Vintage Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial Replica Watches

For those of you familiar with Theo & Harris, it is no secret that we are in absolute infatuation over there with vintage Omega Replica, specifically, the Omega Seamaster. It is a series of replica watches that has changed dramatically over time — from its initial release in 1948 as a collection of small dress watches, to its transition to a dive watch in 1957, to its massive diversification in the 1970s as a result of the Quartz Crisis, to its contemporary version being James Bond’s current watch of choice. It is a piece that has truly experienced the ups and downs of a consumer market, and that is what makes last year’s release of the Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial, and the design choices Omega made with it, even more special.

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As I mentioned above, Omega began producing Seamasters as dive replica watches in the watershed year of 1957 — the same year that both the first Speedmaster and the now-discontinued Railmaster were released. They were produced as luxury pieces to compete (and continue to compete) with the Rolex Submariner, with the goal of becoming the go-to dive watch — even over the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Zodiac Seawolf — for serious divers and boardroom executives alike. From its original release onward, the Seamaster dive replica watches have experienced massive changes in design, popularity, and marketing, yet it is that classic reference from 1957 upon which today’s Omega Seamaster 300 is based.

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Today’s watch (Ref. 233.30.41.21.01.001, pictured above and below) is a 41-mm beast. With case options in steel, platinum, yellow and Sedna gold, or titanium, with either a matching metal or leather bracelet, there is a combination for pretty much anyone’s taste and budget.

Specifically focusing on the steel-on-steel variation, the piece features a sand-blasted black dial with faux patina, Super-LumiNova hour markers, Arabic quarter hour numerals, and a white Omega corporate logo at 12 o’clock. The hands are the vintage-inspired broad arrow hour, and a matching vintage-Omega-styled minute hand; the bezel is a polished ceramic with a Liquidmetal diving scale — an upgrade from the brittle 1950s-era bezel previously used. Inside the case, and visible through a clear sapphire caseback, resides the Omega Caliber 8400, an automatic movement that uses the brand’s Co-Axial escapement, is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss, and has a power reserve of 60 hours. Some other key features to notice are the large crown minus crown guards, vintage-style domed crystal, and proven water resistance of 30 bar, or 300 meters (it was only proven to 200 meters in 1957). This piece is listed on the Omega website at $160, but it is possible to find it for less at a dealer.

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For the most part, today’s Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial is a faithful re-creation of the original 1957 watch. From the colors, the dial and hand designs, and case, the omega replica watch as a whole is a clear homage to the past and the Seamaster’s diving lineage. Some aethsetic differences to note, as both modern improvements and for contemporary appeal, include the wider bezel and case (41 mm instead of 39 mm), polished center links on the metal bracelet, a somewhat stubbier screw-down crown, arrow-esque seconds hand, and — most notably — a clear caseback. While I personally would have preferred the thinner bezel and the original seconds hand, at the heart of this watch is its use as a tool, and both these modern features improve its function for legibility while diving. Overall, I find this a very handsome piece, and a great job by Omega of riding today’s trend of nostalgia-loving replica watch aficionados.

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Finally, I want to touch upon the assured rise in prominence of this watch as a result of its association with James Bond. While there are a few differences between the reference we previously covered and the limited edition “Spectre” variation (Ref. 233.32.41.21.01.001, pictured above), namely the 0-11 marked, bi-directional rotating bezel and the lollipop seconds hand, the Seamaster 300 is experiencing a new era of “replica watches love” due to its place on the wrist of the cinematic superspy played by Daniel Craig. What all this means is that the watch now has tested relevance: consumers see the similar timepiece on Bond’s wrist, are drawn into its intricacies, and eventually, when they are unable to pick up the more expensive or potentially unavailable spy-watch, will settle for the equally cool, vintage-inspired, flagship Seamaster 300. Kudos to Omega on both a watch and marketing campaign very well done.

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For part 18 in this series, in which I take a look at the IWC Big Pilot, click here.

Caleb Anderson is the Director of Outreach at the online vintage replica watch boutique ukomegareplica.co.uk. Since starting at Theo & Harris, he has garnered extensive knowledge on vintage replica watches, and spends much of his time sharing his opinions within the field. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on replica watches, and a casual runner.

Omega Replica Watches Flown to Moon Sells for $245

A replica watch that was flown to the moon was sold by Christie’s for nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the watchmaker’s own museum.

The Speedmaster chronograph sold on Tuesday for $245 to the UK Omega Replica Museum in Switzerland.

“Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans’ Omega has been sold to Omega Museum!” Omega announced on its social media accounts. “As expected for a timepiece worn on the moon, it fetched the highest price ever for a Speedmaster at an Omega-themed auction at Christie’s in New York.”

The Speedmaster chronograph flew to the moon and back on the Apollo 17 mission 43 years ago this week. Today, the replica watches from the other Apollo 17 astronauts reside in the Smithsonian’s collection, transferred there by NASA after Apollo ended in the 1970s, along with most of the other astronauts’ Omega timepieces.

Evans, though, was able to pocket the experiment’s watch as a souvenir of his trip to the moon. A law passed in 2012 further confirmed that the Apollo astronauts had legal title to the flown spacecraft equipment they kept as mementos.

Evans used an engraving tool to hand-inscribe the replica watch to reflect its mission use. He wrote, “Ron Evans / Flown in CSM / to the moon/ Apollo 17” on the caseback and “6-19 Dec 72 Heat Flow Exp” on its side.

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A chronograph flown on Apollo 17 sold at Christie’s New York for $245, setting a new record for the most paid for an Omega Speedmaster.

After his death in 1990, Evans’ widow held onto the watch for almost two decades before initially putting it up for sale. In 2009, the Omega sold to collector Riccardo Bernard for $239 at an auction in Dallas. Bernard also bid on and won Evans’ flown Velcro replica watch strap (used with his NASA-issued Omega during a spacewalk) and a flown space pen for $119 and $322, respectively.

Christie’s offered all three artifacts as one lot in its Omega Speedmaster 50 sale held on Tuesday. The high bid (and buyer’s premium) of $245 is more than six times what Bernard paid for the replica watch, strap and pen six years ago.

Replica Watch Brands Find Growth in the Women’s Market

— As the global demand for timepieces slows, companies are eager to draw from the relatively untapped well that is the ladies watch segment.

NEW YORK, United States — It’s a tough time for haute horologists. Fluctuating currency rates, an unstable global economy and a major sales slowdown in China has caused a once-solid market to crack. Combine those elements with the rise of the smart watch — which has begun to chip away at the market share of traditional replica watches, at least on the lower end of the upscale — and luxury watchmakers find themselves in a perfect storm of negative factors.

In the past year, the market has shrunk by 6 percent at constant exchange rates, according to market research released by Bain & Company. To be fair, if you measure at current (i.e. fluctuating) exchange rates, luxury replica watches sales have jumped seven percent.

While only some have thus far chosen to join the smart watch race — most recently, Tag Heuer with its Android Wear device — nearly every major luxury replica watch brand has made a concerted effort to appeal more directly to a still relatively small market: women.

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Raymond Weil Noemia replica watches

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega Replica and Rolex have all either created new lines marketed to women or individual replica watches that appeal to ladies. In March 2015, Tag Heuer enlisted model Cara Delevingne to design a range of replica watches priced between $220 and $400. (Delevingne, of course, also starred in the campaign.)

Indeed, the global market for women’s luxury replica watches is projected to reach $10.3 billion in 2015, a 60 percent increase from 2005, according to Euromonitor. While that number is down from its $10.8 billion peak in 2014, the drop is not as pronounced as in the men’s market. (Sales of men’s luxury replica watches will reach $17.6 billion in 2015, down from $18.4 billion the year before.)

“When you look into the luxury goods industry, the watch segment is the weakest, leather goods is doing okay, and the best is jewellery, which is primarily bought by women,” says René Weber, an analyst at Vontobel. “Two years ago, watch companies started to look much more into the [women’s] segment.”

There are several factors at play here. One, as noted by Weber, is that watch companies believe women will treat their timepieces like a piece of jewellery. Another is the rising number of women exchanging dainty quartz dials for larger replica watches with multiple complications. “In the last 10 years, we’ve noticed the ladies’ segment moving toward bigger-sized products: 36, 38, 40mm,” notes Raymond Weil chief executive Elie Bernheim. “While we have a 100 percent ladies collection that is 24mm to 36mm, there is also a unisex product that many women wear today.” Combine new demand with the shrinking of the Chinese replica watch market — which slowed after the government crackdown on gift giving and the rise in Chinese tourists buying their luxury goods abroad — and potential for women’s replica watches seems great. In Switzerland, for instance, the number of Chinese tourists — 50 percent of whom are female — has risen 39 percent year-on-year. “In the past, the watch was mainly a jewellery item of the men’s world,” Weber notes. “But that’s changing.”

