Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna Replica Watches Review

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Seiko dive replica watches are known as being some of the best, most reliable divers out there, and it is for due cause. The SKX line (commonly known as the “monster”) and the watch I’m reviewing today – the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 “Spring Drive Tuna” are a couple of the most well-known dive replica watches out there, period.

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To put 600 meters into perspective, consider the recreational limit for scuba diving — a veritable “kiddie pool” at a paltry 30 meters. Then consider Ahmed Gabr’s world record scuba dive to 332 meters in 2014, marking the deepest a man has ever been with tanks strapped to his back. All depths considered, the 600 meter water resistance of the 6159-7010 (better known as Seiko’s “godfather” Tuna) is pretty damned deep, far beyond the depths where humans were ever intended to go without the assistance of submersibles. Nowadays, we have “deep diver” replica watches that go a whole hell of a lot deeper, but building a professional-grade dive watch that could survive that kind of pressure in 1975 was a pretty incredible feat of engineering. (That’s probably why it took Seiko a full decade to introduce the Tuna, after breaking into the dive watch market in 1965 with the legendary 6217 150m diver.)

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Based on direct feedback from professional divers, it’s the uniqueness of that engineering which drives the quirky design language of the Tuna; namely its distinctive, can-shaped shroud, designed to repel side impacts and protect the watch’s case, crown, and bezel at crushing depths, and inherently lending the watch its nickname.

So, in keeping with the traditions of the godfather, we have the fully realized Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 (aka: the “Spring Drive Tuna”); a 600m titanium dive replica watch at the apex of four decades of dive watch tradition. Granted, it shares the same depth maximum as other “mainstream” luxury divers like the Planet Ocean from Omega. However, what sets the Tuna apart is a healthy dose of classic Japanese tinkering and innovation, and a ballsy experiment conducted earlier this year when Seiko strapped two of its Tuna models (the automatic SBDX011 and the quartz-powered SBBN013, respectively) to the exterior of a special submersible for a joyride off the Asian continental shelf (see above video).

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The purpose? Dive until they stopped working. And “stop working” they both did — the quartz at 3,000 meters (nearly 10,000 feet) and the automatic at a staggering 4299 meters — four times beyond the watch’s claimed depth rating. The aim was not to measure failure, but to inspire confidence that the engineering in Seiko’s Prospex series is capable of feats well beyond what’s advertised on the dial.

Largely unchanged in spirit from its grandfather 6159, the ultra-modern Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna rules the roost across some 40 years of Seiko’s shrouded Tuna editions. [For those wondering, the recently released SBDB013 North America edition is identical to the 009 being reviewed, save for the model number and the “X” etched in the crown, delineating its entry to the Prospex collection.]

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And while this Tuna doesn’t carry the deepest depth rating — that honor belongs to the 1000 meter options like the quartz-powered SBBN013 – rest assured it’s still the cream of the crop, featuring a “high intensity” titanium inner and outer case, anti-glare treated sapphire glass, Seiko’s spellbindingly smooth 5R65 Spring Drive movement, and a few other modern embellishments we’ll visit in a moment.

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To fully appreciate the Tuna, one must look past its well-fed exterior and embrace it for adhering to the traditions of purpose-built utility. Yes, it’s ugly. But no detail here is superfluous, including the polarizing case shroud — a distinct engineering solution demanded by commercial divers in the late sixties. And when you examine the Tuna as the sum of its cleverly engineered parts, you’ll discover what makes the watch so damned endearing: its character.

But arguably, the best part of this particular Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna comes from within — the 5R65 is mechanically identical to the 9R65, though it’s fitted to this fake watch without much of the ultra high-end hand finishing signature to everything that comes out of Grand Seiko’s Morioka studio (which is where this watch is built), and is accurate to within 15 seconds per month.

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How? Well, think of Spring Drive as sort of a hybrid automatic movement, which takes the best of both quartz and mechanical movement worlds to achieve its insane accuracy, lengthy 72-hour power reserve, and that signature stutter-free sweeping seconds hand. Now, movement purists or retro grouches might want to tune out here, but Seiko accomplishes this by removing all the regulating elements from what would otherwise be in an automatic movement and replaces them with a single regulator, which takes kinetic energy drawn from the mainspring and turns it into electrical energy, which in turn keeps the quartz crystal continually charged. Think of it almost like a pedal-assist bicycle, jumping to life at the slightest movement and running smoothly for great lengths on end, though virtually indistinguishable from the outside.

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At first glance, everything about the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna appears pretty standard in the realm of dive replica watches. Matte-black dial, high-contrast circular luminous indices, broad arrow/sword handset, and a traditional 120-click diver’s bezel. But like any great Seiko, the sum of its parts is most often appreciated with a second (or third) glance, or under the scrutiny of a loupe.

