As if out of thin air, Swiss fake Audemars Piguet dropped a new release on its website today. The Royal Oak is one of the most iconic watch designs of the last 40 some years, and the Royal Oak Chronograph has since carved out a special place of its own in horological lore. This new 18k white gold Royal Oak Chronograph is a limited edition, and it features a light-blue “Grande Tapisserie” dial.
The light, almost powder shade of the blue dial plays nicely against the white gold case and integrated bracelet. There is a contrasting dark blue ring around the outer portion of the dial, as well as around the sub-dials, boosting the overall legibility of the watch. The “Grande Tapisserie” pattern is classic AP, and it continues to look great on this limited edition model. Both the hands and markers are filled with luminous material, and the dial features an anti-reflective coating.
This release is effectively an existing – and well-known – perfect replica watch in the AP catalog, sporting a new dial variation, in a small limited run. That’s it. But that simple fact notwithstanding, I happen to like the way this one looks and would love to see it in the metal. The color scheme of the watch – with the dual shades of blue – invokes a somewhat frosted aesthetic that fits in perfectly with the incoming cool fall and winter weather. I don’t know if that was the intent behind the design, but let’s go with it.
Inside this watch beats the AP selfwinding caliber 2385 featuring an 18k gold oscillating weight, and 40 hours of power reserve. This is an integrated, column-wheel, chronograph mechanism. The best copy watch features the now-iconic integrated Royal Oak bracelet, also in white gold.
A watch like this could be gone just as quickly as it magically appeared. As mentioned at the top, it will be limited to 100 pieces and is available now.
During the pandemic, many have used the time at home to catch up on a recommended TV series or film they may have missed in busier times, or re-watch some comforting favourites. In my seventh or eighth run-through of The West Wing television series, I almost spilled my beer in excitement when I spotted an Omega dress watch on my favourite fictional president (Bartlet 2020?).
This hobby has made watch lovers increasingly aware of what actors are wearing on their wrists. Just the other week I got a message from a buddy asking me what was on Sam Neill’s wrist in Jurassic Park III (an Oris if you were curious). The mark of a true watch enthusiast is when you find yourself rewinding and pausing, even at the risk of annoying your friends and family, to get the perfect screengrab of a watch worn by a character in film/television to post in your watch group — initiating a race among your #watchfam to name the reference spotted on your favourite character. The latest watch spot in pandemic movie night … Brad Pitt’s best fake TAG Heuer in Moneyball.
Moneyball, based on the book ‘Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game’ by Michael Lewis, tells the story of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its calculating general manager, Billy Beane. A struggling Oakland A’s franchise (who had just lost superstar Jason Giambi among others) was revived and rejuvenated by advanced statistics and mathematical probabilities, which at the time was a novel departure from the traditional means of analysis and recruitment in baseball. This critical thinking, brought to the team by the genius mind of Billy Beane, has now become the standard for how teams look for the next generation of talent.
The story of the watch
Fortunately for those wristwatch-curious viewers, Brad Pitt is often wearing a short-sleeve shirt, giving the Swiss fake TAG Heuer on his wrist ample screen time. Thanks to Jeff Stein, founder of OnTheDash and expert on all things TAG Heuer, this was an easy watch to identify. Why? Because he actually helped make it possible for Brad Pitt to wear the watch in the film.
How was the watch chosen for the film? By Brad, of course
According to Jeff, on the first day of filming, the property master for Moneyball presented Brad Pitt with three watches to wear as options for the movie. Two of the watches were from the property master’s own supply and the third was from the wrist of a fellow crew member. Naturally, Brad didn’t go for the prop master selections. It was the crew member’s actual watch that Brad would eventually declare worthy of his wrist; the TAG Heuer Kirium. Cue Jeff Stein. As a known TAG Heuer historian and expert, who even the brand calls on for help and research to this day, Jeff identified the watch for the property master and even sourced the three watches that would be the “back-ups” for Brad.
As Jeff tells it, in the name of continuity (as well as ensuring the crew member got his watch back), the prop master sent a photo of the watch to a production company who contacted TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer then contacted Jeff, as the watch was no longer in production or their catalogue. Jeff identified the watch and proceeded to secure three examples, at approximately $400 – $500 USD a piece. Thus, he irrefutably knows firsthand what the watch on Brad Pitt’s wrist was: the TAG Heuer Kirium WL1113.
