View Full Version : Review of genuine OMEGA Seamaster "Bond" + general thoughts about 1K gens vs Replicas

06-01-2009, 06:41 PM

06-01-2009, 06:54 PM
Great review as always,nice to see another gen in your collection BT,good for you. :)

06-01-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanks Dave. Glad you enjoyed the article.

As I said... blue SFSO is (most likely) my next genuine. ;)

06-01-2009, 07:31 PM
The watch that started it all for me. Saw it on Bonds wrist and thought "I want one of those".


06-01-2009, 07:40 PM
Great post, BT.

The gen SMP was my 1st "decent" watch and it will always stay in the collection. I agree 100% with looking on TZ for a gen SMP, SOSF, etc. (recently purchased a 3-month old SOSF for less than $1,500)

Congrats on the new addition

06-01-2009, 09:00 PM
I completely agree with your thought By-tor!

There are just a couple of watches that the gen is unrivalled by the rep. Perhaps not in the quality department or even accruacy, but just the overall package and history....the SMP Bond is one of them!

06-01-2009, 09:10 PM
Great watch, and for the money a gen you can literally beat every day without worry.

06-02-2009, 02:32 AM
Looking good BT, i couldn't part with my 'bond' either.

06-03-2009, 11:17 AM
Are the gens worth it, and does the rep make any sense?

Well this is an interesting question, isn't it? I love reps as much as ever, but I don't really see a point of spending $350 for a rep (or $600 on a franken) of a watch that can be obtained for as low as ca. $1K - $1.3K preowned. The quartz version of this watch can be found for $600. Yes, it's "only" a quartz but it's still genuine, and something that you can proudly leave to your son (for example).

This sounds convincing, however to me there is an additional element to the replica / clone / fake argument which By Tor does not touch upon, I've been writing about on another forum (not watches - consumer goods). The fact is that Reverse Engineering* has reached such a point of perfection that more and more consumers with knowledge of manufacturing RESENT (i.e. get annoyed by) luxury goods manufacturers selling a product at a grossly inflated price, products which can be exactly replicated both inside and out for a fraction of the actual worth of the materials the "genuine" articles are being sold at.

People (like me and more and more a lot of my clients) know how much it actually costs for a factory to make any product and make a good margin to cover fixed costs, a decent commercial profit, future investment and other variable costs. In the case of mid and entry level luxury watches, there is no justification other than the ripping off of the customer and pursuit of profit for charging the prices they do (and the same with reps). Watches like the SMP and even the Moonwatch or a Sub don't cost anything like their wholesale price tag figures, and watches like a Chanel J12 or a quartz Omega are in my opinion indefensible.

*Reverse Engineering means taking something, pulling it apart and cloning it, to the same specification. With the increase in computer power and scanning technology more and more this is what Legitimate factories do with new models of any product - working from one-off handmade sample prototypes made on a quick prototype machine from a CAD drawing or equivalent, but what's new in the last ten years is that the CAD can be made from the scanning of the prototype and this method is used more and more rather than starting with CAD (the reasons are complicated but basically come down to aesthetics - the best designs do not get made on a computer they are made by hand as if they are made on a computer they LOOK as if they have been made on a computer). That's how innovative designs in phones and iPODS and torches and almost everything else you care to mention get into production these days. What are called FIRST SHOTS off a tool are then modified and the tool (already made) is then tweaked to give the finalised version.

All of this has become more evident in replica watches because they can now be sold easily over the internet - it's the web that has made the difference in sales.

Cloned goods in a very few years may actually be BETTER than the originals.

The Swiss Watch industry knows this, and it is why they have started this ridiculous campaign "Fake Watches Are For fake People", no, I don't think so, "Fake Watches Are For People Who Know 95% of the Time They Are Being Ripped Off By The Swiss."

By all means, buy expensive reps of $5K watches like sports Rolexes, TT BCE, Ebel BTR or Zenith... or real high end pieces like Breguet, VC or Patek... but before you purchase ETA/7750-based standard TAGs, Breitlings and Omegas, follow the prices and at least seriously consider buying a gen.

