Jump to content
panerai153

AP FC Gen to Rep comparison

Recommended Posts

Not much discussion on the FC's any more, but this one continues to be in a close race with my SS Diver for most worn AP in my collection. The watch is light, comfortable and looks good. It is a really nice rep, right out the box, but like all reps, a little "Tweeking" always makes them better!  The only thing that I did to this watch was first and ill fated slow beat conversion, and then I had misiekped replace it with a Seagull ST2130 movement, not slow beat but very relievable. This is not a review, but actually  questions. Comparing a genuine AP FC to my V3 version, I see a couple of things that could be done to really "tidy up" the watch and make it a little better. What do you AP experts see?

First off, The hour hand lume needs to be whiter, I cannot understand why they didn't match the other hands and the indices. In low light conditions, the hand almost disappears. The second thing is the Cyclops AR and mag, I don't believe it is as good as the gen. The fonts on the DW aren't correct, the serifs on the " 1's " are not as prominent on my DW, however the biggest problem is the numbers seem to be lower and they seem to be not as well magnified. Actually to me, it's not just a question of accuracy, but a problem with reading the date at times.

Here is a photo of the gen (top) and my V3. I tried to get the sizes pretty close to the same, for the sake of comparison. Any comments, suggestions would be helpful, not only to me but to others who have this watch and may be interested in making theirs better.

IMG_0869a.thumb.jpg.5e138eaef5103af854b1IMG_2927a.thumb.jpg.3af9009cd6ed63290c02

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by panerai153

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is and additional close up photo of the hour hand next to one of the hour indices. Very obvious color difference between the two. The hour hand Lume is definitely too grey

4964ffb076675bb6d8de9c8ebadc1973.jpg

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest tell for me in the forged carbon series and in most AP rep's is the detailing exhibited on the tapestry dial. On the FC you can see a definitive carbon-fiber cross-thatching in the genuine dial. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well summarized A. 

In general, the diver series are well repped, even taking into consideration all the minor flaws, and when compared against the ROO and 15400 rep counterparts. Yes the divers are not perfect, but neither are the flaws egregious. Even for the most fastidious of us, must give grudging acknowledgement that the factories have done a commendable job in producing the diver reps, especially for the more recent versions. 

Among the 3 mainstream diver models (SS, FC, and ceramic), the FC is the most accurate one in general in my opinion, going by the inner bezel numbers. My friend Folex has painstaking educated me on the differences, and minute as they are, there ARE differences in the size and style of the inner bezel numbers. The FC is the most accurate one in terms of size, spacing and style of the numbers, especially the "0"s. 

The dial of the rep FC diver does mimic, to a good extent, the details on the gen dial. The rep dial can be further improved by applying gloss over it, or by a double AR. The double AR accentuates the details of the FC dial to a surprising level, but would also magnify the tiny imperfections in that specific dial which it is paired with. One must never forget, that variances do exist even in the genuine watches. The dial of one genuine watch would be more glossy or matte than another. I would not personally not call out a rep based on dial finishing alone, but I am not the most discerning among my peers.

Bezel screws

There is a persistent and pervasive fallacy that all gen AP diver bezel screws are evenly and beautifully sunken. From what I have witnessed, that is concretely not the case. I have seen non-sunken screws, as well as unevenly sunken screws on genuine divers. I have also seen screws, that for some unfathomable reason, are beaten up worse than a V3 diver. Generally, the screws are well-polished, have good alignment, and just a tad sunken, yes. But the rep screws can be improved via DIY treatment to emulate the gen ones well. 

 

The cyclop, and its AR and magnification

 I agree with panerai153 that the magnification of the date is not exact. But this is an easy and straightforward fix for me..The movement in the genuine diver is an AP caliber 3120, a non-chrono and single module version of the AP ROO. There is no depth issue with the datewheel like in the ROO reps, as the A2824 movement used in the reps have the same datewheel depth as the A3120 movement used in the gen. Therefore, the datewheel magnification mod, if required, is through a replacement of the cyclop. The Mark1 cyclop I offer would solve this issue. The gen numbers are ever so slightly taller, but the difference is subtle and not salient like in their rep ROO counterparts, due to the absence of an additional DD module in between for the rep. Date fonts are good on the Noob variants, and plain ugly on the JF ones.  

The hour hand

The hour hand in the Noob v1-3, and JF V5 still puzzles me. Why the mystical grey used? It does not make sense, to use grey lume for the hand and white lume for the rest of the dial markers. In addition, the black separator lines on the Noob v1-3 are thicker and more pronounced than the genuine. This is an abject replication failure IMHO, because it takes no special skills to produce an hour hand with white lume and thin black lines. This flaw was corrected in the Noob V4, along with the inclusion of a double AR cyclop and "super clear single AR" crystal. The Noob V4 is sadly out of stock the last I checked. 

The case

I would not go into a lengthy debate on the accuracy of the case, because to be honest, it looks accurate enough, especially in black FC finish. Sure, there could be a slightly wrong angled line here, a corner there, but overall, the watch case is well constructed and nobody would call you out on the shape of the case. The marbling on the Noob V4 is very nice, and slightly glossy, and an improvement over the already presentable V3. The V3 case CAN be polished to make the marbling effect more outstanding, I have seen it being done. On the genuine watches, the marbling differs for individual watches due to the organic nature of the FC material. 