The watch details
The quality fake TAG Heuer Kirium WL1113 was produced by TAG Heuer in the late 1990s, as part of its Professional collection. The particular watch worn by Brad Pitt in the film has a midnight blue dial, Mercedes-style hands (most notably found on Rolex sports models), a unidirectional rotating dive bezel, with a classic case build, water resistant up to 200 metres. Outfitted on its factory-integrated stainless steel bracelet, it was a perfect choice for a dive in the ocean or a dive on the (baseball) diamond.
As Jeff explains in the forum post, this watch really suited Brad’s character. A pragmatic man and thinker, working for a struggling MLB team, the Kirium made sense for someone who had a keen eye for value. A reliable and robust timepiece, it was a great match for the film’s protagonist. And while Brad Pitt’s Citizen “Bullhead” Challenge Timer in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was not period correct, this watch was produced in the late ’90s, which means it’s very feasible that it was worn during a film set in the early 2000s.
Most men can relate to four accessories: belts, hats, sunglasses and watches. They are windows into the character and taste of a person. While a conscious or subconscious choice, it can reveal a sense of how a person thinks and chooses to express themselves. It’s arguably why when we watch spot during our favourite films, we rush to identify and source them ourselves. Horology, or at least its consumers, are highly driven by emotion. If we can slap something around our wrist that makes us feel stronger, bolder, tougher, wiser, and with a greater sense of prestige – we will make it happen whenever possible. Fortunately, in this case, if the Kirium watch resonates with you, it won’t take a movie star’s budget to source one of them today – a decade later, they are roughly available for the same price Jeff paid on behalf of the studio.
The Longines Spirit release is a totally new collection this year, something that is already very exciting in and of itself, but also because it’s an entirely new chapter for the brand. Longines, just like many of the finest watchmakers in the world, slowly improve their watches over time and rarely release entirely new collections, making the launch of the Spirit collection something that deserves attention just for its rarity. But beyond this new step from the brand, the Spirit collection is a totally different offering from Longines for a number of reasons. I spoke with Matthieu Baumgartner, the VP of Marketing at Longines, about how this new collection is a first for Longines in a few ways, and where it fits into the brand moving forward, and I came away with six key points you need to know.
1. This is the first Longines collection that blurs the line between old and new
“One of the key challenges behind this collection was blending heritage and contemporary. We wanted to have it distinct from the heritage segment statement of Longines, which is made of re-interpretations of milestones from the archives and the Museum of Longines. Spirit was a different project, because we rather see it as a testimony of the pioneer spirit. It is not a re-interpretation or re-edition of a specific watch from the past, but it encompasses different elements, and it’s a fusion of different aesthetical and technical elements, from watches that were equipping pioneers and innovators in the past.”
“If you look at the crown, we didn’t go for an oversized onion shape, or at least an oversized crown like we have on the Longines Weems Second-Setting watch. That, for example, is very much a pilot’s crown for pilots to use with gloves. Here we went for a slightly oversized yet very contemporary approach.”
“So it’s in these very small details that we made the difference between a re-edition of a watch from the past and a brand new collection that is strongly rooted in Longines history and aesthetic and functional codes of pilot’s and explorer watches and, of course, they did this with the COSC chronometer caliber, which is possibly the highest quality that you can expect today.”
2. If you were going to risk your life in an aircraft in the 1920s, you put your trust in Longines
“This new collection pays tribute to the feats of the pioneers of the past, and it’s not only about what they’ve achieved, but the fact that they have done that with the help of Longines wrist watches or instruments. It was a significant role that the timepiece played in the success of their endeavours back then, and could be the difference between failure and success.”
“The link between Longines and aviation is quite obvious, and we already had re-editions of historical timepieces from that era. We think of the Weems or the Lindbergh, and we were able to get some amazing and sometimes crazy stories about these watches back in the 1920s. For example, we found out that while they were taking the utmost risk to cross an ocean, or to go from point A to point B, or to break the record of being the fastest or the highest, they were placing their trust in Longines watches and instruments. We were so stunned by the level of risk they were ready to take.”