Perhaps the three most impressive elements in the watch’s execution are all part of its finishing, starting with that inky, “Black Ion” DLC coating. Vertically brushed on the outer walls of the shroud, and polished to a mirror along the cutouts and topmost ridge, it’s astonishing to find this much contrast and texture in what is basically an entirely black replica watch. The bezel insert is also polished to a mirrored sheen, providing an additional layer of texture and contrast to top it all off. The Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna is visually stunning — an exercise in very sharp, measured contrasts, which many will appreciate. Granted, it’s hardly menacing, but it’s a layer of finishing complexity that’s rarely seen in just the color black.

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The dial and hands on the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna have largely escaped major changes since the watch’s introduction 40 years ago. For longtime Tuna fans, the most recent changes to a bold arrow hour hand and a sword minute hand haven’t been met with universal appreciation, though it could be argued that the aesthetic found in the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna revision is a little cleaner and more modern, with fewer shapes and intersecting lines competing for attention on the dial. Beyond that, many of the watch’s core signatures remain intact, including its brilliant luminosity. Seiko has stated the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna is using a new proprietary formula of LumiBrite, yielding brighter and longer burn times — an awfully impressive claim, especially considering the brightness of previous generation Seiko divers.

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The dial itself is laid out nicely, starting with a steeply sloped chapter ring which terminates in a flat rehaut wherein each generously filled hour marker is painted. As awesome as this looks, applied indices on matte black or matching DLC posts would add a greater degree of depth and take this dial to the next level. The applied “Seiko” wordmark at 12:00 is also great touch, nicely contrasting the printed text at 6:00. It’s worth mentioning that four lines of text can be too much, but when watch-specific terminology is kept brief, and multiple fonts and sizes are used, it’s a pleasure to behold. Not naming names here, but a number of *ahem* Swiss brands could greatly benefit from a lesson in typography.

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At 9:00, you’ll find another signature of the Spring Drive movement within: the power reserve. Love it or hate it, the indicator actually proves quite useful with a diver, while providing real-time feedback that the Spring Drive movement is something entirely different from a traditional automatic movement. With the gauge at front and center, you’ll notice how ridiculously efficient the movement really is — from quickly winding up to full juice, to slowly meting out its 72 hours of reserve power (more than enough to allow it to lay dormant for a long weekend), this is a watch that rarely takes a break — even when you do, it takes a great deal of effort to get it to stop running.

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Fans demanding more of a tactile experience with their replica watches uk will appreciate the 120-click, uni-directional bezel, which glides around the inner perimeter of the protective shroud with extremely smooth, satisfying precision. Gripping the deep ridges at 2:00 and 8:00 between the protective shroud’s cutout with even wet fingers is hardly an issue, and rotating the bezel still feels as though you’re turning the dial on a finely tuned combination lock to open a vault. The bezel’s glossy ceramic inlay is capped at 12:00 with an intensely luminous triangle that perfectly matches the tone and brightness of the lume within the dial itself.

Obviously, the shrouded case design will always be the Tuna’s most polarizing element in terms of both size and wearability, but it’s ultimately what makes the watch such a conversation piece, and a joy to wear.

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The shroud is also guilty of greatly increasing the watch’s measurements on paper, however, the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna is unique in that it wears significantly smaller — and lighter (thanks to that titanium construction) than its intimidating 50mm (excluding the crown) case measurements belie. The dial and bezel together are only 41mm wide, but even more important, is how the strap is fixed to the lower flange on the shroud, rather than to lugs on the case itself (like the 1000 meter Tunas). This clever “lugless” design (measuring a reasonable 46mm from bar to bar) prevents the strap from being pinched outward at the wrist, enabling the watch to sit naturally flush, and more comfortably against the wrist. The 18mm thickness will probably be a hangup for some, but if you’re interested in wearing a Tuna with a suit or sleeved shirt, you’ll quickly find that Seiko makes no apologies for a watch whose dimensions have changed little since its commercial diving days in the ’70s.

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The included silicone/rubber B-22 strap might appear familiar for those with bad memories of Seiko’s stock Z-22 strap (a painfully stiff rubber OEM strap included on many Seiko divers), however, the strap is yet another upgrade Seiko has made to the Prospex line. Super pliable, breathable, and – most importantly — comfortable, the strap finally feels worthy of the watch it is attached to — something many Seiko fans haven’t been able to say for quite some time.

