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What is a Frankenstein watch?

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On replicas, Regular Frankensteins,  and Genuine Movement Frankensteins:

 

There is a huge difference between replicas (Rep), Regular Frankensteins (RF), and Genuine Movement Frankensteins (GMF).  The biggest difference is that replicas and Regular Frankensteins are usually a lot cheaper.  Besides that you can use any kind of movement you want to use in a replica or RF where 'just like original' GM Frankensteins will need a genuine movement and lock the builder into using the best of the best parts.  In the end you wind up with a high priced replica watch rather than a more reasonably priced replica watch.  That's all.

Rep, RF, GMF...Ha!

 

Frankensteins in general:

 

One big question is what exactly is a Frankenstein watch?  Some believe a replica watch with a genuine crown is a Frankenstein.  Not me.  Maybe in order to be a Regular Frankenstein, a watch should have over 50% of the value/price of the watch in genuine parts at current parts prices.

Example...I have a rlx 15200 with genuine case, crown, dial, hands, DW, crystal, and bezel on a leather strap.  The movement is a nos ETA 12892 (the watch came from Stilty almost 10 years ago).  Is it a Frankenstein.  Yes imho.  

A 16200 replica case with a genuine dial, swiss ETA 2836 with DW from rlx 3135, genuine engine turned bezel, and crown is a Frankenstein using the 50% rule.  Most likely.

The same 16200 replica case with swisseta or etaclone movement, replica dial, bezel etc and a genuine crown is not.

In the end it's a judgement call.

 

Your thoughts...

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Personally, I think the minimum to be considered a franken is gen dial, gen bezel, gen insert, gen crown. Hands vary based on movement, and a gen case is preferred!

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I think not all gen parts and replica parts are created equal. There are some extremely nice watches here, like the Daytonas and big crowns.. builds that cost thousands, yet do not meet the criteria for "Frankenstein", although they are in many cases more beautiful and more accurate than builds with >50% gen parts. 

 

In my view, the selection of parts, modding, fitment, and the aesthetic eye to maintain balance and pull everything together in the finished watch, is far more important than counting the number of gen parts. In the end, it matters very little to me if it's classified as rep, franken, genstein, etc.

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8 hours ago, jimcon11 said:

I think not all gen parts and replica parts are created equal. There are some extremely nice watches here, like the Daytonas and big crowns.. builds that cost thousands, yet do not meet the criteria for "Frankenstein", although they are in many cases more beautiful and more accurate than builds with >50% gen parts. 

 

In my view, the selection of parts, modding, fitment, and the aesthetic eye to maintain balance and pull everything together in the finished watch, is far more important than counting the number of gen parts. In the end, it matters very little to me if it's classified as rep, franken, genstein, etc.

Some watches take less to get there than others and I mean to get tells down to the minimum. Still more gen the better as it's gen no tell there what so ever on that part.

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When a newb and came across first Franken this skit came to mind in a possible build process!


Brain to movement lol!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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"Some watches take less to get there than others and I mean to get tells down to the minimum."

 

True. 

Most of my experience has been with 5512/13/1680 and 36mm sapphire DJ.  It is fairly easy to duplicate a sapphire DJ using a replica 16200 case, genuine dial/crown, aftmkt 3135 dw or dwol, aftmkt hands, bez/crystal, case tube, good rep bct, swiss 2836 etc.  The main tells are the direction you turn the crown to set the time ahead and the noisy rotor.

As for the 55xx and 1680...you need a good case, bracelet, dial, and bez insert.  The rest of it may not be as important.

 

Otoh...

Have a pretty good MBK 5512 F-stein with a 1570, Yuki dial, genuine crown, decent bez insert etc with a 'Mary' fold oyst.  Also have a $125 21 jewel cartel 5513 with a so-so case etc and they both look the same to just about everyone except me.

Why is that?

Because these things are relatively few and far between making most 'outsiders' unfamiliar with them.  Besides that, many '100% genuine' examples have had some parts swapped out in the past (Lumi 'service' dials etc) and do not appear to be genuine.

 

Some of our replicas look more genuine that a 'genuine genuine' example.  :prop:   Ha!

 

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Sorry for coming late to the party.  Just recovering from a recent unexpected health issue!!!!

For me my initial understanding of a Frankenwatch especially relating to the Rolex brand was a watch which was all genuine on the outside but powered by a cheaper mechanism!!!!  One of the reasons which the Tudor was more of the cheaper version of the big sister Rolex.,

 

I first heard the term some 20 plus years ago, when there were many genuine Rolex 36mm cases with original dials being sold at some of the watch fares and were sold between $150 and $400 depending on condition and rarity.  My understanding is that they were being sold as the original movements were used in either the more expensive submariners or in the aftermarket solid gold models made in the far East.  Andy Tolley from Timeman got me a few good deals!!!!


I myself bought a 1601 and a 1500 with original dials for approximately $350 together.  I used a couple of eta 2783 movements where I had a jeweler drill a couple of holes in the base plate so that they could take up the same dial feet from the Singer dials in the event I ever came across the original 1570 movement.  The date wheel was a bit of a turn off but I lightly glued a small date window frame which came off a Seiko, but hid the crime scene.  It did the trick and had it until I sold them both for just over double the price to someone begging me for them.  I declared them for what they were but most people wouldn't even know what a Rolex is, let alone be able to distinguish if the crown guards are right or the crystal is too high etc. Some of the young blond dorky women working at most of the AD have no idea of what they are selling.  I know this for a fact!!!!!  This is a very esoteric interest and even I after many years enjoying this hobby have difficulties with some of the models unless I over analyze them.  

 

I once owned a genuine 1680 and a genuine 16030 and were bought relatively cheap, but when the service prices and the market went mad, I thought of putting them away and selling them later for better money, but spend as little as possible and buy a good quality replicas of them made of the same ingredients but baked by a different chef.  In the end it is the demand which drives the market and for me I know I am wearing a replica and prefer to spend as little as possible as nobody in the profession will work on them anyway when they stuff up.  If you cannot get the genuine case, then a star supply case either in 18k or stainless steel with a genuine movement for me is as good as if not better than some of the rotted and worn out genuines being sold on ebay!!!  Each to their own as to what makes them tick.  As for me, I still treasure my very first replica from Paul at Aspire which is my Seiko disguised as a Rolex and I know this and accept it for what it is. Believe it or not I get more attention from strangers asking me about them than I ever did from when I was wearing the real pieces!!!!  Pick the bones out of that one!!! LOL!!!

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