The Complete Guide to High Tier Replica Watches

New updated guide for watches:
1. Trusted Dealer List

The websites & email addresses listed here are the only one to be used. Any other website found online or in a post other than from the dealer itself are not recommended. Be careful, copycat websites are one of the most common scam out there and their addresses are very similar. Do your due diligence before making any online order.

Asian7750 New

Cool and unique models plus all the usual from a Singapore based dealer.

Dealer Clocks
The goto source for all those wonderful dealer clocks you see on the walls in ADs.

Geek Time
A long time solid dealer with a large variety of available pieces.

Everyone knows Hont, one of the oldest of the forum dealers.

InTime Watches New
You all know Ryan, a great source for rep watches and gen parts.

Jtime Watch Store New
A better choice for your hobby with nice and experienced service support


PureTime Watches International New

Silix New


Toro Bravo

Watch Eden
Favorable price, best quality, you will have a different experience with WatchEden

Trusty Time
Andrew is a long-established dealer known for excellent service and a great website.

Extended list:

Last update 17 Nov 22.

2. Introduction to r/RepTime

Welcome to Reptime! It’s a great place to hopefully help you find what you’re looking for. There’s a lot of information and it all depends on how far down the rabbit hole you wanna go, but you can get anything from the crappy DHGate/AliExpress $30 fakes, all the way to a top tier replica for $300-700. You can even go further than how it came to you from China by “frankening” the piece – adding genuine and other modded components to help the watch achieve a look ‘even closer to gen’.

Trusted Dealers

Trusted dealers have earned their way to that status – trusted – because they have a large customer base and are willing to go through investigations through the forums that have a tough and active moderation team (RWI, RWG, etc) if a sale goes awry.

I recommend if you are going to utilize a trusted dealer (which is the ONLY way as far as I’m concerned), make sure you have an active account on the forums and post there so that the moderation team can back your order. Trusted dealers get not a ton of dough from your sale, but they almost all offer a customs guarantee – you will receive a replacement watch for free if customs seizes it. Be nice and remember that they are doing work for you and should be compensated for that time.

The trusted dealer experience works differently for each one, but for the most part, the flow is as follows:

  1. Order (either through their website, wechat/whatsapp, or through email). They are busy. Keep your emails short and to the point. Don’t ask too many questions.
  2. Payment – some accept credit cards*, others primarily do crypto, Western Union, Transferwise and Moneygram. Some accept some of the more convenient services like paypal, but you typically have to be an upstanding member of the community for over a year.
  3. Wait for QC. This can take 2-21 days depending on availability. Typical turnaround time is 2-7 days.
  4. Once QC is received, these are pictures of the actual watch you will get in the mail. Make sure you check it for major defects. Don’t get too picky, remember that these are $3-400 replicas of $2k-60k watches, made by people who probably make a bit more than minimum wage in some cases. If a TD rejects a watch too many times, the factory or dealer they buy from will begin to refuse sending new watches and just offer a refund. I won’t get into how to approve QC, because you should be doing research on the model you want and what you want to look out for.
  5. Once you approve QC, it will take 1-5 days for the TD to send it off to their courier. You can also ship via triangle shipping, which is a higher price, but recommended for European countries.
  6. While in transit, the package has to make it through customs in China and customs in your country of origin. If it gets seized in your country, you will get a letter. Don’t respond to the letter ever, just send that to your TD and they will order a new one for you as part of the guarantee. If it doesn’t get seized, it typically takes 5-7 days from TD to your front door with freight restrictions globally, expect shipping time to take anywhere from 10 days to 8 weeks.
  7. Enjoy the watch. Get a $20 watch service kit from Amazon or whatever and resize the bracelet.
  8. DON’T TAKE IT TO A JEWELLER AND PRETEND IT’S THE REAL THING. They will lie to your face and make you think they think it’s real because its good customer service to make people feel good about themselves. They are trained to do that. Just some practical advice – take it or leave it – don’t tell your friends and loved ones that these are the real thing. It’s better to be honest. If you want to know the full reason, PM me, I’m happy to share why honesty is important.
  9. What if your watch is broken upon arrival? You MUST make a log in on the forums where the dealer is a trusted dealer, and post enough there in order to log a ticket to file a dispute. They will not help you if you create an account after your issue arises with a TD. It is their rules.

* Some have reported credit card numbers being stolen after using at TD websites. While the TDs are trusted, sometimes the agencies/companies they use to process credit card transactions aren’t trusted. They try their hardest, but there have been slip ups in the past.


3. Which Factories Make the Best Models

Last updated 25 Oct 2022

In an attempt to help our community, many users have helped cultivate this guide. This is only meant as a guide and all decisions about a specific model and subtle differences aren’t discussed in detail here. The intent here is to help you if you’re looking for a generalized consensus of “Who makes the best submariner?”. As factories frequently change and close down, I am hoping to keep this as updated as possible. Factories are listed in order of best to worst, if multiple factories are listed.

As always, please order your watch through a trusted dealer in the intro thread, and have fun. If you feel something needs updated, feel free to PM me, I’m always open to edit this list. Big shout out to u/Breitlingboi for his original guide and enthusiasm.

On a budget? See the guide of reps $250-$400.

Current brands covered:

1. Rolex

2. Patek Philippe

3. Audemars Piguet

4. Vacheron Constantin

5. Richard Mille

6. Omega

7. Gem set ‘Iced Out’ Watches

8. Cartier



  • Submariner

    • 126610LN, LV & all variants including gold and two tone:

      • 3235 movement: VSF is best, Clean but has VR3235, then ZF third.

      • 2836, 2824 movements: GMF/BP are good.

    • 116610LN, LV & all variants including gold and two tone:

      • 3135 movement: VSF, Clean, ZF

    • 124060, 114060 (no date): VSF, Clean, BPF/GMF, ROF

    • Two tone and RG subs (i.e. 116613LB): VSF, Clean, GMF, ARF

  • Daytona

    • Special note: Noob Daytona v4 was the best awhile ago, but are now closed.

    • All Daytona models:

      • White dial ceramic bezel: Clean v1, Clean v2, BTF in that order

      • Black dial ceramic bezel: BTF

      • Other models: Look at both Clean and BTF variants, as well as QF. All use the clone movement and are good quality.

      • ARF has gen-like thickness (slightly thicker), but the subdials that would count hours and minutes while the chrono is working do NOT function. If you don’t use chrono often, or want a different style than what Clean has to offer, go for this one.

  • GMT Master II

    • PEPSI 126710BLRO, 116710BLRO: C+ Factory, Clean Factory, GMF v6 (get with VR3186 movement if you can)

    • BATMAN/BATGIRL 126710BLNR, 116710BLNR: C+ Factory, Clean, VRF, ARF (best insert, movement might be unstable)

    • 116710LN: C+, Clean, VRF

    • VTNR Sprite: Clean, GF, GMF

    • Rootbeer: Clean, GMF with VR3186

  • GMT Master I: BPF

  • GMT Master 6542: RBF (only available via Puretime for some reason), may be out of stock now.

  • GMT Master II 16710, 16750m 16700: BP Factory (not quite gen spec but best we’ve got)

  • Explorer II 216570 – All models: GMF/BP ask for VR3186 if available

  • Explorer I 214270: BPF

  • Two-tone Explorer I 124273: GMF

  • Airking 116900: GMF (904L), BP (316L)

  • Milgauss 116400GV:

    • Blue: ARF or BPF

    • Black: BPF

  • Yachtmaster:

    • 226659: VSF in white and yellow gold

    • 116622: Clean, ARF

    • 126622 (RG): Clean

    • 116655 (Rose gold): Clean, VRF

    • 126655 (Rose gold): Clean, EWF

    • 268622 37mm: ARF

  • Datejust 36 – All models:

    • Decorated 3235: ARF. ARF has good dials, but date font can be too bold (v3 might be fixed now) and the crystal lacks enough AR coating on the cyclops.

    • 2824: GMF is well executed overall, gold plating does not cover the side of the midlinks/endlinks, but the date font is better overall. There are a few other factories in the 36mm space, and GMF and ARF do not cover all dial variants. Take your time and look around and compare to gen

    • New 2021 & 2022 dial variants: GMF or BP.

  • Datejust 41 – All models:

    • 3235 Clone movements: VSF (best movement), Clean (better movement)

    • 2824: ZF, ARF, GMF and BP in that order

    • New 2021 & 2022 dial variants: GMF or BP.

  • DayDate 40 & 36 – All models: BPF, GMF

  • SkyDweller – all models: Noob v2. Has low beat movement, and other issues with the movement not being like gen, but it’s the best we’ve got.

  • Datejust 28 – all models: GMF

  • Oyster Perpetual 41: GMF, UBF with VR3230 movement.


Patek Phillipe

  • Nautilus

    • 5711 all color dials – All models: PPF v4 best overall factory but has a fat bezel. 3KF v2 has a good movement but small date font.

    • 5811 41mm Nautilus – no rep out yet

    • Iced out Nautilus – R8 factory. Very well done. DM v2 is also well done and differently styled (baguette bezel)

    • 5712 (moonphase date) – PPF v2 (sometimes call v3) (now ZF). All functions are the same. Excellent rep.

    • 5726 (triple calendar) – PPF (now ZF)

    • 5980 Chronograph – I cannot recommend any good model. All have poor date font, too thick and not done very well. TWF, BPF and a few others are in this space.

    • 7010 Ladies 33mm – PF. Overall well done, quartz movement.

    • 7118 Ladies 35mm – PF. Very well done.

  • Aquanaut

    • 5067 ladies 35mm aquanaut – PPF. Thin, quartz, but gen like.

    • 5164 Travel Time – GRF v2. Too thick compared to gen, time zone functionality does not work. Gray dial and rose gold model are the only good options here.

    • 5165 37mm – All models ZF. Excellent rep as well.

    • 5167 40mm – All models: ZF Factory best overall factory, despite the “5” flaw (the line of the grenade pattern extends below the lower left of the 5 numeral, unlike gen). 3KF has a clone movement but machining is not as nice as ZF. OVERALL BEST AQUANAUT REP IN GENERAL is the ZF.

    • 5168 42mm Blue and Green – ZF. Blue dial isn’t quite as nice as gen, green dial and strap misses the mark compared to gen. Overall best execution though. 3KF has clone movement.

    • 5968 Chronograph – OMF. Very thick, overall not recommended unless you like the look.

  • Calatrava

    • 5077 – Notre Dame & Bhutan enamel craftsman dials – FLF Factory

    • 5088 – FLF Factory

    • 5089 Azulejos enamel craftsman dial – FLF Factory

    • 5119 – TW Factory

    • 5120 – TW Factory. Very nice execution.

    • 5123 – TW Factory. Overall decent execution.

    • 5196 sub seconds – AIF.

    • 5296 (open caseback) – All models: ZF Factory. OVERALL BEST CALATRAVA IN GENERAL

    • 5297G (diamond bezel) – ZF Factory

    • 5153 (officer’s caseback, smaller case) – All models: ZF Factory

    • 5227 (officer’s caseback, lacquer dial) – All models: ZF Factory. OVERALL BEST CALATRAVA IN GENERAL. 3KF has clone movement and is thinner.

    • 6007 – ZF Factory. Dial and strap color are not as dark as gen.

    • 7112 – KGF. Decent execution, not amazing.

  • Grand Complications

    • 4968 Ladies moonphase – KGF.

    • 5070 – There is a rep, unsure of the factory. Not all versions are in stock though.

    • 5205 Triple calendar moonphase – GRF v2 or KMF. Both are not great compared to gen, honestly, but look fine enough.

    • 5396 – GRF for all models.

      • Known issues: sunken date disc, smaller day and month font than gen.

    • 5524 Travel Time – GRF v2. Get the blue textured dial with brown strap, but the GMT hand is fixed on a 24hr loop, and the inner circle of that hand should be blue and not white. time zone switching is faux. Dial is not as nice as gen, but overall nice try and relatively thin.

    • 6102 Celestial map – TZF. Looks good, but functions nothing like gen. Not recommended overall unless you love the look.

  • NOTE: Patek has almost never put a tourbillon in a watch and had it visible from the dial side. They have for a select few references a long time ago.


Audemars Piguet

  • 15500 41mm – ZF v3 with clone movement, APS v3 with clone movement (thick date font)

  • 15400 41mm – ZF with clone 3120 movement, APS also with clone

  • 15510 15550 37mm: TWF and IPF have a poor clone out

  • 15450 37mm – JF

  • 15202ST 39mm ultra thin – XF has thinner hand base, ZF has better dial color. Choose according to your preferences they are both great. XF is no longer available.

    • 15202IP – ZF, XF (no longer available), BF

    • 15202 green dial and diamond variants – BF v2

  • 16202 – not available yet

  • 15703 & 15710 42mm Offshore: APS has a clone movement. ZF and JF are overall similar enough.

    • Note: colored variants of these models will be from JF or BPF

  • 15720 42mm Offshore: all 3 variants – BF Factory

  • 67540 Ladies Offshore 37mm: unknown factory, but a high quality rep is out there with real diamonds. Ask your TD.

  • Royal Oak Tourbillon – R8 Factory

    • JF made a good ultra-thin tourbillon (but still ~11mm)

  • 26579 Annual Calendar – ZP factory

  • 26331 Chronograph – BF and OMF, but none are great.

  • Open work tourbillon – R8 factory

  • 77350 34mm Royal Oak (ladies) – 8F

  • Royal Oak Offshore 44mm: JF for nearly all models


Vacheron Constantin

  • Overseas Ultra-thin 2000V: XF for all models (black, grey, blue) – currently closed. Cross is a bit flat below the 12 marker, movement finishing isn’t great, but overall a great rep. 8F is good.

  • Overseas generation 2 reference 47040

    • JJF Factory is no longer making these, but in general had a good rep if you find it on M2M. Their v2 was superior to their v1.

    • MKS Factory – seems to take cues from JJF. Best models are the grey and blue models. Gen-like thickness.

      • Known flaws: Black and white dials have different dial patterns than gen. The triangles/pyramids should be stacked on top of each other, but they are instead offset between rows – not a big deal IMO. Grey dial bezel should be titanium, but appears to be painted (unvetted claim). All models have a flat cross below 12, gen has a nicely beveled cross

  • Overseas generation 3 reference 4500V

    • ZF/PPF (same) Factory for all references. No other factory comes close. I used to list BP Factory, but ZF blows them out of the water.

  • Chronometre Royal 1907: MKS factory for all models. Good not great rep.

  • Patrimony reference 85150: PPF is best, then AIF, MKS, and FKF.

  • Fiftysix reference 4600: ZF for all references.

  • Fiftysix complete calendar: ZF, MXF ( may have day alignment issues – right justified)

  • Historique reference 86300: GSF for all models. Not great, but good rep

  • All other references – check the TD listings for other models available, but most are either too thick, or have other significant flaws.


Richard Mille

  • RM011: KVF – thick but best deco, older models for thinner cases but worse deco. Glossy ceramic instead of matte, carbon fiber reinforced plastic instead of NTPT

  • RM035: ZF – real NTPT, closest to 1:1 size and proportions, v4 for absolute best, but all acceptable

  • RM055: BBR Factory has a ‘clone’ movement, and overall great execution. ZF – real ATZ matte ceramic case, closest to 1:1 size and proportions

  • RM027: EURF – serviceable tourbillon movement

  • RM056: EURF – sapphire bezels, plastic midcase, serviceable tourbillon movement

  • RM052 Skull: JBF – sometimes branded as ZF, serviceable tourbillon movement, out of production. EURF model may be available from some sources, may be same thing as JBF (unconfirmed)

  • RM012: KVF – thick case and weird deco, but real tourbillon. May be serviceable movement

  • RM68: RR Factory

  • RM010: RR Factory

  • RM07: RM Factory – including bon-bon model



  • Seamaster: All permutations – VSF (true clone movement), ORF, OMF

  • Aqua Terra: VSF (true clone movement), OMF

  • Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT: VSF (true clone movement)

  • Diver 300M: VSF (true clone movement), ZF, OMF

  • Planet Ocean (39mm, 42mm, 45mm): VSF (true clone movement), MKF, BP

  • Speedmaster Racing: HRF

  • DeVille 33mm: UVS Factory

  • No Time to Die Seamaster: VSF, ORF

  • Deville Dew Drop 33mm: 3S Factory

  • Tresor Quartz 39mm: 3M Factory

  • Deville 36mm: HR Factory

  • Speedmaster 57: OMF (but not great)

  • Deville Prestige 39mm: ZF


Iced-out watches/Buss down

Send these links to your TD of choice and have them price it and source it for you. Most of these are smaller batches and don’t always have a ‘factory name’. The stones are typically CZ. R8 factory is a go-to for most AP and Patek.

