In my opinion, these design choices are flaws, but they have helped me trust my gut and ultimately saved me money. While these pet peeves are highly personal, I hope they illustrate the importance of being honest with yourself about deal-breaking designs. I also hope that this article encourages you to get out there and try before you buy, as Photoshop and stock renderings are not always your friends! So, without further ado, let’s address my pet peeves and the top three offenders from Corum, Grand Seiko, and Rolex!
I’ll start off with a bit of a peculiar one that speaks to my love of complications. For years now, I have wanted a jumping-hour replica luxury watches. I find such a geeky charm in seeing the digital hour disc click over! It’s as satisfying as seeing a Rolex date change precisely at midnight, but I can actually be awake to watch it happen every hour. And while I now have my sights on a retrograde-minutes/jumping-hour combo, this Corum Classic Jumping Hour Limited Edition crossed my path years ago. At first, I loved pretty much everything about it from the two-tone dial and crazy numerals to the gimmicky swiveling lugs. I even considered buying it as my one jumping-hour watch until I realized that doing so would defeat the purpose altogether. I wouldn’t even be able to see the jumping hour jump!
The position of the hour window combined with the fat minute hand completely obscures the jumping action from view. To me, this is an utter waste of such a charming complication. I find absolutely no joy in a jumping-hour watch executed like this. Unlike a date window, which serves a mostly practical function, I dare to say that the jumping hour serves more of a decorative one. Yes, it allows you to read the hour at a glance, but shouldn’t you also be able to enjoy the action that gives the complication life? I have talked to folks who find this Corum jumping-hour display charming. Unlike me, they seem to like the sense of “mystery” behind it. But like all of these pet peeves, this one reflects my personal taste, and thankfully, there are fake rolex for sales designers out there who agree with me.
“One detail I need to mention also is the position of the window because at first, the team showed me the position at 12. I said, ‘Look, the hand inevitably hides the perfect moment because the hand would be at 12, and the hour would jump and you wouldn’t even see it!’ So, I sent them back to the drawing board and said, ‘We need to have this window at 6 o’clock.”
I can’t applaud this decision enough, and it’s one of the many reasons that I love Chopard. If I’m ever able to afford the flippin’-awesome Quattro Spirit 25, I’d have no qualms about adding it to my collection. But this watch and examples from Gérald Genta, Chronoswiss, and DeWitt, among others, help hammer my point home. There are plenty of ways to make a legible jumping-hour display. If you’re going to do it, do it right, or don’t do it at all.
The above photo is a lie. I know because I took it. I took it of my own watch and then doctored it to death. Or should that be “life”? Do you see the “sunburst” green dial of this Grand Seiko SBGE033? Yeah… it hardly ever really looked like that. I just wanted it to look that way so badly that I amped up the color, saturation, and contrast until I couldn’t anymore. You see, I spent over two years tracking down this watch merely based on pictures that I had found on the internet. Many of the photos showed the dial in a similar way with a beautiful, verdant forest green popping through. I’m a huge fan of green and in-your-face dials, so I thought this watch could be the perfect keeper for me. Oh, how wrong, how dreadfully wrong I was.
This is what the replica omega watches actually looked like. And yes, I know because I bought this very example. I was convinced that the photos in the listing were just bad. There was no way that a dial by Grand Seiko could look this bland… right? Wrong. The dial of my SBGE033 looked as dark as my soul in nearly all lighting conditions, even out in the sun! You call this “sunburst”? More like “0.672%-of-indoor-fluorescent-lighting-burst”. But that doesn’t sound as good.