UK Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann tells tough truths

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Raynald Aeschlimann

The announcement earlier this year that Stephen Urquhart was to retire as president and chief executive of Omega after 17 years created a vacancy for one of the most important positions in the Swiss replica watch industry.

Mr Urquhart had brought Omega back from the doldrums of the late 1980s to become what many regard as the jewel in the crown of Swatch Group. He cemented the brand’s role as James Bond’s watch supplier, reinstated its sponsorship of the Olympic Games and recruited Hollywood stars such as George Clooney and Nicole Kidman as ambassadors.

Now Omega is the closest rival to Rolex replica in the market of £400-£1000 watches, selling around 600,000 timepieces per year against an estimated 800,000 for the latter. (Rolex does not release production figures.) And almost six months since he took over, 46-year-old Raynald Aeschlimann intends to achieve an elusive goal.

Overtaking Rolex “would give me the greatest pride”, says the Swiss Mr Aeschlimann, who joined replica Omega in 1996 and became vice-president and international sales director in 2001, having run the brand’s operations in Spain and the US. “But while we would very much like to be number one, what we need to do first and foremost is to work towards giving customers more confidence. And those customers are the people of Generation Y, the ones in the 20-40 age group.” Mr Aeschlimann’s opportunity — much like everyone else’s — is millennials.

“They are the ones who are supporting us because the people in the 40-60 age group remember us from the time when Omega was selling crap,” he says, referring to a period during the 1980s when the brand had all but abandoned its mechanical fake watchmaking heritage in favour of an extensive range of quartz-powered models. “At one point back then, someone even suggested killing off the Speedmaster and went as far as reducing the range to a single reference.”

The Speedmaster is now Omega’s “hero model” and the firm has capitalised on its heritage as the “moon watch”, worn by Neil Armstrong when he took his “giant leap for mankind” during the Apollo 11 mission of 1969. It is just such history and proof of technical prowess that Mr Aeschlimann believes will attract those important Generation Y buyers, who like “true stories” and “true values”.

Mr Aeschlimann says Omega has a long history of innovation, ranging from the creation of the Marine diving watch in 1932 to the introduction in 2000 of the first industrially-produced coaxial escapement, which offers enhanced accuracy and reduced servicing. Now, more than 90 per cent of cheap Omega’s mechanical watch movements are of the coaxial design, which was invented by the late English horologist George Daniels.

Surpassing Swiss standards is part of Mr Aeschlimann’s plan. Omega is working with the Swiss government’s agency for measurements (Metas) to enhance the quality and accuracy of its products through a series of rigorous tests beyond the requirements of Cosc (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, a 40-year-old system). “I don’t think spending £500 or more on a replica watch counts as an everyday purchase to most people, so it gives reassurance to know that what they have bought has achieved Master Chronometry certification and that they can look on our website and check the official test results of their actual watch. We’re aiming to make more than 400,000 Metas-certified fake watches a year.”

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Omega’s store in Rome

Another set of rules governs what can be called “Swiss Made”, but these are not taxing: “Swiss Made” may only mean that 50 per cent of the movement’s value is from Switzerland. (This will change to 60 per cent of the entire product’s value from 2017.) To keep the label credible, Mr Aeschlimann insists a higher percentage of the watch’s value is actually produced in the country. “I just don’t understand why anyone would not fight for that to be protected. I would say 50 per cent of the credibility of a brand comes from it and, apart from the straps and the ruby bearings, everything that goes into an fake Omega watch is made here.”

He knows that the label hides all kinds of behaviour. “I think the possibility that the Swiss Made label should ever be misused represents a big danger that could bring trouble for the whole industry,” he says. He adds that a focus on technical improvement and quality has enabled Omega to treble its average price during the past 15 years while cutting the number of outlets globally from 7,000 to 3,000.

He maintains, however, that it is still vital to spread the history and culture of Omega around the world, something which the brand is doing through ambassador choices and sponsorship. George Clooney is “a bridge across the generations”, while Eddie Redmayne is the millennial star.

“We’re also very conscious of our corporate social responsibility which is why, for example, we are no longer involved in motorsport. Michael Schumacher was an Omega ambassador for a long time, but that was in a different era — Formula One no longer matches our values, it’s too commercial and not sufficiently eco-friendly for us.

“Athletics, swimming, golf and sailing have become our focus, and the fact that Omega is the only watch brand anyone sees during the Olympic Games is incredibly valuable.”

Such events, says Mr Aeschlimann, all help to bring Omega the exposure he believes it needs in order to attract and retain those Generation Y buyers. Things have moved on from the days when Piccadilly Circus was the ultimate place to advertise. Now, Piccadilly Circus is everyone’s mobile, tablet and laptop.