Many firms have taken the unisex route. In September 2014, IWC introduced the Portofino 37 collection, a line geared towards customers — both male and female — with smaller wrists. “We are expanding into creating pieces that might be considered more aesthetically feminine,” acknowledges chief marketing officer Franziska Gsell. But she’s also quick to point out that, “IWC has long had female customers. This isn’t a completely new space for us.”

Other brands are not so shy about their ambitions to attract women. Hublot, which first introduced its colorful Big Bang Tutti Frutti in 2008, has had recent success with more feminine products including this year’s Big Bang Broderie. To build the piece, Swiss embroidery from St. Gallen was directly applied onto the dial, bezel and strap. Model Bar Refaeli, the company’s new female ambassador, was on hand to unveil the Broderie earlier this year in Geneva. Today, women’s watches represent 25 percent of Hublot’s business. “Our female customers are quite assertive about their choice of replica watches,” says Hublot chief executive Ricardo Guadalupe. “The segment is growing more and more.”

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Bar Refaeli for replica Hublot | Source: Hublot

According to Chronolytics, a German-based firm that tracks online watch consumers in the luxury segment, popular styles amongst women include Omega’s Constellation, the Datejust and Lady-Datejust by Rolex, the Royal Oak Lady by Audemars Piguet and Chopard’s Happy Sport. (“Luxury,” in this instance, is categorised as replica watches that cost upward of $500.) While the percentage of those searching for women’s watches is still relatively low, it’s increasingly dramatically. Interest in Omega’s women’s watches, for instance, has increased in the third quarter of 2015 by 49.8 percent from the same period last year.

What is perhaps more remarkable is the lack of traditional women’s luxury brands on the list of most-searched for watches for women. Chanel’s J12 was the only watch from a fashion brand to make Chronolytics’ top 10 for the third quarter of 2015. “Traditional watch brands will see a stronger winter, so to speak,” says Chronolytics co-founder Robert-Jan Broer. “Watches are doing well because ladies are more interested in buying mechanical watches. The segment is more difficult for luxury brands.”

In many cases, that’s because many fashion labels have not invested heavily in making replica watches that can compete in terms of quality with the Swiss stalwarts. Some, however, are working hard to bring their watches up to par. Hermes, for instance, bought a 25 percent stake in maker Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier in 2006, as well as a 32 percent stake in case maker (and longtime Hermes supplier) Joseph Erard Holding in 2011. While Hermes replica watch sales were down 2 percent in the first nine months of 2015, women’s watches represent 80 percent of the business. Bucking the general trend of the industry, “small, feminine designs are becoming more popular,” says Robert Chavez, U.S. President and CEO of Hermes, citing the quartz Faubourg watch — introduced in 2015 — as a best seller.

Perhaps the most telling factor is that watchmakers that have been in the women’s market for some time have seen their share shrink. In the 1990s, approximately 75 percent of Raymond Weil’s U.S. business was women’s watches. In 2015, its men’s and women’s sales are roughly equal. This is, in part, by design. The company — which sells watches that fall into the accessible-luxury price range — has grown in the past 20 years. (While the private company won’t disclose revenue figures, it produced 200,000 watches in 2014 at an average $200 per unit.)

“In the 1990s, the offering was not what it is nowadays,” says Raymond Weil chief executive Elie Bernheim. “Then, we were the only brand.”

Omega Replica Watches: How to travel like James Bond

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There are few people who travel as frequently and as seamlessly as deadly British super-spy, 007. With the 24th James Bond adventure, “Spectre”, currently taking cinemas by storm, we look at what it takes cross the globe with style

Travelling from Mexico to Austria to sweltering Morocco, Spectre takes our hero across continents. This is nothing new for a film franchise known for its exotic locations.

We provide tips gleaned from Bond’s travels and examine where he’s hung his hat.

Location, location, location: Known for exploring the lives of villains hiding in exotic locations, the Bond franchise has become a veritable travel treasure trove. From the first Bond film, Dr No, which was mainly filmed in the small Jamaican town Oracabessa, to the aptly named Paradise Island in the Bahamas where much of 1965 film Thunderball was filmed, Bond has travelled to many a tropical oasis.

The tourism impact of the franchise is so strong that Khao Phing Kan, an island in Thailand northeast of Phuket, which was featured in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, has become known as James Bond Island.

