Panerai replica watches presents five new timepieces in its Radiomir Quaranta Collection. Four of them are steel executions, while the remaining one is clad in yellow gold.
As is typical for this replica watch icon that was first introduced in 1935, the debutantes feature a luminous sandwich dial with two bold Arabic numerals and hour markers. Within a cushion-shaped case, all five newcomers are driven by the three-day power reserve self-winding P.900 automatic caliber. It indicates the subsidiary seconds at 9 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock.
Combining Replica Panerai’s genuine GoldTech yellow gold with a green sun-brushed dial, the PAM01437 is the most elegant execution of the quintet while the PAM01292 comes with a white dial. This colorway is still quite rare for Panerai whereas blue has been a choice for many of its timepieces.
Blue is also used for the PAM01293, where the rich hue serves as a magnificent backdrop for the gold furnishings. Lovers of dark dials will appreciate the PM01294, which combines an anthracite dial with gold accents.
Last but not least, the PAM01386, an e-commerce-exclusive edition limited to 500 pieces, shines with a sun-brushed green dial.
Swiss watch maisonReplicaHublot began its partnership with Dominican Republic-based premium cigar icon Arturo Fuente y Cia. in 2012, and the collaboration has yielded three limited-edition models all celebrating, in their own distinctive manner, the synergy between the arts of watchmaking and cigarmaking. The fourth made its celebrated debut this week, at a gala event in the Dominican Republic, and may prove to be the most coveted edition yet: the Big Bang Unico Arturo Fuente Ceramic.
Not only is the watch, which is limited to 100 pieces, the first in the cigar-inspired series to feature a laser-engraved ceramic case; it is also the first model created as a direct tribute to Carlos Fuente, Sr., son of founder and namesake Arturo Fuente and father to current company leader Carlos “Carlito” Fuente, Jr. Fuente, Sr., who passed away in 2016, took the reins of the Tampa-based family cigar business in 1956 and after a series of trials and tribulations in the wake of the Cuban embargo, moved the company to its current home in the Dominican Republic in 1980, where it has thrived under the leadership of Carlito Fuente, who worked with his father before succeeding him as president.
Developed in a close collaboration between cheap Hublot watches design team and Fuente family designer Manny Iriarte, The Big Bang Unico Arturo Fuente Ceramic features a host of details, some more subtle than others, designed to pay tribute to the patriarch of the “first family of cigars.” The intricate laser-engraved pattern on the 44-mm black ceramic case depicts tobacco leaves gently swaying in the wind, a reference to the agricultural heart of the Fuente family business — and somewhat reminiscent of the decorative engravings on the titanium and rose-gold cases of 2017’s Classic Fusion ForbiddenX editions as well as the actual tobacco-leaf dial of the rare and elusive 2015 edition. A majestic crowned lion emblem adorns the 9 o’clock subdial on the watch’s openworked dial, recalling Fuente’s historical role as a supplier of cigars to the Spanish court. Perhaps most significantly to those familiar with Hublot and its Big Bang models, the dial also sports stylized, applied Roman numerals — a rarity for Hublot and a specific call-out to the clock pictured on the Fuente family crest, which itself inspired the family motto, “We will never rush the hands of time.”
The back of the timepiece also features its share of special flourishes, including the historical Fuente logo inscribed in the center of the sapphire window; the initials “CF” for Carlos Fuente, Sr. replacing the traditional “AF” for Arturo Fuente; and the Spanish phrase “Edición de homenaje” (“Edition in homage”). Finally, each caseback features the personal dedication by Carlito Fuente on behalf of the family and cigar company that he built: “Our Father, Our Friend, Our Hero.” Behind that ornate exhibition caseback beats Hublot’s Unico Caliber HUB1242, equipped with an integrated, column-wheel-controlled flyback chronograph function and a date display that shares the 60-minute chronograph totalizer at 3 o’clock. The movement, made in-house at Hublot’s manufacture in Nyon, outside of Geneva, Switzerland, features automatic winding, a frequency of 28,800 vph, and a power reserve of 72 hours. The watch is mounted on a black calf-and-rubber strap with a ceramic-and-titanium deployant clasp and comes in a gorgeous, lacquered wood cabinet that serves as both a presentation box for the watch as well as a humidor for your cigars.
Also announced during the watch’s launch event in the Dominican Republic, hosted by Carlito Fuente and Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, was the founding of a new Academy of Arts as part of the Fuente family’s charitable initiative, the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation (CFCF), which will be supported by both Hublot and Fuente in its mission to improve the lives of impoverished rural communities in the Dominican Republic’s mountainous Bonao region. Proceeds from the sales of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Arturo Fuente Ceramic will go toward supporting the new Academy, which also continues Hublot’s own “Hublot Loves Art” charitable initiatives in support of the arts.