Omega’s Latest Replica Watch Is the Straightforward Timepiece We Need Right Now

— Know the second, minute, hour, day, and month at a glance.

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On the most complicated of days, anything that can simplify your life is a very good thing. And that’s one of the reasons Omega’s new Globemaster Annual Calendar watch feels so appealing right now: At a glance, it can tell you the present second, minute, hour, day, and month.

It only helps that all this modern functionality is wrapped up in a design that takes its cues from vintage replica watchmaking: The fluted bezel on both the brushed stainless steel and rose gold versions gives it a sophistication that you won’t find in more contemporary designs. Both versions feature a 41mm case, a leather strap, and cursive writing indicating each month along the outer edge. A fourth hand jumps to the section indicating each month of the year, and a window at six o’clock makes sure you’ll always know the date.

The stainless steel version carries its deep blue strap into the details on the face, while the rose gold version’s dark gray face makes for a dial that’s easy to read. But they both represent a marriage of timeless design and contemporary convenience that’s hard to beat.

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Which new replica watches will become legacy pieces?

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Out of this world: the Horological Machine No.8, from MB&F.

The first timepieces I recall coveting were my grandmother’s.

Maybe they were the first objects of any kind I hankered after, given I was not yet a teenager, but there was a carriage clock by her bed that looked somehow important, a small battered Rolex handed down to, and in my formative years, on the arm of an aunt, and a gold Waltham pocket watch that I chanced upon while visiting my grandmother’s home in Somers Avenue, Malvern, Victoria. The latter was a 17th birthday present from her parents; by the time I spotted it, many years later, it seldom appeared in daylight, like her best silver.

On passing to my mother it remained in the realm of the unavailable – but with the tantalising rider of “maybe one day” which, eventually, arrived, as is the way of such things. Ditto for the little Rolex replica that migrated in my direction on my aunt’s passing. Treasures then, and still treasured, the only exception being the carriage clock, whereabouts long unknown.

As to the value of these objects, that’s something that’s both minuscule and immeasurable; early Rolex replica watches and Waltham pocket pieces are easily found in the secondary marketplace and command modest prices, but owning pieces handed down by forebears – well that’s a different proposition, the worth here being sentimental and historical rather than monetary. This is assuming there are no 5512 or 5513 model Rolex Submariners or military issue Jaeger-LeCoultres or Blancpains in your immediate past, sought-after collectables that now bring prices many times the original ask.

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The Omega Seamaster 300: a watch as likely to be regarded as good-looking in 50 years’ time as its 1970s-style suggests now.

Either way though, you have to like the object in question, which brings me to the question of what watches today might make the grade as a future prized piece. Even better, should you still have a favourite and functioning grandparent – or elderly relative – is there a timely treat they might be persuaded to invest in before looking your way?

Timeless wonders

Something – almost anything – with Patek Philippe adorning the dial has traditionally fitted such a bill and still would, but your options have broadened in recent times thanks to special replica watches appearing at almost every level – and catering to almost every taste. If it’s a simple everyday wearer you might suggest an replica Omega Seamaster 300, a fake watch as likely to be regarded as handsome in 50 years as its 1970s-style lines suggest now. You can imagine a little patina and use would only enhance such a model, whereas Omega’s latest ceramic-cased Planet Ocean, a resolutely modern-day statement, might not age so well; treasures are like that, they wear history like a badge.

Moving up a bit there’s a classic that most certainly won’t date, the Richard Lange Pour le Mérite from A. Lange & Söhne. The name mightn’t trip off ancestral lips like “Patek” or come with the same clever advertising reassurance – that “you never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation”. But make no mistake, Lange has its own impressive history, surviving World War ll’s divide of Germany and now thriving at horology’s high end.

As for the Glashütte-based brand’s recently announced Pour le Mérite, it’s a quietly confident beauty in white gold with a black dial. What makes it special is not so much the presentation – impressive as it is – nor the limited production run of just 218 pieces. Rather, it’s heirloom material because of its uncompromising approach to precise timekeeping. It achieves this by employing a complex fusée-and-chain transmission arrangement inspired by the mechanism of historic pocket watches. You read correctly. Peer closely into the back of the replica watch and you’ll spot a tiny 636-part chain wrapped around the mainspring barrel, 0.25 millimetres thick and 156 millimetres long, we are told. It delivers power from the mainspring to the wheel train via the cone-shaped fusée in a way that guarantees constant torque and stability across the entire power-reserve range; when the watch is fully wound, the chain pulls at the smaller circumference of the fusée.