Audemars Piguet:






Credit to u/pvm_april and u/KOUJIROFRAU for their assistance

Santos (2018) 35mm or 40mm: GF for steel, BVF for two-tone or gold. GF has fixed their crystals in the most recent batches, and is the only one with a consistently gen-like bracelet. GF > BVF > V6F > 3KF. Important note: GF has been noted to have some screws fall off, whereas BVF does not seem to have this issue on the bracelet.

All AF Cartier reps are top tier, but they are not as active as some other factories, so alternatives are listed.

Tank Louis: DRF

Tank Solo: AF; K11F decent alternative.

Tank Must (2021): F1.

Tank Francaise: 8848F.

Ballon Bleu 33mm or 36mm: AF with Cal.076 or quartz; 3KF with Cal.076, or V6F with quartz are decent alternatives. Recommended to avoid models with Seiko NH05. Ballon Bleu 28mm or 42mm: AF; V6F decent alternative.

Panthere: GF for steel, BVF for two-tone or gold.


4. Guide to Watch Movements

Common movements used in rep watches

Non-chronos (i.e. if the watch has subdials, they will not work in the same way as the gen)

1. 21J/DG2813 (note that despite the “21J” description these movements usually run 23 jewels). This is a generic term used to cover a wide variety of cheap Chinese movements – some are better than others, but as a general rule they are low-beat (21,600vph / 6 ‘ticks’ per second) movements, very cheaply built (from as little as $7 for the whole movement) but generally reliable and easy to live with. Usually automatic, but occasionally hand wind, dependent on the watch. A lot of really nice budget watches come with these fitted and whilst the sweep isn’t as smooth as, say, a gen Rolex, they’re damned good value for money and can just be thrown away and replaced if they break or need a service.

There’s also the DG4813 variant, which is high-beat but this has become very difficult to obtain of late, so is not commonly seen. It has largely been replaced by the Z2 (see below)

2. Z2 aka ‘high beat 2813’ aka various other names. Some have suggested that this is one to avoid, but it’s not quite that clear cut. Basically a cheap 28,800vph alternative to the “Asian ETA” movements, these are occasionally swapped into existing models by the factories without informing the dealers. Reliability can be okay – provided you get a good one. The real issue is that there are no parts available, so servicing can be a problem. The Asian ETAs are a much better choice, but these are maybe worth considering if the price is right – just don’t be conned into buying high-priced reps with ’em, it ain’t worth it.

3. Asian ‘clone’ ETA (A2824/A2836 & variants): These are literally copies/clones of the equivalent Swiss (ETA) automatic movements. Generally high quality – although not as well built as the Swiss equivalents – but reliable and with parts generally available (which makes servicing an easier proposition than some other movements). High beat (28,800) and great value. Probably the best choice of movement for higher-quality reps as they give the smooth sweep found in most gen watches

4. Swiss ETA (2836/2824 as above): Supposedly the genuine ETA (owned by swatch group) swiss automatic movements. This is a complete lottery. ETA have not been supplying ebauches outside Swatch group for several years now. There are NO new ETA movements in reps any more – only refurbished (usually with Asian parts). On top of that, as anyone who’s been in the game for a while should know, factories tell the dealer the spec of the watch they’re producing – and the dealers then use that for their sales pitch. That spec often then changes dependent on what parts the factories have available on a particular day – about which they DO NOT inform the dealers. Given that dealers DO NOT take the back off the watch during QC (nor should they), they’re as much in the dark about it as you. At best you get a refurbished (i.e. used) movement with asian parts in it. I wouldn’t recommend spending extra for ETA in a rep these days – more often than not, you’ll be getting an asian clone.

5. Sellita: As mentioned above, supply of ETA movements is getting very difficult as Swatch group are no longer selling ebauches outside their own group of companies. Sellita are another Swiss company who make a very similar range of high-quality movements. We’ve seen a few reps with “Swiss ETA” being supplied with Sellitas, but they’re fairly rare.

6. Rolex 3135 copy (and other Rolex clone movements). This is an Asian clone ETA automatic movement with modified rotor and bridges to make it look more like the real thing. It’s not going to convince anybody who knows their Rolex movements and tends to be less reliable than the alternatives (as well as being more expensive!). There are newer versions beginning to appear which are a little more reliable and look closer to the gen, but they are still near impossible to service and generally inferior to the clone ETAs. Rolex have closed casebacks anyhow, so I really don’t see the point in paying the extra for what is, effectively, just a higher-priced and less reliable Asian clone movement.

There is one notable exception to the above – the Yuki-sourced movement used by JF in their new (as of 2017) high-end subs. This is a proper copy of the Rolex movements (to the extent of being compatible with a lot of gen parts) and is much better quality than the modified Asian ETA-based clones otherwise supplied in reps. A good movement and well worth consideration.

7. Miyota 9015. With the disappearance of gen ETA movements, some reps are now coming with Japanese Miyota-sourced movements. The 9015 is a case in point – a high-beat 28,800vph 25 jewel movement that is an excellent alternative to ETA or clone ETA models mentioned above. Highly reliable and very good quality. Don’t hesitate.

8. Miyota 8215. As above, a solid workhorse movement. The only gotcha is that the second hand on these movements tends to stutter a little and is therefore a lot less smooth than the 9015 or, say, an Asian 2836 clone. The amount of stutter is dependent on the weight of the second hand – the heavier/longer the hand, the worse it’s going to be. I’d certainly avoid this movement on watches such as Tudors which tend to have “snowflake” hands. Although the 8215 is reliable, for this reason I would tend to think carefully before buying a watch with this movement.

9. Sea-Gull. Sea-Gull are a chinese maker of both movements and watches. Quality is very close to that of the Swiss and Japanese manufacturers and they’re generally a very safe buy – they make clones of several well-known movements (such as the 6497) as well as their own designs. The ST2555 has lately been turning up in quite a few reps. As with Miyota, they’re a good choice. Don’t hesitate.

10. A6497/A6498: An Asian copy of the Unitas 6497 or 6498 movement. Common in Panerai and various others – it’s an ultra-reliable yet inexpensive hand wind movement available with or without swan-neck regulator. Note, however, that there are several different grades and some are better built than others. However, they’re easy to service and generally bombproof. Either 18,000vph (5 ‘ticks’ per second) or 21600 vph (6 ‘ticks’ per second) but it is hard to tell the difference visually due to the short seconds hand (where fitted). It can come with or without a seconds hand, but usually with. If it has a seconds hand, the 6497 has the seconds hand opposite the crown (i.e. at 9 if the crown is at 3) whereas the 6498 has the seconds 90 degrees to the left of the crown (i.e. at 6 if the crown is at 3).

11. Swiss Unitas 6497/6498: Again, a hand wind movement. They used to be found in some higher-end Panerai reps but that has now ended since ETA quit supplying ebauches outside Swatch Group some years back.

12. Molnija: Not common these days, but DSN and others have used them on occasion – mainly for vintage Panerai models. This is actually a Russian-built descendant of the Cortebert (latterly Rolex) hand-wind pocketwatch movements used by Panerai and others in the 40s-50s. Very high quality but parts can be tricky to obtain. Functionally similar to the 6497 above and generally reliable, but less robust than the 6497.

13. Asian 52010 aka Liaoning SL6601. This movement has started to appear in the IWC 5007 and could, of course, turn up in other reps with similar functions in due course. It supports secs@9, PR @3 plus date. Liaoning are another well-established Chinese maker of movements – quality is generally good, although parts can be difficult to obtain. Should be relatively easy to service and reliability appears to be decent.

Then there are a few that don’t fit any of the above groups. Movements advertised as “Asian 23J with power reserve” being probably the most common. These can vary from being basic 21J’s with an added module for the PR complication to something like Sea Gull’s 23J PR movement – the latter being of rather better quality than most other low-beat autos and likely to be long-term reliable. You’ll also see ‘Asian 35J” movements advertised fairly frequently – which can also be from a range of sources but are often higher-quality generic Chinese movements similar to the Sea-Gull mentioned above – not as good as a normal Asian clone or other mainstream movement and generally low-beat, but can be good value for money in the right rep. One last oddity worth mentioning is the A7750 as described below. This is sometimes used as a regular automatic movement with the chrono complications removed (most often in Panerai autos). In this form it is much less fragile and many of the caveats mentioned elsewhere no longer apply. Likewise you will – even more rarely – find the same non-chrono A7750 with the auto-wind mechanism removed. This essentially removes the fragile parts that can be damaged by hand-winding on the normal version and is, likewise, not subject to most of the caveats noted elsewhere.

Chrono movements:

Japan OS chrono (aka Japan Quartz aka a variety of other names): Basically cheap quartz chrono movements (i.e. battery powered). Reliable, great timekeepers, cheap. There’s a couple of varieties with different features, but quality is the same. If you can live with a ticking chrono hand (and seconds subdial) rather than the smooth sweep provided by autos, then there’s no reason not to buy one of these. Note that there are ‘smooth sweep’ quartz movements available and they very occasionally show up in reps. They’re a bit more expensive than regular quartz, but good quality. The smooth sweep applies to center seconds (i.e. the chrono hand) only, however – not running seconds in a subdial.

A7750 (occasionally called Asian Valjoux 7750): The standard automatic chrono movement used in a vast range of replica watches. Usually high-beat (28,800vph), but there is an older low-beat (21,600 vph) variant which still pops up now and again. Occasionally converted to hand-wind and also used in some non-chrono reps. Can be fragile and is difficult to service due to the lack of available spares. When serviced and running properly, however, it’s solid and works well. See the separate sticky about caveats as there are problems with some adaptations to this movement:…?showtopic=6101

A7753: This is a variant on the A7750 and not a true clone of the Swiss 7753. Its primary difference from the A7750 is that its native position for subdials is 3, 6, 9 as opposed to 6, 9,12 for the 7750. The resulting lack of transfer gearing needed to move the subdials into the more common 3, 6, 9 position reduces the distance between datewheel and dial eliminating the ‘sunken datewheel’ seen on many reps. These movement also frequently feature a pusher (usually flush) at the 10 position which operates quick-set date. So far it has only made it into a handful of fairly recent models (notably Panerai). In other respects it shares the same strengths and weaknesses with its A7750 sibling, but the lack of transfer gearing does make it a little more robust in some cases.

A7751: This is a goodie as it replicates all the functions of the genuine Swiss movement including working moonphase complication. Found in a limited number of reps (notably a couple of Longines and Patek models). Should be treated gently but generally appears to be reliable.

Swiss Valjoux 7750: Used to appear in high-priced reps occasionally, but no longer available to the rep makers since ETA quit supplying ebauches to makers outside Swatch Group.

Copy Venus (or sometimes inaccurately described as Lemania). Actually a Sea Gull ST19 – fundamentally the same as the original Swiss Venus movement as Sea-Gull bought the original tooling. This is an excellent handwind chrono movement. Very reliable and feels like quality. The most robust chrono movement in reps outside of quartz options. Don’t hesitate.


  • 3Hz is also called 21600bph or 6bps, 4Hz is 28800bph or 8bps.
    The reason for this disparity (3Hz vs 6bps or 4Hz vs 8bps) is that the balance wheel advances the second hand both on the clockwise turn and counterclockwise turn, so a full turn cycle is 2 beats.
  • Chinese 21J, Chinese 23J – no-name movements, based on DG2813 (if you’re lucky) or the Chinese Standard Movement and company, that the Chinese have perfected… mostly when it comes to cost of production – they can make a shitty versions for under 10 dollars, but you cannot expect any kind of reliability from it. The worst versions can be found in Chinese street reps and tend to break after a few months of use. If you ever see something like a Daytona with days of the week and month indicator on the subdials, you can bet it sports one of those bad boys.
    Some of the more reputable factories sometimes use movement called that and you can expect them to be of a passable to good quality then, but it’s still hit or miss.
    Most of them are 3Hz, some are 4Hz.

  • DG2813 or other DG-something – firstly, it still might be the shitty movements described above (especially if called A2813), them being clones of DG movements, which are in turn clones of old movements from Citizen. If you get an actual DG2813, you should not expect amazing quality, but it is very reasonable for it to work for years (accuracy is another thing though).
    Most of them are 3Hz, some are 4Hz (e.g. DG4813).

  • A2824, A2836 – the best of the best – ETA used to have factories in China, so the Chinese know how to produce the movements. The materials are somewhat worse than ETA required and the quality control is nowhere near what you would find in a gen Breitling or such, but they are reliable, any watchsmith can service or repair them, and replacements are freely available anywhere.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • A2892 – Chinese copy of a newer, thinner “version” of ETA 2824 – good movement, but way more rare and as such possibly slightly lower quality than the above two. Most of them will probably come from Sea-Gull, which would be good, but they might be QC rejects.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • A6497/A6498 – clone of ETA Unitas 6497/6498, great movement, simple, handwound, you are most likely to find one in a Panerai rep and you can’t really go wrong with this one.
    They beat at 3Hz.

  • Swiss ETA 2824/2836/others – hit or miss – it depends on how the repmakers sourced it and how they stored it. I have a rep with a swiss movement and it performs beautifully, other people report the opposite – problems and having to replace. Could also get a Sellita instead of ETA (which is in no way a bad thing, Sellita is an excellent Swiss movement manufacturer and a former contractor for ETA).
    They beat at 4Hz unless vintage (check specific model) or Unitas 6497 – 3Hz.

  • A775X (X is placeholder for other digits) – ETA Valjoux 775X clone, used in most rep chronographs. More costly to service and harder to source than other Asian ETAs, also more likely to break – all of this because it’s more complex. Check if the positions of the subdials were modified compared to the original – if yes, that’s a major yellow flag when it comes to relability and servicability. There are exceptions – ZF IWC chronos for example started using a sensible mod that you can safely go for.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • SA3135 – a modded A2836, may accept a genuine Rolex datewheel. Possibly the worst option you can get in a Submariner.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • SH3135, SH3131, VR3135 – Chinese “superclone” rolex movements, harder to service than A2836, but a lot of people prefer them because they can fit a genuine datedisc on them (not SH3131 because it has no date). Not actual superclones (as in there are differences between those and actual Rolex movements), but can be swapped for a genuine movement if you can get your hands on one.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • (S)A3186/(S)A3187 – modified asian ETA with contraptions that make it impossible to service and faulty. Best avoided, but currently the only way to get correct hand stack (as in order of hands seconds -> minutes -> 24hr -> 12hr) and setting method in Rolex GMT.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • A4130 – a weird mod of A7750 with subdials moved and possibly decorated, which is pointless in a closed-caseback watch. Comments about modified A7750s apply.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • SA4130 – either a complete superclone of Rolex 4130, or an ARF mod of A7750 – check if it’s from Noob Factory and expensive – if yes, its the former, otherwise the latter. ARF SA4130 simply doesn’t use the minutes and hours subdials (they are frozen) so there is little to no problem with added torque. If it’s not a new expensive Noob or ARF, it’s probably A4130 (described above) with an S tacked in front of the name.
    They beat at 4Hz.

  • A8900/A8500 (in Omega reps) – movements modified to look like Omega calibers. Used to be modified ETA clones or even modified Chinese 21J/23J, but lately VSF started boasting a “superclone” version that gives the same functionality as gen. Some people seem to overhype those “superclones” as actual complete cloned movements – this is not actually the case, but they are reportedly more reliable than SA3186/SA3187s which strive to provide a similar functionality. Also, no rep Omega movements have the correct beatrate currently (3.5Hz), none have actual co-axial escapement (to my knowledge), and they use overlays with fake jewels, so take VSF’s “almost the same as genuine movement” with a grain of salt.
    They beat at 3Hz or 4Hz depending on the movement used as a base. VSF “superclones” beat at 4Hz.

  • Sea-Gull movements – mostly good movements, but the versions used in reps are not exactly high end (more likely factory QC rejects or lower-tier versions).
    Check specific model to know beatrate.

  • Miyota movements – mostly good movements, but the versions used in reps are not exactly high end (more likely factory QC rejects or lower-tier versions). People were high on Miyota 9015 at first (it’s thin like ETA 2892) because it made some thin reps possible, going as far as putting it in Tudor Pelagos for example, but in the end a lot of Miyota9015 reps have noisy rotors (unidirectional rotors can rotate in one direction freely so it’s harder to silence), so their expansion into the rep industry has been halted somewhat. Miyota 8125 is mostly an entry-level movement and often found in Submariner homages for example.
    Another thing worth mentioning is that SevenFriday reps use Miyota movements for a different reason entirely – the gens also do.
    9015 beats at 4Hz, 8125 beats at 3Hz, movements in SevenFridays beat at 3Hz (at least all of those I know about).