“Longines played a very important role back then as the official supplier of the World Air Sports Federation from 1919 onwards, and we found these stories also really inspiring when it came to the times we live in now. We believe that the pioneer spirit still has a strong meaning. Of course, taking risks is not the same as it was a century ago, but we are strongly convinced that being brave, daring, accepting risks, to sometimes fail but eventually be successful and triumph, they are very much values that are still important and make sense today.”
3. The Spirit collection is rooted in optimism
“With Longines Spirit, we have not only a re-interpretation of a specific quest from the past, but we have a fully new collection that is deeply rooted in Longines history with the pioneers of the skies, the lands and seas. Beyond a watch collection, this is also a new claim that the pioneer dream lives on. That is somehow a bridge between the glorious history of these pilots and pioneers and what we see as the pioneers of today.”
“So the ones who are very daring, brave, and who have the courage to try to uphold dreams even if they don’t succeed the first time, but to sometimes fail and eventually succeed with elegance. That is very much what is behind this new collection.”
4. The quick-change date function on the chronograph was carefully considered
“This is a function of the L688.4 caliber that this chronograph is fitted with, and then there was a question: ‘Shall we hide this function or make it very discreet, or shall we have the proper pusher at 10?’ Eventually, we found out that having this function visible, this quick-set function visible with a pusher — that is screw-down to avoid any accidental or unwanted use — made the watch overall more balanced because you have the chronograph pushers and the crown on the upper end.”
5. Matthieu Baumgartner’s favourite Longines Spirit watch is …
“I have rather small wrists, so I’d rather go for a three-hands date, and when I saw the first sketches and the first prototypes, I very much liked the black dial. But right now I think my favourite is the silver dial on leather strap.”
6. Matthieu Baumgartner’s favourite vintage Longines watch is …
“I would say that like many collectors, I would love to one day find a Longines fitted with a 13ZN movement, in good condition and at a decent price. I think that’s a dream that many collectors and aficionados of Longines have — both for the movement and also just because of how the watch looks, as well as what it means in the history of Longines. That’s probably the one I would dream of.”
Made in partnership with Longines. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.
The Longines Record Collection is an important pillar of the brand today, representing the clean classicism that is embodied by the brand. The Heritage Collection is popular with the vintage enthusiast, just as the Sport Collection is a favourite of the adventurous type, and the Record Collection is designed to be an everyday companion and has a correspondingly universal appeal. The openly spaced and cleanly designed dials, as well as the elegant case designs, make for a watch that can look good in any situation, be it casual or formal. This dynamic nature is seen in the new watch copy Longines Record Australian Limited Edition, which takes that collective DNA and expresses it with luxurious flair.
The stainless steel case of the best watch replica Longines Record Australian Limited Edition measures a well-balanced 38.5mm in diameter, but wears slightly larger thanks to the generously curved lugs. Housed within the steel case is the Longines caliber L888.4, a relatively slim automatic winding movement that keeps the watch sitting sleekly against your wrist. Boasting a full 62 hours of power reserve, the caliber L888.4 is also COSC certified, showing Longines’ commitment to high performance even within their larger families such as the Record Collection.
Offering a frame for the dial against the steel case, the tastefully adorned bezel is set with 52 internally flawless VVS diamonds. Weighing a combined 0.624 carats, the precious stones walk the design tightrope between overly subtle and audacious, catching the eye without being too glitzy. As the eye is drawn to the space that the bezel surrounds, you see the shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial that is peppered with a further 13 diamonds placed as hour markers. The pearlescent dial offers a high-contrast canvas to the blued steel hands that precisely track the hours, minutes and seconds as they pass.
While all of this makes for a beautiful watch, it certainly isn’t the end of the impressive list of features on offer. Upon receipt of the Longines Record Australian Limited Edition, you will receive three different alligator leather straps, dyed purple, white and black. This helpful range of hues can be swapped to match an outfit, or to whatever the feeling of the day might be. All of the straps can be changed easily without tools, thanks to Longines’ simple adjustment mechanism that can be activated from the rear of each strap.
The perfect watch fake Longines Record Australian Limited Edition is very much a watch to be worn every day. From the practicality of the date window and the COSC certified movement to the range of strap offerings, this watch seeks to expose the almost universally appropriate design of the Record Collection that is so clearly on display in this watch. It is a watch that can be dressed up or down, but maintains its identity as a luxurious and sophisticated timepiece that expresses an understated confidence.