However, as great as this strap is, you’ll inevitably want to enjoy the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna’s impressive versatility on a wide variety of straps, but to do this, you’ll have to first do battle with the fat, shoulderless springbars that the watch ships with. And if you’ve ever tried removing shoulderless bars without drilled lugs, it’s a process only slightly easier than removing one’s own appendix. In fact, I’d probably rather give myself an appendectomy using only a springbar tool, than have to change these damn things again. Thankfully, a quick trip on “the Bay” revealed a bevy of double-flanged options in both wide and standard diameters, ensuring the pain of this procedure was a one-time affair.

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Even with its pseudo-luxury trappings, the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna will never be an everyday watch, or the starring role in a “one-watch” collection (if there even is such a thing), as it lacks the versatility of other classic deep divers like the Sea Dweller, Planet Ocean, or the Sub from DOXA. However, it more than makes up for this shortcoming by doubling down on personality that’s as much fun to look at and wear as it is to talk about. It’s sort of like a Mercedes G-Wagon: always a little out of place, but never unwelcome — unless, of course, you plan on taking it directly into the context it was actually designed for.

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But context aside, there’s one more thing about the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna that no amount of reading or photo-ogling will prepare you for: this watch is black. Very black. Make no mistake — it’s not black in a stealthy, “tactical pedestrian” sort of way, nor does it make any attempt to fly under the radar; it’s black in a sinister, soul-stealing sort of way — one whose sharp contrasts and mirrored finish give off such impressive depth, it draws the eyes in and threatens to swallow up anyone who stares a little too long. With a price of $160, the Seiko Marinemaster SBDB009 Spring Drive Tuna watch has a lot to offer potential buyers.

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Tudor Pelagos 25600 TB Titanium Dive Replica Watches Review

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What do you do when Tudor updates their most hardcore dive replica watch? You go diving. Following the Baselworld 2015 announcement of the refreshed Tudor Pelagos 25600, the only way I could expand upon Ariel’s review of the original Pelagos was to try the new model in its element. With a brilliant blue Pelagos 25600 TB on wrist, I escaped Vancouver’s tiresome mix of cold and rainy for the warm embrace of Pacific Mexico’s Bahía de Banderas.

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Bobbing up and down in the warm pacific surf, our tiny dive boat looked even smaller as it maneuvered towards our ragtag band of vacationing divers. Due to the lack of a functioning dock, we had been ferried to the rental skiff via jet ski, meaning we were limited to essential gear only for two leisurely dives at Malinal, a large rock passage in a wide bay near Punta Mita, Mexico.

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While tropical diving doesn’t require a vast amount of gear, the necessary fittings are designed exclusively for use underwater. Wearing dive gear on the surface is cumbersome, heavy and far from sartorial. The one exception, as you might have predicted, is the dive replica watch. Designed to seamlessly transition from the office to the pool to the sunken hull of a long forgotten ship, a good dive watch is a cut above standard dive gear.

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As I hung on the surface, held aloft by my BCD, my hands preoccupied fiddling with my camera, the bright sunlight reflected off the calm surf, casting wild crystalline rays of light across the rich blue dial of the Tudor Pelagos on my wrist. While it would be easy to say that few swiss replica watches looked more at home half submerged in the Pacific, that doesn’t capture the true nature of the Tudor Pelagos. This watch always feels at home; its capable and focused design lends an air of unflappability; the Tudor Pelagos never seems out of its depth.

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Tudor originally launched the Tudor Pelagos in 2012 with a black dial and an ETA 2824. At Baselworld 2015, they announced the updated Tudor Pelagos, available in black (25600TN) and blue (25600TB). Along with the new color option, Tudor also fitted their popular tool replica watches with a new manufacture movement – the MT5612. We covered all of the details at launch, but in brief, the MT5612 is an in-house automatic movement providing time and date at 4Hz, with 26 jewels, and a 70 hour power reserve. Differentiating a 2012 black Tudor Pelagos vs the 2015 is easy: the 2012 has two lines of text above six o’clock, while the 2015 has a a much more noticeable five lines. While it’s definitely a lot of text, and I prefer the look of the “two liners,” I quickly got used to the additional prose, and after a short time, I barely noticed it.

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Apart from the blue option and the MT5612, the Tudor Pelagos sticks with the winning design of the original, using a 42mm titanium case that is 14.3mm thick and 50mm lug to lug. The Tudor Pelagos includes two mounting options, an excellent titanium bracelet, and a supremely easy-wearing rubber strap. I wore both extensively, and I’m sure that if I had a Tudor Pelagos to call my own, I’d alternate between the two with frequency: both are great.

