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Tribute to my favorite replica watch, Seamaster Chronograph


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I have owned this watch since 2006 but never made a proper review of it. Toadtorrent actually covered everything in his comprehensive SMP Chrono review. Can't match that but I wanted to make a small review in "my way", which is short and simple.


The reason why I decided to compose this together is that there was an amazing RWG member gesture.
SMP Chrono is my favorite replica watch and I got mine from legendary Eddie Lee back in 2006, when this model initially came out. What's special about my watch is that it has perfect ETA datewheel, OTB. These are pretty rare birds these days. The new model (the one with red Seamaster lettering) is still very nice but not quite as accurate as this "old school" version. Here is a thread that discusses the differences.


First I sourced a pin-version "old school" bracelet from a German member. The old Seamaster non-chrono replicas had that. Actually I bought it almost three years ago but installed it onto my watch just recently. Not that there was anything wrong with the original rep chrono bracelet, the screws never bothered me one bit but actually the old SMP bracelets were in much better quality and are 95% like the gen. I know, because I also own the gen non-chronograph version.


The rep insert always bothered me. Not only it was misaligned but the pearl and actual insert color were a bit off. It's quite amazing how anal we get about these things as the years go by. So I wanted a gen insert. I once asked a forum friend (who has access to gen Rolex and Omega parts) how much would a gen insert set me back for. Turned out that it was impossible to source just the insert, you had to buy the whole bezel which was something in $280 range. That's insane considering you can buy these watches preowned for $1.3K.



So here comes the amazing part:
I casually posted to one of our daily wrist check threads and mentioned how much I love this rep... and how amazing it would be to get a gen insert for it. Well I got a PM from a member "Metaljesus" who offered to send me his spare. For free, because my reviews have helped him. That was pretty amazing gesture. I don't remember what I answered. Probably along the lines of "Hey man, this is WAYYY too much...." "...but I'll take it anyway." 
The gen insert snaps in there like a glove (as Jim Carrey would say). Says quite a lot about the accuracy of these forgeries, no? Of course a bit of glue to all 4 corners was needed to keep it tightly in place.





As you can see the gen insert is a bit lighter and has a "navy blue" tone. I swear, rep factories never, ever get the blue color tone correct. Not that the color difference matters a lot but it's still amazing. Someone in the rep factory production line really loves that violet tone in blue. ALWAYS too violet/purple, no matter what watch brand it is... dial, strap or even insert... sheesh.
One of the most common misunderstandings regarding the SMP Chrono is the HE valve position. It's positioned a bit higher on the standard Bond SMP, but the chronograph version has it exactly at '10. It's perfectly positioned on the rep.




There is one word to describe the old version rep dial: Superb. The texture is very apparent and gen-like. I wish the non-chrono reps had that. Even the crown screws in deep and nice (notice that this old photo still has the rep insert installed).

Old gen version doesn't have any AR coating but Lanikai decided to double AR coat his old school Seamaster. Here is his spectacular photo of this spectacular rep. Nicer than gen without a doubt.




You know what's funny: Receiving this gift was actually nicer than receiving a completely new rep. It's my long time favorite watch (and rep) and a permanent keeper for me. I always felt that this old version SMP Chrono was a bit overlooked model. Maybe it was shadowed by the amazing TAG Link Chronograph release (both were released almost simultaneously). With gen insert, ETA wheel and and pin-version bracelet it's almost impossible to tell from the gen. Even without mods it's quite damn good.

Now I can finally enjoy this amazing rep fully. My long time plan is to get gens of all my favorites. It doesn't apply to this watch though... the rep with these mods is just way too good to justify that. With only 1 gen part installed it's quite a "franken". It took me almost four years to get this one "done" but now I can enjoy it more than ever.

I want to thank my friend Metaljesus again for this amazing gesture. If you need any help, never hesitate to throw me a PM.



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BT, thanks for all the work you put into this! It's an amazing read about an amazing watch. And I always love those stories about people helping out. Lifts the heart. :)

Your junior looks very much gen to me, though! :lol: Funny how those little kids look wise. Maybe they are?


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nice by-tor, im happy to see your favorite watch is even more your favorite with the gen dial :) i love this watch too, and its a realy rare watch too :thumbsupsmileyanim: but when i see the owners, you or lani....im happy to see them in so good hands :)

i will never get one, but too see this awsome watch in god hands, makes me feel good :thumbsupsmileyanim:

wear it well D

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Your junior looks very much gen to me, though! :lol: Funny how those little kids look wise. Maybe they are?

Thanks man.

Oh yeah, they ARE wise. Actually kids are much wiser than grown-ups. That's why they learn everything super fast. There is scientific data behind that as well... we have most brain cells when we born. Those braincells reduce every day. You can even see the pattern here. Most members come here for nice watches but eventually find themselves buying Panerais, etc. :D Experience helps a little though.

@Mickey: Yeah I remember that... such a great piece.

@deniz: Not a gen dial, just gen insert.

@red: Thanks man!

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  • 2 weeks later...

You are right about it being a keeper BT. I picked mine up for almost nothing from a local member a few years back. I don't wear it a lot, but every time I put it on I am amazed by the accuracy. Undoubtedly the best built watch in my collection!

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You know, after concentrating more on the gens lately, very few reps manage to impress me anymore. Many times it's those tiny little details that start to bother you. On Fish it was the dial, on SMP Chrono it was definitely the pearl. The gen pearl has very characteristic appearance.

Actually it started to bother me more after I got my gen (non-chrono) Bond Seamaster. It's just different, and every time you look at the watch you can't help but notice it. The gen insert "perfected" this watch, imho. Of course the watch is not 100% accurate but it doesn't have any apparent flaws anymore.

This is truly under appreciated super rep. It's actually crazy that it didn't sell more than it did... it's MUCH better replication than the best non-chrono SMPs.

Maybe it's partly because the gen isn't that expensive. Actually I quoted a bit too low price tag for the preowned ones but I guess you can find a good one for $1.5K.

Whenever I put this watch on, I'm impressed. When I compare it to my gen Bond SMP there aren't many details to tell a rep from the gen ("feel" wise). It's way more fascinating than my gens because it's a China-made forgery. How amazing is that? It's even more amazing that some people still believe that reps of this quality are composed in dark basements by 10-year old kids.

Thanks for the interest guys. And thanks again MJ, it was an amazing gesture which I won't forget. :)

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  • 6 months later...
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Great review as always BT! Thanks for the new pics and congrats on the new insert! Gotta love this community!!! :thumbsupsmileyanim:


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Enjoy By-Tor ;)

Glad I could help out.

You are a great guy and this is a great community.

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