Category Archives for Homage

Best Breitling Navitimer Homage Watches

Our Top Breitling Navitimer Homage Watches

Best Choice

Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Casio 

Edifice EF527D-1AV 

I recall seeing my first Breitling Navitimer. I was instantly blown away by its grandeur and a little intimidated by the details on the bezel. I didn’t know the purpose of the bezel slide rule, but it didn’t matter. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. 

But, starting at around $7K, Navitimers are not really an option for many buyers. The solution? Many opt to first purchase a Breitling Navitimer homage watch. 

Also, the size and weight of a pilot’s watch can be hard to get a feel for. So, it can be much more forgiving to buy a cheaper Navitimer alternative if you later decide they are not for you.

Why Breitling Navitimers are so popular

Like all great watches, the Navitimer arouses emotion in its wearers. This emotion can come straight from the design to less obvious factors such as the historical significance of the watch. 

Celebrities have long appreciated the Navitimer - from Formula 1 legend Jim Clark to car enthusiast (and comedian) Jerry Seinfeld. Although it’s safe to say Jerry’s intimate affair with Breitling goes beyond the Navitimer

Navitimer’s influence on pilots

The first Navitimer was produced in 1952 with the explicit intention of helping pilots navigate and time their movements. Hence the name ‘navi’ and ‘timer’. 

The ability for pilots to quickly and accurately use a watch for their calculations was a very big deal. 

The chronograph allowed pilots to navigate based on the principles of dead reckoning, which required pilots to keep a record of elapsed time. 

Computers were not an option, so having a slide rule embedded into the bezel of their watch allowed for essential calculations such as airspeed, rate of ascent/descent, fuel consumption and more. 

Consider how demanding it was to be a pilot. Mentally performing these calculations on the fly in addition to manually operating an aircraft. It gives me a mild panic attack just thinking about it. The Navitimer helped turn a cockpit from a pressure cooker to an oasis of calm. Okay, not quite, but it certainly made the pilot’s job easier.

Modern-day Navitimers

Sadly, the original Breitling company did not survive the quartz onslaught of the 1970’s with the company being sold in 1979 (and again in 2017). 

The Navitimer was relaunched during the 1980’s, which coincided with renewed consumer interest in mechanical watches. This clearly lives on to this day with the popularity of the modern Navitimer showing no signs of slowing. 

What we look for in a good Breitling Navitimer homage

Given the popularity of the Navitimer, it’s not surprising that many watchmakers have offered their own alternatives to the icon. 

We’ve included our top Navitimer homages based on the following:

Slide rule bezel

My preference is for a Navitimer homage to include a slide rule bezel. The inclusion of a ‘whiz wheel’ or E6B flight computer is so synonymous with the Navitimer that when the new CEO released the Navitimer 8 B01 in 2018 without it, many collectors and enthusiasts were outraged or at least confused

Chronograph

The other major feature that should be included in a Navitimer homage is a chronograph. Ideally, the buttons will be big enough to allow for easy pressing if the pilot is wearing gloves. 

Design (incl sub-dials)

How close you want your homage to pay tribute to the original comes down to personal preference. Our preference is for homage watches to take design cues from the original, but fall short of blatantly copying. 

So, our ideal design is one where you can see the Navitimer influence, but that doesn’t mean it’s a direct replica in every way.

Price

We’ve tried to incorporate picks from all ends of the price spectrum to ensure there’s something for everyone. The more affordable, the better. 

Quality

There is an unavoidable trade off between quality and price. But, this shouldn’t mean you’re bombarded with a bunch of cheap replicas that will not last.

Enough on the process, here's our favorite Breitling Navitimer homages:

4.5

Best Choice

Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Packed with aviation functionality, balanced good looks and Casio level quality.

  • Flight computer (slide rule bezel)
  • Chronograph
  • 3 sub dials

Casio has been taking design cues from iconic watch manufacturers for a long time and refining them into their own quality offerings. They’ve several worthy pilots watches in their collection, but our favorite Navitimer homage is the Casio Edifice EF527-1AV.

There are many design and functional nods to the Navitimer. The slide rule pilot's computer, chronograph with large buttons, dark black face, busy main dial, 3 sub dials and polished metal hour markers combine to give it a strong Navitimer presence.

It’s not a blatant replica though. The slide rule on the Edifice EF527D-1AV operates differently. It’s a fixed bezel with the internal ring controlled by the dial at 8 o’clock. This inner rotating slide ruler allows the same flight calculations to be made.

Also includes 3 sub-dials, but positioned at 6, 9 & 12 rather than the traditional 3, 6, 9 of Navitimers. In chronograph mode, the sub-dials of the Edifice feature minutes at 12, hours at 9 and 1/20 seconds at 6.

