Watch brands love to celebrate anniversaries. Everything from foundational dates to anniversaries of key collections are fair game for a special edition, a collection overhaul or an improved movement. Here are five anniversary editions being released this year by replica Patek Philippe, Rolex, Longines, Audemars Piguet and Breitling.
The chronograph version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak has become one of the world’s most iconic watches since it was introduced 20 years ago. To mark the occasion, a special anniversary RO Chronograph breaks the monotone mold and goes two-tone, with subdials a different color than the main dial. The three steel models and four 18k rose gold models all have the same automatic Caliber 2385, with a vertical clutch and a 40-hour power reserve, and the replica watches are water resistant to 50 meters. The main dial retains the trademark tapisserie pattern that is signature to the Royal Oak series.
The Breitling Superocean Heritage II celebrates the 60th anniversary of the the collection. It retains design features of the original 1957 model, including triangular hour hand, lozenge-like minute hand, and cone-shaped hour markers. A new ceramic ring on the bezel matches the dial, and the chronograph version comes with a rubber/leather strap. The 42mm and 46mm versions contain the replica Breitling manufacture Caliber B20, and the chronograph contains the Tudor Caliber MT5612 – which represents one aspect of the recent cooperation between the two brands that are now pooling their expertise in the development and production of certain mechanical movements.
In the case of the swiss Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6006G, it is the movement that marks an anniversary this year. Patek developed the Caliber 240 in 1977, at the height of the quartz era, when men’s wristwatches were much smaller. It had to be slim to compete with the much smaller proportions made possible by quartz technology, something achieved partly by using a small off-center rotor recessed into the plate. The movement is only 2.53mm thick, and today it is a mainstay of the slim Calatrava collection. The new Ref. 6006G contains the Caliber 240 PS C, with silicon-based components and a 70-hour power reserve.
The Rolex Sea-Dweller turns 50 this year, and gets a magnified date window to celebrate the occasion. The cyclops window, as it is called, has become an iconic feature of the fake Rolex Datejust and Submariner replica watches, but was never used before on a Sea-Dweller. The 2017 Sea-Dweller is not a limited edition but a renewed piece that replaces its predecessor in the core collection. The watch has been given three other updates: a larger case, a new movement and a redesigned bracelet. It contains The swiss Rolex automatic Caliber 3235, which complies with replica Rolex’s -2/+2 second daily accuracy rating, a higher standard than the industry norm.
The Longines Legend Diver marks a double anniversary of sorts – it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 1997 re-issue of a diver’s watch first introduced in 1960. Original details include the domed crystal and case shape. The new model has all the hallmarks of a modern dive watch, including a unidirectional rotating bezel – in this case, an internal bezel that can be locked – a screwed-down crown and caseback, and 300-meter water resistance. The indexes, digits and hands are covered with Super-LumiNova, which stand out against a black lacquered dial. It contains the automatic Caliber L633 (ETA 2824/2).
Carol Besler covers replica watches for Watch Journal, Watch Time, Robb Report, Nuvo, Revolution and International Watch. For more of her stories see replicabreitlingwatches.co.uk.