In 2018, OmegaReplica introduced its then-latest Seamaster Diver 300M – larger, and in new materials, ceramic and titanium, rendering it more scratch-resistant and lighter in weight. In this feature from the WatchTime archives, we delve into the depths of the timepiece and its Master Chronometer movement.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Seamaster Diver 300M in 2018, Omega made a huge splash by issuing a new version – updated and modernized with higher quality features and more functionality than ever before, and still at a fair price (click here for a review of that watch). This watch was first introduced as a steel model with a varnished dial, an ETA-based Omega Caliber 2500 and a folding clasp with a divers’ extension that cost around $3,500. The newer generation offers a laser-cut ceramic dial, the super-modern in-house 8800 movement and an improved clasp with additional quick-action extension at a price of $5,200. Unchanged, of course, are the skeletonized sword-shaped hands, water resistance to 300 meters, a helium-escape valve at 10 o’clock and a metal bracelet. The overall diameter of the watch was enlarged from 41 to 42 mm.
Modern Materials For the newer models, Omega took the next step. The Seamaster Diver 300M is now available as a scratch-resistant and more lightweight model in ceramic and titanium. This watch, which we tested, is available on a rubber strap with a ceramic prong buckle or on a NATO strap with a brushed buckle and a titanium loop. (For either version, watch fans must accept a considerable jump in price, to $8,100.) The newest edition has a 43.5-mm case and a nicely balanced dial, omitting the date indication at 6 o’clock. Also, the stylized waves are not laser cut into a polished dial but now stand out in relief with alternating polished and matte surfaces.
Ceramic characterizes the entire design. Not only does the dial have polished and matte sections, so does the case with its ergonomically shaped lugs. Particularly pleasing is that Omega uses the same ceramic material for the prong buckle and also for the curving shapes of the case.
The rubber strap attaches seamlessly to the case and continues the fluid lines of the lugs. Running along its length are three wide matte strips and two raised strips with a brushed- finish look. The material appears at first to be quite thin, but once it’s on, the strap feels great, and despite the large case size, the watch fits perfectly, even on narrow wrists. The strap material may feel uncomfortable on really warm days – even Omega has yet to discover anything to prevent perspiration.
High Quality Overall Every component – from the ceramic dial and brushed titanium hands, the ceramic and titanium case, and even the rubber strap with its ceramic buckle – displays the highest quality and reminds us that Omega has long been a top brand among watch manufacturers.
Turning the watch over reveals even more of its superior quality. The first thing you may notice is the engraved lettering, “Diver 300M,” which is always centered thanks to a patented bayonet closure known as the Naiad lock. Then your eye may be drawn to the polished wavelike notches along the edge of the caseback that encircle the brushed inner ring. And then you’re rewarded with a view of the beating heart of the watch – the accurate, individually decorated and fully antimagnetic in-house 8806 movement.
This variation of the 8800 caliber has no date indication. The technical advantages remain the same – the oscillating weight winds the watch in both directions to provide an above-average power reserve of 55 hours. The silicon hairspring ensures very good rate results even when subjected to the effects of fluctuating temperatures and impacts. The balance wheel is fastened more securely beneath a bridge so that, thanks to poising weights, the oscillating system “breathes” freely. And last but not least, the Omega co-axial escapement with its multilevel pallets and escape wheel ensures a consistent transfer of impulse for even better rate results.
Master Chronometer All the constructive advantages of the company’s own in-house movements meant that Omega was no longer satisfied with the rate tests conducted by the official Swiss testing agency COSC. For the past several years, Omega has subjected its watches to additional testing by METAS, the Swiss national metrology institute. Here, the fully assembled timepieces undergo tests for functional reliability, rate results, water resistance, power reserve and resistance to extreme magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.
A watch that passes all of these tests is certified by METAS as a Master Chronometer. Due to the large number of watches Omega produces, the testing agency has established an office in the Omega building in Bienne. The independence of the tests, ensured by both contractual partners, is guaranteed at all times.
And our test watch? It performed as promised, both on the timing machine and on the wrist. The electronic test showed a rate of +3.8 seconds per day and only +3 seconds on the wrist. Values in the individual positions showed only a 2-second deviation – something that very few watch brands have achieved in our tests.
Over and Under Water Anyone who wants to wear the Seamaster Diver 300M as an everyday watch will be thrilled with its comfortable feel, the accuracy of the in-house movement, and the fact that the ceramic prong buckle remains completely free of scratches even after weeks of wear. Our real-life test in the early summer months showed that it is reliable and comfortable to wear while swimming, playing tennis and biking.
And anyone who actually dives with a luxury watch will appreciate the brightly glowing luminescent coating, the high degree of water resistance (to a depth of 300 meters), and the scratch-resistant case material that neither coral nor the metal parts of the diving equipment can harm.
Of course, the watch is only suitable for warm diving locations where no wet suit is needed because of its standard-length rubber strap. And when you don’t need to wear diving gloves, the polished surfaces on the rotating bezel are less of an issue. While even a diving titan cannot do everything, this one can still do quite a lot.