Saturday, March 29, 2008

Buying Replica Watches lesson no.2

Buying Replica Watches Lesson no.2: Bell & Ross BR01 Grand Complication

I have been a very big fan of Bell & Ross long time ago, even before they were officially launched in Malaysia by FJ Benjamin. Bell & Ross became famous after the release of the BR01 series, that takes its distinctive look from the cockpit of an airplane, in which, became their trademark. BR01 has a few series, and has recently started to build grand complication watches.

Just a simple lesson on Grand complication watches. A "grand complication" is a watch that contains at least three "complications", coming from each of the groups listed below.

Group 1: Complications using visual indications
a. Simple chronograph
b. Counter chronograph
c. Split-second flyback chronograph
d. Independent second hand chronograph
e. Jumping second hand chronograph

Group 2: Complications using visual astronomical indications
f. Simple calendar
g. Perpetual calendar
h. Moon phases
i. Time equation

Group 3: Complications using acoustical indications
j. Alarm
k. Quarter repeater
l. Half-quarter repeater
m. Five-minute repeater
n. Minute repeater
o. Passing strike

BR01 Grand complication is the latest model to be released by BR and is not available in Malaysia due to its exclusivity and its priciness. My friend's father had asked the suppliers (FJ Benjamin) regarding the price and was told it would cost around RM200,000 if it were to be brought in to Malaysia.

Being a frequent visitor to BR's website, ( I was immediately amazed by the BR01 GC when the teaser website was launch mid last year. It has always been my dream watch and I knew that it would never make it to the replica market due to its complications and also its exclusivity. These watchmakers proved me wrong and they came up with a replica that I would reckoned to be less than amazing.

I would rate this replica 3 out of 5.

A few things to look into before buying this high tech replica is to note that, the complications do not work here. Note that the original has 3 complications, which is the tourbillon, trust indicator and also the power reserve function.

The replica version only has its tourbillon working.

Other than that, the usual mistake, the replica has the inner second/minute indicator very slanted compared to the original which is almost 90 degrees. One subtle difference is the hour hand's shape, but that is not much of a concern. The genuine watch has black numbers (in this case are lines) and if you notice all versions of the replica did not replicate the tourbillon properly. Also take note that the genuine watch case is made totally out of carbon, while the replica is made of steel, that is one big difference. You can see that the replica version is very glossy due to the material of the casing, which is steel.

This is another version of the BR01, but although they are selling it at a same rate, this is definitely worse than the one shown above. This one has an orange accent, with orang hands. There are several versions available in the market so check properly as to get the one which has less differences. Also take note of the hands in the 9'oclock and 3'oclock subdials, which are different from the genuine version. Also, the tourbillon is not the BR01 tourbillon.

The crown is not imitated properly, and also look out for the part of the bezel near the screws, are not made with the correct angles.

Please beware of this replica before buying as there are many version with different variants.

This replica sells for RM230 - RM250 at the moment, due to its distinctiveness, new design and not many are sold in the market now.


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