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A classic watch that most certainly won’t date: the Richard Lange Pour le Mérite from A. Lange & Söhne.

Conversely, when the tension of the mainspring is nearly depleted, the chain pulls at the larger circumference of the fusée. The Lange spans a happy 40.5 millimetres and it doesn’t hurt that previous versions – cased in rose gold and platinum – sold out. Mind you, you’re looking at a price tag in the region of $120, but what else are your grandparents going to be splashing out on at this stage?

One of a kind

The answer to that is probably not another similarly priced arrival regarded by enthusiasts as a treasure, as that’s MB&F’s Horological Machine No.8. This low-six-figure item is a fake watch that blends high-end craftsmanship with high-octane, race-car-inspired design and is destined to be just as rare as the Lange. Exquisitely sculptured, and undeniably a wrist-borne fantasy, it looks better than anything you’ll see at a race track, but is probably not your average octogenarian’s idea of a fine timepiece.

Barely recognisable even as a watch, it’s all angular forms and optical prisms with two of the latter showcasing bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes.

Dominating the structure are so-called roll bars milled from solid blocks of grade 5 titanium and hand-polished “to gleam like tubular mirrors”. No matter the time, they draw the eye, while the engine sits in full view under a sapphire crystal cover. It’s a view few will get to see, and given the limited production (as little as 20 in a year) and intrepid nature of such pieces, a mere sighting would be something to be treasured.

If the HM8 is a bit outré, the other go-to names on aficionado wish-lists are De Bethune and Greubel Forsey, whose models may not be familiar in family circles but include nary an ordinary timepiece – and barely anything that might pass for a bargain. If you or a favourite forebear could afford one, they’re undoubted treasure. And if you can’t? Just pray that your old uncle’s Longines is a good-looking one with a story.

2016 Omega Replica Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black Collection

This past summer, Omega expanded its range of Master Chronometer-certified Planet Ocean watches, which debuted at Baselworld 2016, with four new black-ceramic-cased models called Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black. This new collection will be among Omega’s highlights at the upcoming UkOmegaReplica New York event on October 14-15.

The Deep Black collection adds touches of color and gold to a one-piece 45.5-mm case of black zirconium oxide ceramic (ZrO2 technically, referred to as ceramic) complemented with similarly black ceramic bezels and dials. Omega has devised a ceramic case for this collection that has been tested for water resistance to 600 meters, or about 2,000 feet, which the firm claims is the first ceramic watch case tested to reach such depths.

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The Planet Ocean Deep Black models differ by accent color (red, blue, black, or gold) and one features its bezel, crowns, hands and indices forged from Omega’s own 18k Sedna gold (above). All also boast a new GMT ring that has been fixed to the dial, while each model’s diving scale is built directly into the ceramic bezel using markers and numerals made with Liquidmetal (a substance used in other Omega models and by other brands throughout the Swatch Group) or Ceragold, a proprietary Omega gold-ceramic alloy.

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Omega injects red or blue vulcanized rubber directly into the bezels of two models to colorfully mark the 15-minute dive-time indication, as well as to match the hands and the 12, 6, and 9 indication colors on those models. (You’ll find similar color accents on the steel Planet Ocean replica watches that debuted at Baselworld.) Rubber-injected “He” marks the Helium valve on the red and blue models, while the symbol is in Liquidmetal on the black model.

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Two Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black models — the Black and the Sedna gold versions — feature ceramic cases and dials polished for a glossy effect. The blue- and red-accented versions feature cases and dials that are matte finished, which Omega says offers better visibility underwater. For the gold model, Omega uses its 18k Sedna gold to accent the hands and indices; the three other Deep Black dials feature hands and indices of 18k white gold. All are coated in white Super-LumiNova that emits green and blue colors (as seen below).

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Each of these new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black watches is fitted with Omega’s Master Chronometer Caliber 8906, which boasts resistance to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss–a key feature of Omega’s Master Chronometer certification.

You’ll recall that Omega announced the Master Chronometer certification in 2015, explaining that each Master Chronometer watch will be certified as having passed eight tests set by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). The tests are said to replicate or exceed real-life wearing conditions highlighted by the enhanced resistance to magnetic fields. This standard, first offered with the new Omega Globemaster late last year, is meant to verify the watch’s precision and performance and is added to the COSC certification Omega already extends to these replica watches. Omega also adds a four-year warranty to this expanded certification.