5. How to Read a Timegrapher

So you’ve got the QC images or your brand new best replica but what about your timegrapher results?




Beat Number

Frequency, the vibration of a movement. The number of balance wheel swings per hour or how many times the watch ticks per hour. This is a preset, depends on the watch you order.

14,400 bph = 4 beats per second

18,000 bph = 5 beats per second

21,600 bph = 6 beats per second

28,800 bph = 8 beats per second


Lift Angle

The angle the balance passes through while interacting with the pallet fork. Important to be set correctly in order to calculate the Amplitude. This preset is per caliber specs.

Most modern watches have a lift angle of 50 – 52 degrees. Generally lift angles range from 44 to 58 degrees. Some other settings are present, for instance Gen co-axials angle is 30 degrees.



How fast / slow the movement runs (in seconds per day)

great : +/- 5 s/d

acceptable : +/- 12 s/d

If higher / lower?

It is possible to adjust this yourself or ask your dealer to nudge it a bit.


The measure of the amount of rotation in the swing of the balance wheel, in either direction.

Amplitude is higher when a watch is lying flat and usually falls when the watch is in a vertical position, due to increased friction. Amplitude can also fall as the watch winds down and the mainspring delivers less power.

Amplitude is a good indicator of the movements health and if is too high or too low, or that changes too much in different positions, can indicate a problem with the movement.

great : 270-310

acceptable : 250-270

If higher / lower?

Ask for a different watch or have your watch serviced

Beat Error

The amount of time by which the duration of swing differs from one side to the other in the oscillation of a balance wheel. Generally speaking to get a beat error of zero, the roller jewel in the pallet fork must be perfectly centered.

great : 0.0-0.5 ms

acceptable : 0.6-1 ms

If higher?

Ask for a different watch or have your watch serviced.

* Please note that if you are reading your QC from the dealer, you will generally receive only the results of the watch lying flat. All the above recommended measurements are from that position. The measurements in other positions may vary.


Rate is the first number you see on the top left side of the display. This number describes how much time the watch is either gaining or losing per day. The great watches that has been tested and certified has a rate within +/-2s per day in 4-6 different orientations. For these rep movements and low-end Asian movements you can be pleased with +/-10s per day in the “dial up” orientation.

The second number is the amplitude. This number is how far the balance swings from its resting position, i.e the total swing angle of the spring. This number can vary quite greatly without to much impact on the time keeping and the number varies based on how far the mainspring is wound, the best way to test the amplitude is to wind the mainspring fully wait 1 hour and then test it. Most movements stay within 260-300º, with a lot of rep movements hitting higher than that.

A common misconception is that you want a super high amplitude.

While it’s true that a high amplitude is an indication of a healthy watch, to high of an amplitude can cause damage to the escapement parts and wear it out faster or cause an issue known as “knocking” where the impulse pin swings to far and hits the pallet “in the back”. (Graph showing knocking)

The third common number is the beat error. The beat error is the difference in time between the “tic” and the “toc” of the watch. This number in a genuine watch, even lower grade is most often 0.0ms. In a rep movement I believe you can be pleased with everything under 0.7-1.0ms. Bigger differences in the beat error can be a early indication of damage to the balance spring.

The last number is this lift angle. This number is a predetermined number which is based on the angle between when the impulse pin hits the pallet and when the pallet catches the next cog on the escape wheel.

Another number that can be seen often in the QC pictures are 21,600 or 28,800. This number is the number of beats per hour or BPH. This equate to 6 or 8 beats per second, most common in alot of high end reps is 28,800.

The lines on the graph can help you get a visual representation of how the watch movement is behaving. The rate of the watch determines the angle of the lines, lines going “up” means the watch is gaining time and lines going “down” means the watch is losing time.

The beat error determines how far apart the two lines are, if the beat error is 0.00 you should only see one line on the graph.

6. List of Known Watch Factories
  • ZF: High quality factory for most non-Rolex watches. Overall a good factory with solid releases. Just starting to branch into AP and RM, and they are pretty good.

  • Noob / N Factory: NOW CLOSED 🙁 Noob factory is probably the most famous factory among others, they started a very long time ago and really developing their piece of replica. Noob makes a decent submariner, but have a great Daytona with clone movement, and a good pepsi insert. Besides Rolex, Noob also developing some brands like some Planet Ocean Omega, Blancpain, some Audemars Piguet models, and some Panerai model. Recently (5/12/21) Noob was hit very hard in a raid so their models are on hold for ~6 months (rumor on timeline).

  • VSF/V6F/XF/HBB/KW: re-opened. All fall under a common parent company, but VSF specializes in Omega and Rolex super-reps and Panerai, V6F does quite a bit of projects (though the name isn’t used much nowadays) and XF focuses on Audemars Piguet but recently ventured into Vacheron Constantin. HBB does Roger Dubuis.

  • ARF/JF: JF is the brand name of AP reps. High quality, great detail, though ZF is showing them a run for their money these days. JF also makes middle-high tier Rolex watches among others. ARF is a division that focuses on high quality Rolex releases that focus on finishing. Rumor that JF is closing.

  • JVS: Newer factory as of 2021, takes inspiration from VSF and aims to release high quality Rolex releases.

  • ZZF/Clean: Quality releases recently for Rolex. Rebranded to Clean factory. Be aware of fake

  • PPF: Supposedly family of ZF, but focused on Patek. Has the best current Nautilus

  • BP/GMF: BP is one of the OG rep factories. Has reps of most brands and models, and are at an affordable price. GMF seems to be a higher end brand focusing on finish, but sourcing from similar places.

  • MK/MKS: Focuses on IWC, Patek and Omega releases, though they have branched into other brands too.

  • TF: Specializes in tourbillons (hence “T” F), but most are 42mm and kind of thick.

  • GF: Originally started focusing on German watches (“G”F), but have branched into many other Swiss brands like JLC and Cartier. Creates ‘copy cat’ models for a bit cheaper, and sometimes surprises with improved details

  • FK: Makes quite a few reps, most are not very good or just barely miss the mark for one specific reason. However, their Breguet 5177 v3 watch is superb!!! So do not underestimate any release of theirs.

  • R Factory: Rolex

  • YLF: Connected to ZF, focuses on IWC

  • VRF: Specialized in the Rolex arena with an excellent sub, excellent new VR3135 movement, and gold wrapped subs too.

  • OMF: Focuses on middle tier quality and prices, but recently have high quality Omega releases

  • PF: Revolutionized the Nautilus market with the first thin Nautilus. However, they were recently outdone by PPF and 3K. Focused on Patek, but have other releases.

  • 3K: Newer factory (as of 2020) that released a clone Patek movement.

  • JJF: Focused on Vacheron and Patek releases, came out with the great Overseas rep. Rumor is they shut down though.

7. Omega Buying Guide

What models this guide will cover: 2018 Seamaster Professional Diver 300m, 2019 Seamaster Diver Titanium model, Seamaster 300 “Spectre”, Aqua Terra 8500/8900 series, De Ville Hour Vision, De Ville Prestige (Including Orbis), Constellation. I will update it time after time, probably the soonest update will be dedicated to Planet Ocean model and then im planning to add info about all 007 limited models.

If, after reading that guide, you would have any Omega related questions/thoghts, feel free to PM me or comment here.

1. 2018 Seamaster Professional Diver

Gen Specs:

· Width 42 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 13,7 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8800, METAS-certified

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 5200 USD

VSF Seamaster Diver 300m V2 Specs:

· Width 42 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 14 mm

· Movement: Asian ETA 2824 decorated to Omega 8800 Caliber

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 350 USD (bracelet version)

Known issues:

· Short crown guard in comparison to the gen (minor)

· End links have their 2 mid lines not flat like gen or like bracelet, they are still rounded (like a half pipe), should be flat like on the bracelet.

· Lume color (some people claim the lume color to be yellowish/greenish instead of being pure white. In my personal opinion its not a flaw, cause it really depends on the lightning very much, not to mention that charged lume changes color. Ive seen some gen watches with the same lume.

· Blue model color is a little off

· In my opinion grey dial needs a little more visible brushing


All case dimensions are correct (or if 0,3 mm is a flaw for you – almost correct). All the issues with the V1 were corrected with the V2 – pearl, bracelet, black balance wheel. The bezel is great, the crystal AR is great. Movement is reliable and easy to fix if something goes wrong. The engravings on the dial are correct (but sometimes it happens that they have sharp edges, putting attention to this point is needed during the QC, especially blue and grey dials)

Overall It’s a great replica out of the box!

BEST current option is to get ZF watch (due to the correct crown guards shape + correct balance regulator pin on the movement) and an ORF bracelet (due to correct end links shape)

2. 2019 Seamaster Ceramic bezel Titanium case

Gen Specs:

· Width 43,5 mm

· Lug width 21 mm

· Thickness 15 mm (I actually had to call my AD and ask him to source this info for me, cause they do not have that watch at stock)

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8806, METAS-certified

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 8100 USD

2019 VSF Seamaster Diver Titanium V2 Specs:

· Width 43,5 mm

· Lug width 21 mm

· Thickness 14,5 mm

· Movement: Asian ETA 2824 decorated to Omega 8806 Caliber

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 410 USD

General info:

Main differences from a regular model are case dimensions, material, no DW, dial is made in a opposite way (its matte black with glossy waves)

Flaws I can see:

· Bezel dots look flat on VSF (Gen seems to have some depth)

· Pearl seems to be too deep on VSF

· Same issue with the crown guard being a little shorter (minor in my opinion)


I think its still a great rep, all the flows are really minor.

3. Seamaster 300 “Spectre” Limited Edition

Gen Specs:

· Limited series – 7007 pieces

· Width 41 mm,

· Lug width 21 mm

· Thickness 14,8 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8400

· Retail price: around 7500 USD

Seamaster 300 “Spectre” Limited Edition VSF V2 Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 21 mm

· Thickness 14 mm

· Movement: VSF 8400 Clone movement

· Price: around 370 USD (bracelet version)

Known issues:

· Dial on the version 2 was improved with better matte finish, now it looks similar to gen.

· Bezel teeth are still not improved. They are supposed to be rectangular shape, but VSF’s are circular shape.

· The font on the back cap is a little wrong. “Spectre” should have been written in bold font (kind of more dark), same as 007, but it’s written in a regular as all the other words.

· Seconds hand (lollipop one) has a nob on the top of it, instead of being round

· Some people claim bracelet has wrong spacing (I cant judge based on photos) and recommend getting MKF bracelet.

4. Aqua Terra 8500 / 8900 series

Gen 8900 Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 13,6 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8900, Co-axial

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 5700 USD

VSF Aqua Terra 8900 Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 13 mm

· Movement: VSF 8900 clone movement

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 380 USD (bracelet version)

Short comparison (based on owning both gen and rep):

· The dial looks absolutely perfect (even considering that my gen is another color, ive tried gen with the same white/orange) at my AD and I consider it “1:1”), it reflects light and changes color same as gen.

· All size dimensions and finishing are right. That 0,6mm thickness difference does not feel on the wrist at all.

· The weight is right. At least they do feel the same in hands. The bracelet is same light as on gen.

· You can actually see the difference in vph when you know its there and your seconds hands are aligned on both watches (it looks like 40 fps with 60 – smth like that, hard to describe)

· The main difference I found is the bracelet feel, it needs an oil bath for sure (mine got it, now its better)

· Clasp is a little loose, it does not feel on the wrist unless you actually tap on it.

· Also the closest colors are black and white, blue seems to have some purple shade in it (gen does not have it).

· Some people claim that the grey dial DW color is wrong (i went to my AD specifically to check that aspect, IMO it is fine)

Gen 8500 specs:

· Width 41,5 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 12,8 (13) mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, Co-axial

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 6000 USD

VSF Aqua Terra 8500 Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 12 mm

· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 340 USD (bracelet version)

General info:

Main differences with AT 8900

· Size is a little different

· DW is at 3 marker on 8500 and at 6 at 8900

· Bracelet links are turned upside down on the newer 8900 (links are trapezoids, AT 8900 braclet has its links wide side up and 8500 wide side down)

· Different clasp design

Known issues:

· Blue dial is wrong color (VSF did not nail the blue color at all their reps) Black and white are really good.

· Thickness (just a little)

· Same situation with frequency

· Some people claim the bracelet a little thinner (controversial, did not find any confirmation)


Both 8500 and 8900 models are really well repped by VSF. I did not find any info stating that VSF clone movements failed (both movements are available more than for a year), my watch smth also confirmed that the movement is pretty solid. So it will more depend on what design you prefer. Especially if you will choose black or white color.


Updated VSF AT Spectre Gauss 15007 V2:

· New updated dial has its texture really well done (blue color is also correct), may be the ovals need to be a little more smooth – minor

· Rotor is well decorated (same 3D shape as gen)


It absolutely is a winner in comparison with KW (with flat dial and flat rotor) version and a good rep to get.

5. De Ville Hour Vision

Gen Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 13 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, co-axial

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 7700 USD

VSF De Ville Hour Vision 41 8500 Specs:

· Width 41 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 13,8 mm

· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 438 USD (leather strap version)

The actual comparison found here

Issues found:

· The dial circles surrounding the dial are wrong shape (they have to be engraved a little under the angle to the center of the dial).

· Those circles should have smooth angles (like a pipe) and VSF has them like rectangles.

· The DW window metal surrounding should go down flat till the actual DW (VSF one is not that deep and flat)

· The metal markers on the gen have a big angle on the top of them (while VSF ones are almost flat)


Overall they nailed colors really good. Even the blue one. Case shape looks pretty good also. Dial and DW need improvements

6. De Ville Prestige (including Orbis)

Gen Specs:

· Width 39,5 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 10 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 2500, co-axial (its an ETA 2892-2 based movement with added co-axial escapement)

· The watch actually comes in A, B, C and D. AFAIK, C and D are 25,200 VPH while the A and B are 28,800 VPH.

· Retail price: around 3900 USD

MKF De Ville Prestige Specs:

· Width 39,5 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 10 mm

· Movement: Asian Clone ETA 2824-2

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 270 USD

MKF De Ville Prestige issues:

· Overall the dial is pretty good (however the white color seems a little off under some lightning)

· DW font is a little off (smaller than gen)

· Logo on the clasp looks bigger on MKF than on the gen

· Caseback engravings are deeper and wider on gen.


Cant say why it is listed in the NWBIG list, but to my eye it should not be there (at least for now), I mean it’s a good rep, but some work still have to be done (pretty easy work).

RXW De Ville Prestige Orbis Specs:

· Width 39,5 mm

· Lug width 20 mm

· Thickness 10 mm

· Movement: Asian clone ETA 2892

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 290 USD

RXW De Ville Prestige Orbis issues:

· Leather strap color is too light blue comparing to gen

· Date font misalignments


Overall it’s a very decent rep. But changing strap to gen is recommended. Also I recommend asking your TD to send you some more photos of DW with different numbers during QC process.

7. Constellation

Gen Specs:

· Width 38 mm

· Lug width 25 mm

· Thickness 13 mm

· Movement: In-house Caliber 8500, co-axial

· Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph)

· Retail price: around 5900 USD

VSF Constellation 38 8500 Specs:

· Width 38 mm

· Lug width 25 mm

· Thickness 13 mm

· Movement: VSF 8500 clone movement

· Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 Vibrations per hour)

· Price: around 390 USD

Issues found:

· Textured dial models have their texture pretty close, but still lacking the wave texture on the rhombus top right side (except that, they are pretty decent)

· Some colors of dials on VSF are lacking all the brushing, they just have a matte finished dial, when gen has brushed finish centered at the star on the dial. For example black dial lacks it, and brown has it right. I find this strange, but at least it looks like that now. And it’s a major flaw

· Also they have the same flow as the De Ville Hour Vision – The DW window metal surrounding should go down flat till the actual DW (VSF one is not that deep and flat), it’s a ladder shape, but needs to be flat and deep sitting


Since those models are not that popular as some others, I do not really think we will ever get some improvements. And considering that even gens are not so popular in a wild, it will be hard to spot those imperfections. If you like it, you can go for it. I also contacted one TD for providing me some more info about some flat dials, cause its really hard to spot some things on the photos.


