelets — starting from a $4,850 steel case and going all the way up to a diamond-encrusted $168,000 case — the piece has quickly caught the attention of many consumers for its modern Cartier appeal. The model I am focusing on is a steel “large model” (Ref. W5310009), housed in a 39.2 mm x 29.8 mm case, using a nine-sided protected crown with iconic sapphire tip, and on a satin-finished, polished steel bracelet. The watch also features a two-toned flinqué and silvered dial with date window, steel-blue sword hands, and traditional Tank Roman numerals and minute counter. The whole piece is powered by an automatic movement, Cartier Caliber 077.
Given a choice to wear one, I would actually prefer the Tank Louis Cartier over the Tank Anglaise. You may be wondering why, given my previous comments, but the simple truth is that I find the Anglaise, is more an accessory than a tribute. While the watch certainly pays homage to past references — with the dial’s decals, general proportions, and sapphire tipped crown — I find it lacks the historical inspiration and simplicity that defines the older Tank models. I do love the automatic movement, which I’m sure was added as an effort to pay tribute to Louis Cartier and the era of watches in which he lived. But still, this piece appears to be a push deeper into the fashion-oriented, rather than the horology-oriented, realm of the watch world.
Cartier Tank Replica watches are undeniably cool. They’re iconic, and chances are most people (even if they aren’t watch geeks) can identify one in the wild, which always makes for a good conversation. But the series is not without flaws. While I’m positive Cartier will have no problem selling these watches for many more decades, no matter how much the brand strays from the model’s original look and feel, the Cartier Tank is one of the last remnants of the vintage Art Deco era, and I would hate to see it lose its individualistic quality. Have I mentioned that I love square watches?
Few other timepieces inIWC Replica Pilot’s Watches collection have attained the level of cult status achieved by the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Markus Bühler from 2008. Originating from a unique piece crafted by the company’s associate director of watch and movement assembly, Markus Bühler, during a competition in the concluding year of his watchmaking apprenticeship at the Schaffhausen-based brand, the model notably featured a device inspired by an aircraft turbine on the small seconds.
Now, fifteen years later, IWC introduces an exclusive re-interpretation, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Markus Bühler (Ref. IW329901). Similar to its forerunner, this watch showcases a small turbine on the dial. However, this time, the distinctive aircraft engine has been seamlessly incorporated into a flying minute tourbillon, which is crafted from a lightweight titanium alloy positioned at 6 o’clock.
Due to the complex geometry and the small dimensions, the milling process alone takes several hours. After machining, each of the twelve minuscule blades are polished by hand and finished to a high level of detail and aesthetic perfection. To avoid the turbine adding additional weight to the mechanism, Bühler used it as the upper part of the tourbillon cage, replacing the regulator. As a result, the eye-catcher on the dial also has a technical function: the hairspring attaches to the underside of one of its blades, and the watchmaker can adjust the zero crossing of the balance by turning the turbine. The state-of-the-art tourbillon consists of 56 parts and weighs only 0.663 grams. The pallet lever and the escape wheel were treated with Diamond Shell technology, a special coating that reduces friction and improves the energy flow in the movement.
The 43mm case and the crown are crafted from platinum. Water resistant to 100 meters, it has been elaborately finished by hand with polished surfaces around the bezel and the horns. The black lacquered, glossy dial has been imprinted with white numerals and features applied indices filled with Super-LumiNova. A black Cordovan leather strap with Markus Bühler’s signature printed on the inner side complements the design.
Powering this Big Pilot’s Watch 43 is the IWC-manufactured 82905 caliber. Its Pellaton winding system has been reinforced with ceramic components and builds up a power reserve of 80 hours in the mainspring. The plates, bridges and the rotor, visible through the sapphire case back, were blackened with a PVD coating, then laser-engraved and finally rhodium-plated in the engraved areas.
When I created my Big Pilot’s Replica Watches with a turbine as an apprentice watchmaker, I would never have imagined I would lead the development of a second edition 15 years later – let alone that I would be responsible for all assembly processes at IWC. To meet the high expectations of our collectors, we decided to create something truly exclusive and integrate the signature turbine into a tourbillon. This new edition perfectly embodies IWC’s engineering spirit while showcasing highest levels of detail and craftsmanship”, explains Markus Bühler,
Breitling’s automotive racing team welcomes its newest member: the Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird. It is the fourth model to join the 1960s-inspired Top Time Classic Cars collection. With its prominent tail fin, rock-solid construction, and luxury features, the Ford Thunderbird, first unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 1954, made automotive history. The convertible promised fun driving for extended joyrides that fitted the new feeling of freedom that blossomed in that era. Today, the two first generations, “Classic Bird” (1955-1957) and “Square Bird” (1958-1960) are particularly sought after.
The new Breitling Replica Top Time B01 Classic Cars Collection from left to right: Top Time B01 Ford Mustang, Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird, Top Time B01 Shelby Cobra, Top Time B01 Chevrolet Corvette
The Thunderbirds served as a template for the new addition to the Top Time Classic Car line, which Breitling introduced as a Capsule Collection in 2021. It pays homage to the 1960s Top Time Chronograph, a child of Willy Breitling, and consists of three motorsport chronographs inspired respectively by the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, and Shelby Cobra. While the first generation sported colorful dials in red, blue, and green, the Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird is more subdued with a white, naturally luminescent dial.
The red racing-style leather strap and the color-coordinated chronograph hands, as well as a partial section on the tachymeter scale, add a radiant splash. Also on board are the square, slightly rounded sub dials in tricompax layout, reminiscent of dashboard instruments. They are slightly recessed and emphasize the expressive retro look. Below the twelve, the Thunderbird logo is applied in petrol green. The lettering above the twelve-hour counter refers to the Top Time origin. As with its predecessors, the design of the dial is balanced and is highly recognizable.
This also applies to the Top Time-style stainless steel case, which is now pressure-tested to ten bar with a narrow bezel that surrounds the wide dial and is essential for a true motorsport replica watches. The chronograph pushers, too, are stylishly mushroom-shaped and underscore the vintage charm. However, in line with current trends, Breitling introduces a new diameter to the collection with the Thunderbird, measuring 41 mm.
Breitling Top Time B01 Ford Thunderbird case back
Whereas the previously available chronographs were powered by Breitling’s caliber 41 and 25, both Sellita-based, Breitling’s prestige movement, the B01, now runs as a powerful engine under the hood. Introduced in 2009, the manufacture caliber scores with a COSC chronometer certificate and a power autonomy of 70 hours. This self-winding movement features a column wheel control and a vertical clutch. Thanks to all these features, Breitling can provide a five-year warranty on its prestige caliber. It goes without saying that the B01 is revealed in all its beauty through the sapphire crystal case back, including the Ford Tunderbird logo, emblematic of the enthusiasm for history and timekeeping.