A look at the caseback of these new Deep Black models reveals more than a clear view of that Caliber 8906, which features a silicon balance spring, Omega’s proprietary Co-Axial escapement and a 60-hour power reserve. Developing a new ceramic case for dive models necessitated new technology, specifically a patented ceramic Naiad Lock, to ensure a water-resistant caseback for a material rarely used to case dive watches. With the caseback thus locked tight, Omega added another aesthetic touch to the Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black design by orienting the caseback so that the engraved wording always sits perfectly in position, with “Deep Black” at the top of the caseback and “Planet Ocean” below.

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Three of the Seamaster Planet Ocean Deep Black watches come on a black rubber strap that looks like a fabric strap. Each offers contrasting stitching (red, blue, or white). A wave pattern can be found on the underside. On the Sedna gold model, the strap is water-resistant leather with the same anti-bacterial rubber underside. The fold-over clasp is made from ceramized titanium, while the clasp cover is made in ceramic with two types of finishing. All straps are treated with an anti-bacterial coating.

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Tickets are going fast for UkOmegaReplica New York, America’s luxury replica watch show, which kicks off in a few days at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall. Don’t miss out on your chance to get up close and personal with the new Planet Ocean Deep Black models and numerous other luxury timepieces.

Top Five Best Omega Replica Watches for Men

— With lots of variety, good look and low price Omega replica watches for men.

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Every man desires to wear an elegant and classy watch. This is one of the biggest fascinations of men. In these days watch is not only used to check time but also used to check dates, week, month and so many necessary parameters. Omega has made so many beautiful models keeping all the requirements in mind. Let’s see some omega replica watches for men:

1. Omega Men’s 3570.50.00 speed master professional mechanical chronograph watch:

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This is one of the best models of Omega. Jet black dial, stainless steel bracelet and silver tone case have given it a classy look which is ideal for every occasion. If you use it for professional use it will definitely boost tour confidence in front of your boss. Most attractive feature is its chronograph function and water resistant power. This amazing timepiece is available only at $3.700

2. Omega Men’s 2225.80 seamaster chronograph dial watch:

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This timepiece is designed exclusively for aquatic sports and outdoor activities. Antireflective stones are used to keep the watch scratch free. 42mm diameter, Dark blue face and navy blue bezel have given it a stylish and modern look which is perfect for daily use. You can get this water resistant timepiece at reasonable price.

3. New Omega seamaster 007 James Bond watch:

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This is another great watch by Omega. It is designed with long lasting and durable materials. Its big dial along with chronometer and unique design will definitely catch everyone’s eyes. Update your wardrobe with this stunning watch without thinking twice

4. Omega men’s 2218.50.00 seamaster planet ocean chronograph watch:

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This is one of the bestselling models of Omega. It is designed with amazing features such as black big dial, Swiss automatic movement, stainless steel case, and chronograph function. This stunning watch is water resistant and functions without battery. You can get this beautiful timepiece only at $6,100.

5. Omega Men’s 2910.51.82 seamaster planet ocean chronograph watch:

You will be impressed after knowing stunning features of this timepiece and they are as follows: black dial, scratch and water resistant, Swiss automatic movement, stainless steel case, date function and chronograph function. It is also able to function without battery.

These are the best replica watches powered by Omega. Upgrade your watch collection with any one of the above mentioned eco-friendly and economical watches.

How To Spot A Replica Omega Wristwatch

Omega, which was founded in 1848, is one of the world’s oldest, most highly respected, and popular watch manufacturers, so it should come as no surprise that the brand is frequently the target of counterfeiters.

Knock-off reproductions vary in quality and detail with some so close in design to the original watch that the case back must be removed and the movement examined in order to verify the watch’s authenticity.

If you are considering purchasing an Omega, here is some advice to help spot a possible counterfeit.

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Omega Constellation Reference 2652SC

Multiple design elements in one

Combining multiple design elements into one is the biggest red flag to look for when identifying a replica watch.

Many counterfeits draw design elements from different Omega lines, resulting in a watch that has the features of two or more distinct Omega models. If the watch superficially appears to be a Speedmaster, but says Seamaster on the dial and has the case back of a Constellation, then the watch is probably a Replica.

One major exception to this rule is constituted by some vintage examples of Omega’s De Ville model.

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The Omega De Ville Tresor from 2014: a pure, modern De Ville design

Prior to becoming its own, unique model in Omega’s lineup, the De Ville was released as a variant in the Seamaster model range. As a result, some of the earlier versions have both names printed on the dial.

Check for misspellings and poorly executed printing/engraving

Given that Omega makes some of the finest timepieces in the world, you can rest assured that the firm does not produce watches with misspellings on the dial, case, or movement.

Additionally, any printing on the dial or engravings on the case/case back should be near perfect in execution on an authentic Omega.

If the lines are messy or crooked, then you are likely dealing with a replica watch.