8. Guide to Known Clasp Codes for Rolex

93150 – Submariner – Non SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:

D12 – Raffles – stamped 62523H 18 – Bracelet stamped 70216 – Endlinks stamped 455b
MA11 – Yuki – stamped 93250 – Bracelet stamped 93250 – Endlinks stamped 448b.
Z10? – JKF/Cartel – stamped 76753? – Bracelet stamped 93150 – Endlinks stamped 580.

93250 – Submariner – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:

EO6 – JF – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
EO6 – TC V1 – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
DE6 – TC V2/WM9 – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved EO 93250.
PJ4 – TC V5 – stamped 93250 – No engraving to SEL.
PJ4 – TC V6 – stamped 93250 – ??
PJ4 – TC V7 – stamped 93250 – No
DE6 – BP – stamped 93250.
CL1 – Sean – stamped 93250 – ??
CL1 – TW Best – stamped 93250 – SEL engraved AD 93288. (Being sold by Detroit Watch Works as genuine. Although their SEL engravings show AD 93250. See here:…-works.405198/)
CL10 – ARF – stamped 93253 – SEL engraved EO 93250 – *904L

93160 – Sea-Dweller – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:

OP10 – BP – stamped 93160A – SEL engraved EO 93160A
EO10 – TC – stamped 93160A – SEL engraved EO 93160A

93253 – Submariner – SEL Bi-Metal Oyster bracelet with fliplock clasp:

CL1 – MBW – stamped 93250 – Bracelet stamped 93250.
OP3 – WM9 – stamped 93253 – Bracelet not stamped – SEL engraved 93253 (Wrapped)
OP10 – BP – stamped 93160A – Bracelet not stamped.
?? – Sean – stamped 93150 – Bracelet stamped 93250 – SEL engraved CL 93250 & 16613. (Wrapped)
1LD – CF bluesy – SEL engraved ??
1RD – VSF bluesy- SEL engraved ??
SI9 – VSF YG – SEL engraved ??

97200 – Submariner – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Glidelock Clasp:

PJ3 – NOOB V1 2014/BP/REGMARINER – SEL engraved ??
2VU – NOOB V2 to V5 – SEL engraved RS 97200
1FY – NOOB V6S – SEL engraved G3Z 97200
ST9 – NOOB V7 – SEL engraved 80K 97200
ST9 – NOOB V7 – SEL engraved RS 97200
ST9 – NOOB V8 – SEL engraved RS 97200
ST9 – NOOB V9 – SEL engraved 80K 97200 – *904L
ST9 – NOOB V10 – SEL engraved G3Z 97200 – *904L
T1G – NOOB V10 – SEL engraved G3Z 97200 – *904L
ST9 – NAIL – SEL engraved 6YZ 97203 – *904L
ST9 – VRF – SEL engraved RS 97200 –
J9K – VRF MAX – SEL engraved ?? 97200 – *904L
ST9 – BP – SEL engraved RS 97200
PJ3 – BP – SEL engraved ??
6YZ – BP V2/GM Factory – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – ARF V1 – SEL engraved 590 97200
E5N – ARF V1 & V2 – SEL engraved 5VM 97200 – *904L
X7F – LF – SEL engraved 5WD 97200
PJ3 – JF V1 – SEL engraved ??
PJ3 – REGMARINER – SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF V2 – SEL engraved 590
ST9 – DJF – SEL engraved ?? – *904L
0HA – DJF – SEL engraved T4J 97200- *904L
6YZ – GMF – SEL engraved 6YZ 97203 – *904L
M7J – EXF – SEL engraved ??
7KY – ORF – SEL engraved ?? – *904L
C4R – ZZF V2 – SEL engraved P5M 97200 – *904L
C4R – ZZF V2S – SEL engraved RS 97200 – *904L
7QJ – RXF/XF – SEL engraved T2A 97200 – *904L
1NQ – EWF 41 mm – SEL engraved ?? 316L
UTN – EWF 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 316L
1LD – CF Date / No Date – SEL engraved ?? 904L
H7Z – VSF Starbucks & Cookiemonster – SEL engraved ?? 904L
7GJ – VSF Date / No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L
H7Z – VSF 41 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L
1LQ – VSF Date 41 mm Rehaut: 2R… – SEL engraved ?? 904L

6SH / 7GJ – VSF No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved ?? 904L

T1G – VRF Andrea Pirlo No Date 40 mm – SEL engraved “??” 904L

1NQ – GD Factory (low-tier) selled as VSF be aware!

97220 – SD43 – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:

453 – VRF – SEL engraved H4Y 97220
4RL – ARF – SEL engraved C4R 97220
4RL – ARF V3 – SEL engraved C4R 97220 – *904
C4R – Noob – SEL engraved ??
C4R – NOOB V2 – SEL engraved 0NW 97220 – *904
453 – GMF – SEL engraved H4Y 97220 – *904

98210 – DSSD – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:

T4J – BP V2 – SEL engraved ??
Z6Y – ARF V2 – SEL engraved D2Y 98210 – *904

98220 – DSSD – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:

T1U – ARF – SEL engraved 8UF 98220 – *904

78200 – GMT – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster polished centre links with Fliplock Clasp:

OP8 – Noob V2 – engraved 15/423 – SEL engraved OP 78200
5NF – Noob V7 – SEL engraved ??
5NF – Noob V8 – SEL engraved ??
71H – Noob CHS – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v2 – SEL engraved ??
PJ1 – BP – SEL engraved ??
0HA – DJF – SEL engraved 6GF78200 – *904
T1G – Noob V9 – SEL engraved 6GF 78200 – *904
T1G – Noob V10 – SEL engraved ?? 78200 – *904
6MW – VRF 3186 Clone – SEL engraved 89K 97200 – *904
P3L – ARF 3186 clone – SEL engraved P3L 78200 – *904
5XZ – GMF – SEL engraved ?? 78200 – *904
CF Oyster & Jubilee – SEL engraved “??” 904L

69200 – GMT – SEL Stainless Steel Jubilee Fliplock Clasp:

6LX – DJF – SEL engraved A3W 62611 – *904
6MW – GMF – SEL engraved K8P 69200 – *904
6MW- BP – SEL engraved K8P 69200
6MW- Noob – SEL engraved K8P 69200 – *904
6MW- Noob – SEL engraved 1LD 69200 – *904
6MW – VRF – SEL engraved 1LD 69200 – *904

97203 – Submariner – SEL Bi-Metal Oyster with Glidelock Clasp:

Y8C – JF – SEL engraved 469 97203
6YZ – VRF – SEL engraved ??
2VU – Noob – SEL engraved PJ 97203 (Wrapped)
6YZ – BP- SEL engraved ?? (Wrapped)

78590 – Daytona – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster with Fliplock Clasp:

7CD – ARF – SEL engraved 9US 78590 – *904
5NF – Noob – SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF 7750 – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v1- SEL engraved ??
X0P – JF – SEL engraved ??
7GT – BP v2 – SEL engraved ??
Y8C – JF v2 – SEL engraved E0 78493
OP8 – Phong – Clasp engraved 15/423 – SEL engraved AS 78490
Z1H – Noob 4130 clone – SEL engraved ??
T1G – Noob 4130 V2 – SEL engraved Z6S 78590 – *904
5NF – JH – SEL engraved C1Z 78590
7CD – GMF – SEL engraved ?? – *904

63600 – Datejust – SEL Stainless Steel Super Jubilee bracelet:

COC – ARF – SEL engraved 931 63600
CL5 – BP – Clasp engraved 72200 – SEL engraved ??
K6G – VSF 41 mm SS – SEL engraved ??

72600 – Datejust – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp:

7UM – ARF – SEL engraved UOP 72600A
3NY – BP – SEL engraved ??
M8N – EWF 36 mm – SEL engraved ??
7UL – VSF 41 mm SS – SEL engraved ??

70400 – Oyster Perpetual – SEL Stainless Steel Oyster bracelet with Oysterclasp:

7UM – JF – SEL engraved 7GT 70400

Below are some models which I added:

Day-Date 36/40 – Clasp-Codes Stainless Steel plated / non-plated with presidential Bracelet:

7GT – BP 36 & 40mm 316L – SEL engraved “??”
7GT – GMF 904L – SEL engraved “??”
2EM – EWF – SEL engraved “??”
7GT – Noob – SEL engraved “??”

Yacht-Master I 37-/ 40-/ 42 mm -Stainless Steel plated / non-plated with Oysterclasp:

W5T – 226659 VSF 42 mm Rubber/SS – SEL engraved “??”
5XZ – 226659 GMF 42 mm Rubber/SS – SEL engraved “??”
9AX – 268622 ARF 37 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
7CD – 116622 ARF 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
3DD – 116622 Noob 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
5XZ – 116622 BP 40 mm SS – SEL engraved “??”
7CD – 116621 ARF 40 mm RG – SEL engraved “??”
6OD – 116655 ARF 40 mm Rubber/RG – SEL engraved “??”
138 – 116655 Noob 40 mm Rubber/RG – SEL engraved “??”


1LD – 11661X FAKE CLEAN SUBMARINERS – rehaut engraved “U9N5” (here is important, that the fake CF has 1LD smaller than “Steelinox”)t
he stickers are not that clean than the real ones. FAKE CLEAN CAT and FAKE CLEAN MONKEY and THIS
2R2 – 126619LB FAKE VSF COOKIEMONSTER – /u/pmtu´s mentioned thread and Guide to distinguish a real CF by /u/Linxujia


9. Guide to the Best Budget Mid-Tier Watches ($250-$400)
Mid-Tier Replicas ($250-400)

On a budget? That’s okay! This list is for you. These are not the $500+ versions with super clone movements or hyper fine details. These are the better than bottom barrel, ‘good enough’ versions.

Last Update: October 25, 2022

All models with an * are considered High tier (aka the best you can get and are quite good).


  • Submariner 116610LN, LV and others: BP Factory ($350) (ZF 116610LN is $400), VRF ($320-$350)

  • Submariner 126610LN, LV and others: BP Factory ($350)

  • Submariner 116040 and 126040 (no date): BPF ($300)

  • *Explorer I: BP Factory ($300)

  • Explorer II 216570: BP factory ($350)

  • *Seadweller 16600: BP Factory ($300)

  • Daytona: VRF V2 (Panda / Black) modified 7750 at an affordable price of $378

  • GMT Master II (Batman, Batgirl, Pepsi, LN): BP Factory with incorrect hand stack movement A2836 ($300)

  • GMT Master II 5 digit 16710/16750: BP factory $330

  • Datejust 36 (all variants): BP Factory with 2824 movement ($300-$320), ARF ($400)

  • Datejust 41 (all variants): BP Factory with 2824 movement ($310-$320)

  • DayDate 36/40: BP Factory ($300+)

  • Oyster Perpetual 41 and 36: BP Factory ($320)

  • Yachtmaster 40mm: VRF with 2836 movement ($350-$370)

Audemars Piguet:

  • *15450 Royal Oak 37mm: JF for $380

  • 15400 Royal Oak 41mm: APSF v1 (might not be widely available) for $300

  • 15500 Royal Oak 41mm: MPF ($300)

  • 15703 RO Offshore: ROF ($400)

  • No other ‘good enough’ reps for AP. Recommend higher price bracket. See AP section for who makes the best.

Patek Philippe:

  • Nautilus: BP Factory for $350.

  • Aquanaut: BP Factory for $350 (unsure if still made)

  • *Calatrava 5296: ZF for $400

  • Still recommend higher price bracket for Nautilus and Aquanaut

Vacheron Constantin:

  • *Patrimony Date: PPF for $318

  • No other good recommendations – for Overseas go for ZF (higher price bracket)


  • *BB58: ZF ($300)

  • *BB36: KRF ($340)

  • Pelagos: ZF ($360)


  • *Planet Ocean 600m 39.5mm: VSF ($390)

  • *Seamaster Diver 300m: VSF/SBF with clone ($390), ZF with modified 2824 ($360)

  • *Seamaster Spectre: VSF v2 ($390)

  • *Speedmaster Racing Chrono 40mm: HRF ($380)

  • *Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m: VSF ($400)


  • *Tank Louis: DRF for $248

  • *Tank Solo: K11 for $280

  • *Ballon Bleu 42mm: AF for $250

  • *Santos: F1

  • *Ballon Bleu 42: AF ($200-250)


  • *Portofino: V7F ($310)

  • *Mark XVIII Pilot: V7F ($350)

  • There are more <$400 IWC model available, check TD websites.

Jaeger LeCoultre

  • Master Ultra Thin Moonphase: AZF ($380)

  • Reserve de Marche: ZF ($390)

Panerai – There are reps that are <$400, but look for anything by VSF from a TD website

Richard Mille – nothing noteworthy in this price range.


10. The 'Not Worth Buying In Gen' (NWBIG) Guide

Audemars Piguet ROO Diver JF 10

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (black) Best = Noob V1 (not sold by TD anymore) #2 = ZF

Breitling Avenger II GMT GF (first batch with correct DW, includes the polished SS and the blacksteel / DLC)
Breitling SuperOcean Abyss
Breitling SuperOcean Abyss Chrono Noob
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Black Noob V2 (not available on TD anymore)
Breitling SuperOcean Steelfish H-factory v2 (arrow second hand version)
Breitling SuperOcean II 44mm (Noob) (black only)
Breitling Transocean Day Date Blue – V7F
Breitling Navitimer 1 41mm – V7F (blue is best, then black/white)

Bvlgari Diagono Magnesium GF, last version

Cartier Santos XL V6
Cartier, Ballon Bleu 42mm, V6F V4
Cartier, Ballon Bleu Pink Dial 33m, AF (CAL.076)
Cartier Tank Solo W5200025 RG AF

Franck Muller Casablanca Automatique 8880 – GF

Hublot Big Bang V6(F) “V6.5” SS (not the carbon fiber ones, confused with the name ? Click here)

IWC 3777-01 ZF
IWC 3878 Spitfire V6F
IWC Big Pilot 5009-01 ZF
IWC Laureus Sport Ingenieur 2824 Noob
IWC Da Vinci by TW
IWC Portofino AF
IWC Portofino “150 years anniversary” blue dial (maybe others too) by V7F

Jaeger-LeCoultre Diver Master Compressor Noob

Montblanc Timewalker Chrono – Noob A7753

(list of PAMs below only shows the bests Super Reps for that particular model)
PAM 000 – Luminor Base Logo (44mm) N-series Noob V2.5
PAM 005 – Luminar Marina Logo (44mm) N-series Noob V2 / N-series H maker V2
PAM 026 – Luminor Marina Destro PVD (44mm) K-series Noob V3
PAM 029 – Luminor GMT (44mm) M-series Noob V2-improved
PAM 057 – Luminor Power Reserve Titanium (44mm) DSN
PAM 087 – H maker F-series w/ A-7750
PAM 088 – Luminor GMT (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 104 – Luminor Marina Automatic (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 111 – Luminor Marina (44mm) N-series Noob V3 (and later -> current best : v11)
PAM 112 – Luminor Base (44mm) M-N series Noob
PAM 127 – Luminor 1950 “Fiddy” (47mm) Latest Noob
PAM 164 – Luminor Marina Automatic (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 176 – Luminor Base Titanium (44mm) M-N series Noob V3
PAM 177 – Luminor Marina Titanium (44mm) N-P series Noob
PAM 187 – Luminor Submersible Chorno 1000m (47mm) Noob 7753
PAM 217 – Luminor Marina Militare 1950 Destro “Fiddy” (47mm) 2012 Noob
PAM 243 – Luminor 1950 Submersible (44mm) M-series Noob V2
PAM 285 – K-series KW/V6Fac with A7750 decorated like OPIII)
PAM 288 – Radiomir Chronograph (45mm) K-series H maker
PAM 292 – Radiomir Black Seal (45mm) J-series Noob
PAM 297 – Luminor GMT (44mm) O-series Noob
PAM 299 – Luminor Marina Automatic (K-series) (44mm) O- series Noob
PAM 318 – Luminor Marina Logo (44mm) L-series Noob
PAM 346 – Radiomir Titanio (45mm) KW/V6F
PAM 356 – Luminor Chrono Daylight (44mm) O-series Noob 7753
PAM 364 – Luminor Submersible 1950 Titanium (47mm) P-series Noob
PAM 390 – Luminor Boutique Edition (44mm) N-series Noob
PAM 411 to 420 – Luminor Marina Boutiques Special Edition (44mm) KW/V6F
PAM 432 to 434 – Luminor Marina Boutiques Special Edition (44mm) H Maker
PAM 441 – Luminor GMT VSF V2
PAM 508 – Luminor 1950 Submerislbe Ceramica (47mm) KW-V6Fac Ceramic decorated A7750 Inverted KP9000 // P-KW-V6Fac Ceramic decorated Seagull NON-inverted KP9000-Seagull V2
PAM 569 – Luminor 1950 Submersible Dextro Titanium (47mm) KW-V6F Q-series Seagull Non-Inverted KWP9000-Seagull V2
PAM 571 – ZFac P-series P.9000 decorated A7750 NON-inverted Improved ZP9000-V2.5 // KW-V6Fac P-series P.9000 decorated A7750 Inverted KP9000-V2. KW-V6Fac P-series P.9000 decorated Seagull NON-inverted K9000-SeagullV2.
PAM 607 – KW-V6Fac P-series Ceramic decorated A7750 NON-inverted KP9000-V2) The most interesting version for A7750 lovers. // KW-V6Fac P-series Ceramic decorated KP9000-Seagull V2 NON-inverted The most interesting version for Seagull lovers

