In 2015, French free diver Guillaume Néry attempted to set a new world record with a descent of 129m and nearly died when he mistakenly reached 139m below the sea due to a judging error and blacked out on his way back to the surface.
He had to retire from competitive diving, but is gainfully employed by Swiss made Panerai replica as a brand ambassador and inspiration for a limited edition Luminor Marina dropping this month.
There will be 70 of the high-quality fake Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122) available exclusively from Panerai boutiques.
The shaded black dégradé watch has a few special features including rubberized coating applied to the bezel, crown and bridge lever and accentuated convex glass.
Its automatic Caliber P.9010 movement, with 3 day power reserve, is housed in a titanium case shaped using using a 3D printing process.
It is water resistant to 300 meters and is worn on a strap made from recycled plastic and comes with a second strap in white rubber.
The case back has an engraving of the silhouette of Mr Néry.
When talking perfect replica pilot’s watches, the name IWC replica should quickly come into the discussion. The brand is one of the most legitimate manufactures in this field, with its first dedicated watch for pilots dating back 1936. Then followed B-Uhr models, the famous Mark Series, the 1990s pilot’s chronographs and, of course, the legendary Big Pilot’s Watch. Without surprise, the Schaffhausen-based brand was a partner of choice for the very cool project named “The Longest Flight.” While a special Timezoner Spitfire was launched to celebrate the start of the journey, IWC also unveils a watch to commemorate its end; the Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” IW510506 we’ll be looking at today.
THE LONGEST FLIGHT
The “Longest Flight” project isn’t your typical Concorde-like-comfort kind of Tour du Monde… It has been a bit more challenging than just refuelling a jet plane and crossing borders. It all started with the Boultbee Flight Academy – the world’s first Spitfire training school – and pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones, who decided to restore one of the most legendary aeroplanes ever created, a monumental piece of British history, their so-called “Silver Spitfire” – due to the unique polished aluminium surface.
On 5 August 2019, the two British pilots embarked on their flight around the world in their antique Spitfire, and after covering a total of almost 43,000 kilometres and visiting over 20 countries on the way, they accomplished their record-breaking flight “The Longest Flight” precisely four months later. Swiss made fake IWC had supported the expedition “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” as the primary partner and official timekeeper, by first providing the pilots with a special Timezoner watch, and once the journey was over, the brand unveiled a new edition named “Mission Accomplished.”
THE IWC BIG PILOT’S WATCH BIG DATE SPITFIRE
Looking at this limited edition reference IW510506, there’s no doubt that it is part of the Big Pilot collection… However, there are multiple things that immediately draw your attention to let you know that is actually isn’t your typical black dial automatic Big Pilot’s watch. In fact, if the overall shape and the oversized proportions have been respected, most of the elements – materials, colours, display, complications and, of course, movement – are unique to this Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” model.
As a true 1:1 best replica Big Pilot’s Watch should be, the Edition “Mission Accomplished” is an oversized aviation-inspired model. And as such, it is a large, chunky, demonstrative flying instrument. Measuring 46.2mm in diameter – the same as a regular production Big Pilot – and no fewer than 15.2mm in height, you can’t avoid the feeling of having almost a clock on the wrist. But this almost exaggeration of the proportions is here fully assumed and, dare I say it, this is exactly why IWC’s Big Pilots have always been cool. Large, for sure, but cool. Oversize is a word that is as important with this watch as legibility. Now that we’ve talked about the elephant in the room, let’s move on to the rest, shall we?
For this edition, IWC applies the classic Spitfire collection theme that we’ve come to see in this chronograph or the Pilot’s Watch UTC. This first means a case made of matte bronze – with a finely bead-blasted surface. As you can see with the present example, which has already been worn for several months, the case will gain patina and the original golden colour of the material will slowly (or quickly, depending on how you’ll use the watch) fade to become green-brown. Be reassured, the alloy used by IWC is quite stable and no “toxic-like” green patine will grow on the case. The diamond-shaped oversized crown, which screws-in, is also made of bronze. Typical features of IWC Big Pilot’s watches are present, including the sapphire crystal secured against displacement by drop in air pressure or the soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields. With a 6-bar rating, the water-resistance is comfortable.
Looking at the dial, the same Spitfire-theme has been applied, with a nice olive-green colour. While the Top Gun editions by IWC are technical and modern, the Spitfire watches are largely playing on vintage elements, hence the presence of propeller-shaped hands or the use of cream-coloured indexes to recall patinated tritium material. Still, legibility and contrast are great and the watch will certainly perform as a flight instrument. In the same vein, the hands are gold-coloured to match with the bronze case.
