Homage watches are those types of watches that pay tribute to other iconic timepieces. The concept of creating a homage watch is significantly connected with the popularity of the model being imitated.
Pioneer watch brands in concepts, mechanisms, and designs like Rolex, Breitling, Franck Muller, JLC, and other brands of the same caliber, have long been copied by other watch manufacturers. It is worth it to be specified that homage watches have nothing to do with replicas or counterfeit watches. These models put their brand’s name on the watch, and they try to deliver quality and precision above all.
In this article, we will check the watch brands, homages of who have caused a shock in the world of watches.
Below are some of the most used homage watches:
- Frank Miura vs Franck Muller
- Hamilton Otis vs JLC Reverso
- Rolex Milgauss vs Benyar Milgauss
- 1960s Rolex Submariner vs San Martin Water Ghost
- Invicta Pro Diver vs Rolex Submariner
Frank Miura vs Franck Muller
Back in 2017, Franck Muller – the hyper luxury watch manufacturer from Switzerland, filed a complaint in court against the Japanese watch brand Frank Miura. The complaint was for the owners of Frank Muller to shut down the manufacturing of their line of watches immediately, which according to Franck Muller were violating the intellectual property rights of his brand. It has nothing to do with homage watches as Frank Miura is playing with Franck Muller’s hefty prices of their watches.
Indeed, similarities can be seen in the overall aesthetics of both watch brands, and Frank Miura when pronounced in Japanese rimes with Franck Muller. The Swiss watch manufacturer wanted the parody line to come to an end, as according to them, it was causing frustration and misleading.
The case went to Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court, where the judges decided in favor of Frank Miura – the parody line of Franck Muller watches.
The judges noted that appearances in both watch lines are clearly distinguishable. Moreover, they stated that the price range of a Frank Miura watch is from 40 up to 60 dollars. On the other hand, Franck Muller’s price range goes from 5000 dollars and up. These facts were enough for Frank Muller to keep its trademark and live another day and make life feel like hell to Franck Muller.
Hamilton Otis vs JLC Reverso
Both watches are similar not only in appearance but also in concept. Like the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso, Hamilton Otis features a rectangular dial, which can be flipped over 180 degrees, thanks to a rotating mechanism applied in the case lug.
The concept was born out of necessity. British soldiers loved to play Polo in their free time, but the watches they had could not withstand the physical abuse of the brutal sport. They somehow were introduced to Jacques-David LeCoultre, who came up with JLC Reverso as the solution to their problem. The iconic JLC Reverso watch as we all know can be flipped over to protect the fragile crystal from damages.
Due to the hefty taxes set by the US Government at the time for imported goods, JLC same as many other watch manufacturers, choose to find a US-based manufacturer who could distribute their JLC Reverso to the US market. In 1938, JLC signed a contract with Hamilton, to manufacture their watch in the US in return for 60 cents of each Hamilton Otis being sold. 7 to 8 years after the first Hamilton Otis was manufactured, the US-based company decided to discontinue the line due to decreasing sales affected by the difficult economic post-war chapter.
Other famous homage watches of the iconic JLC Reverso are Stuhrling Skyline, Daniel Steiger The Monticello, Bulova Quartz 96B269, Seiko Solar SUP896, Eterna 1935 Eterna-Matic, Rotary Evolution, and Cartier W5200027 Automatic.
Rolex Milgauss vs Benyar Milgauss
Named after the original great timepiece it draws inspiration from, the Benyar Milgauss is evidently a homage to the Rolex Milgauss. Although a conservative watch brand/ Rolex has freed the imagination a bit with the Milgauss. The green crystal, its colorful markers, and the distinctive lightning bolt hand make it a colorful watch that bears a resemblance to the Oyster Perpetual and the Explorer 1. And if you’re a bit tolerant of homage watches, you can now adorn your wrist with a homage of Rolex Milgauss for a mere $50. The artistically worked Benyar Milgauss BY5177 is barely noticeable from the original (if it wasn’t for the logo and other small details). The homage watch comes with a 41mm diameter stainless steel case. Underneath ticks a reliable Japanese automatic movement caliber G2666Z with 36 hours of power reserve and a satisfactory accuracy of +/-45 seconds/day.
1960s Rolex Submariner vs San Martin Water Ghost
Next to our picks for some of the best homage watches around comes another copy of a Rolex. This time it is a classic 1960s Rolex Submariner that can be easily mistaken with the San Martin Water Ghost. The latter is a homage to the timepiece that Sean Connery wore in the early James Bond films. It comes with the prominent crown that the early Rolex’s were known for, aged lume, and the Mercedes hands. And the modest 38mm case also adds to the authenticity.
San Martin offers a wide range of homage watches. Tudor Black Bay, Rolex Hulk, Rolex Datejust, Panerai, Omega, and even a resemblance of Patek Philippe Nautilus are manufactured by San Martin. The Chinese watch manufacturer specializes in homage watches and they also serve as private label watch manufacturers.
Invicta Pro Diver vs Rolex Submariner
The main reason a watch enthusiast will likely never take an Invicta seriously is their Invicta Pro Diver watch model 8926OB. A model that was introduced to the watch marketplace as a homage to the iconic Rolex Submariner ref. 16610 and being sold for a fraction of the price. You can get your own Rolex-looking-Invicta for less than 100$. Invicta would never beat Rolex on their own game, however, the Pro Diver brings some valuable features on the table that are worth spending the money on. Check them below…
The 8926OB runs in a 24 jewels automatic movement from Seiko, caliber NH35A with 41 hours of power reserve and a -20/+40/sec per day accuracy rate. Certainly not as accurate as Rolex, however caliber NH35A from Seiko is incorporated by many other watch brands and results to be a common but reliable movement.
On the Swiss side, we have the Submariner who runs in a handmade automatic movement, caliber 3135 – considered one of the finest mechanical movements ever manufactured. Caliber 3135 has been updated several times throughout the years, making the movement more anti-magnetic, resistant to shocks and temperature fluctuations as well.
The humble 8926OB by Invicta is water resistant up to 200 meters. A feature that will blow the minds of even the ones who don’t like homage watches at all. Moreover, the watch comes in a protected screw-down crown which creates an airtight seal, impenetrable by water or dust. However, not many watch connoisseurs would recommend relying on your Invicta 8926OB for diving purposes, regardless of the 200m water resistant rating. On the other hand, Rolex Submariner is water resistant up to 300 meters and guarantees immunity per meter as few watches can.
The stunning design of Invicta 8926OB is a clear homage watch to the iconic Rolex Submariner. Exclude here few slight differences in the dial, the logo, and the exhibition case back added by Invicta to make the difference, other components remind you of the Submariner. The date window and the bezel are almost identical in both watches.
Materials & craftsmanship
The main differences on both watches should not be searched for in their designs but in the quality of materials and assembly of the watch. Rolex is backed with Swiss know-how when it comes to watchmaking and they have developed their features like corrosion resistance, Cerachrom ceramic insert rotatable bezel, crown guard, helium escape valve, and way more.
Whether be a parody watch, a copy, or a concept imitation, homage watches are worth having. These timekeeping tools are made to increase brand recognition. The idea of imitating a more superior watch is also a great marketing solution. Invicta for example has attracted a lot of attention with their ProDiver and Frank Muira has put itself to the map for good simply by playing with Franck Muller. In our consideration, these homage watches worth being appreciated and added to a collector’s closet.