There is a deep and longstanding history between the sport of motor racing and the watch industry. Motorsports are dependent on highly accurate timekeeping to track each driver's performance behind the wheel. The relationship between them all began at a time when drivers depended on their watches, specifically chronographs, to record everything from lap times to pit stops. Before wristwatches were widely used, there were problems and discrepancies with timekeeping at the first motor racing events. The year of the 1930s marks a pivotal moment in the history of watches and racing. The popularity of motorsports spiked after legendary motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first person to drive an automobile over 300 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. When he set the land speed record, he was wearing a replica Rolex Oyster. Rolex decided to capitalize on the moment, and other watch brands, like Heuer, soon followed. The fake Heuer quickly became the top replica watches brand in the sport. Before there were Heuer racing-inspired watches, there were Heuer dashboard timers. For example, the now popular Autavia began as a dashboard timer and was reinvented as a wristwatch in 1962. The 1960s were a major moment for Heuer and motorsports. In addition to the Autavia, the brand developed its two other staple racing chronographs—the Carrera and Monaco. And in 1969, the fake Heuer created the first automatic chronograph, the Caliber 11. The fake Heuer's popularity in the racing world kept on rising into the 1970s when the famous actor and racing enthusiast Steve McQueen wore a Monaco in the film Le Mans. Apart from the replica Tag Heuer and Rolex, many other watch brands have joined the racing game. The iconic Omega Speedmaster was designed as a sports and racing chronograph. And both Longines and Hublot have served as official timekeepers for Formula One racing events. Although today's drivers don't rely on their own wristwatches to track time, the steadfast relationship between the sport of racing and the watch industry remains stronger than ever. The Breitling Bentley 24H Limited Edition celebrates the historic anniversary of Bentley's second-place finish at the best-known Le Mans race. This special model was produced in a run of only 288 pieces in conjunction with the six Le Mans Limited Edition vehicles, each of which was made in a limited quantity of only 48.
Looking back for 10 years, Richemont acquired the Minerva manufacture in Villeret, Switzerland, and folded the historic chronograph maker into the replica Montblanc's watch division. The results over the years have been rather noteworthy, with several wonderful vintage-inspired chronographs that make use of Minerva's stunning movements. The newest is this limited edition in bronze and titanium with a salmon-colored dial. I tried to spend a few minutes with the piece last week, and I have to say, I'm greatly shocked. This swiss replica watch is an evolution of a family first launched about a year ago, just before SIHH 2017. The original was also a limited edition, and it was the first of Montblanc's watches to utilize the 44mm x 13.15mm bronze case you see here. Like that model, the one you see here has a titanium back with a bronze-colored coating so that it's somewhat gentler on the skin. What sets the newest limited edition apart is the dial, which is a very amazing shade of salmon, something that you most often see on vintage chronographs from the 1930s and 40s. Here it's complemented by blued steel hands and bold luminous Arabic numerals. I am confident to say that some of you were put off the moment I said the replica watch is 44mm across and 13.15mm thick, but honestly, it doesn't wear like a fake watch of that size at all. Of course, it's big, no getting around that, but it doesn't feel like something from the mid-2000s that is closer to a dinner plate than a wristwatch. Two positive consequences of the size are that the watch is greatly legible and the monopusher chronograph is extremely easy to use. There's no fiddling, as the button in the crown is beautiful and huge, and the red tip on the second's hand makes it easy to use the tachymeter scale at the dial's edge. However, the most impressive thing about this fake watch is the movement. This is a 16 ligne (approximately 36.1mm) movement first based it's a monopusher chronograph with two registered on a slightly larger design first made in 1929. Both the architecture and finishing of the 16.29 are stunning, and it's executed in German silver with a rose gold plating to give it some extra color. Just check out the steelwork on the arrow-shaped lever - this is wonderful stuff, people. The caliber is manually-wound with a 50-hour power reserve, and even the balance spring is made in-house at the manufacture in Villeret. However, if you're a fan of top-end chronographs, this replica watch is surely worth a closer understanding. The size might be disgusting to some, but it's a product of using a movement originally manufactured for fake pocket watches, and for the correct collector it won't be a matter anyway.
When in summer, it's time to make good use of the weather. There's so much to talk about how well watches can stand adverse conditions. As a matter of fact, it's the major point of some of today's watch marketing. So why worry about a little sand and saltwater? Well, while most "top-end" watches can deal with an average day at the beach, it's good to go the further mile to ensure functional longevity and pristine looks. Therefore, here are a few tips to keep your watch running and looking its best no matter how often you hit the surf. Mind the Crown This one may seem pretty obvious. Still, ask any watchmaker just how many panicking watch owners run into their shop during the summer months because of water ingress. No watch is truly waterproof, and water resistance ratings aren't worth much if you don't keep the crown screwed down. It may seem like a rookie mistake, but there are likely some pretty seasoned collectors out there that are afraid to admit to this cardinal sin. So, do yourself and your watchmaker a favor and keep that crown screwed in tight before hopping off the yacht. Rinse With Fresh Water It's different to deny the appeal of wearing something like a nice no-date replica Rolex Submariner out on a fishing or dive trip. But, saltwater can cause corrosion with constant buildup or exposure. It may not be immediately apparent, but pitting can occur around the case back and lugs if you don't address saltwater residue. Simply rinsing your watch with fresh water after the day is over is your best bet. Besides, a soft bristle toothbrush with very, very mild soap is a good idea too. Like saltwater, sand can also cause some issues, especially if you have a fake watch with some kind of rotating bezel. Sand has been known to trap itself under dive bezels and hang out for a while. It results in stiff and crackly bezel action that can potentially make you feel so bad to your stomach. If you haven't been able to avoid the sand, there are a couple of remedies. Some older replica watches allow for bezels to be popped off, which makes cleaning rather straightforward. Otherwise, submerge the fake watch in warm water with mild soap and give the bezel a turn—that should do the trick. If things get really tough, whip out that soft bristle toothbrush again. On the whole, swiss replica watches should be worn and not babied. They should tell stories about where you've been and what you've done. It's important to know that a little goes a long way on watch maintenance. This is the same for routine servicing and quick cosmetic care. So relax and feel easy, enjoy the sun, and make some memories. With the right kind of care, that shiny new diver will still be by your side for years to come.