Not all icons are born as one. Some need time before their true potential is recognized and they obtain their iconic status. This is most certainly true for the fake IWC Fliegerchronograph ref.3705, which the brand launched in 1994. Already in the 1980s was IWC a pioneer in the field of ceramic, using it, for example, for their Da Vinci perpetual calendar chronograph, another one of their icons. The black dial replica IWC Pilot’s ref.3705 was the first Fliegerchronograph to be fitted with a ceramic case. It resulted in a watch that had a very clean and utilitarian look. As it was never produced in vast numbers, the watch became a rarity known mainly by die-hard IWC collectors.
As ceramic became more commonly used within the industry, this also increased the interest in its history. The Fliegerchronograph ref.3705 could not get unnoticed, in that matter. All the more so because it was the watch of choice by former IWC director Günter Blümlein, who later on would also play a vital role in the resurrection of A.Lange & Söhne. His personal watch was recently auctioned at the impressive price of $53,750-.
IWC is now launching a limited edition, the Swiss movement fake IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705,” that brings this historic watch back to life. Limited to 1,000 pieces does it closely resemble its predecessor, yet there are a few important differences. Where the original watch used zirconium oxide ceramic for its case, has its successor one made from Ceratanium. This material was developed by IWC and has a base made from a special titanium alloy, which will be put in a furnace for a firing process after being machined. There the surface of the material transforms into one with properties similar to ceramic. Also the chronograph pushers and pin buckle made from this unique material, a first for IWC.
Inside the case, there is also a difference with the original Fliegerchronograph ref.3705, as that watch was powered by the famous Valjoux caliber 7750. The Swiss luxury replica IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705″ features IWC’s in-house caliber 69380. This movement follows the brands’ distinct movement architecture and combines a bi-directional pawl winding system with a column wheel to precisely operate the chronograph. Just as the original is also this tribute 41mm in diameter and fitted with a black calf-skin strap so that the icon truly lives on through its modern predecessor.
To honor the strength of the ox, Swiss made fake Piaget has immortalized the bovid on the face of one of its most iconic timepieces: the ultra-thin fake Altiplano. For this special edition, an exquisite grand-feu cloisonné enamel dial was created by famous master-enameller Anita Porchet.
This 4,000-year-old decorative art starts with transferring the design onto the surface of the dial using gold ribbons to create miniature partitions, or cloisons, in which different enamel pigments are placed. The dial is then fired in a kiln multiple times at temperatures between 820ºC and 850ºC. Once finished, the dial is varnished, capturing the image forever.
The timepiece itself comes in an 18-karat white gold case adorned with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.71 ct.) and is powered by the brand’s exceptional 430P hand-wound movement that measures a mere 2.1mm in thickness. It is paired with an elegant black leather strap that is fitted with an 18-karat white gold pin buckle.
Living just 45 minutes away from the fake Glashütte Original factory, and having worked across the road from the building for three years, following six years with the Swatch Group, you’d think I’d know everything there is to know about Glashütte’s (arguably) longest-running watchmaker. And yet, thanks to a series of understandable coincidences I do not. I enjoyed learning more through the prism of the blue dial fake Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite, pictured below for your pleasure.
It really is a looker. The lustrous blue dial may well be the aspect that catches your eye first, but the case’s arresting proportions will do doubt have some subtle effect on that also. Despite a 44mm diameter and 13.9mm thickness, the luxury replica Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite has a surprisingly sympathetic 51.5mm lug-to-lug. That makes what would otherwise be a truly hulking housing quite wearable, even for those of us with slimmer wrists. The stout lugs look odd in profile but make perfect sense when in use. And, to be frank, given what’s going on inside, this watch could have been a whole lot bigger… Nonetheless, this is a tall watch on the wrist. For me, that makes pairing this model with a (21mm) leather strap essential. While this may seem counterintuitive given that a bracelet would balance out the unavoidably top-heavy timepiece, I prefer to have my taller watches strapped tightly to my wrist without any of the wiggle room a properly sized bracelet often affords. Furthermore, the whole mien of the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is one of elegance. This is a well-named watch, after all. The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite would look at home on a senator’s wrist, or, at the very least, the wrist of a cosmopolite. Complicated but clear Perhaps the top quality copy Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite’s greatest achievement is its legibility. When you run down this watch’s functionality, legibility doesn’t sound likely. And yet, thanks to the smart arrangement of neat, clearly defined windows, the watch scores highly in that regard. It is an impressive example of form following function. While we’ve come to expect that from German brands in general, this is a notable success within a field of successes. Let’s start with the time. This is communicated by the large, centrally-mounted hour and minute hands as well as a generously proportioned going seconds hand in the sub-dial at six o’clock. The big date at 4 o’clock is linked to the main time display also. RJ and I recently waxed lyrical about our love for Glashütte Original’s double-digit date format when it comes to the brand’s big date windows. This isn’t standard practice in Glashütte. Some brands use a single digit format for days 1-9. That means that half of that massive aperture remains empty for almost one-third of the month. We don’t like that; we do like this.
Additionally, a day/night indicator at 9 o’clock pertains to the main time display, as do the two little windows, either side of the 8 o’clock marker. These indicate Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time by way of airport codes.
Home time has a trick up its sleeve At 12 o’clock, a second sub-dial displays your home time. This is the dial you should, theoretically, never have to change. The really cool thing about this sub-dial (aside from the power reserve arc above the hand pinions) is the day/night “dot” indicator in its lower half. Rather than using a graphical indicator like the day/night function at 9 o’clock, here the blue leather strap replica Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite relies on a small, circular aperture to communicate the same information. When the dot is white, it is daytime at home. When the dot is blue, it is night. A wise movement The three-day power reserve of the 89-02 caliber is really quite impressive. That’s especially true when one considers everything that’s going on here. The movement is beautifully decorated in the traditional German style. Plates are decorated with Glashütte ribbing (pretty much the German corollary for Geneva stripes), and the balance bridge (for extra stability) is hand engraved. As we often see with German replica watches, the barrel and train bridges have been replaced by a large, three-quarter plate. This massive bridge protects the gearing of the movement from dust ingress and increases the overall rigidity of the caliber. Theoretically, this improves timekeeping consistency and reduces friction over time. The time can be adjusted by the crown at 4 o’clock. When you turn that crown, the time jumps either forward or backward in fifteen-minute intervals. Why is this? The IATA code indicators show all official time zones, even the ones at 30 and 15 minute increments. The full-hour zones are displayed in white print (large letters), the half-hour zones in blue text (large letters), and the quarter-hour zones also in the same blue font (but much smaller letters). For anyone that is curious, there are eight half-hour zones, and three quarter-hour zones displayed on this watch. The half-hour zones are YQX, NHV, LDH, DRW, RGN, DEL, KBL, THR. The quarter-hour zones are CHT, EUC, and KTM.