Sales of vintage Rolex knockoffs have soared. Today, many believe that antique fake Hoyle chronologies are "the next best thing" that won't get you into six figures, and they've seen their prosperity over the past few years. Obscure and underrated works like Monza's have risen modestly in value and popularity. Any group has some kind of outlier, and so far, Rolex Daytona is firmly in that position. The fake Rolex Daytona is a rare bird because its birthing cycle is only from 1976 to 1980. It comes in two dials -- the blue you see here, and the smoky gray. Both dials have a biodegradable finish, which means the color darkens subtly as it moves from the center of the dial to the outside edge. Besides, this is one of the few Rolex models that feature integrated bracelets, which means you'll never find a leather or rubber strap. Unfortunately, the connection point of the case is sometimes a badly worn weak link, if the bracelet or case is partially damaged, the owner does not have too many maintenance options. It's also worth noting that the replica watch was one of the last new collections of watches to be fitted with Heuer's Caliber 12 automatic movement, as it wasn't long before the brand started moving towards the now much more common Valjoux 7750. As for dimensions, its case is a modest 39mm across though it is anything but petite on the wrist. Its case is relatively thick, and due to how the bracelet mounts to the case along with the thickness of its caseback, it sits a little proud when on the wrist. I'm the first to admit it that took some time getting used to it, though given its tapered bracelet design it wears quite comfortably. Interestingly, both dial variants of the replica Rolex Daytona have been aging very gracefully over the years. Because of a bit of instability in its finish, fading is quite common on vintage Daytona models. While some can be quite excessive if they've spent a lot of their life in the sun, most fade more subtly and uniformly. The same can be said for their indices and hands, which commonly take on a much more creamy tone over time when compared to the stark white color they started their life with. Though quite distinct in design when compared to its siblings, a few design details from other Rolex chronographs are echoed in this model. Its fluted pushers, slightly recessed into its case, are a direct crossover from other models, as is the raised Rolex logo on its crown. You'll also note a stamped Rolex logo on its bracelet clasp - sadly an item that saw replacement on my personal example before it arrived in my possession. At the end of the day, its case proportions and integrated bracelet will always leave the Daytona as a bit of an "acquired taste" for collectors. It will never see the fame of Monaco, nor will it see the collector appeal of other replica Rolex models that have been reborn as reissues.
One of the most confusing, interesting and, I think, elegant watches in 2019 was launched by Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II. It was, in a sense, a typical Hublot, another love - or hate-it was comically over-designed and awesome -- neither of us wanted to be seen wearing it, but at least for a few months. Yet amid all this uncertainty, one thing is certain: I love this thing, especially its existence. Since the second part of Thornburgh's book is quite an impressive first impression, allows me to begin with a theoretical perspective and then move on to something more practical and technical. I won't bother you if I'm the only one who knows what I'm going to say, but since I've seen many of my watch lovers show the same inclination in their taste for replica watches, I'll go on. In recent years, in my limited personal experience, I've found that WIS on the Internet become visibly and consistently less angry/frustrated/crazy when they receive a top-of-the-line watch. At this point, I am years beyond getting mad at brands who step out of their groove in search of a more exciting product. One exception, though, is that I do factor in how the said product is officially presented by its manufacturer. Because we are by nature wired to be mad about something all the time, I, in turn, find myself getting mad at brands who do nothing exciting at all. I am thinking about all those once-great companies that have taken a head-first dive into their archives and haven't returned since, as far as their more affordable products are concerned. Before anyone reaches for their Zippo and torch, let me say this — and then you can light up if you still want to — I would love to see vintage and vintage-inspired watches co-exist with modern creations in historic brands so that these desirable companies could cater to every customer. But I think at least some of you will agree with me when I say that, yes, watches like this replica Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II Chronograph brings a healthy dose of unrestrained creativity and modernity to the stale, regurgitative blue-dialed misery that so many of the big brands are turning into. All of this is enough for me to say that I love this fake watch, but a close look at it reveals amazing and interesting details. In fact, the dial is just a 12-hour ring, two basic sub-dials, and a 60-minute ring on the outside. The hands, however, made the "face" of the sample a reality -- a nightmare for some and a spectacular design for others. The obsession with lines and diamonds is obvious -- but I do find some logic in this apparently deliberate mess. When I got hold of one of the two versions of the Big Bang Sang Bleu II chronograph, I began routinely setting its main pointer to 10:10, both for photo shoots and to see what the traditionally clear configuration looked like. I'm happy to see that when set to 10:10, the hands are perfectly aligned. The short, thick hand and the larger minute hand geometry are designed to overlap perfectly, giving the dial a temporary relief. One can easily hold it so that the main hand's shiny frame is still black and almost invisible, leaving only large, white hands full of hours and minutes to appear. So readability isn't really too bad, because it might annoy angry purists. I can tell you I've seen a Rolex date that's even harder to read.