So, the maximum time duration that can be recorded is 11 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. This should be more than sufficient for most day-to-day applications.

We also like the inclusion of a date window at 3 o’clock. It’s also slightly different from the Navitimer’s window position at 4:30.

The Edifice’s screw down crown is a welcome addition as it creates a tighter seal and prevents water damage. The Navitimer achieves the same locking result, but they use a non-screw locked, two gasket mechanism for the crown.

Casio has used a fairly standard, yet accurate, quartz movement with a battery that generally lasts 2+ years.

At 45.5 mm wide, it’s not super-large like some pilots watches. You get the feeling the watch actually needs to be this size to include all of the markings and features. Any smaller and readability may become an issue.

The main potential downside of this watch is for right-handed owners. We love the inclusion of the slide rule, but the screw to control it at 8 o’clock can be awkward. If you’re wearing it on the left hand, you need to move the right hand over the watch to operate the screw.

Overall, there is so much to like in this watch for the price. Casio has managed to squeeze a lot of functionality into the Edifice EF527D-1AV.

But, what really impresses us about this watch is the attention to detail up close. It looks and feels like a more expensive timepiece. Something that is quite rare at this price point. 

Pros

  • Many Navitimer-like features
  • Casio level quality
  • Great value

Cons

  • Vertical sub dial layout differs from Navitimer
  • Lume could be better

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 45.5mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)
  • Bezel: Yes, non-rotating
  • Flight computer: Yes, inner rotating slide rule
  • Chronograph sub dials: 3 - hours, minutes, seconds
  • Crown: Screw down

Check latest prices

Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV

4.0

Best Value

Invicta 6621 II - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Numerous aviation features at a very affordable price

  • 3 sub dials 
  • Tachymeter on inner bezel
  • Deep cobalt blue face

The Invicta 6621 II gets our nod for the best affordable Breitling Navitimer homage. This is specifically for those looking in the sub $100 range.

Now, it’s hard to pack all of the features of a Navitimer into a watch that costs less than a bill. So there does need to be some concessions. The biggest is the lack of a flight computer or slide rule.

However, the bezel does rotate and there is a tachymeter scale on the inner bezel. So no, you won’t be able to use it for flying calculations like a Navitimer. But, were you actually going to?

The 3 sub-dials are set in the same symmetrical way as a traditional Navitimer at 3, 6 and 9. But, at 6 o’clock there is a day of the week sub-dial instead of the hour sub-dial of a Navitimer. This may actually make it more useful to some buyers.

The date window is positioned at the 4 o’clock, but can be a little difficult to read. Not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to see some more thought go into this complication or remove it altogether.

The deep blue cobalt face of the Invicta 6621 II is enticing. It works well with the large white Arabic numerals and hatched minute markers.

At less than $100, you’re going to find it difficult to get more features at a level of quality that makes it truly wearable. We think the Invicta 6621 II achieves this.

Does it live up to Breitling’s quality? No. But at 1/100th of the price, you’re getting some nice Navitimer-like features in a watch that won’t fall apart the moment you leave the store. 

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Chronograph
  • 3 sub-dials (seconds, minutes and day of the week)

Cons

  • No slide rule
  • Date window is a little small

Specifications

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Crystal: Flame fusion
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 100m (330 ft)
  • Bezel: Yes, unidirectional rotating
  • Flight computer: No
  • Chronograph: Yes
  • Sub dials: 3 - minutes, seconds & day of the week
  •  Crown: No screw down

Check latest prices

Invicta 6621 II Chronograph

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Slide rule too boring? Here's an internal rotating bezel to calculate cross wind. Oh, and it's stunning.  

  • Cross wind calculator 
  • 3 sub dials
  • Bold, balanced design

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind H77912535 is a quality Navitimer alternative in the sub $1,000 range.

We’ve awarded it our best premium homage because it has all of the right features: bezel flight instrument, chronograph & 3 sub dials. And, aesthetically it has a very balanced, pleasing design that demands attention. I can’t look away from it.

Let’s talk about the X-Wind function. Rather than include a slide rule flight calculator like the Navitimer, Hamilton has included a complication that allows pilots to calculate the cross-wind.

The screw down crown at the top left rotates the inner bezel, whilst the bottom left controls the measurements within the window. Here’s a more detailed explanation on calculating cross wind.

Now, are most wearers of the Hamilton X-Wind going to use it to calculate the cross-wind? Of course not. The same as most Navitimer owners have no idea how to use the slide-rule, nevermind the calculations required for flying a plane. I honestly don’t care. I love these complications because they draw upon my childhood fascination with pilots. They are aspirational more than practical.