The bracelet looks perfect and is nicely integrated with the case via solid end links that are also used to mount the rubber strap. Thankfully, the bracelet uses single-sided, screwed end links, so removing links requires just a single fine screw driver. Once you have the bracelet close to size, the Tudor Pelagos’ remarkable clasp comes into play.

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The Tudor Pelagos (both 2012 and 2015) features a trick clasp that allows you to select one of three micro positions without the use of a tool. There is also a spring-loaded setting that allows for automatic adjustment while wearing the Tudor Pelagos on a wetsuit sleeve which will compress at depth. Finally, there is a discreet folding dive extension that will allow use with thicker wetsuits. If you want to see the a more visual explanation, check out the included video.

For traveling to Mexico, I opted to mount the included blue rubber strap. After removing the bracelet, you simply mount the strap into the bracelet’s end links for a simple and very comfortable connection with the Tudor Pelagos’ case. The water was warm enough that I didn’t require a wetsuit with sleeves, so the Tudor Pelagos required no adjustment for diving. Were I diving back home in the colder waters around Vancouver, I would use the included extension strap, which would allow me to wear the Tudor Pelagos over my bulky drysuit.

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The two mounting options may provide a different look and feel, but both offer a comfortable and effective way of wearing the Tudor Pelagos, even when diving. One word of caution: if you plan to get a Tudor Pelagos, I’d recommend buying spring bar pliers rather than relying on the normal one-sided spring bar tool or screwdriver to remove/mount straps. The tolerances and tool accesses are quite tight, and a proper tool will prevent scratches and difficulty when changing straps.

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A true dive watch, especially those that have toolish aspirations, require a capable bezel design and ample luminous treatment for low-light conditions. Far from disappointing on either front, the Tudor Pelagos’ bezel is as good as any I’ve ever dove with, the edge is slightly wider than the case and features a grippy coin edge for a positive grip in any condition. The action is light, clicky, exact, and without any wiggle, allowing you to hit your mark with ease. Finished with a luminous ceramic insert, the Tudor Pelagos’ bezel is simply outstanding.

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Thanks to a high contrast design, a flat anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and plenty of lume, the Pelagos offers excellent legibility in any condition. The luminous treatment is surprisingly even across the hands, markers, and bezel, and it charges quickly and returns a bright strong blue with remarkable longevity. If you’re used to divers from Seiko or current-gen Rolex, you won’t be let down.

Aside from maybe a suit-and-tie environment, I can’t imagine any place where the Tudor Pelagos won’t fit in. Despite its tool-derived look, the Tudor Pelagos’ extensive use of titanium makes it quite light on wrist, at just 106g on the rubber strap and 142g with the titanium bracelet sized to my 6.5-7-inch wrist.

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As is common to modern Tudor replica watches, the Tudor Pelagos does not forget its lineage. While the aesthetic may by less romantic and less referential than that of the Black Bay, we still see Tudor’s distinctive snowflake hour hand.

The Tudor Pelagos, as has become requisite for almost all serious dive watches since the Rolex Sea-Dweller, features an automatic helium escape valve (HEV) on the nine o’clock case side. This is perhaps the only aspect of the Tudor Pelagos I would change, as I think the fascination with HEVs on “professional” dive replica watches is entirely inflated and often rooted in a misunderstanding of the valves base function. In short, an HEV makes a watch better suited to the incredibly niche needs of a saturation diver. It does not improve water resistance or make it a better watch for the act of diving. If you don’t live in a helium saturated environment for days on end, you don’t need an HEV.

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The Tudor Pelagos’ titanium case and bracelet are treated to a lovely satin finish and the warm tone of the metal works really well with the rich blues of the dial and bezel. Furthermore, the case and bracelet are beautifully finished for a sport replica watch at this price point, with crisp undersides, beveled lugs, and a focus on fine details like the grip on the bezel. Being a titanium sport watch, you have to be okay with scratches, as titanium is softer than steel. In the few weeks I wore the Tudor Pelagos, I found it to be a magnet for small scratches, especially on the bracelet. I like a watch with some wear, and I think scratches are all part of the experience when you buy a tool watch. If you like your replica watches to remain pristine, titanium may not be the best choice.

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On wrist, the Tudor is comfortable both in terms of ergonomics and capability. The Tudor Pelagos exudes the sort of confidence I would normally attribute to a product of singular use that just happens to be experienced in its element. So while my regulator is great when I need to breathe underwater, the Tudor Pelagos is basically great all the time. It has all the hallmarks of a tool diver, but it has been designed to be as wearable, casual, and approachable as possible. With such a potent mix of legibility, performance, and comfort, the Pelagos is one of the best true sport replica watches on the market today.