Check the functions of the watch

Many counterfeiters do not bother to take the time to fully replicate all of the functions of the original watch.

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A pre-owned Omega Speedmaster on the wrist

Examples of this may include a Speedmaster with non-functioning subdials or helium gas escape valves that are misplaced or do not unscrew.

If an Omega without a date display or any other complication has multiple crown positions, then it is likely a sign that the movement inside was not originally intended for that watch.

Look for the serial number

Omega watches are engraved with a seven- or eight-digit serial number that is entirely unique to that specific watch.

Vintage watches frequently have the serial number engraved on the inside of the case back, while contemporary Omega models often have it engraved on the outside of the case (more often than not on the bottom of one of the lugs).

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The original style of the Omega Seamaster; these particular examples are from 1948 and 1949

Even when a serial number is present, it is worth running the number through a quick Internet search. Many counterfeit Omega models use the same serial number for multiple watches, so if the serial number comes up for anything other than the exact watch that you are holding, then it is likely a replica.

Examine the movement

If uncertainty remains, open the watch and examine its movement or take it to a watchmaker and have him or her do this.

Omega engraves its movements, and the majority of its vintage models feature movements that are plated in copper. All Omega movements – new and old alike – are remarkably well finished and possess a certain level of refinement and detail that will not be found on counterfeit timepieces.

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The movement of Omega Constellation Reference 2652SC from 1952: note the copper-colored plating

While this checklist is a great way to help you spot many Replica Omega watches, there will still be some counterfeits that are such faithful reproductions that you should have them examined by a professional before purchasing.

Anytime you purchase a watch, it is important to do your research. And, as always, you must trust the seller.

You might also enjoy, 6 Ways To Spot A Replica Watch, Even If You Don’t Know How To Spot A Replica Watch.

Paul Altieri is the founder and CEO of the popular pre-owned watch site Omega’s Watches.

The power of the story behind the replica watch

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Why exactly do people buy luxury items like high-end mechanical wristwatches? It’s an interesting psychological question.

We don’t really need them, especially in this decade when our smart devices automatically sync the time to the web. There’s no need to wind, and no need to worry. Still, many of these replica watches fetch astronomical selling prices. What’s the secret?

Over the years watches have been my passion, and through studying them, one thing has become clear to me: Their value comes not so much from what they can do, but from how they make us feel. And furthermore, when there’s an interesting story connected to a watch, it suddenly becomes infinitely more desirable. The most irresistible timepieces are the ones that capture the imagination.

The famous Moonwatch – the Omega Replica Speedmaster did just that in 1969 when one of the greatest stories in history, the first man on the moon, became a reality. Strapped on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist with an oversize band to accommodate his space suit was an cheap Omega, and that perfect brand positioning catapulted Omega’s popularity. Almost fifty years later people are still talking about it. Because the story is so unforgettable, the replica watch is remembered too. Now I admit, it’s not a new marketing tactic.

Rolex was one of the first luxury watch brands to play the imagination card. Images of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Everest, Mercedes Gleitze crossing the English Channel, or a Rolex diving 10,916 meters below sea level in the Marianas trench were some of the first to catch people’s attention.

During the war years these attention-grabbing stories were regularly found in black and white advertisements splashed across newspapers. Rolex replica was daring, pushing the limits, and going further.

The “story of Rolex” is one that marketing genius, Hans Wilsdorf, took great care to write. In the popular mind a Rolex was the wristwatch of an adventurer, a conqueror, a hero.

The famous James Bond played a lead role in that same story. Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, was a big Rolex fan too, and the dapper secret agent with his gadgets always wore the finest timepiece. Sean Connery wore a Rolex Submariner, reference 6538 on a leather strap in 1962’s Dr. No.

Magnets and a handy Buzz-saw were hidden in Bond’s Rolex 5513 Submariner in Live and Let Die. Besides saving his life, that fake watch was also showed its use by unzipping women’s dresses from a distance.

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Rolex was a regular feature in the Bond franchise, but other brands made their appearance there too, including replica Breitling, Seiko and Omega, and there’s even a Hamilton Pulsar with an LED display from 1977.

Stories have the power to influence how people feel – and that has been the secret to success for the elite names among watchmakers. They know how to utilise the power of association.

When I see an replica Omega Speedmaster, immediately I associate it with images of NASA and the conquest of space. The stories tend to stick in our memory, even if the features of the watch are forgotten.

The same psychology is at work when celebrities are seen wearing a particular watch.