Practicality does matter for the chronograph and sub-dials as wearers use these features. The sub-dial at 6 o’clock is for seconds and the 10 o’clock sub dial is 24 hour time for a 2nd timezone. These work in regular (ie non-chronograph) mode. The other sub dial at 2 o’clock labelled ‘chrono’ needs to be operated in chronograph mode and this counts the minutes.

The stainless steel bezel rotates, opening up more practical applications. This is what you want in a true tool watch.

All the crowns are screw-down, providing water resistance to 100m. I wouldn’t consider this a dive watch, but you certainly don’t need to worry about getting it wet.

There’s really not a lot to dislike about the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind. If you had your heart set on a mechanical watch, then the quartz movement may not be for your liking.

Overall, we recommend this watch for those that want to respectfully pay tribute to the Navitimer, but aren’t looking for a direct replica. This is a watch that is comfortable holding its own place in aviation history. 

Pros

  • Unique crosswind calculator
  • 3 sub dials
  • Chronograph
  • Real head turner

Cons

  • Not the most affordable in our list

Specifications

  • Movement: Quartz 
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 46mm
  • Band material: Leather
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)
  • Bezel: Yes, unidirectional rotating
  • Flight computer: Yes, crosswind calculator
  • Chronograph: Yes, second hand and minutes
  • Sub dials: 3 - hours for 2nd time zone, seconds and minutes
  • Crown: 3 screw down

Check latest prices

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind H77912535

Sinn 903 - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Is that a Navitimer? No, it's a Sinn 903. 

  • Looks almost identical to a Navitimer
  • Internal slide rule bezel
  • 3 sub dials

I’m going to just come out and say it. If you’re looking for a Navitimer alternative at around half the price the original, then you should get a Sinn 903 St.

Referred to as the ‘Navigation Chronograph’, the Sinn 903 looks almost identical to a Navitimer for very good reason. Helmut Sinn purchased the rights to produce a model very similar to the Navitimer in the late 1970s and has been doing so since.

So you could say the Sinn 903 St is the OG homage to the Navitimer. The main similarities are pretty obvious. There’s the slide rule bezel with a logarithmic scale, chronograph functions, vintage pushers, 3 sub-dials, high contrast dial (dark middle and white outside) and angled lugs.

But, there are subtle differences that allow the Sinn 903 St to form its own personality. The slide rule is internal, controlled by the additional screw-down crown at 10 o’clock.

The other big differentiator is size. At 41 mm it’s considerably smaller than the more common Navitimer sizes of 43 and 46mm. This can be very welcome, especially for those that have medium-sized wrists and are afraid they can’t pull off a hefty 43mm+ watch.

At around $3.5K the Sinn 903 St does not fit into the affordable category. It’s still an expensive watch. But, at around half the price of a Navitimer, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re after a watch with very similar design and quality of a Navitimer, but with a story of its own.

Pros

  • Any closer and it would be a Navitimer
  • Smaller size will be welcome for some
  • Internal rotating bezel slide rule

Cons

  • Still a considerable investment at around $3.5K

Specifications

  • Movement: Automatic 
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)
  • Bezel: Yes, fixed.
  • Flight computer: Yes, internal bezel slide rule
  • Chronograph: Yes
  • Sub dials: 3 - hours, minutes & seconds
  • Crown: Screw down

Check latest prices

Sinn 903 St

Gute Classic - Breitling Navitimer Homage

Entry level pilot's watch with flight computer slide rule

  • Slide rule bezel
  • 2 sub dials
  • Cheapest in our list

The most affordable Breitling Navitimer homage that made our list is a Gute Classic Automatic, with a Jaguar branding.

Let’s be honest, this is one of the many different Chinese brands that has come into the lower end of the market. You are not going to get close to Breitling quality here, but at this price you really shouldn’t expect it.

What you can expect is to pay a very small amount to test whether a large, heavy aviation inspired watch is really for you. Worst case scenario, you’ve outlayed less than $50 and you’ve learned that maybe they are not for you. The best case is you really enjoy wearing the Gute Classic and either continue wearing it or decide to upgrade to something you may enjoy even more.

A key feature of the Gute is the rotating slide rule bezel. This may be the cheapest watch with a slide rule bezel on the market. If you’re on the fence on whether you’ll use it or like the look of it, then this is your chance to try it out.

There’s also 2 sub-dials. One at 3 for the month and the other at 9 for the day of the week. There is a skeleton window at 6 instead of a 3rd sub-dial.

This is an automatic, so you won’t need a battery. However, the lack of a quality power reserve may mean you need to wind it if you skip a day or are not that active during the day.