Wise words because (and I know I will get grief for this) the replicas are in 80% of cases WAY OVERPRICED too considering the QC and QA that the rep factories and assembly houses and dealers pass onto us - with crappy guarantees. This defeats the whole purpose of buying a rep with a low resale value. Make no mistake about it, a six month guarantee is bollocks when you are spenidng $300+ and recently I see some "approved" dealers only give a 30 day guarantee - that's terrible.

Hope you enjoyed this quick article.

Certainly did. Interesting, enjoy your GEN!

06-03-2009, 12:04 PM
Interesting points Mitton.

Bigger luxury watch companies like Rolex and Swatch Group are corporate pigs and believe me, I have ZERO sympathy for Rolex. Their price fixing, their tyrannical parts policy, ridiculous service costs, etc. Au contrary... nothing makes me happier than "cheating the rich and fat Uncle Rollie" and wearing a rep like WM9.

I don't recommend the gens because it's "morally right" to purchase them, etc. Nothing like that at all... my article didn't even discuss that. It was all written from the financial point of view.

The "seek for perfection" is often annoying. If you have a watch model that you really, really like... and are going to own it for the rest of your life... I don't see any reason why you wouldn't get the best version of it. Sometimes gen is the best option. Some watches have been repped so well that gen doesn't make much sense: Something like WM9 Sub comes to mind. All hobbies are somewhat expensive when get "HC" about it. But $1.2K isn't a lot of money for any working adult... for a great watch like Seamaster Bond.

The whole point of the article was that $350 - $450 reps don't make ANY sense when the forgery has been done of a watch that can be obtained for $1K. Some might argue that buying reps that expensive don't make any sense under any circumstances. I don't really see it that way... I love my Ebel BTR rep because it's a $350 watch, but I certainly wouldn't love it as much if I paid $7K. Catch my drift?

There are also people who love to build frankens and enjoy the process. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I still don't see a point with some of the frankens that almost reach the price of a gen (all gen parts invested, etc). I can understand the satisfaction in many ways... forger's art, etc... but not when the project costs 85% of the gen price.

06-03-2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks By Tor, I was trying to add to the points you made from the financial point of view, I agree 100% that it makes no sense to buy a rep of a watch that you could buy the real deal for a few dollars more. Maybe it came across as something else.

I've no time for the SWATCH group either (he says wearing a Moonie...) I do think that all of use should press for better QC and especially at least a year guarantee on all reps from approved dealers, then, $300 may be worth it, but until then, nah... The 30 day guarantee from one dealer on here is ridiculous on a >$400 TOP GUN for example (which he is selling).

06-03-2009, 12:55 PM
I think the prices simply HAVE to come down due to bad economy in the US and Europe. I doubt there are many people around who are still buying those $1K Hublot reps. :D

What dealers promise... well I have always taken their promises with a grain of salt. Remember that SFSO "depth rating" that Angus promised when the rep came out... "If it's not waterproof to 500 meters you'll get a 100% refund". Yeah right...

I have (almost) ZERO bad QC experiences with reps and I haven't received many bad ones. But then again dealers might "cherry pick" the watches for me because I make these articles... and I never buy from the dropshippers... but generally I find it amazing that people receive so many bad watches. You're right... for $300 and $400 there should be some sort of longer guarantee.

tacid blue
06-05-2009, 01:48 PM
By-Tor as always appreciate your time and effort in your reviews.

I agree with you in totality on the reps vs. gen issue. I have about twelve reps, almost all bought during the "golden" era of TW Best ETAs for about half what people are paying now for Asian movement watches. While the reps may be visually accurate, you cannot compare quality of build IMHO. While posting a pic in Eye Candy today my several years old Panerai quit working literally while putting up the picture. I have a Yachtie with a crown stem problem, four Subs with various bezel/dial/hands issues, and a UPO that is losing time worse every day. Over time, most of my reps are 5+ years old, they start to have a lot of problems. Then you send them in to have them worked on and double the price you have in it. I won't sell reps, don't trust the buyers not to screw with me or fear they might be a legal entity. So its not like I can sell them off and raise cash to buy or fix another one. With a gen, like a SMP, you just mention you want to sell it at the office and you will get a offers by the end of the day.