The most noticeable thing with this Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Spitfire Edition “Mission Accomplished” is, however, its display. While a classic model will indicate the time with central H-M-S, completed by a power reserve at 3 o’clock and a date at 6 o’clock, this edition features a so-called large date display, positioned at 12 o’clock and balanced by a small seconds at 6 o’clock. The date is indicated by two discs, which aren’t overlapping.
Under the titanium embossed caseback is a movement that is also completely different from what’s used in a regular Big Pilot’s watch. A hand-wound engine, the calibre 59235 is a large and powerful in-house movement that can store up to 192 hours or 8 days of power reserve, with a single, oversized barrel. It runs at a 4Hz frequency and despite being almost entirely hidden, it is pleasantly decorated with Geneva stripes and bevelling. A small circular window allows a view on the power reserve indicator, a necessary feature when having a movement with such a long power reserve.
It’s been a bit over a year since Bell & Ross replica released their BR05 collection of watches, which we reviewed in detail right here. The BR05 offered the brand’s take on a square steel sport watch with integrated bracelet, joining others from the likes of Frederique Constant to Chopard. It seems Gerald Genta was on to something when he designed the Royal Oak and Nautilus in the ‘70s. The continued success of those two references (15202 and 5711, respectively) has sent other brands scrambling to produce their own variations of the formula. Of course, simply being a steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet is not a surefire recipe for success. How does it work for aaa quality copy Bell & Ross? Well, that all depends on your expectations.
Let’s first acknowledge that the modern boom we’ve seen with the AP and Patek are due in part to the hype generated by their limited supply, inflated resale value, and the prestige of having Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe written on their dials. None of those things a great watch makes. What does make them great is their attention to detail. They are both sized perfectly, measure around 8mm in thickness, have beautifully textured dials, and boast exquisitely crafted bracelets, the sum of which make for a very comfortable, very subtle sports watch. Let’s be honest, though, they aren’t without fault and I’d argue neither are worth 2-3x their retail price. They are nice, comfortable sport watches from premier mainstream brands. Nothing more, nothing less.
I say this to address the inevitable comparison between watches like the Bell & Ross BR05, and the AP and Patek. If you’re expecting a Bell & Ross to fill the same shoes, you’re about to have a bad time. The stainless steel case fake Bell & Ross Instruments BR05 Chrono may house a few derivative details, such as the design of the bracelet or the hand set, but in execution this is comfortably Bell & Ross. The large square case hosts broad, flat surfaces at its edges sporting a horizontal brushing and a “screw” head at each corner. It’s not entirely unlike other square watches we’ve seen from Bell & Ross’ instrument collection, there’s just more real estate with the BR05. The mid section of the case breaks into a second tier with brushed and polished surfaces flowing into the bracelet and guarding the crown and pushers. This is a visually hefty watch, it looks industrial and menacing thanks to the square case, exposed screws and integrated bracelet. On paper, things settle down a bit. The case measures 42mm in diameter, and a touch under 14mm in thickness. No spring flower but manageable. In practice, these numbers are difficult to contextualize thanks to the shape of the case. The 42mm measurement is from 9 to 3 o’clock, but the case isn’t a circle so its widest point is point to point. Still, with no lugs the watch will fit safely within the confines of most wrists. The circular dial nests within the square case and represents the most “normal” portion of the watch. Its opening is 40mm and it houses a pair of squared off registers at 3 and 9 o’clock reading off the running seconds and the minute totalizer. Oversized Arabic numerals appear only at the 6 and 12 o’clock positions, with batons filling in the remaining slots. A circular date aperture is hidden away at 4:30 with a dial matched date wheel with white printing. Overall it’s a handsome dial with no legibility issues. The cheap fake Bell & Ross fake watch utilizes the BR-CAL.301 movement, which is based on the ETA 2894-2, a modular chronograph with 42 hours of reserve. The rotor is visible through the caseback and features an intricate design obscuring much of the movement underneath. It’s reminiscent of the spokes of a wheel you’d find on an exotic car and brings a welcome portion of personality to the watch as a whole. On the wrist, the BR05 has plenty of presence. It won’t be slipping under any tailored cuff without a fight, but if you’re not the dress-up type you shouldn’t run into many issues here, assuming you enjoy wearing watches north of 40mm. If you like the look but want something more traditional you’ll want to look for something like the BR V2-94, which uses the same movement in a round (Daytona-esque) case with screw-down pushers. In addition to the black dial pictured here, the luxury Bell & Ross BR05 Chrono copy is also offered with a rich blue sunburst dial. What’s more, it can be had on a rubber strap as well which may help if you’re on the edge of wearability. On the bracelet, the BR05 Chrono is retail priced at $6,400. On a rubber strap it’ll run you $5,900. It’s not cheap by any stretch, but there’s some impressive engineering at work here and it establishes a new branch of the Bell & Ross instrument collection.