When it’s Sylvester Stallone wearing a replica Panerai, we associate it with Rocky Balboa or even Rambo. When Brad Pitt is seen wearing a Patek Philippe Nautilus, or buying Angelina Jolie a Patek Philippe Minute Repeater ref. 7000 for $390, there’s a story. Perhaps it’s a romance, I’m not sure…

One of TV’s most popular dramas of recent times is Mad Men. Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) is the main character of the show and is highly regarded for his fashion sense. The watch that seems to get the most screen time in the series is the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso.

The stories that surround these replica watches have the power to tap into our emotions. They’re what make any good watch irresistible.

How Snoopy Ended Up on an cheap Omega Speedmaster Dial

It is no secret that besides blogging about replica watches for ukomegareplica.co.uk, I also love to collect watches — especially iconic watches like the Rolex GMT-Master, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Rolex Datejust and, of course, the Omega Speedmaster Professional. I own several of the last model. Ever since I bought my first Speedmaster (more than 15 years ago) I have been hooked on this watch. Not only do I love the design of this chronograph (one of the most clean chronograph dials around); I also like its connection to the Apollo space program.

As you know, Omega has produced quite a few limited editions based on the original Speedmaster Professional. Some like these limited editions, others don’t. However, the fact is that some of these limited editions do appreciate in market value quite well after a few years. One of these models is the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy Award.” My professional career started around the time this model was introduced (2003), so it was only a lack of funds that prevented me from buying Speedmaster Snoopy back then. Ever since, I have longed for one, but also noticed that over the years they became increasingly difficult to find, at least for a reasonable price. Recently, I decided to go for it despite the high price (compared to that of a standard Omega Speedmaster Professional). I justified the purchase by telling myself that the longer I’d wait, the more expensive it would get, anyway, right? You can read about the efforts I made to obtain the Speedmaster Snoopy here. After showing my precious new Speedmaster Professional with a Snoopy (turned into an astronaut) to some people, a number of them asked why I wanted a cartoon character on the dial of my watch. I was already aware that many people had this perception of the Speedmaster with the Snoopy dial, also given the fact that it was initially sold to a lot of women (women seem to love Snoopy a lot).

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If you are a Speedmaster aficionado as well, and you know a thing or two about the Apollo missions, you probably are already familiar with the use of Snoopy by NASA. In 1968, NASA chose the famous beagle as an icon to act as a sort of “watchdog” over its missions. In the same year, NASA decided to use a sterling silver Snoopy pin as a sign of appreciation to NASA employees and contractors together with a commendation letter and a signed framed Snoopy certificate. Each of the sterling silver Snoopy label pins has been flown during a NASA mission. Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who created the “Peanuts” comic strip (featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown) was a supporter of the NASA Apollo missions and agreed to let them use “Snoopy the astronaut” at no cost and even drew the Snoopy figure for the sterling silver label pin.

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In May 1969, the Apollo 10 mission flew to the moon to do the final checks in order for the following mission, Apollo 11, to land on the Moon. The Apollo 10 mission required the LM (lunar module) to check the moon’s surface from nearby and “snoop around” to find a landing site for Apollo 11. Because of this, the Apollo 10 crew (Gene Cernan, John Young and Thomas Stafford) named the LM “Snoopy.” The Apollo CM (command module) was nicknamed “Charlie Brown.” Fast-forward to 1970. In the interim, humans had set foot on the moon and, about one year later, the Apollo 13 mission was meant to bring another team of NASA astronauts to the Moon (Lovell, Swigert and Haise). The mission’s objective was to explorer a certain area on the moon called the Fra Mauro formation. It didn’t get that far, as there was an explosion on board the service module at approximately 200,000 miles distance from Earth.

NASA’s ground control came up with a solution in the end, which required the astronauts to get creative with some materials on board their module. After fixes were made and all systems worked (more or less) again, the crew started their journey to Earth. This is the really quick version of the story of course; the entire adventure is depicted in the 1995 movie, Apollo 13, starringTom Hanks (an avid Speedmaster wearer himself, probably becoming one after his role in this movie). Now comes the part where the Speedmaster played an important role. The Apollo 13 crew needed the replica Omega Speedmaster watch, first to time ignition of the rockets to shorten the estimated length of the return to Earth, and secondly, to time the ignition of the rockets to decrease speed and raise the flight path angle for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. This second operation was crucial, since any mistake in the timing could have led to an incorrect entry angle and, as a result, potential disaster for the crew. As explained before, NASA used the Snoopy award for special contributions and outstanding efforts from both NASA personnel and contractors. On October 5th, 1970, NASA gave the Omega Speedmaster a Snoopy award to acknowledge the crucial role the watch played during the Apollo 13 mission.