The AR

Despite factory claims by both Noob and JF, the crystals used in both are still slightly less clear when compared with the genuine. Sure, the genuine watch does not have double AR. But what is has is a very superior single AR on the underside of the crystal. The AR on the rep Noob V4 (and JF V5) are both good, and the best among the various iterations, but I would recommend a double AR purely for the aesthetics purpose of accentuating the dial details, and not necessary for accuracy. 

       

The Inner bezel

This is where no rep maker has gotten it right. Close yes, but no cookie. Yes the rep and gen inner bezel numbers do look close in pictures, but the lume construction of the numbers are different for gen, with a defined white border base upon which the lume is constructed, and forms the "puff" of the numbers we see. The border is well defined in the gen, and replicated to varying degrees in each individual rep diver. There is no consistency for this aspect in the rep watches, and one watch can differ from another to a drastic extent, if you know where to look. Therefore, caution is advised during the QC process if buying the FC, or other versions of the diver.

  

Conclusion

No, it is not 1:1, no replica watch truly is. But it is a very good rep of the genuine watch. It is a watch where the beauty and details would abrogate the small flaws consistently. The recent versions are already good out of the box, but can be modified to a more impressive level. I would definitely advocate the FC model if only one is to be owned. It is sporty, light, and rather stealth looking, if not for the bold dash of yellow in the inner bezel. It was almost as though the color was put in as an afterthought to bring it to life, and insert a breath of vibrance into it. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a Noob V4, that is currently the best model to be released in the rep world to date. But I do foresee Noob releasing a new model soon for the FC diver, not because of our gripes, but to further milk the market for more money of course. 

A parting wristshot of my modded FC. It is acceptable to me, and a very good choice of a daily beater. 

IMG_1400.thumb.JPG.19a8c20bdb1c7b417251e

 

 

Edited by Legend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Mr A. I and I'm sure others are grateful for your expertise and your unselfish willingness to share your knowledge with the rest of us. Very nice point by point discussion.

I believe that if I could get the cyclops problem resolved and the hour hand relumed to look like yours, I would be a very happy camper. As you said, great stealthy watch for everyday wear.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Mr A. I and I'm sure others are grateful for your expertise and your unselfish willingness to share your knowledge with the rest of us. Very nice point by point discussion.

 

I believe that if I could get the cyclops problem resolved and the hour hand relumed to look like yours, I would be a very happy camper. As you said, great stealthy watch for everyday wear.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Anytime for you A. 

For your watch, you might wish to consider:

- double AR xtal

- double AR cyclop

- relume hour hand, and see if the black lines could be thinned...

 

And then, yes, you WOULD be very happy indeed brother. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very well said Mr. A. Your explanatory skills are far beyond mine. 

Ah, there you are! I learnt about the inner bezel differences from you Mr Diver Guru. Thank you for educating me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whats your take on this? I bought it awhile back, been through Domi's hands

FullSizeRender.thumb.jpg.2229bdd01e58255a80aa3a20460978db.jpg

FullSizeRender_1.thumb.jpg.1eb77f39cd1587e15d10901e6a338141.jpg

IMG_0619.thumb.JPG.aa8f30e91e769b9586897b350b2b6bf1.JPG

Looks nice!! The only thoughts are the lume on the hands. From the second photo, the lume looks grey. Is that just the light or are they different from the lume on the dial and inner bezel?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it looks very nice indeed. Can I ask what has been done please? (Other than the gorgeous AR)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it looks very nice indeed. Can I ask what has been done please? (Other than the gorgeous AR)

 

I was told by the seller (and provided with emails / receipts) that Domi did:

V5.1
confirm genuine swiss movement
movement service & mod to low beat
AR crystal
lume - dial and hands
rhodium and recess screws, adjust

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So your choice would be the NOOB V4 AP FC over the JF Miyota AP Ceramic Diver?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that JF's FC diver finishing is better than noob but they only produce the one with noisy Miyota movement, would you choose Noob v4 or JF's v5 Miyota FC diver?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that JF's FC diver finishing is better than noob but they only produce the one with noisy Miyota movement, would you choose Noob v4 or JF's v5 Miyota FC diver?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In a one word answer, yes.

Message crafted while wrestling a juvenile crocodile that's unwilling to be captured and made into leather

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I heard that JF's FC diver finishing is better than noob but they only produce the one with noisy Miyota movement, would you choose Noob v4 or JF's v5 Miyota FC diver?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In a one word answer, yes.

Message crafted while wrestling a juvenile crocodile that's unwilling to be captured and made into leather

So which one do you think is better, Noob or JF FC diver?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I heard that JF's FC diver finishing is better than noob but they only produce the one with noisy Miyota movement, would you choose Noob v4 or JF's v5 Miyota FC diver?Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In a one word answer, yes. Message crafted while wrestling a juvenile crocodile that's unwilling to be captured and made into leather

So which one do you think is better, Noob or JF FC diver?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have already answered that question newbie. You should do your own research and form your own conclusion. There is no absolute best.

Message crafted while wrestling a juvenile crocodile that's unwilling to be captured and made into leather

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No takers on the JF ceramic diver with orange accents?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×