Rolex 114300, 39mm, Grape and Grey dial JF (now ARF, service is recommended)
Rolex Sub 16610 TC
Rolex TW Best/WM9 (Sub/Bluesy/DD)
Rolex 116900 AIR-KING GMF & BP (last versions)

Seven Friday (V6F) P series (P1-1, P3-1), V series (V2-1) and M series (not the M2-2 one)

Tag Heuer Aquaracer 300 (White Dial on Ronda with SS bracelet)
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 SS on Rubber – SW200

Tudor Black Bay Red 2016 ZF (last shield version)
Tudor Heritage Ranger SS S Factory
Tudor Black Pelagos V6F/XF V2/3/4
Tudor Blue Pelagos V6F/XF V2/3/4

– [Exhaustive Consensual List] Commonly accepted as First Class++ NWBIGs –
(These are Super Reps on the wrist, minor tell only on the open caseback so unless you take it off, show it to an expert and give him a few minutes for close inspection, these ARE SUPER REPS)

PAM 438 – VSF V2
PAM 687 – Acciaio Brevettato SF

Longines, Master Collection LGF Top Edition

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2019 Real Ceramic Case VSF (v1 only unless you get a fixed version)

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R RG/LE ZF with MY9015 Mod (WG could be too, need feedbacK)
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296G SS ZF White Sector Dial/Blue Hands

Under debate / No Consensus yet

– Likely Super Reps but needs more feedback, definitely FIRST CLASS :
Cartier, Ballon Bleu 28 and 33mm, V6F
Cartier Santos 100 V6F (Black Dial, Titanium Ultimate Swiss SW)
Cartier Ronde Croisiere WSRN0002 GP
Cartier W5200025 ZF
Chanel J12 38 mm – FR Factory
IWC 501902 Top Gun Miramar ZF
IWC IW388002 V6F
IWC IW327010 MARK XVIII by V7 Factory
IWC Big Pilot IW502001 Real Ceramic ZF V2 (waiting for new batch, short minute hand issue)
Longines, La Grande Classique SS 37mm JF
Longines Avigation Bigeye ZX
Omega Aqua Terra 8500 Clone – VSF
Omega AT Master Co-Axial 8900 – VSF
Omega De Ville SS RXW A2892
Omega De Ville SS GPF V2
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m LMPO Noob V5 (waiting for the caseback typo to be fixed)
Tudor Heritage Ranger V6F
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Special Edition Premier League GS
Zenith Pilot Extra Special 20 – Black dial (V6F > ZF)

[Non-exhaustive Consensual List] FIRST CLASS NWBIGs

Bell & Ross 03-92 ZF (not the Golden Heritage one that has a very bad Dial)
Bell & Ross 03-92 Horolum Watch Achive Custom
Bell & Ross 03-93 GMT Watch Archive Custom
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (Noob V2)
Breitling Navitimer World 46mm GMT (black only) BP
Breitling Avenger Blackbird (GF/ GF V2)
Cartier W6701011 ZF (really subtle difference on DW and window)
Franck Muller Master Square GF
Hublot Classic Fusion 42mm JJF black dial (V2) – Back is wrong and screws are randomly falling
IWC Portofino White Dial V5 MKF
IWC Portofino “150 years anniversary” white dial MKF
IWC Mark XVII Le Petit Prince MKF
IWC Portuguese 7 days ZF (last version)
IWC Black 3714 – ZF V3 (slim movement)
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master-Ultrathin Moonphase ZF (black dial, possibly the others too, moon & back / clasp are little off)
Montblanc Heritage Spirit M Factory
Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre VSF
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 2018 VSF V2
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m 42 and 45mm (CrPO) Noob
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (45.5 / 42mm) CrPO (8500 Super Clone) VSF
PAM 382 – VSF V2 (small issue with the font on the crown guard)
Rolex DateJust 41 by VSF / ARF
Rolex Explorer (214270) SH3135 V2 (JF)
Rolex Day Date 18239 TW Best/WM9
Rolex Daytona 116500 (Asia 4130 Mod) White/Stk – Noob
Rolex Daytona 116520 (Asia 4130 Mod) – Noob
Rolex Submariner 116610LN ZZF v2
Rolex Submariner No Date ZZF v3
Rolex Submariner 116610 Date VSF (GET THIS ONE, might even be Super Rep once Rehaut is fixed)
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 (116660) ARF 904L Steel SH3135
Rolex Sea Dweller 4000 (116600) Noob V2
Rolex Sea Dweller 2017 Baselworld 126600 904L ARF & Noob (latest versions)
Rolex Yacht-Master Rhodium Noob 904L Steel SA3135/VR3135
Tag Heuer Carrera calibre 1887 V6F – Ceramic Bezel Black Dial on SS
Tudor LHD Pelagos – XF
Tudor Black Pelagos – ZF V2/V3

– Under review (likely to be FIRST CLASS, some could be Super Reps but need more feedback) :
Audemars Piguet – XF V2 FC Diver 15706
Breitling SuperOcean SeaWolf H-factory v2
Breitling Superocean Heritage II 42mm – GF V2 (wrong pearl, font too bold, date font)
Concord C1 – H Factory
Cartier Panthère Secrete DJ
Cartier Tank Solo W5200025 RG AF 1:1
Glashutte Senator Sixties – GF
IWC Big Pilot 5009-12 ZF
IWC Big Pilot 5009-16 ZF
IWC 5009-08 LPP ZF V2
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT 600m
Omega De Ville SS MKS
Omega Planet Ocean 600m GMT (Black/Orange) VSF 8605
PAM 616 – CarboTech Submersible VSF A7750
PAM 424 V2 California Dial Super Clone P.3000 ZF
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 PPF White
Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea (DBlue) Noob V7
Rolex Date-Just 116234 ARF
Rolex Celini MKF
Rolex Explorer II 42mm 216570 Noob (Correct Hand Stack)
SevenFriday P2B/03-W ‘Woody’ NFC V6F
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Blue XF
Tudor Black Bay GMT Baselworld 2018 ZF
Tudor Blue Heritage Black Bay (Bucherer) XF
Vacheron Constantin Overseas White JJF MY9015 Mod (need feedback on movement noise and cross engraving thickness on the back)
Zenith Extra Special Bronze Edition V6F/KW

NOT ACCEPTED as NWBIGs/Super Reps (naked eye instant tell(s)/waiting for update)
Tudor BB Red Rose Edition ZF – V4/V5
Blancpain Villeret 6654 SS (with complication) OMF : moon phase goes the wrong way + adjustment wrong side of the case


11. How to set up your Manual Watch


The crown has 2 positions:

1. Normal position – wearing position

In this position the watch can be wound using the crown. Turn the crown forwards until you feel resistance – DO NOT OVERWIND THE MECHANISM. Winding the watch once a day should be enough to ensure the correct functioning of the watch. When the crown is positioned against the case this ensures that the watch is water resistant. Please note that must of Factories and TD do not guarantee the watch being waterproof or water resistant.

Make sure that when you handle the crown in any way the watch is in your hand, not on your wrist. This is because there is a possibility you bend or damage the crown tube and / or case of the watch, should you handle the crown when the watch is on your wrist.

2. Pulled out position – time (and date) setting

When the crown is pulled out, it can be used to set the time. The crown can be turned forwards and backwards. To set the date please keep moving the the crown forwards (clockwise) to the desired date.


1. Normal position – wearing position

In this position the watch can be wound using the crown. Turn the crown forwards until you feel resistance – DO NOT OVERWIND THE MECHANISM. Winding the watch once a day should be enough to ensure the correct functioning of the watch. When the crown is positioned against the case this ensures that the watch is water resistant. Please note that must of Factories and TD do not guarantee the watch being waterproof or water resistant.

2. Pulled out once position – date setting

When the crown is in this position the crown can be turned upwards to change the date. When using the quickset function to change the date please make sure the time is first set to 6 o’clock. This is because around 12 o’clock the watch itself is mechanically changing the date. Should you try to change the date manually when the watch is using this function there is a chance you damage the mechanism. When the time is set at or around 6 o’clock this mechanism can not be damaged.

3. Pulled out twice position

Time setting When the crown is pulled out twice, it can be used to set the time. The crown can be turned forwards and backwards.

Chronograph Manual

Using a chronograph:

1. Your watch has 2 pushers. The top one, pusher A is usually used to start and stop the chronograph. The bottom pusher, pusher B, is used to reset the chronograph. The chronograph can be used as a stopwatch, for example to measure lap times. Note: never push both pushers simultaneously.

2. The second-hand of the chronograph is the long central hand on your watch. A watch with a chronograph usually has a small seconds hand in a separate sub- dial, for the time function of your watch. Please do not keep the chronograph running all the time, as this takes a lot of power reserve from the mechanism.

3. Usually a chronograph has 2 or 3 sub-dials / counters. One is used to show the seconds, this hand is always moving as it shows the seconds of the time, not the seconds elapsed when using the chronograph. The other two sub-dials are used to show the elapsed minutes and hours when using the chronograph. When the chronograph is not being used the hand of these sub-dials should be centered pointing towards 12 o’clock.


To change the time or date, or to wind the watch by hand, you must fist unscrew the crown from the case, ‘hen pull it until the required position is reached. Always perform these operations with the watch in your hand and not on your wrist. When you are done, make sure the crown is Screwed down to the case again before you wear it.


To change the time or date, or to wind the watch by hand, you must first unscrew the crown from the case, then pull it until the required position is reached. Always perform these operations with the watch in your hand and not on your wrist. When you are done, make sure the crown is screwed down to the case again before you wear it.

12. List of Trusted Watchsmiths

The Rules as follows for the process of becoming a watchsmith, and what we hold as an agreement with each and every watchsmith that becomes trusted.

  • 1 – ID verification

  • 2 – Sticked post on your own profile stating services that watchsmith provides.

  • 3 – Information about the movements watchsmith has experience servicing.

  • 4 – Rough public estimate of the cost of service (price range).

  • 5 – After becoming a TWS (Trusted Watchsmith) At least 2 monthly contributions to the subreddit that are educational in nature.

  • 6 – Warranty on all the services provided by the watchsmith (water damage is not included)

  • 7 – Provide proof (photos) to the client about the services performed

  • 8 – Open a sticky for customers feedback

  • 9 – Before becoming a trusted watchsmith you will be vetted by mod’s and Watchsmiths alike.Source

TRUSTED WATCHSMITHS *This will be updated as more become available.















13. Beginner’s Guide to Clone Movements in Rolex Replica Watches

When buying a high end replica watch, it’s important to consider both what’s on the outside and what’s on the inside. The factories in China have invested millions of dollars in re-producing exact copies of various Swiss watch movements from ETA, and in-house movements from Rolex, AP, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille. The accuracy of the replication varies, as does their reliability of these movements. In this guide I hope to be able to give you a basic understanding of which mechanical movements are good, which ones are ok, and which ones to avoid, and importantly, how to tell the various movements apart, since the information listed on Trusted Dealer websites in the descriptions isn’t terribly accurate.


Rolex has by far the largest market share of all replica watches. As such, it’s not surprising that there are a plethora of clone movements available for the popular Rolex models.

40mm Submariner (1166XX and 114060)

For 40mm submariners (i.e. those with reference number 1166XX) There are six options:

Genuine Rolex Caliber 3135

For reference here’s the genuine Rolex caliber 3135. Note how there is only one arm (the beat adjustor) on the balance bridge of the genuine movement. This is because the genuine movement has a “free sprung” balance. That means on the genuine movement the speed of the movement is regulated by adjusting the moment of inertia of the balance wheel via tiny weighted screws on the rim of the wheel. On all replica movements, regulation is done via a regulation arm that can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten the effective length of the hairspring. That’s why you see only one arm on the genuine movement, but two arms on the replica movements.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

Gen Rolex 3135


Excellent quality part finishing and engraving. Hairspring mounted clockwise. This is the best super clone movement of the 3135. Note, there is a VS3130 version of this movement which is used on the no-date 40mm VSF subs (ref number 114060). The VS3130 is of equal quality to the VS3135, it is the best option for a no-date 40mm sub.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



Good quality part finishing and engraving. Hairspring mounted clockwise. This is the second best clone of the 3135 movement. Note, there is a no-date version of the VR3135 called the VR3130. The VR3130 is a good quality no-date movement, second only to the VS3130.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



Very low quality finishing, hairpsing mounted counter clockwise. Avoid this movement if possible. There is also a no-date version of this movement called the SH3130 (or sometimes the AR3130) which is of similarly poor quality. Avoid both the SH3135 and SH3130 (AR3130).

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



Reasonable quality of part finishing, poor quality engraving. Hairspring mounted counter clockwise. Go with the VR or VS movement if you have the choice or budget. There is a no-date version of this movement called the SA3130, which is of similar quality to the SA3135; as such a better choice for a no-date 40mm submariner is the VS3130 or VR3130.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



This isn’t a clone of a Rolex movement, rather it is a clone of an ETA 2824 movement. This movement is reliable and easy to service and get replacement parts for. However, it doesn’t even remotely resemble what you’d find inside a Rolex. If you don’t care about what movement powers your rep, this isn’t a bad option.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



Another clone of an ETA movement that is never found inside a real Rolex. This movement is also reliable and easy to service. Some people prefer these movements since they are easy to fix or replace and “nobody can see inside my rep submariner”… the functions at the crown i.e. the direction you have to twist to set the date / time, will not necessarily be the same as on a cloned movement.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


41mm Submariners (1266XX) and 41mm Datejust

It’s worth noting that there are some 36mm Datejusts that use the VR3235 movement, but the majority seem to use an ETA clone. The VR3235 is a good movement, so if you’re looking for a Datejust 36mm try to find one that has a VR3235. Unfortunately, the 3235 movement is too big for the 31mm Datejust case, so all replica 31mm Datejusts use lower end Asian clones of ETA movements. This is just a function of market pressure: there’s not a lot of demand for replica watches in lady sizes.

Genuine Rolex Caliber 3235

The genuine Rolex caliber 3235 is a relatively new movement with an astonishing 72 hour power reserve. Just like the genuine 3135 the genuine 3235 doesn’t have a regulation arm on the balance bridge since the movement is regulated by adjusting micro screw weights on the rim of the balance wheel. All the replica 3235 movements have a regulation arm, so you’ll always see two arms on the rep movement balance bridges.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

Gen Rolex 3235


This is an incredible movement that is currently only available in VS Factory subs and DJs. The movement has an amazing 70+ hour power reserve and is part compatible with the genuine Rolex movement. This means that it’s possible to swap gen parts into this movement to improve it. A common part swap on this movement is to replace the balance complete, pallet fork, and escape wheel with gen parts. With those parts swapped, the movement is virtually indistinguishable from the genuine caliber. Note: The easy way to identify this movement is to look at the position of the two arms coming off the balance bridge: on the VS movement they face outwards. Note: there is currently no non-date version of the VS3235, that is a “VS3230” movement doesn’t exist (as of August 2022). The best option for a no-date 41mm submariner is the VR3230 movement (see below).

