The Fake

Is A Fake Luxury Watch Any Good At All?

Of course I wanted a Hublot. But I wasn’t so sure if it was a good investment. For an ETA based cool design case from unconventional materials and with a size unclear if still fashionable in another 5 or 10 years, in short: more a hip fasion piece than an eternal piece of luxury, I was not willing to pay the hipster pricetag of 12.000 bucks. For 3000 or 5000 it would have been reasonable, because the fancy design would find its lovers even if smaller watches would be again en vogute, but 12.000! No way.

But I still wanted one.

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Beyond the original Big Bang design, there is another heritage the Big Bang cannot deniy: Yes the Hublot Big Bang is a AP (Audemars-Piguet) Royal Oak (RO) clone and yes it is somehow cooler than the RO even the Offshore, because it is more modern and stylish, while the RO carries heavy on its pedigree and heritage. And the Hublot designers obviously are just a bit cooler than a lot of their collegues. The Big Bang somehow looks and feels a bit like the lightweight and light-footed version of a RO Offshore.

But on the other hand, with the RO you buy a Holy Trinity product, the best of the best of Swiss watchmaking, while with the Big Bang you get a cool designed case on a rubber strap with a all too standard ETA movement in it. That is quite a difference!

You can of course argue that the Hublot Big Bang is just a cheap rip off of the Royal Oak Offshore with at an rather oversized price tag.

What matters is that you will find this distinction again in the resale value of both pieces when you check the value of your watches in some five or ten years. The RO will be high up and the Hublot will perhaps find afficionados for their design, but not very much more. That way your 12 grand will probably be, depending a bit where oversized sports watches will be still fashionable then, gone. This is way more probable than loosing your 20 grand with the Royal Oak.

Therefore Hublot tries to offer their latest Big Bang models with an inhouse (called Unico) movement. But as I said: not the fact that a watch features an inhouse movement makes it more valuable, but the extremely increased quality of the movement usually only feasible with complete inhouse control of all materials and parts. So perhaps this inhouse movements trend at Hublot, Breitling, Panerai and others is not very much more than a marketing gag. It only begins to make sense when these inhouse movements show a significantly higher quality than the usual ETA sourced movements they used before.

But I had personal doubts either: I was quite unsure if that immense design case would fit my arm – or if it would be just way too large.

So I decided to put my whole Hublot-affinity to the test and got a fake watch for that reason…

…read more in Collecting Luxury Watches