I like reps a lot, I buy them, mod them, and I really like to see what the factories can do and the modders here on RG. Over time, little things start driving you crazy, and you just want something that will work. I am not sure that some of the newer folks really know what we were paying a few years ago for good ETA TW Best watches. They are more willing to pay the $$ for a watch that at least looks good. I applaud that, this forum, and those that do incredible mods. For me, bezels suddenly coming off, crystals fogging (and exploding), and all the other sundry issues are starting to wear on me. I have gens, and I wear them in public mostly out of fear of a rep suddenly coming apart at a bad time. Don't get me wrong, I support what we do here, but I agree that costs are driving me out of the market for reps.

06-08-2009, 02:22 PM
I agree 100% with this review (and yes I have the Gen of this particular watch also - great watch). I could never understand how someone could spend up to 1/2 or 3/4+ of what a Gen costs to make a rep look more genuine.

For that, I would just save up and get the used gen.

06-08-2009, 02:36 PM
What a great review - well done as usual By-Tor!

I agree with By-Tor's statements about buying an inexpensive gen instead of a rep. Sometimes it's better to delay gratification, save a few extra bucks, and grab the gen. The gens at the $1,000 price point are perfect.

I'd also add that there are tons of awesome gens like Oris, Hamilton, etc. that have quality ETA based movements and look great. Reps are fun for the $5k Breitlings, PAMs, Omegas, Rolex, etc - but if you are just looking for a great watch - go gen.

One thing that Mitton and By-Tor haven't mentioned in their posts was the desire for luxury watch companies to keep their products exclusive. That alone is reason enough to raise the price of a luxury product. It also explains how prices of gens like Rolex, Omega, and Breitling are being increased in an economic downturn.

07-14-2009, 06:36 AM
Where can I get this gen for $1000? I havent seen one under 1500

07-14-2009, 08:18 PM
Where can I get this gen for $1000? I havent seen one under 1500

Well yeah you can buy the beat up ones without papers in the $1K range. But generally the good ones (with paperwork) sell for around $1.3K - $1.5K as you correctly said.

Midsize and quartz versions are significantly cheaper of course. Anyway, I still consider this watch a great deal.

Thanks for the interest.

07-15-2009, 12:04 PM
Auto version in my local pawnshop today near the office, a year old, box, papers the works, 800 = $1,311, so dead on. Gotta remember though that these watches tend to KEEP their value after the initial VAT (sales tax) writeoff when new, so you don't really lose by buying second hand, in fact over a couple of years you can gain, the same shop has a Red dial Michael Shumaker Speedmaster at 1700 - considerably more than it cost new a couple of years' ago.

12-03-2009, 01:44 AM
Updated this review with some new photos. Enjoy (again?) ;)

12-03-2009, 07:28 PM
Great review By-Tor, and great pics! Still one of my favorite watches.

12-11-2009, 03:35 AM
I bought this BNIB on Ebay 7 yrs ago for $435.00....So far, no successful reps have ever emerged...
Omegas are an excellent investment in a genuine piece...And paying 25-30% of genuine pricing for a rep is silly!!:cowboy:

01-06-2010, 03:18 AM
Excellent review! :-)

01-06-2010, 06:58 AM
Thanks for the interest guys.

@frankt: That was a bargain. Cool watch. ;)

01-28-2010, 07:46 AM
awesome review

02-21-2010, 06:29 PM
I think is case by case. For example my gen speedy: there is no rep out there that comes close to the gen (mainly because of its movement.) But for a Bond watch, to me the rep is so very, very close that the 1k price difference is not worth it. Just my 2 cents.

02-21-2010, 06:59 PM
It might look close but it is the feel that makes it worth it. It just has a different feel about it. The bracelet is better, the weight is spot on and everything is flawless.

02-28-2012, 07:04 PM

03-08-2012, 07:25 PM
This is an old thread, but I could read it over and over...love the old school SMP's!

09-14-2012, 06:11 AM
Awesome review! Now time to save up.

09-14-2012, 09:23 AM
Old review, but still valid. I agree!