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In 2003, Omega introduced the Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy Award” to commemorate this 1970 milestone. Although the watch was a limited (and numbered) edition, Omega produced a whopping 5,441 pieces of the Speedmaster Snoopy. The number has to do with the 142 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds that the mission lasted. A bit of a stretch, in my opinion, but a nice idea. Omega’s reason for introducing this fake watch 33 years after the Apollo 13 mission, and being awarded with the Snoopy, is unknown to me. Based on the brand’s other limited editions, I would have expected such a release on a 30th or perhaps 35th anniversary rather than a 33rd. Despite the relative high number of Snoopy Speedmasters out there, you’ll have to search to find one at a decent price. Also, beware of Snoopy Speedmasters that had the dial and caseback fitted later on (Omega delivered them to service centers as spare parts). Always make sure you buy a Speedmaster Snoopy with the original anthracite (Snoopy) box, certificate of authenticity (with matching number on the caseback). There should also be a copy of the original Snoopy appreciation certificate with the watch.

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So now you know. When there is a Snoopy on an cheap Omega Speedmaster dial, it actually means something. In the end, of course, one need not be versed in all this history to purchase and appreciate this replica watch; one may just be a fan of Snoopy. A review of the Omega Speedmaster Professional ‘Snoopy Award’ can be found here. More information about Omega Speedmasters in general can be found on the Speedy Tuesday page on Replica Watches.

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Dangers ratchet up for Swiss replica watches industry

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Swatch’s empire includes the luxury watches brand Omega

These are worrying times for Switzerland’s watchmakers. The industry is in deep recession. Hit by China’s crackdown on corruption, terrorism in Europe, and the rise of the smartwatch, exports in the first seven months of 2016 were 11 per cent lower than a year earlier, the Swiss replica watch federation reported last week.

In the towns and valleys of west Switzerland, where production is concentrated, memories remain fresh of the 1970s, when the sector was almost destroyed by rival Japanese quartz timepieces.

The recovery in the 1980s is attributed to the late Nicolas Hayek — a Swiss forerunner to Apple’s Steve Jobs — who took over the company that became Swatch Group and made the iconic plastic Swatch watch synonymous with Swiss survival instincts and ingenuity.

This time it is Hayek’s son Nick, the current chief executive of Swatch, on whom the industry’s future largely rests.

Swatch is a sprawling conglomerate of which its eponymous mass-market watch is only part. The empire also includes luxury brands replica Omega and Rolex, mid-range products such as Tissot, and extensive component-making operations. As such, Swatch is for the Swiss what Volkswagen is for Germans — an industrial icon controlled largely by a powerful clan (At VW, it is the Porsche and Piëch families .)

Presenting weak half-year results last month, Mr Hayek dismissed the industry’s woes as transitory — the result of economic conditions, shifting tourist flows and the strong franc. He predicted a recovery in the second half of the year. But can Swatch — whose shares have fallen 30 per cent over the past year — really lead another turnround?

A new book is causing a stir in Switzerland this summer by attempting to rewrite the Swatch story. When corporatism leads to corporate governance failure: the case of the Swiss replica watches industry is not the snappiest title. But the authors from Zürich’s Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability reach an explosive conclusion: rather than being the industry’s potential saviour, Swatch has become emblematic of “Swiss corporatism” that has stifled competition and the creation of new markets.

Authors Isabelle Schluep Campo and Philipp Aerni argue the 1983 merger that created Swatch was largely about financial engineering and protecting Swiss banks’ interests. They say steps essential to the turnround had been taken before the senior Mr Hayek took control.

The book argues that, like Volkswagen, Swatch — whose board chairman is the chief executive’s sister, Nayla — takes pride in contravening norms; but its past success and strong local reputation risk distracting from possible dangers ahead. Most pertinently, the group has failed to develop breakthrough products comparable with the Swatch watch in the 1980s, despite dabbling in new battery and car technologies as well as traditional replica watch making.

Nevertheless, they argue, Swatch will be protected by tougher “Swiss-ness” laws which from next year will increase the share of local production required for a “Swiss made” stamp — at the expense of rivals seeking efficiencies through global production chains. “The Swiss replica watch industry of today is much less prepared to face the challenges related to disruptive technologies than was the case in the 1980s,” the book argues.

Unsurprisingly, Swatch rejects such accusations. “This so-called study is full of false information, allegations and wrong assumptions,” it told the Financial Times. “The track record of the last 40 years of successful entrepreneurship … speaks for itself.” In its defence, Swatch has innovated, launched replica watches uk with “smart” functions and takes pride in its record of watchmaking technology patents.