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Competition is a crucial factor at any price, but when you’re spending luxury dollars, it’s even more important to know how everything stacks up. For the current version of the Tudor Pelagos, competition is fairly slim because Tudor’s inclusion of an in-house movement is a considerable upgrade in cache over the ETA-powered version from 2012. Furthermore, when the Tudor Pelagos was upgraded, its list price jumped a mere $75, which is unheard of in this space. Don’t forget that the asking price includes both the titanium bracelet and the rubber strap where some more costly competition would cost extra to add rubber (if an OEM option even exists, Rolex), or even more if the bracelet isn’t included in the base spec.

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Even if you pick a solid peer from a strong competitor like Sinn, such as the T2 on the titanium bracelet, you’re looking at $306 USD. For about $130 less than the Tudor Pelagos, you get a comparable package but the movement is not in-house (the Sinn uses the well-regarded Soprod A10-2, a competitor for ETA’s 289X movements). Add in the T2’s rubber strap, and you’re looking at $150+. For the extra cash, the Pelagos offers an in-house movement and exceedingly impressive auto adjusting clasp for the bracelet. Is the Sinn a bad deal? Not a chance, but Tudor has been aggressive in their pricing of the Pelagos, despite a rather limited field of direct competition.

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I wore the Pelagos while traveling, diving, sitting by the pool, and running everyday errands. Regardless of what you throw at it, the adaptable and confident Tudor Pelagos begs to be worn, offers a seriously compelling argument for your hard-earned cash, and is easily one of the best dive replica watches I’ve ever reviewed. At a price of $140, I think Tudor has hit the mark.

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Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec Skeleton Replica Watches

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This is how Chopard does an elegant and skeletonized version of their dressy L.U.C XP automatic two-hand watch – and it’s got a modern kick to it. For the most part, if someone told you that Chopard came out with a skeletonized L.U.C XP timepiece, you’d assume it was traditional and classy given its status as an “ultra thin” formal watch. While the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec (yes) is most certainly a classy timepiece, it also takes inspiration from Chopard sport replica watches.

When Chopard debuted their more volume in-house-made movements for timepieces in their Classic Racing collection (that includes product families such as the Mille Miglia and Superfast), they introduced a finishing and light skeletonization technique meant to evoke the look of car engines. Here, in the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec, we have something slightly different in design, but the repeating parallel lines in the skeletonization are clearly borne of the same design DNA.

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Inside the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec is the in-house-made caliber L.U.C 96.17-S automatic movement which I am guessing will look beautiful in this watch. I, for one, am a big fan of mixing black or dark gray tones with gold and brass. Just as I like, the major colors of the movement are black and gold – and all the more so with the 22k gold micro-rotor contrasting against the anthracite/slate gray finishing of the skeletonized movement bridges when viewed from the rear.

The 96.17-S is pretty thin at just 3.30mm thick and it operates at 4Hz with 65 hours of power reserve between two barrels. Along with being attractive and finely made, Chopard replica should be given credit for producing a movement with modern performance standards in mind. Again, how many very thin movements such as this can you name with stacked mainspring barrels? I can’t personally think of any others off the top of my mind.

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The rear of the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec is actually one of its best views, offering both visual interest and a lot of movement with the automatic rotor and regulation system. It’s this profile that allows for an overall case thickness of 7.13mm. At 39.5mm wide, the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec is offered in 18k rose gold with a slate-colored outer dial which is meant to more or less match the finishing of the dial. This chapter ring-style outer dial is set with applied hour markers offering mostly full legibility for this skeletonized timepiece model. As a limited edition, if successful, I can easily see Chopard offering the Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec in additional variations in the future.

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I am still trying to determine the meaning of “Skeletec,” as I am not immediately aware of any special technology that the skeletonization adds or requires in this replica watch. With that said, Chopard is able to grab a bit of extra attention with the slick name that sounds like where Skeletor enjoyed his undergraduate years. If anything, Chopard is able to capture a more “technical” versus “traditional” experience with this particular skeletonization style that mixes pure industrial lines with Swiss-watchmaking polishing and finishing in a unique style we haven’t quite seen before.

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The Chopard L.U.C XP remains one of my all-time favorite dress watches because of its simple two-dauphine-hand dial, gorgeous design restraint, and useful automatic movement. The Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec simply adds another level of flavor to the impressive collection of extremely formal replica watches uk – especially if you are in the mood to look handsome but also show off a bit of the movement’s more private parts. More so, the skeletonization decoration style here adds a touch more visceral masculinity to the core L.U.C XP design which will no doubt appeal to some consumers.

Chopard will offer the replica Chopard L.U.C XP Skeletec as a limited edition of 288 pieces with a price of $220.

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