hen it comes to the world of luxury watches there are no shortage of options, provided you have a hefty budget. While some brands are more affordable than others, there are some models that are simply unattainable for the average consumer.
With that said, there are of course more budget-friendly options for those who are looking for a timepiece that looks the part, without having an expensive in-house movement with all the bells and whistles that still serves the basic function of telling time.
Richard Mille/Hublot Big Bang Sapphire Homage
For those who are not hung up on buying an authentic watch, the replica/homage market is absolutely massive and could be a viable option for those people looking to get their hands on their dream watch without having to pay the full price. When people think of replica/homage watches they often think of terribly executed knock-offs, ones with spelling errors or hands that fall off the dial. However, like any other product out there, there are different grades of quality available.
Take for instance this “Richard Mille/Hublot Big Bang ” sapphire case replica that can be found on AliExpress. Now, if you were the type of person who knows nothing about watches you couldn’t care less that it’s not authentic. However, when you learn the authentic version of this watch costs an eye-watering $79,000 USD, the more than affordable homage version seems at the very least approachable at a whopping $26 USD.
This particular watch has a tonneau (barrel-shaped) case which originated from the well-known brand Cartier. Since then many watchmakers have adopted the case style and even created them out of novel materials like, you guessed it, sapphire. The Onola watch featured in the video above is made of clear acrylic which means you can have the same look without the massive cost. In addition to that, you won't be devastated if you happen to knock this watch on something accidentally.
For $26 USD a watch buyer needs to keep their expectations realistic to the price paid. Does this watch tell the time? Yes. Does it look like a more expensive watch that does the same thing? Yes. However, upon close inspection, there are a few quirks.
The skeleton of the movement is unmistakably artificial and the date function, while appearing to be functional, actually doesn’t work whatsoever. In addition to that, the chronograph functions of the watch are out of sync and don’t operate in parallel as a real chronograph function does.
If you are a baller on a budget and looking for a watch that, from afar looks expensive, this could be the watch for you. Just make sure those prying eyes don’t get too close!