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



This is a very common movement that is used in Subs and DJs from many different factories. This movement is technically not a clone but more of a hybrid between a 3135 and 3235 movement. This movement is reliable, although it doesn’t have the same power reserve of the VS3235, at only around 40 hours. While spare parts for this movement can be hard to find, a replacement movement is only around 100 USD on AliExpress, so it’s often more economical to replace the movement with a new one rather than service an old one. This movement is easy to identify because it has a “fake” beat adjuster arm pointing outwards from the balance bridge, but the two functional arms (beat and rate) are hidden underneath the balance bridge and face inwards. Also of note, the end-shake adjustment screw on the balance bridge isn’t functional, so adjusting the end-shake of the balance needs to be done with foil shims. Note: there is a no-date version of this movement called the VR3230 which is used on Clean Factory (CF) no-date 41mm submariners (as of August 2022). The VR3230 is the best option for a clone movement in a no-date 41mm submariner.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition



This movement appears in some DJ41s and DJ36s. This is not a great movement, and should be avoided. The movement is decorated with poor quality plates. In the images it’s possible to see paint flaking off of the “reversing wheels” of the automatic model. This movement can easily be identified by the decoration at the center of the rotor that is trying to make it look like the rotor runs on ball bearings like the VS and VR (and gen) movements above. Furthermore, the shock setting spring on the balance bridge is a three sided closed spring vs. the paraflex springs that are present on the gen, VS and VR (although on the VR the paraflex spring is part of a decoration plate, and the real shock setting can be found underneath). This is a movement to avoid.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

SA3235 (Low quality paint flakes)


This is not a clone of a Rolex movement, but rather an asian clone of an ETA movement. This movement was discussed above in the 40mm submariner section. But here again, the movement is reliable and easy to service, but not functionally the same as the genuine movement in terms of the functions of the crown for setting / winding. With the ubiquity and low cost of the VR3235, this movement is found on very few high end 41mm submainers.

GMT Movements

For GMT movements, there are movements that have the correct hand stack (CHS) and incorrect hand stack (ICHS) on modern (6-digit) GMT models (1167XX, and 1267XX). Correct hand stack means that the hour hand is on the bottom, the GMT hand is next, then the minute hand, and the seconds hand is on top. Incorrect Hand Stack means that the GMT hand is on the bottom, the hour hand is on top of the GMT hand, then the minute hand, and the seconds hand on top.

VR3186 and VR3285 (Correct Hand Stack)

This is the movement you want. The VR3186 is reliable and has an hour hand jumping mechanism that isn’t weak. The VR3186 is sometimes engraved with the number 3285, but it’s the same movement. Below are two pictures showing the same movement with different engraving. Note that this movement is easily identifiable by the position of the arms on the balance bridge: both the beat adjuster and regulator arm point inwards and there’s a fake beat adjuster arm facing outwards.

The VR3185 with 3285 engraving has shown up recently (Summer 2022) on C+ Factory model GMTs. There are rumors that there is a new true 3285 clone movement in the works, and the C+ Factory will be the first to get access to it. But as of August 2022, C+ Factory is using the VR3186 movement and simply engraving 3285 onto it.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

VR3285 (actually a VR3186 with “3235” engraved on it)

SH3186 (Correct Hand Stack)

This is a time-bomb movement that should be avoided. The hour hand jumping mechanism is weak on this movement and is prone to breaking. Furthermore, the hour hand jumping mechanism isn’t gen-spec, so it can’t be repaired with gen parts. This movement can be identified by inspecting the balance bridge: the two regulation arms point outwards (unlike the VR3186) and the shock setting has a steel cup (rather than a brass cup like the SA3186).

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


SA3186 (Correct Hand Stack)

This is another time-bomb movement. Like the SH3186 this movement has a weak hour hand jumping mechanism and should be avoided. This movement can be identified again by the position of the regulation arm on the balance bridge and the fact that unlike the SH3186, it has a brass cup for the balance bridge shock setting.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


A3186 (Incorrect Hand Stack)

This isn’t a clone of a rolex movement, but rather a clone of an ETA movement that is decorated to look like a rolex movement. ETA GMT movements are reliable and inexpensive to service and repair, however, the functionality does not match the Rolex GMT calibers. A better option is the VR3186.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


A2836 (Incorrect Hand Stack)

It’s unclear why this movement is labeled as an Asian clone of the ETA 2836, since the ETA 2836 is not a GMT movement. It’s more likely that this is a clone of the ETA 2893 movement. Nonetheless, this movement is not going to function like a genuine Rolex GMT movement, and has the wrong hand stack on the dial. A far better option is to go with the VR3186.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition


Daytona Movements

This movement is also known as the Noob4130 / N4130 / Dandong 4130. They are all the same. This movement is one of the highest quality replica movements available. For a long time it was exclusively available to Noob Factory. When Noob was raided and shut down in 2021, this movement disappeared from the rep scene. However, in early 2022 Clean Factory (CF), and then Better Factory (BTF), and Q Factory (QF) started making Daytonas with this movement. Daytonas with this movement are more expensive than Daytonas with a 7750 movement. However, if you care about the reliability and longevity of your rep, go for the 4130. It’s worth the extra cost.

The 4130 movement is also compatible with genuine Rolex parts. It’s common to replace the balance-complete, and the chronograph seconds wheel to build a movement that is nearly indistinguishable from the genuine Rolex caliber 4130.

The 4130 looks completely different from the 7750, learn to tell the two apart so that you can validate any claims made by a seller.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

Noob / Dandong 4130


This is an Asian clone of an ETA 7750 movement. The reason that this movement isn’t great for the Daytona is because it is thicker than the 4130 movement, so the movement is often slimmed down (and thus made less reliable) to fit inside a 12.4mm thick Daytona case. Furthermore, the Daytona has its small seconds at 6 o’clock, but this is not the default position for the small seconds complication on the 7750 movement; various additional wheels need to be added to the top of the 7750 movement to get everything into the correct position. This complication adds stress to the movement and reduces reliability. With the clone 4130 widely available, it’s a good idea to avoid Daytonas with the 7750 movement.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Rolex Edition

Asian 7750


14. Guide to Movements in Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe & Richard Mille

This guide will be an introduction to the clone movements found in Audemars Piguet (AP), Patek Philippe (PP), and Richard Mille (RM) replicas. Just like with the clone Rolex movements, the clone movements for AP, PP, and RM are of varying quality in terms of how well they replicate the genuine movement in form & function, but also quality. However, unlike Rolex clone movements where there can be multiple different clones of a single movement (e.g. the plethora of Rolex caliber 3135 and 3235 clones), with AP, PP, and RM, there’s usually just one clone movement, so I’ll try to compare and contrast the clone against the alternative which is often a decorated Japanese Miyota 9015 movement.

Audemars Piguet

The most popular AP replica (by far) is the Royal Oak (RO). There are two replica AP movements, one for the RO 15400: the clone 3120 movement by Z Factory (ZF). And one for the RO 15500: the clone 4302 movement by APS Factory (APSF). The alternative to these cloned movements is the Japanese Miyota 9015 movement.

AP Royal Oak 15400

The clone 3120 movement is found in both the Z Factory (ZF) and APS Factory (APSF) AP RO 15400 replicas watches at present (summer 2022). However, both factories used a decorated Miyota movement several years ago before the clone movement became available. So be careful when buying an AP 15400, just because it’s from ZF or APSF doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a clone movement.

The clone movement can be distinguished from the Miyota by the position of the balance wheel at 8 o’clock vs. 5 o’clock on the Miyota. Furthermore, the Miyota has a non-function shock setting without a spring on the balance bridge, whereas the clone has a functional shock setting on the balance bridge.

Unfortunately, both the clone movement and the Miyota 9015 have a slow date change at midnight, whereas the genuine AP 3120 movement has an instant date change at midnight.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Clone AP 3120

Miyota 9015

The Miyota 9015 is a reliable workhorse movement, and older / lower end AP 15400 replicas used a decorated version of this movement. However, the clone 3120 movement is reliable and is a more authentic option over the Miyota if you’re looking for a genuine appearance through the transparent caseback.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Miyota 9015 decorated to look like an AP 3120

AP RO 15500

The clone 4302 movement is new (as of summer 2022), but appears to be an excellent movement. The initial review by a watchsmith at RWI said that the movement is on par with the Noob Daytona 4130 movement (the 4130 Daytona movement is widely considered to be the best clone movement ever made, so this is VERY high praise). Like the genuine AP 4302 movement, the clone features an instant date change at midnight. The quality of this movement makes it the no-brainer choice for an AP 15500.

This movement is used in both the ZF and APSF version of the AP 15500, however, the ZF version has a spelling error in the engraving / printing on the back side of the movement (the word JEWELS is spelled JEWEES on the ZF version as of August 2022). This may be something that gets corrected soon, however, it’s worth checking during QC to ensure this error is not present.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Clone AP 4302

Miyota 9015

The Miyota is no longer a good choice for the AP 15500 due to the fact that it has a slow date change, and while it is reliable, it is now competing with an extremely high quality replica movement.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Miyota 9015 decorated to look like an AP 4302

Patek Philippe

There are only two clone movements available for Patek reps, the caliber 324 for the Nautilus 5711 and Aquanaut, and the 240 for the Nautilus 5712. All other Patek reps use a Miyota or another Asian movement.

Nautilus 5711 and Aquanaut 5167

Both the 5711 Nautilus and the 5167 Aquanaut share the same Patek Philippe caliber 324 movement. This movement has been cloned and is available in reps from 3K Factory (3KF). However, older Aquanauts use the Miyota. For the 5711 Nautilus there is a version of the Miyota that has been well decorated and rotated so that the balance wheel appears to be in the correct location compared to the gen 324 movement. However, all of these movements have a slow date change at midnight, whereas the genuine movement has an instant midnight date change.


The Clone 324 movement can be found in 3K Factory reps of the Nautilus and Aquanaut. This is a good movement, but doesn’t have a very large power reserve and requires a large amount of winding or rotor spinning (possibly due to non gen-spec gearing in the automatic module). The movement can be identified and differentiated against the rotated Miyota by the functional main train wheels visible above the balance wheel which are not present in the rotated Miyota.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

3KF Clone 324 movement in an Aquanaut

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

3KF Clone 324 in a 5711 Nautilus

Miyota 9015

The Miyota 9015 is a common movement that has been discussed above, it is often found in lower end or older Patek reps. It is reliable, easy & cheap to service. It doesn’t have an instant date change at midnight. And it suffers from a loud rotor. This movement is easy to distinguish from the clone 324 because the balance bridge (cock) is anchored on the crown side which is reversed in the clone and gen movement. There are also noticeable differences in the screw and ball bearing assembly of the rotor at the center of the movement. This isn’t a bad movement if you don’t really care about an authentic look, However, given the open caseback on Patek watches, the clone or rotated Miyota are better options.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 324

Rotated Miyota

PP Factory (PPF) has developed a rotated and well decorated Miyota variant that looks more similar to the gen movement than an undecorated Miyota, but is still noticeably a worse imitation than the 3KF clone 324 movement discussed above. This movement is easy to differentiate from the clone 324 movement due to the lack of main train wheels above the balance wheel. Also, the fake “jewels” where the main train wheels should be, are red and the rest of the functional jewels in the movement are purple. The rotated Miyota also doesn’t have its rotor running on ball bearings, whereas the clone and gen both do. The 3KF clone movement is a better option if you want a more gen-like rep.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Rotated Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 324

Nautilus 5712

The 5712 is a Nautilus with a lot of complications. The gen model features a power reserve indicator, small seconds, date, and moon phase indicator. Furthermore, the genuine Patek 240 caliber features a micro-rotor to keep the movement incredibly thin. With all of this complication it is truly impressive that PP Factory (PPF) has managed to build a fully functional clone movement which has only minor cosmetic differences from the genuine Patek 240 caliber. The clone movement doesn’t appear to be available exclusively from PPF, as it has appeared in 5712 reps from GR Factory (GRF) as of summer 2022.


The clone 240 movement is an impressive feat of engineering. This is a thin movement with many complications. This movement is still very new (as of summer 2022), and as such, there is not yet a consensus as to its reliability, although an initial review by a watchsmith on RWI confirmed that the build quality was good, and there were no surprises.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Clone PP 240 movement

A23J Movement

There is an old version of the 5712 that comes with a decorated generic Asian 23 Jewel movement. This version is much thicker than the gen which makes rep 5712s with this movement 10.5mm thick vs. 8.4mm thick for reps using the clone. Also, this movement doesn’t have a functional power reserve indicator. With the availability of the clone 240 movement, this is not a recommended option.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Miyota 9015 decorated to look like a PP 240

Richard Mille

Richard Mille watches are extremely complicated and use many exotic materials. So far there has only been one attempt at a clone movement for a Richard Mille: a clone movement for the RM 055 by BBR Factory of the RMUL2 movement. Previously all RM055’s used a decorated version of the Seiko NH05A movement.

RMUL2 Clone

The clone movement is impressive, but flawed and unreliable. This is a movement that should probably be avoided until there is an improvement to its reliability. The movement looks considerably closer to the gen RM movement than the NH05A movement which is used in other RM055 replicas. However, there are obvious flaws, for example the balance wheel shock setting jewel of the clone movement is purple, whereas the gen jewel is clear / white.

More worryingly, there have been many reports of this movement arriving dead after a watch was shipped from a TD to a customer. Additionally, the movement has significant stuttering of the second hand due to backlash between gears.

While this movement is an impressive feat of engineering, this movement is not currently recommended.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

RM 55 clone RMUL2 movement


The NH05A movement is well decorated and dressed up to look like the gen RM055 movement, but it is obviously not genuine, and that fact is on display due to the open worked design of the RM055 case. This is a reliable movement. However, a gen RM055 is a roughly half million dollar watch, unless you own a Ferrari, nobody will need to look at the movement to know that your RM055 is a rep. If you like RM reps, buy them, wear them, enjoy them, and don’t worry about how real or fake the movement looks.

r/RepTime - Beginner’s guide to the clone movements found in replica watches: Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Richard Mille Edition

Seiko NH05A movement decorated to look like an RM movement


15. Guide to who Makes the Best Ladies Replica Watches

This guide was created to help guide those who are interested in Ladies watches. The factories listed are in order of best to not best, but for many of these there is only one factory making the particular model here.

Note: where it says “unknown factory”, it means a replica exists, but you’ll need to ask your TD with a picture of the watch you’re looking for. Some of these are from smaller factories, with smaller batches, and could be out of stock.

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Datejust 36mm: GMF, ARF, BPF

  • Datejust 31mm: GMF, GSF, WF, APS has the new 2022 dials, EWF

  • Datejust 28mm: GMF, BP, WF, CSF

  • Daydate 36mm: GMF, BP, EWF

  • Explorer 36mm: BP, EWF

  • Oyster Perpetual 36mm: EWF

  • Oyster Perpetual 34mm: ANF

  • Yachtmaster 34mm: BP Factory

  • Pearlmaster 34mm: K6 Factory

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Patek Philippe
  • Nautilus 7118 35mm: 3KF (super rep), PF, MSF

  • Nautilus 7010 32mm: unknown factory

  • Aquanaut 37mm: ZF

  • Aquanaut 35mm: PPF

  • Twenty~4 25mm: AW Factory

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Audemars Piguet
  • Royal Oak 67540 37mm: RXW (super-rep)

  • Royal Oak 15450 37mm: JF

  • Royal Oak 77350 34mm: BF (SS, YG, RG, Two Tone)

  • Royal Oak 67650: JF (potentially out of stock)

  • Royal Oak Frosted 33mm: OMF

  • Royal Oak 67601 33mm: RF

  • Royal Oak Offshore 26231 37mm Chronograph: RXW

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Ballon Bleu 33mm: AF (if available, comes in white, pink and diamond bezel), otherwise 3KF

  • Ballon Bleu 28mm: AF, 3KF

  • Cle De Cartier 31mm: DR Factory

  • Cheetah series (27 x 37mm): GF, K11 factory, BVF

  • Must de Cartier (round): unknown factory

  • Panthere de Cartier (small 22mm): BVF

  • Pasha: 3KF, BVF

  • Santos 36mm: 3KF, GF

  • Santos-Dumont (medium 38 x 27.5): F1 factory

  • Tank Americaine: GSF

  • Tank MUST de Cartier (medium 33.7 x 25mm): F1 factory (red, green, white and blue dials), White dial also with bracelet, K11F

  • Tank Must de Cartier (small 29.5 x 22mm): F1 factory with bracelet (with and without diamonds), K11 Factory, DR

  • Tank Solo (small & medium): AF

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Sweet Alhambra 4-leaf clover: VCA Factory

  • Charms Collection (25mm, 32mm, & 38mm): BVF

  • Pont de Amoureux 38mm: 5GF

  • Poetic Complication: VCA Factory

  • Lady Feerie: 5GF

  • Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantee: 5GF

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Heure H watch 26 & 30mm: BVF

  • Kelly 2: unknown factory

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Vacheron Constantin
  • Ladies Overseas 33mm: RXW. Good date font, comes in polished or diamond bezel.