The franchise is also known for high-flying stunts filmed across the world including flying off the Rock of Gibraltar, to climbing the rock face leading to the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora above Kalambaka in Greece, to fighting up on a satellite at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Then there’s the headquarters of MI6 in London itself. If you’re ever on a visit, take the James Bond Bus Tour of London, a three-hour guided journey through James Bond film locations including sites from Spectre, Skyfall, Golden Eye, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day and more.

Follow the example of James Bond and travel in style:

Pack your suit: Regardless of where he is in the world, Bond is rarely far from a perfectly tailored suit or tuxedo, designed with just enough girth to make action sequences a breeze.

Accessorise: Renowned for the nifty gadgets he travels with, from bombs disguised as pens to trick briefcases, to the Omega Seamaster Professional Replica Watches used in Golden Eye that uses a laser to cut through the floor of a train compartment, Bond is always prepared. Now that the Omega replica watches Bond wears in Spectre – the Omega Seamaster 300 “SPECTRE” Limited Edition – is available to the public you too can own the ultimate travel accessory, boasting a LiquidMetal 12-hour scale, ensuring you’re always on time regardless of the country you find yourself in.

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Know how to get around: A new set of wheels (often with a signature ejector seat) greets our hero wherever he may land, from the AMC Hornet X that performs the breathtaking bridge jump in The Man with the Golden Gun to various incarnations of the iconic Aston Martin, including the V12 Vanquish which has adaptive camouflage that renders it invisible.

Stay hydrated: Bond’s drink of choice in any location, a Martini, shaken not stirred, reminds us of the importance of staying well hydrated.

Spectre is currently showing at cinemas throughout SA

Christie’s to Auction Omega Replica Watches Flown in Space and to the Moon

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An Omega Speedmaster flown to the moon on Apollo 17 and kept by astronaut Ron Evans as a memento will be sold on Dec. 15 as a part of Christie’s Omega Speedmaster 50 auction.

Four decades after it journeyed a quarter of a million miles out into space, a replica watch used by the last astronaut to orbit the moon alone is set to be sold at an auction dedicated to the make, model and history of the well-traveled timepiece.

On Dec. 15, during the 43rd anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission, Christie’s will open up bidding on more than 50 Omega Speedmaster chronographs, including a watch that flew along with command module pilot Ron Evans as part of an onboard experiment.

The auction, to be held at Christie’s New York gallery, will also feature a Speedmaster that flew for a full year aboard the Russian space station Mir and the gold chronograph that replica Omega gifted Evans after his historic mission.

“We call it the ‘quintessential American watch’ because of its ties with the American space program, even though it is made in Switzerland,” said Eric Wind, a vice president and senior specialist in Christie’s replica watches department, in a recent interview about the Omega Speedmaster 50 auction. “That is why we are having the auction set for New York. It is our first thematic auction set for New York. Our other thematic [watch] auctions have been set in Geneva.”

“I think there may be no more iconic a fake watch in American history than the Speedmaster,” Wind said.

Heat flow vs. his flown

In the 1960s, NASA tested a number of different replica watches to determine which model would best survive the rigors of spaceflight. Ultimately certifying the Omega Speedmaster replica, the space agency issued the chronograph to its astronauts to wear while on their missions.

“It is a watch that I think a lot of people wanted when they saw the astronauts wearing it,” Wind said, “when they saw photos in Life Magazine of Ed White with his black Velcro strap around his spacesuit holding his watch. It is the 50th anniversary of White’s spacewalk this year, which is when the Speedmaster emerged in the public consciousness.”

After the astronauts returned home to Earth, the replica watches remained NASA property. Today, a majority of the Omega Speedmasters that were flown to the moon are held in the Smithsonian’s collection, and those that are not, are either on loan, missing or have been stolen from museums.

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The Omega Speedmaster that flew on Apollo 17 as part of a heat flow experiment will be sold by Chris …

All that is, except one.

Like the other Apollo astronauts, Ron Evans had to hand over the Speedmaster he wore to orbit the moon in 1972. That Apollo 17 flown watch is now in the archives of the National Air and Space Museum. But Evans also had use of another Speedmaster that was mounted to a heat flow and convection engineering demonstration that was also aboard the command module “America.”

At the end of the mission, Evans, like his crewmates and fellow moon voyagers, was permitted to keep a few pieces of spent equipment as mementos (a law passed in 2012 further affirmed that the Apollo-era astronauts had title to their space-flown souvenirs). Among the items Evans kept was the fake Omega Speedmaster that had been mounted to the heat flow experiment.

