This week gets technical with an early Replica Vacheron Constantin automatic, and a “Pre-Daytona” Rolex chronograph Replica that comes with a stunning tri-color dial. You will also see one of the last classically-shaped Memovox from before the funky cases of the 1970s arrived. Finally, we end with an edifying Breitling franken-watch, a wannabe Sprint 2010 that shows one of the worst dials we have ever had the pleasure of finding.
The Vacheron Constantin Replica reference 4906 was all about functionality in the 1950s, offering an automatic caliber and a screw-down waterproof caseback. Its case measures a substantive 35mm across, while a vast number of dial/hands combinations exist, true to Vacheron Constantin’s form in that era. In a letter to its retailers dated from the 1950s, the manufacture had indeed indicated that it never released more than 24 examples with the same design, which explains the countless variations of indexes and handset shapes that can be found for the very same reference.
The watch here is said to come directly from the original owner, and shows a well preserved yellow gold case. The automatic movement is not described but it is either the elusive bumper caliber 477/1, only produced between 1950 and 1952 and cased afterwards, or the caliber P1019 with full rotor, produced from 1958. Given that the original papers indicate a sale in 1962, and assuming the watch did not remain in inventory for a long time, the presence of the caliber P1019 comes with a higher probability; both movements are very fine automatic calibers in any case.
This one-owner Vacheron Constantin replica is offered on Instagram for $12,000, which seems significantly above the observed market value of the reference 4906; the seller is also considering lower offers.
Rolex “Pre-Daytona” Chronograph Ref. 6234, With Flawless Tri-Color Dial
Often described as “Pre-Daytona”, the Rolex Replica references 6034, 6234, and 6238 already bring the chronograph in an Oyster case, but they come with a smooth bezel, while the reference 6239 would finally introduce the graduated bezel. Out of all these Pre-Daytona, the 6238 comes with the very sober silver and black dials that almost announce the panda and reverse panda dials of the Daytona, while the 6034 and 6234 often have more colorful dials like this one.
The 6234 here is a great example of what I mean, with a red telemeter scale and a blue tachymeter scale, while the minute track is printed in black. The case still shows thick lugs, and its comes with an expansion bracelet manufactured in the U.S. (this information can be read on the clasp). The tritium lume shows an even patina between the handset and the lume plots. However, the sheer presence of tritium (also denoted in the “T Swiss T” line at the bottom of the dial) makes me doubt that the serial number of the case would be in the 130k range dating it to 1956, way before the tritium was first used in a watch. To me, it is probably a typo from the seller and the correct serial number is around 530,000, which would date the watch back to 1961, a much more consistent period for tritium use.
The dealer IconicWatchCompany has this superb Rolex replica chronograph reference 6234 for $490.
Fake Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Speed Beat Reference E875
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox reference E875 earned its Spead Beat name (notably engraved on its caseback), thanks to its caliber 916. This movement with alarm complication replaced the iconic 825 with bumper mechanism, and increased the frequency from 21,600 to 28,000 bph. It relies on a full rotor and still displays the date at three o’clock. The E875 kept much of the design of the earlier Memovox, with a round 37mm case while the 1970s would eventually see some more daring case shapes introduced to the line.
In comparison to the previous reference E855, the applied “JL” logo is now placed at nine o’clock and the Memovox signature can be found at the bottom of the dial, below the six o’clock index. The watch here comes with the correct crowns, both signed, and a signed buckle as well. The overall condition looks great, although the lume has unfortunately fallen from the minute and hour hands.
The dealer Cars And Watches offers this this high-beat Memovox reference E875 for €3,750 (approximately $4,110 at time of publishing).
Bidder Beware – A Problematic Breitling Replica Sprint Reference 2010
There is very little chance of someone getting duped by this Breitling, with the seller indicating on the EBay listing that the Valjoux 7730 movement is its main asset. Indeed, everything else is incorrect for the Sprint reference 2010, from the case that should bear a rotating bezel to the handset, which should come with a black stripe (and don’t even get me started about the horrendous chronograph hands).
While its issues are plentiful and obvious, it is fascinating to look at its “Butterfly” dial, one of the worst redials you’ll find anywhere. The characteristic black triangles should extend up to the edges of the sub-registers, which are incorrectly placed here as they should not bump into the minute track. If you add the incorrect indexes and fonts it becomes very clear that the dial was never born as a Breitling.
Bidding for this entirely incorrect Breitling Replica Sprint reference 2010 was still below $100 on Ebay at time of publishing, and rightfully so.