Collecting replica watches online can get complicated. It only gets worse when looking at models with a long lineage and multiple updates. The longer time passes, things like service/Franken parts, fakes, and DIY jobs can find their way into a specific reference you’re after. And it only gets foggier if the brand you’re dealing with has a century-old history.
When it comes to references and variants, there are few that can match the esoteric nature of best replica Rolex and its fake Submariner. Rolex is not only the most customized and faked watch brand but its actual watches have gone through so many tweaks throughout the years that it has given rise to exclusive naming within the replica watch scommunity for certain references. You really start going down the rabbit hole when you factor in outsourced movements, supplier changes, dial fonts, and even how for example, there was this small window in production where the recipe for UV protection (lack of) and lacquer composition somehow starting birthing a generation of discolored dials and bezels.
While not so much a guide for the collector that’s already bought them all, new replica watch enthusiasts that are looking to dive deeper into the world of Rolex will want to check out some of these earlier references as sort of the progenitors of some to the modern fake Rolex watches that are quickly appreciating in today’s market. Heck, you may even find some of these pieces whimsical and interesting. We are again joined by Paul Altieri of Bob’s Watches to go through some of the variations and jargon that’s present in his collection of vintage best Rolex copy watches.
Let’s start with the Rolex 6200 pictured above. Known as the “Big Crown,” this Swiss replica watch is a legend in vintage perfect Rolex collecting circles. This incredible example, from Paul Altieri’s private collection, dates back to 1956 and is considered by many Rolex fans to be the ultimate grail clone watch. This rare replica watch is also notable because of its rare 3, 6, 9 dial and no hash bezel. What is even more unique about this fake watch is what it is missing. In addition to the lack of the traditional “Submariner” label at the bottom of the dial, this early model did not come with any crown guards. This replica watch sale was also the first sub to have Mercedes-style hands and sees “BREVET” on the crown just under the coronet.
Replica Rolex 6538/6 “Red Depth”
Another rare vintage replica Rolex Submariner worth taking a look at is the reference 6538/6. If this fake watch looks familiar to you, it is because it shares a lot of similarities with the $1 million USD dollar fake Submariner that sold at Christie’s. This AAA quality Rolex replica watch is a little different for a few reasons. First, this replica watch features a depth rating of 100m/300f instead of the 200m/660f like the one from Christie’s (and Sean Connery in Dr. No). Additionally, the bezel on the 6538/6 is actually present on this replica watch and the patina on the hands and hour markers match perfectly. And, although this cheap fake watch shares the same lack of crown guards as the 6200 model mentioned above, this reference has a significantly smaller crown.
Rolex 6538 “Gilt + Faded Bezel” Fakes
Remember the replica watch that sold at Christie’s for $1.1 million USD? It was a beat-up vintage 6538 with an amazing backstory. Considering that the fake watch sold at Christie’s has been through the wringer, this replica watch online above is in pristine condition. The first thing that catches your eye is the faded bezel with hash marks. The bezel has faded from a solid black color to an almost plum or wine purple. The next things your eyes should wander towards are the gilt letters on the replica Submariner. Gilt dials were one of the first types from AAA replica Rolex. They are known for their warmer golden-colored markings which look antique against the gloss-black surface. The word “Submariner” is also written in gold, and the replica watch has a beautiful creamy patina.
Rolex Submariner 5512 “Square Crown Guards” Super Clones
The Swiss Vintage replica Rolex Submariner ref. 5512 with square crown guards is without a doubt on any collector’s wish list. To date, there are only a dozen or so known to still exist so finding one won’t be easy. When square crown guards were first introduced in the early ’60s, customers complained about how clumsy they were and how they made it difficult to wind the crown. So what did replica Rolex do? It redesigned the newer production models with pointed crown guards to make it easier to change the time. Between the boxy crown guards and the gilt lettering featured on this ultra-rare imitation Submariner, this Swiss made fake watch is something even the most discerning of collectors would love to own.
Rolex 5513 “Tiffany & Co. + Maxi” Replicas
What many people don’t know is that Rolex and Tiffany & Co. have a fair amount of history together. On this replica watch, you’ll notice the co-branded signage on the dial. What makes this fake watch even more remarkable is the “Maxi I Dial.” The “Maxi Dial” refers to the large lume plots you see featured on this fake watch. Initially produced from 1962 up until 1990, the replica Submariner 5513 is the quintessential Rolex dive replica watch. Since these 1:1 replica watches are no longer in production, they are obviously only available in the used Rolex market. Because the 5513 was in production for so long, this replica watch is especially susceptible to replication and forgery.