  • Heritage 31mm: TWF

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Jaeger LeCoultre
  • Rendezvous Night & Day: ZF super rep, all variations. GF is another good factory

  • Rendezvous Moon: CCF

  • Rendezvous Tourbillon: RMS

  • Reverso One 20mm: IMF (could also be TWF?)

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • J12 Electro Dream: TWF

  • J12 33mm: KOR, East Factory

  • J12 38mm: KOR, East Factory

  • Code Coco: unknown factory

  • Camelia watch, with moving cover (multiple variants): VAV Factory

  • Mademoiselle Prive: TTF


  • Premiere Rock Pop 16mm: BVF

  • Ruban Bow Tie: VCA Factory

  • Ruban Bow Bracelet: VCA Factory

  • Premiere: BVF

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Constellation 24mm : 8848F, GF

  • Constellation 27mm: 8848F

  • Constellation 29mm: TWS Factory

  • Deville 27mm: BVF

  • Aqua Terra Seamaster ladies 34mm: VSF, RWF

  • Ladymatic: V6F

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Happy Sport all sizes (30mm, 33mm, 36mm): BVF, YF, LT Factory

  • Happy Diamonds: TF

  • Imperiale: unknown factory

  • L’Heure Du Diamant Round: unknown

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Reine de Naples: ZF (super rep)

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Serpenti: BVF

  • Divas Dream: unknown


  • B.ZERO1: BVF

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • La D De Dior 25mm: unknown factory

  • LA D DE DIOR ROSE CÉLESTE: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)

  • Gem Dior 27mm: TWF multiple dials

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Limelight Stella: CCF

  • Limelight High Jewellery 31mm: unknown factory

  • Limelight Gala: unknown

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
  • Bee watch with two tone bracelet: unknown factory

  • GRIP watch 38mm: unknown factory

  • G-Timeless Cat Head: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)

  • Vintage Quartz flip cover: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)

  • Diamantissima 22 & 27mm: “original Single” Factory (原单厂)

r/RepTime - Ladies Watch Guide - Who makes the best?
Louis Vuitton
  • Tambour Monogram 34mm: AF

  • Tambour Horizon Smart watch: unknown factory


Shout out to u/lkflip for her help as well.

16. How to Identify Scammers & Avoid Scams

What can we do to prevent being scammed? And, whom exactly is responsible for preventing or at least reducing the potential of being scammed here?

Simply stated: It is up to each and everyone of us to conduct our own best due diligence to prevent being scammed prior to participating in any m2m sale.

Of course we know to research an item before making a purchase. The more we know, the better the experience.

Always commit yourself to finding out as much about the member posting the item for sale as possible.

The forum makes it rather simple to check out the selling members join date, along with his/her posting and sales history. Take time to read the type of comments the selling member makes in his/her post history. Look for any potential red flags, negative or derogatory comments. See if you can follow a previous sales post involving the seller whereas he/she was the actual buyer.

If you find any comments that appear to be misleading in any way, dig deeper:

  • What kind of buyer or seller have they been?
  • Is there a previous history of nuked sales, withdrawn sales?
  • Have they been repeatedly asked to clarify or provide documentation?
  • Did they fail to respond to specific questions?
  • Any history of hesitation or refusal to respond to a sales mod?
  • Is the seller using the correct sales form and have they completed it accurately and clearly?
  • Are they claiming to be selling the item for a friend ?
  • Is the seller keeping the sales post open after claiming it is sold?
  • Has the seller suddenly sent you a PM offering a special lower price , if you buy now or send payment via PayPal family and friends?
  • Does the seller appear to be posting several items for sale all at once?
  • Are they listing items for sell at considerably lower than average pricing?
  • Is the seller posting several sales in various m2m sales areas for gen items, replicas etc?
  • Does the seller react adversely to questions or comments concerning authenticity of the item for sale?
  • Do you get a feeling that something is off about the seller or the item for sale?

We all have an inner sense of intuition. If you have a gut feeling something is not quite right, dig deeper, ask more questions. If you are not satisfied with his/her answer – walk away. There will always be another great watch that you just have to have.

Remember, patience is a prime factor in this hobby.

Before you spend your first dollar in this hobby, ask yourself this question: Can I afford to lose my hard earned money?

If you feel in any way that you can’t afford a loss, then just don’t do it.

You are responsible for you. You are the only one responsible for your actions. The forum is not responsible for your decisions or the choices you make here, nor are the admin/mods, the TD’s, or anyone else, Just you. If you can’t take full responsibility for your own actions, decisions, you certainly can’t expect anyone else to.

The absolute most important thing after accepting responsible is to be prepared. Prepare yourself to avoid being scammed by educating yourself. Use the forum resources to educate yourself on every aspect of this hobby. Educate yourself to know the best factory, the pros and cons of each replica. Educate yourself on the genuine watch you like.

Familiarize yourself with the brand. Know what the gen looks like, feels like, it’s specifications, how it functions, the type of movement it has. How can you expect to find the most accurate replica if you don’t know all there is to know about the gen.

​​​​​​​Finally, make your own decisions based on your own research to spend your own money.

Each of us must be prepared to take the full responsibility of our actions.


17. Wrist Watch Size Guide

Find the best watch size for your wrist. Use this guide to size up the watch to best suit your wrist width.

Here is a complete watch size table, including lug to lug distance, that will help you find the perfect watch for your wrist size.

Always remember: in any case, you don’t want the lugs to overhang the width of your wrist.

How To Measure a Watch Case Size

If you’re in a hurry, here is how you do it: with a set of digital callipers, measure the watch case from one side of the case to opposite side, without including the crown.

Because on most watches the crown sits à the 3 o’clock position, it’s often easier to measure a watch case from the 2 o’clock to the 10 o’clock position.

How to measure a watch case size.

If you don’t have callipers, you can use a transparent ruler to get an approximation of that size. The size reading won’t be perfect, but it will give you a good idea.

How Big Is a 38mm Watch?

I cannot stress this enough: the watch case size is not everything! That single dimension is not the whole story!

Pretty much all articles and guides on the Internet are way too simplistic regarding watch sizes: they just tell you to not get a watch above 40mm in diameter, with 38mm being the sweet spot. But is it?

A 38 mm diver like the Seiko SKX013 (check it on Amazon or read my full review of the Seiko SKX013) would look tiny on a 7.5 inch wrist. Conversely, a 38 mm dress watch like the Hamilton Intra-Matic (check it on Amazon) would look perfect.

The other way around is true too: the Seiko SKX013 looks perfect on my 6 inch wrist, but the Hamilton Intra-Matic looks quite big (but still okay) on me. It’s all about how it looks on your wrist. 38 mm, in and of itself, doesn’t mean anything.

Now, while getting a 38mm watch is a safe choice most of the time, it’s not nearly enough to make a watch work for you. I have 42mm watches that still look good on me, while some 40mm watches look absolutely huge. We’ll see later in this article why.

Also, you have to take into account your tastes. I prefer modern watches. The problem is: most modern watches are on the bigger side, with 40mm being about the smallest you can get (unless you go to more luxurious brands).

So if you’re like me, you will have to accept that some watches will look quite big on your wrist. And that’s okay if you stick to the upcoming points.

However, if you like vintage watches, rejoice! You have plenty of models ranging from 30mm (or even less !) to 38mm. Most are pretty cheap in comparison the value they offer, and they can make great investments too.

You’ll find a watch suiting your taste without a problem, and you’ll be sure that it will fit your wrists perfectly. Just don’t go overboard and get a 30mm watch if you have 7 inch wrists: it might begin to look really tiny on you.

Try to keep the watch case size in your range (see the watch size guide table above, depending on your wrists size and preferences).

But don’t exaggerate and get a small watch because you read that this is what you should do. You’ll end up with what some call a “boy’s watch”: a watch that is too small for you.

Factors That Affect the Subjective Watch Case Size

Remember: the case size is only a small portion of the watch size equation. Many other factors will change your perception of a watch size.

The Lug to Lug Distance

A really important aspect of a watch size is the lug to lug distance. This is almost as important (if not more) as the watch case size in itself.

The lug to lug distance is the distance between the lug (or tip) of the watch at the top of the watch head and the lug at the bottom of the watch head.

The difference between lug to lug and lug width on an Orient Ray II

The lug to lug distance should be as small as possible to work with your small wrist. Try to keep the watch head within the limits of your wrist width as much as possible.

The reason is simple: we want the watch head to fit within your wrist width.We don’t want it to stick out or overhang. It just doesn’t look good.

If you have small wrists, you might have a hard time finding watches that fit within your wrist width.

My wrists are so thin that most watches visually touch both ends of my wrist. There is just no way around this for me, given my tastes and budget. But I try to keep that lug to lug distance as short as possible.

A watch that overhangs your wrist does not look good…

So, what’s a good lug to lug distance for your wrist?

The lug to lug distance of a watch will suit your wrist when it is 75 to 95% of your wrist width. The variation accounts for the different wrists shapes and personal preferences.

You see, some of us are blessed, some not so much. The weird thing is that your wrist size (or circumference) does not relate directly to your wrist width.

If you have a flat wrist, you’re lucky. Most of the circumference of your wrist will serve as the flat area where your watch will sit, allowing for a larger lug to lug distance.

But if you have thicker or rounder wrists (or if your wrists are very small like mine) well, you’ll have to settle for smaller timepieces. Don’t fear, there are still plenty of great mens watches for small wrists.

(Again, to have an estimate of your wrist width (its flat surface), you can easily measure your wrist size in millimiters and divide its size by 3. And remember to check in the watch size guide table above what lug to lug distance will work on your wrist.)

Now, an interesting thing is that the lug to lug distance is not in direct proportion to a watch size. Some 41mm watches have ridiculously long lugs, with a 50mm lug to lug distance (I’m looking at you, Tudor Black Bay!).

Some are the exact opposite. A notable example is my beloved Citizen Promaster Nighthawk: 42mm in diameter for 46.5mm lug to lug distance only!

The Citizen Promaster Nighthawk and its short lug to lug distance compared to the case size – Check it on Amazon

So always try to know (or measure by yourself) the lug to lug distance before committing to buying a watch. And remember: a small watch doesn’t always have a short lug to lug distance.

The good thing is: the other way around is true too!

The Shape of the Lugs: Flat vs Curved

Something else to know about the lugs (even if it seems pretty obvious): some are almost flat, and some are more curved.

If you have smaller wrists, you want to get a watch with curved lugs as they will hug your wrist better, and not stick out like marshmallow roasting sticks.

And if you really like a watch with flat lugs, just make sure that the lug to lug distance is still within your wrist width for the best results.

Flat lugs vs curved lugs. Smaller wrists want curved lugs, larger wrists can choose to their hearts content.

Trust me: I’ve bought 3 watches with a 50mm lug to lug distance and flat lugs. The watch would not sit flush against my wrist at the lug tip, leaving a big and gap between the tip of the lug and my wrist.

Not to mention that they overhung… Not only was it painful to look at, but it was really uncomfortable. Don’t make the same mistake.

The Hour Markers Circle

Okay, now we’re getting serious. Remember when I said that the watch case size is not everything? Well, here is a not so obvious reason why.

The hour markers circle size is another important factor that makes a watch look bigger or smaller. Maybe you read or heard some people telling that a “42 mm watch wears like a 40 mm”.

This is because the hour markers circle size is small for the watch case.

This is not really a physical dimension, but it’s one that is most definitely visible when you look at the dial of a watch.

The hour markers circle size is measured from one tip of an hour marker on the dial to the tip of the opposite hour marker.

Again, you can get more information about this in my How To Measure A Watch Case Size article.

The hour markers circle size changes your perception of the size of a watch.

As you can see on my Citizen Promaster Nighthawk (on the left), the crystal is huge. It fills most of the 42 mm case, yet the hour markers circle only measures 26 mm.

On the other end of the spectrum, that 42 mm Hamilton Pilot Day Date Automatic (Amazon link) has a whopping 35 mm hour markers circle size. Yet it has the exact same case size than the Citizen!

I love the Hamilton, but it looks huge on me – even with its 48 mm lug to lug distance.

The Hamilton has thick lines at the edge of the dial that really stand out in real life (more than the numbers). That’s why I measured the hour markers circle there.

As soon as I began to get this measurement on watches – either in real life or on pictures – I could know if a watch would suit my wrist (granted the case size and lug to lug distance was good too).

On my 6 inch wrist, I find that 30mm is as big as the hour markers circle can get. I only get a watch with a greater hour markers circle size if all the other boxes are ticked and I really, really, really like it.

So, watch out for this hour markers circle.

The Bezel

Watches with a bezel have a smaller hour makers circle, and so will look smaller. A 40mm watch with a bezel will always look smaller than a 40mm watch with no bezel.

For example, my Orient Ray 2 has a case size of 41.5mm. Yet it looks smaller than my Seiko SRPB41, measuring only 40.5mm.


The Orient has a 25mm hour markers circle, while the one on the Seiko is 32mm! (I know I said 30mm is the maximum for me, but I don’t care, I really, really like it :P)

The Orient Ray 2 (on the left), while bigger, looks smaller that the Seiko SRPB41

If sports watches are more your thing, finding a watch that will suit your small wrist should be fairly easy. Sports watches often feature a bezel.

The two most common bezel types are the ones you find on dive watches and chronographs.

  • The first one features a rotating bezel counting the elapsed time underwater by 5 minutes increments.
  • The second one is a tachymeter, giving you a speed by timing the time you take to drive one mile.

There are other bezels out there, but they will all reduce the hour markers circle size, so pick your favorite one.

Some dress watches feature a bezel too, but not as thick and prominent as the one you might find on sports watches.

If you’re really into the more dressier side of watches, pay attention and get a watch with a bezel (that is part of the case, most of the time), if possible.

Rolex Explorer
The Rolex Explorer – Check it on Amazon

For example, the Rolex Explorer above (which looks stunning, by the way) has a fixed polished bezel that will reduce the size of the dial. And consequently, the hour markers circle as well.

The Chapter Ring

Sometimes, the rotating bezel is not on the outside of the watch, but rather under the crystal. Inside the case, it’s not called a bezel, but a chapter ring.

And guess what: a chapter ring also changes the perception you have of a watch size. It will give you the same benefit as a bezel, but with a different look: you’ll get a much bigger crystal.

Just be aware that a watch with a bigger crystal will still always look bigger than a watch with a smaller crystal.

But once you know that, it all depends on the look you’re after. Bezel or chapter ring? It’s up to you.

Many watches have chapter rings, including watches with bezels. Some are thin, some are large. Some are fixed, some are rotating.

It doesn’t matter, they have the same effect: they keep the hour markers away from the edge of the case. So that the subjective size of a watch with a chapter ring will be smaller.

One of the most pleasing chapter rings you get (in my opinion) is the one you find on some pilot watches: the slide rule.

It looks good and it’s super useful (to convert currencies while abroad, for example). Another popular chapter ring is the compass you find on hiking watches. Again, pick your favorite style.

A slide rule and a compass, both being a rotating chapter ring in this case.

The Color of the Dial: Dark vs Light

If you take two exact same watches – one with a light dial and one with a dark dial – the one with a dark dial will always look smaller. This is because of the way our brain perceives the light reflected by objects.

A watch with a light dial and the same one with a dark dial. The one with the darker dial will appear smaller in real life.

Of course, you don’t have to get a black watch just because it looks smaller.

But if you have smaller wrists and you like light dials, you should get a watch with a smaller case size and hour markers circle size than you would normally get to compensate that perception.

The Case Thickness

Thin watches for the win!

One last thing about the watch case itself. A watch will always look a bit smaller if it’s thinner. The effect is not as visible as having a small case size, lug to lug distance, hour markers circle, or dark dial, but it certainly helps.

You’ll have an easier time getting a thin watch by getting a dress watch (quartz or mechanical). Most quartz watches are super thin too.

You’ll get the added benefits of having a watch that fits easily under the cuff, and that is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Thick watches (of more than 12mm) tend to be really top heavy, especially if you wear them on a band or strap.They might turn around your wrist and will always look a bit bigger.

Watch and Strap Sizing FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions about watch sizing.

How Do I Choose a Watch Size?

The easiest way to choose a watch size is by using your wrist size and comparing it to the watch case size and lug to lug distance using the chart above.

We recommend a case size that’s 60% to 75% of your flat wrist width and a lug to lug distance that’s 75% to 95% of your wrist width.

Are Watches One Size Fits All?

It depends. If you have a fairly average wrist size, then you probably don’t need to worry too much about watch or strap size.

