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View Full Version : Review of ROLEX GMT Master II ("TW Best") OUTDATED MODEL!



By-Tor
07-02-2007, 06:03 AM
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/title-2.jpg

This is my second review of a replica GMT Master II. I owned a "CN" version of the Master, but have sold it recently. The old review is readable HERE. (http://www.rwg.cc/members/Rolex-GMT-Master-II-replica-ETA-2836-2-t432.html)

Please note that this is not my watch. Precious Time got a sample of this rep model and asked if I wanted to review it. I get no financial gain of this, I was just curious to see this version and photograph/review it for the community. I will even pay the return postage from my own pocket.

This watch uses the same "wrong hand stack", which means that the GMT hand is placed under the hour hand. It's the hand stack of the old GMT Master I model. Unlike my old CN version the GMT hand isn't independently settable on this "TW Best" version, which again mimics the behavior of genuine Master I. Tracking the different timezone is achieved by turning the uni-directional bezel to the desired position. The bezel functionality is excellent, and it's replicated nicely on this watch. The click is soft, smooth and solid. And like I said, it turns and clicks correctly to both directions, unlike many other reps.

The bracelet has solid middle links (inaccurate), just like all MBW/TW watches. Personally, I don't mind. The rep is about 7-10 grams heavier than the genuine Master, and I'm sure the solid middle links are the main reason. The bracelet has very good brushed finish and feel.

The red GMT hand itself is too small and thick. It should be long enough to reach the minute markers. The hand is too short on many GMT/ExpII reps, but this is the worst GMT hand I've seen.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/1-1.jpg

New members are probably curious to know what the terms "TW best" and "CN" mean.

In short: Just like the MBW's, the TW models are produced in a replica factory in Taiwan (instead of China). They have lots of similarities, and some even suspect they come from the same factory. The watches aren't usually extremely accurate, but they have certain advantages. The overall finish, feel and quality is very good. This rep is no exception.

Another good thing with the TW Rolex models is the case depth (or "rehaut") as the community calls it. It's conical on the Chinese versions, and they often have an ugly white "circle" appearing under the crystal, where the rehaut should merge with the crystal. The hardcore Rolex rep experts think that it gives these watches extremely cheap look. TW models don't have this problem, as the picture below demonstrates. The rehaut is very smooth, shiny, deep and metallic. The crystal height is absolutely perfect.

And before you comment the lug holes, let it be known that Rolex actually produced a GMT Master II with lugholes and SELs. So this kind of combo is certainly accurate, although rare.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/2-1.jpg

Actually, the rehaut on the TW models is too deep (which is clearly seen in the next picture). Personally, I think the whole "rehaut" issue is actually much more a "crystal issue". See the small little "dent" just under the crystal and observe how the rehaut merges with the crystal on the genuine. The "TW best" model is almost spot on in this regard (rep on the left). This is where all Rolex Sub/GMT replicas fail. TW version isn't perfect, but it's the closest one.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/5.jpg

Now look at the old CN version. From the left pic you'll see that it's both conical and comical. On the right you see how it looks like it's built from 2 different parts. The upper part of the rehaut gives that ugly "white circle" effect in certain lighting.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/88.jpg

Compared to the old CN model the "TW Best" has another huge advantage. It's the cyclops/datewheel positioning, which is spot on. On the CN version they were placed too right on the crystal/dial.

Accuracy of the dial print and date magnification are inferior on the TW model. The etched crown is too big and offcenter, just like on all old TW models. The hour markers have the same characteristics as the old MBW/TW Best 16610 Submariner. They look wrong on the zoomed pictures. And while the print accuracy is a bit off, we'll notice that the print itself is very clear, crisp and high quality.

And trust me, it's impossible to see anything wrong with the dial, unless you take a loupe.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/dial-2.jpg

The good news about the dial? Yes... the lume on the hour markers is superb. Best I've seen on any Rolex replica. It's probably not super lume, but the same material they have used on the UPO and Steelfish. Brilliant. Too bad the hands aren't quite as bright. But this is typical on all Rolex reps.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/3-2.jpg

Like I said, this watch isn't mine. I'm still "GMT-less", and I'm waiting for the "perfect one". My friend bklm modified a superb GMT for himself (http://anonym.to/?http://replica-watch.info/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23666). He promised to do one for me too, but unfortunately it looks like that particular version is out of production. I want to believe it's only a matter of time when I find "my final" rep of this watch. Personally, I wouldn't mind the wrong hand stack version at all, especially from the long-term functionality standpoint.

It's only logical that Rolex (that has become a caricature of its former self) has ceased the production of their best and most fascinating watch ever, the classic GMT Master... and replaced it with soulless and tasteless "ceramic bezel" version. That watch even has polished middle links. Do you want it with or without diamonds, mr. 5-Cent? Yuck!

While this rep has lots of flaws, I like it a lot. It's a lot like the MBW vintages, really. It has certain genuine high quality "feel" in it. And just like MBW's it's not extremely accurate replica without modifications.

If I'd choose to keep this watch (and if I had modding skills I'd certainly keep it), I'd change the GMT hand to longer and thinner version, and would file the cg insides a bit. Then perhaps change the crystal to one that has smaller magnification. The dial isn't perfect, but I could easily live with it (especially keeping its excellent luminous abilities in mind).

This is certainly a great rep for someone who is capable of doing the mods. 2 years ago this rep would have been sensational. But since we've been spoiled with all kinds of TAG Links and Cousteaus lately, I can't give this watch very high accuracy rating.

But would I choose this watch over my old CN version, which was more accurate in many regards? Yes, without hesitation. Although pretty much everything is a "bit off", it has excellent genuine "feel" and presence, which the old CN model couldn't quite capture. Don't ask me what it is, because I can't give a reasonable explanation. Just look at this picture.


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u214/tp2112/4.jpg

Guest1
07-02-2007, 07:17 AM
Thank you for sharing that with us Bytor, your review makes this watch so wanted in my watch box.

frogman
07-02-2007, 01:40 PM
Bytor, your reviews are the reason my watch box is do damn full! Great review as always...If we had "repWatch Time magazine" you would be the editor.

~FROGMAN~

J-C
07-02-2007, 04:34 PM
By-Tor...as always, PERFECT. ...enough said...

By-Tor
07-02-2007, 07:53 PM
Thanks guys. :)

miquel
07-02-2007, 08:55 PM
Great review BT!

I couldn't believe it when I was at the AD last weekend and the salesman showed me the letter from Rolex stating the GMT was no longer available. He told me he was buying a Pepsi version to keep for sale later.

I guess now's the time to get one.

dtan888
07-02-2007, 11:26 PM
I have always enjoy By-tor reviews... Always :)
Thank you for spending your time.

Dan

sollie
07-04-2007, 12:36 AM
Great Review! When will we be able to get our hands on one?

007
07-23-2007, 07:51 AM
Very informative review. Great pictures as always. I especially like the CN vs. TW comparison.