“This is the only Speedmaster that flew aboard the Apollo missions that can be owned, as far as we know,” explained Wind.

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Ron Evans hand engraved the back of the Speedmaster. (Christie’s)

Evans used an engraving tool to hand inscribe the watch to reflect its mission use. He wrote, “Ron Evans / Flown in CSM / to the moon/ Apollo 17” on the caseback and “6-19 Dec 72 Heat Flow Exp” on its side.

After his death in 1990, Evans’ widow held onto the fake watches for almost two decades before putting it up for auction. In 2009, the watch sold for $23,900 at a sale in Dallas.

For its upcoming auction, Christie’s has paired the Omega Speedmaster with the Velcro watch strap that Evans used to wear his NASA-issued Omega and a Fisher space pen he used on the flight. The strap is visible in photos and film footage of Evans as he spacewalked in the vicinity of the moon.

Time in space

Christie’s Omega Speedmaster auction includes one other example of a space-flown watch.

In July 1993, Omega launched 35 Speedmaster replica watches (28 in stainless steel and seven in gold) to Russia’s space station Mir, where they orbited the Earth for a year. Each of the chronographs were inscribed on their caseback, “365 Days On Board Space Station Mir.”

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One of only 28 stainless steel Omega Speedmaster replica watches flown on the Russian space station Mir for a full year.

Christie’s example is number 9 out of the 28 stainless steel chronographs that were flown on board the former orbiting outpost.

Beyond the space and moon-flown timepieces, Christie’s sale includes numerous examples of the models that flew and the limited edition commemoratives Omega issued to celebrate its role on NASA’s historic missions.

Among the lots are an “Ed White” — called such for being the same model as the first American to spacewalk wore in Earth orbit — and a Speedmaster that Omega produced in 2005 to mark the 40 year anniversary of White’s Gemini 4 mission. The auction also offers Speedmasters that honor the Apollo 11 lunar landing and Apollo 13 missions, as well as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project jointly flown by the United States and Russia.

“We are glad to be celebrating the whole space history of the Omega Speedmaster, from the very earliest models to some of the more recent limited editions,” Wind said.

Why The Omega Seamaster replica 300 Is Bond’s Go-To Gadget

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Imagine this: your boss’ aide brings you to a secret location in London. As you’re ushered in, you meet your bespectacled Quartermaster. He goes only by the name Q. Q gets you up to speed on your harrowing mission: assassinate a super-villain. His parting gift is a tough-as-nails Omega Seamaster 300, one he says merely “tells the time” without any of the fantastical gadgets you’re used to.

Stuff of fiction? Maybe, but we magnificent bastards are no strangers to dreaming.

Omega was brought into the world of Bond by Lindy Hemming, an Oscar-winning costume designer tasked with dressing the secret agent for a new age. The ’80s had arrived and with them a new Bond film, GoldenEye, and a new actor in the role. Lindy believed Omega Replica Watches was the right fit for Bond’s Royal Navy pedigree, and personally knew Navy officers who swore by their Omegas. If it was good enough for the Royal Navy, then surely Bond could trust his life with it.

Twenty years later, Bond and Omega are still going strong and the watchmaker has released something special for Spectre. The Omega Seamaster 300 ‘Spectre’ Limited Edition is every bit the Bond replica watch we’ve come to expect – and a little more. The watch pays tribute to both historical Omega Seamasters and the roots of James Bond, beginning with Dr. No in 1962.

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You’ll notice a few differences from the production version. The diving bezel is now a 12 hour bezel, allowing the replica watches uk to keep track of two time zones. Small touches to the hands, like the lollipop seconds hand, harken back to Seamasters of the 1950s. Other elements, like the tough, scratch resistant ceramic and LiquidMetal numerals, remain the same.

As in the first Bond flick, Craig‘s 007 opts to wear his watch on a NATO strap. Originally issued by the British Ministry of Defence, the NATO strap helps prevent the loss of your precious timekeeper (and looks unexpectedly great paired with a tux). Underneath the hood beats the replica Omega Co-Axial 8400, the latest Master Co-Axial movement. This marvel of modern engineering is able to withstand magnetic fields of more than 15,000 gauss and, thanks to the Co-Axial escapement, can keep accurate time for a longer period.

With its masterful mix of old-world charm and new-world technology, the Omega Seamaster 300 ‘Spectre’ Limited Edition is ready for any adventure that Bond may undertake. But best be quick if you want one on your wrist – Q Branch is only issuing 7,007 pieces worldwide.