But there’s also a lot of misinformation out there in the form of people wearing watches that are too big (more common) or too small (less common). That’s why it’s important to know your wrist size.

Can You Adjust the Size of a Watch?

No. You can adjust the size of the strap, but there’s no way to reduce the size of the watch case.

How Do You Tell if a Watch Is Too Big for Your Wrist?

The easiest way to tell is by simply looking at it. If it looks too big, it probably is. You can also use our suggested parameters shown above to help guide you toward the right size.

What Size Watch Band Do I Need?

The size of watch band you need for a watch depends on two factors: the lug width of the watch case, which correlates to strap width, and the circumference of your wrist, which correlates to strap length. See our sizing chart above for more information.

Is a 40mm Watch Too Big for a 6-Inch Wrist?

Yep—we recommend not going above 38mm for a 6” wrist. (That said, if the 40mm watch has a short lug to lug distance, you may be able to get away with it, but it’s unlikely.)

Wrapping Up

So there you have it! I hope this guide will help you find the perfect watch for your wrist.

Don’t forget: case size, lug to lug distance, lug shape, hour markers circle, dial color and case thickness all play a part in the overall impression of a watch size. You want to make sure to check them all.

Now that you know everything about watch sizes, make sure you actually measure your wrist properly! It’s always a bad surprise when you get a watch online and that it happens to be too big for your wrist.

18. Automatic Vs. Quartz. Vs. Mechanical Watch Movements Guide

When you’re shopping for a new watch, you’ll quickly realize that there are three main types of watch movements: automatic, quartz, and mechanical.

While these three watch movements might sound similar, the difference between them is what makes each type unique and valuable.

So, what’s the difference between these movements?

Mechanical watches are powered by a mainspring, which must be manually wound, typically every 2-3 days. 

Automatic watches are just like mechanical watches, except they also use the movement of your arm to wind the mainspring automatically. 

Finally, quartz watches are powered by a small battery. Quartz watches tend to be the most affordable and accurate, thanks to their electronically powered movement. 

How Are Automatic, Mechanical, and Quartz Watches Powered?

Hamilton Khaki Mechanical (2)

Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches don’t have any batteries or circuits to power them, so how on earth do they work?

These sophisticated timepieces have 6 main parts:

  1. The Crown
  2. The Mainspring
  3. The Gear Train
  4. The Hairspring
  5. The Balance Wheel
  6. The Escapement (Pallet Fork & Escape Wheel)
Seagull 1963 ST19 Mechanical Chronograph Movement
The fully mechanical ST19 chronograph movement of the Seagull 1963

Here is how it works:

The crown is connected to the mainspring, which is a foot-long (30cm) strip of hardened metal coiled into a spring.

By rotating the crown a few times, you add tension on the mainspring.

As is the case of any coiled spring, the spring will want to return to its original shape, so it will unwind slowly, releasing energy into our watch over time.

This is exactly what powers the watch movement and makes it tick!

The mechanical movement simply uses a train of small gears to transfer the mainspring’s energy throughout the movement; all the way to the escapement and balance wheels, an integral part of any mechanical movement.

This is the heart of the watch’s operation and it’s responsible for the smooth sweep of the second hand.

Bottom Line:

By spinning the crown, you wind the mainspring and this force is then transferred via small gears to the escapement, which keeps it ticking at a consistent rate, just like our heart!

Automatic Watches

Automatic watches are very similar to mechanical watches, the only difference is that you don’t need to manually wind the watch’s coil.

You can think of it as a self-winding mechanical watch.

The watch can use the power of your wrist’s movement to keep its mainspring fully wound, so it never stops working.

Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Movement
The large rotor shown on the automatic H-10 movement of the Hamilton Khaki Auto powers the mainspring as you wear it.

The way they achieve this is through something called the ” automatic rotor”.

A watch rotor is a half-circle-shaped piece of metal attached to the watch’s mainspring.

It spins freely around an axis point, and as it moves, it winds the mainspring.

Like the movement in any mechanical watch, an automatic watch doesn’t use a battery to operate. Instead, it uses a series of gears to transfer the energy from the automatic rotor into the watch’s mainspring and eventually the rest of the movement.

Bottom Line:

An automatic watch gets its name from the fact that it is powered by the movement of your arm.

This is rather similar to how mechanical watches work, but the main difference here is that you don’t need to manually wind them each day.

Quartz Watches

Unlike mechanical and automatic watches, quartz timepieces are driven by a battery and an electronic circuit.

The battery sends a small electric current through the quartz tuning fork-shaped crystal, which vibrates at exactly 32,768 Hertz/second.

Why precisely 32,768?

Well, there are 2 reasons for that:

First, it needs to be above 20,000hz, and outside the range of the human’s hearing frequency range. This makes the quartz movement silent in operation.

The Quartz Seiko_35A Movement // Credit: Museumsfoto, CC BY 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Second, it needs to be a power of the number 2 because we use electronic parts to convert the frequency into seconds, minutes, and hours.

And no matter how complex the electronic part is, on a basic level, it still just has only 2 modes, either on or off. And 32,768 is the first power of 2 above 20,000.

The quartz’s vibration is picked up by a set of sensors, which convert it into electrical pulses.

These pulses are what drive the watch’s second hand and all its other functions.

Also, since we are dealing with electrical current here, we can use digital screens to display the time, which is why digital watches are always quartz.

Bottom Line:

Quartz watches are driven by a battery and an electronic circuit.

The vibration of the quartz crystal is converted into electrical pulses and the electronic circuit uses these pulses to display time.


Mechanical and Automatic Watches

One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between mechanical and quartz watches is by looking at their movement.

In the case of mechanical and automatic watches, the power source is the mainspring.

A fully uncoiled watch mainspring. Credit: Hustvedt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As we discussed earlier, the spring slowly unwinds, releasing energy through the gears to the escapement and balance wheel, which keeps the watch ticking.

Since this is a continuous process rather than a ticking process, the second-hand moves in a smooth motion.

Quartz vs automatic mechanical movement
Quartz vs Mechanical (Automatic) movement

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a super smooth motion, it just ticks so fast that we can’t see it unless we really look closely.

And this is what gives mechanical watches that special charm and character.

Quartz Watches

Quartz watches, on the other hand, have no mainspring.

They get their power from a battery, which sends an electric current through the quartz crystal.

Quartz Watch Movement Japan Miyota
Francis Flinch, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since the electric signal is on/off rather than continuous like with the mainspring, the second-hand moves in a jumpy motion, ticking once per second.

Bottom Line:

The second hand on a mechanical watch moves in a smooth motion while the second hand on a quartz watch moves in a jumpy, ticky motion.

Winding Frequency

Mechanical & Automatic Watches

This is where mechanical and automatic watches differ the most.

As we previously discussed, automatic watches are powered by your movement.

Every time you move your arm, the rotor spins and winds the mainspring.

This means that you don’t need to worry about winding your automatic watch as long as you’re wearing it regularly.

However, if you don’t wear your watch for a few days, the mainspring will slowly run down and you’ll need to give it a manual wind.

Mechanical watches, on the other hand, require more frequent winding in order to keep it running.

Seagull 1963 with ST19 Mechanical Chronograph Movement on Wrist
The mechanical Seagull 1963 can run for ~40-hours when fully wound

How often you should wind your watch mainly depends on the quality of the mainspring, the wear and tear of the gears, the lubrication of the movement, and most importantly, the power reserve.

The power reserve demonstrates the maximum amount of time a mechanical watch will run, once fully round. Often, watches will have power reserves between 40 and 80 hours.

As a general rule, you’ll want to wind your watch every day to make sure it’s running, though some watches, with larger power reserves, can go for longer without needing additional winding.

Quartz Watches

Quartz timepieces don’t require any winding at all, as they simply don’t have any springs.

Instead, they do need semi-frequent battery changes, which we will explain in detail in the next section.

Bottom Line:

Mechanical watches need to be wound daily, automatic watches only need to be wound if you are not wearing them regularly, and quartz timepieces don’t require any winding at all.


Automatic & Mechanical Watches

One aspect that is often overlooked by newbies is the maintenance of their mechanical watches.

As we discussed, mechanical watches have lots of moving parts.

This puts them suspect to wear and tear, which can cause them to run slow or stop working altogether.

Think of your mechanical watch as a car.

If you don’t perform regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and it will cost you a lot more to fix than if you had just taken care of it in the first place.

The same goes for your mechanical watch, although thankfully they don’t require as much maintenance as a car.

Seiko 5 SRPE35 4R36 Automatic Movement
The reliable Seiko 4R36 automatic movement is known to last upward of 7-10 years without ever needing a service

So, what kind of maintenance do you need to perform on your watch?

Well, the most important thing is to make sure the movement is well lubricated or  “oiled.”

This is because the gears and bearings in the movement will eventually start to wear down if they’re not lubricated and this can significantly affect the watch’s accuracy.

For this reason, it’s suggested to take your mechanical timepiece to a qualified watchmaker once every 3-5 years for regular maintenance, though some movements, like Seiko’s reliable 7S26 and 4R36, are known to go 7-10 years and beyond without ever needing service.

He/she will strip down the movement and replace all of the oils with fresh ones.

It’s important to mention that servicing a mechanical watch can be quite pricey, depending on its working mechanism and condition.

The cost for a watch service can vary based on the type of watch being serviced, availability of parts, and a watchmaker’s experience level. On average, you should expect to pay around $250 every 4 years, an average of $62.50 per year.

Quartz Watches

This is where quartz timepieces really take the cake.

Since they have much fewer moving parts than mechanical watches, they’re not as prone to wear and tear.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is some maintenance involved.

Quartz Timex Weekender Chronograph
A simple battery swap every couple of years is enough to keep the Timex Weekender Chronograph running accurately

Every 2 to 5 years, you’ll need to have the battery replaced, which is often simple enough to do yourself. Further, battery replacements are much cheaper than a watch service required on a mechanical watch.

Overall, quartz watches are a lot less work than mechanical or automatic watches.

In terms of the maintenance cost, servicing a quartz timepiece is relatively cheap, especially when compared to mechanical watches.

Bottom Line:

All mechanical watches need regular maintenance in the form of watch services every few years in order to keep the watch running smoothly.

This usually entails taking it to a qualified watchmaker every few years to have the movement oiled.

Maintenance also can be pricey, depending on the watch, but it’s important in order to keep your timepiece ticking.

Quartz watches, on the other hand, are by far the easiest to take care of since they don’t have as many moving parts as mechanical watches. Quartz watches only require a very simple to perform, and affordable battery change every few years. 

Overall, quartz timepieces maintenance cost is relatively low when compared to mechanical watches.

Durability & Longevity

Automatic & Mechanical Watches

One of the main things that many people fail to consider when buying a new watch is its durability.

Mechanical watches are the most susceptible to wear and tear due to the many small, mechanical moving parts that can easily get out of whack.

Yes, they can always be fixed by a skilled watchmaker, given replacement parts are readily available, but this can sometimes be costly.

Hamilton Khaki Mechanical
The Mechanical Hamilton Khaki is a rugged and tough mechanical watch known to go upward of 7-10 years without

Sometimes, it can even cost you more than buying a new one, especially in the case of an affordable mechanical watch. If the price of replacing your mechanical watch costs less than the service of the watch, it may be worth considering replacing it entirely.

However, while mechanical watches aren’t as durable as quartz ones, they can last much longer, if properly maintained for.

On average, a mechanical timepiece can last for around 150 years!

That’s why they are often treated as heirlooms and passed down from generation to generation. You’ll often hear stories of a family member passing down a mechanical Rolex or Seiko, while it is much rarer to hear someone passing down their G-Shock, for instance.

Quartz Watches

One of the biggest benefits of quartz watches is that they are extremely durable.

In fact, I’m not exaggerating if I said that my quartz G-Shock has been beaten and dropped numerous times with next-to-no damage, whatsoever.

Now, I’m not saying that quartz watches are invincible.

Casio-F91w quartz watch
The Casio-F91W is a reliable quartz watch that keeps on ticking year after year

They still can break down, but only if you really try to break them.

However, what they have in durability, they lack in longevity.

On average, a quartz timepiece can last around 25 years before the electric circuit breaks down.

Yes, you can always change the inner mechanism, but obviously, it will cost you; sometimes more than a replacement of the watch itself.

Bottom line:

Quartz watches are super durable and can survive numerous falls, bumps, drops, and scrapes, but don’t have the longevity of a well-maintained and cared for mechanical watch.


Automatic & Mechanical Watches

To be honest, mechanical watches aren’t the most accurate timepieces.

The reason why they aren’t as accurate is, you guessed it, the moving parts that can easily get out of whack.

It’s not that they are inaccurate by design, but more likely due to the many minuscule parts required to be in perfect motion for precise timekeeping.

The automatic tissot Powermatic 80 movement has a precision of -4/+6 seconds per day

The average automatic watch, even some of the higher-end luxury watches, such as Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, etc. can lose or gain anywhere from 2-25 seconds per day, depending on their quality of movement.

That may not seem like a lot day-to-day, but over the course of a week, month, or year, it can add up, and become quite inaccurate over time.

For example: assuming your watch is off by only 3 seconds/day, then this means it will be off by 90 seconds/day at the end of the month, or 1,080 seconds/day by the end of the year; that’s 18 minutes!

Quartz Watches

Unlike mechanical timepieces, quartz watches are extremely accurate.

They may not be as precise as an atomic clock, but they’re close.

The average quartz watch can lose or gain ~1-2 minutes per year, which is pretty impressive if I might say.

The cheap quartz Casio AE1200 has an accuracy of -/+ 1 second per day, or -/+30 seconds a month and has a 10 year battery life

Bottom line:

Mechanical watches are not that accurate and can lose/gain up to 25 seconds per day.

Quartz watches, on the other hand, are extremely accurate and can lose/gain about a minute or two per year.

Size & Weight

Automatic & Mechanical Watches

Another thing to consider is the size and weight of the watch.

Automatic watches are typically heavier than their mechanical and quartz countertops.

As you guessed, it’s because of the many smaller, mechanical parts, often made with various metals used in the movement, combined with the rotor. The rotor needs to be heavy, so it can efficiently rotate and shift when wearing it on the wrist, in-turn, winding the mainspring.

Although mechanical watches don’t have a rotor, they are still quite heavy as well due to the number of gears and springs inside.

The average mechanical watch can weigh around 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and have a thickness of 0.4 inches (10 millimeters).

Quartz Watches

Since quartz timepieces don’t have any moving parts (except for the second hand), they can often be made smaller, lighter, and thinner than automatic or mechanical watches.

The average weight of a quartz watch is around 2.5 ounces (70 grams) and has a thickness of 0.27 inches (6 millimeters).

Bottom line:

Automatic timepieces are the heaviest and bulkiest watches, followed by mechanical watches, while quartz watches are the slimmest and smallest.

Quartz vs Mechanical Watch side by side

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a quartz watch be automatic?

No, an automatic watch is a self-powered [automatic] mechanical movement, while a quartz watch is an electronically powered movement.

Can a quartz watch be mechanical?

No, a mechanical watch movement is comprised of small mechanical parts, such as springs and gears, while a quartz watch is electronically powered.

Are Rolex watches mechanical, automatic, or quartz?

Rolex has made Rolex Oyster Quartz watches, which use a battery, in the past, however, modern Rolex watches use automatic movements.

Which Type Of Watch Movement Is Better?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.

If you’re someone who wants the most accurate, affordable, easy to maintain, and durable timepiece, you should definitely stick with a quartz watch.

On the other hand, if you want a watch that contains a tiny, mechanically driven machine, and a watch you can hand down for generations, a mechanical watch is the one for you, so long as you don’t mind the semi-regular cost of a watch service.

And finally, if you want all of the charm of a mechanical watch, without having to deal with the hassle of winding the watch regularly, a self-powered automatic watch that will wind itself while you’re wearing it on your wrist is the one for you.

19. Guide to Quality Check QC a Watch


Copy and paste this template and complete the details so that your watch can be QC’d. Below are example answers. Change the example answers to your own.

Dealer name: Jtime

Factory name: [ZF]

Model name (& version number): 15400 v2 with A3120 clone

Price paid: $508

Album Links: [sample album link]

Index alignment: looks good – is the 6 crooked?

Dial Printing: Audemars is misspelled

Date Wheel alignment/printing: ZF date disc technicians are at it again

Hand Alignment: so perfect it would make a watch smith cry

Bezel: brushed to perfection

Solid End Links (SELs): n/a

Timegrapher numbers: looks good

Anything else you notice: the tapisserie isn’t the same as gen