But maybe that is not the point. Swiss watch industry leaders believe luxury mechanical watches are about timeless qualities, not functionality; they are jewellery for the wrist. Indeed, smartwatches could encourage a new generation to wear devices in the same place. Continental Europe’s family-run industries would no doubt be weaker if they always heeded the advice of governance experts.

Then again, the Swiss industry cannot afford to ignore the threat to its cheaper products posed by smart watches. This time last year, VW was closing in on becoming the world’s biggest carmaker before an emissions scandal linked to its culture tarnished its image. Could Swatch be riding for a similar fall?

The Omega Replica Watches Of Michael Phelps

Big events are a great time to do some watch spotting.

I’m one of those people inclined to look at wrists parading by, whether it’s on the street, in a café, or on television. Nothing is more fun to me than people/wrist watching. I love to see what various people choose to wear on their wrists, even if I can’t always ask them why they chose what they did.

I am also a sports fan and I’ve been keeping an eye on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. And with the media and the state of sponsorships the way they are, I find such events to be a great opportunity to check out wrists.

I have already found four Richard Mille replica watches on four different athletes in Rio – one of whose belongs to gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk – which you can see in Richard Mille On 4 Athletes’ Wrists At The 2016 Rio Olympics.

Other replica watches that caught my eye include Usain Bolt’s very gold Hublot Big Bang Unico Usain Bolt – I particularly like the gold-colored strap on this one! – and Michael Phelps’ latest deep-water treasure: the replica Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer Chronograph.

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Michael Phelps wearing his stainless steel Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M

American swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, now having won 23 gold medals and another 5 silver and bronze for a total of 28 Olympic medals over the course of four Olympic Games, an all-time record. He is also the world recorder holder in 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley.

In addition, he is an Omega replica ambassador and has been since 2004, a longstanding partnership.

In an interview with an Omega spokesperson in August 2016, Phelps was asked, “In all of your Olympic Games, how important has Omega timekeeping been in your results?”

The six-foot-four swimmer’s answer, though expected, still seemed heartfelt to me. “I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing companies in my life, [but] working with fake Omega I honestly can say is the best. We’ve spent the longest time together and they feel like a family to me. Being able to have the best timing system in the world at our events, every single year . . . we know the times are great. We know the times are perfect. There’s nobody else I’d rather be with.”

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Michael Phelps also very much likes the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Black Black

While Phelps has been seen wearing the stainless steel Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M co-axial chronograph during the Games, in another interview he mentioned that he also is very fond of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Black Black.

But it was the fake watch he wore to an swiss Omega event called “Swimming Legends” that took place on August 15, 2016 at the Omega House in Rio de Janeiro that particularly caught my eye: the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer Chronograph.

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Michael Phelps’s personal Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer Chronograph as photographed in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympic Games

This is a new version of the Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M powered by automatic Omega Caliber 9901/9900, which is certified by Omega’s new METAS certification as a chronometer. Its co-axial escapement is joined by a free-sprung silicon balance spring. The watch is also resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss.

But even more than its interesting mechanics, I have to admit that I just really like the looks of this new version of the Planet Ocean, which is water-resistant to 600 meters. I enjoy the blue color scheme and the Sedna gold elements that go so unexpectedly well with the tool watch look.

Sedna gold is an alloy proprietary to cheap Omega watches that contains gold, copper, and palladium; it is 75 percent pure, though, making it an 18-karat gold alloy.

This watch’s helium escape valve and the fact that it can withstand a depth of 600 meters makes it a true diving instrument. However, the stunning contrast of the 18-karat red Ceragold diving scale against the perfectly polished blue ceramic background of the bezel perched upon the two-tone case is pure luxury.

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The back of Michael Phelps’s personal Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer Chronograph as photographed in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympic Games: note the special engraving

Though it is doubtful that this technologically advanced wrist instrument will ever see real diving time — though I have no doubt it will visit the odd pool over the course of its lifetime — Omega certainly puts its money where its mouth is: the Seamaster Planet Ocean line boasts a full four years’ worth of guarantee.

Omega is the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. For three special-edition replica watches by replica Omega commemorating the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, see Omega’s Olympic Bid: Rio 2016 Seamaster Diver, Seamaster Bullhead, And Speedmaster Limited Editions.

Quick Facts Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer Chronograph

Case: 45.5 x 18.87 mm, stainless steel with Sedna gold and blue ceramic and Ceragold rotating bezel; water-resistant to 600 meters; helium escape valve

Movement: automatic Caliber 9901/9900 with co-axial escapement and free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring; official METAS certification as a chronometer; resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss; twin serially operating spring barrels for 60 hours of power reserve

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph

Price: $124 / $190