Overall, if you’re very budget conscious, then the Gute Classic might be your best option. But, if your budget allows, you’ll get more enjoyment out of the feature-packed, yet still very affordable Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV

Pros

  • Slide rule bezel
  • 2 sub dials (date and day of the week)
  • Affordable automatic

Cons

  • Band quality could be better
  • May need occasional hand winding 

Specifications

  • Movement: Automatic
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 46 mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 30m (100ft)
  • Bezel: Yes, unidirectional rotating
  • Flight computer: Yes, slide rule bezel
  • Chronograph: No
  • Sub dials: 2 - date and day of the week
  • Crowns: No screw down

Check latest prices

Gute Classic

Verdict - Which Navitimer Look-Alike Should You Buy?

If money is no object, I'm looking directly at the Sinn 903 St. Even if I had the money for a Navitimer, I may even prefer to buy the Sinn 903 as it represents better value. 

But, for most of us, the sweet spot between features, value and quality can be found in the Casio Edifice EF527D-1AV. It's well below $200, so it's not a sizeable investment. But, it still allows you to get a good feel for owning a large, quality pilots chronograph watch with a flight computer.

If you're after something slightly more unique, then the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind delivers with style. 

Panerai Homage Watches

Our Top 5 Panerai Homage Watches

There are a multitude of exquisite Italian watches on the market, the Panerai being undoubtedly one of the must-haves. It has a long pedigree, dating from the 18th century - 1860, bringing a perfect fusion of Italian design and Swiss technology.

The two Panerai homage watches we’re covering below are the Panerai Luminor and the Panerai Radiomir. Both classics with a rich and interesting history with the Italian army. 

Not sure how to tell the difference between the Luminor & Radiomir? This video from Time + Tide should help:


Why Panerai homage watches are so popular

Many of us love luxury watches. They add style, make a statement and allow us to admire their mechanical beauty.

Even if we can’t afford them - we still like to learn about them in the hope that one day we’ll have the funds to purchase them. Until then, we may have to rely on homage watches to satisfy our desire to build out our watch collection.

Enter Panerai homage watches.

I understand homage watches are not for everyone. I really do. Some will argue that there is no substitute for the original. Period. Others will argue that so long as the homage watch is sufficiently different from the original, that is ok. Others are fine wearing a watch that is as close to the original as possible.

Wherever you sit on this spectrum, it is not for me to sensor you. I think the watches below cover every type of homage watch buyer.

With that out of the way, here are my picks for the top 5 watches that pay homage to Panerai.

4.5

Best Choice

Parnis Marina Militaire - Panerai Luminor Homage

The Parnis Marina Militare features a distinctive crown guard - revered by collectors.

  • 44mm 
  • Automatic movement
  • Crown guard

The Parnis Marina Militare 44mm is your first choice if you’re after a homage watch that takes many design cues from the original Panerai Luminor.

The oversized crown guard in particular is something that many Luminor fans are instantly drawn to. It has a classic look that distinguishes it from similar watches, whilst its price makes it an affordable choice for the masses.

Parnis has maintained reinforced mineral glass on the dial, something that matches Panerai's style from every angle. The stainless-steel body with matte finish offers the finesse that many watches at this price-point lack. Moreover, the Italian leather strap holds the two ends of the dial firmly, also making it hard for the band to come off easily.

Lack of wide-scale marketing and a limited collection are a few of the reasons why Parnis is still an underrated brand. However, collectors are slowly understanding their value as a homage watch manufacturer.

The Parnis Marina Militare Panerai homage features a 44mm case, similar in design to the Luminor, accurate timing, and date function. It comes with Japanese Seiko original quartz movement.

Grab this watch if you want the iconic features of a Luminor at a price that you can afford. 

Pros

  • Automatic movement
  • Iconic design 
  • Stainless steel

Cons

  • 30m water resistance could be better

Specifications

  • Movement: Automatic 
  • Crystal: Tempered mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Band material: Leather
  • Water resistance: 30m (100ft)

Check latest prices

Parnis Marina Militare

4.0

Best Value

Megir Low Fly Chrono - Panerai Luminor Homage

Casio's Duro packs many Submariner features into a mind-boggling price.

  • Very affordable
  • 200m water resistance
  • Quartz movement

Do you like watches with matte-finish dials? If so, the Megir Low Fly Chrono, economically priced at around US$40, may serve you well. It's also one of the most lightweight in this list, helping to nail form & function requirements. 

The genuine Nubuck leather strap adds an understated look, which keeps focus on the face and crown guard. Which is really what you want from a Panerai Luminor homage.

The Megir Low Fly Chrono features the iconic clasp-type crown guard. You can adjust the date and time of this watch by opening the guard. It has a simple, elegant face that is a little angular but with some nice contrast.

Those who tend to hit their watches on the sides of furniture and fixtures may find good protection with this watch. This is the ultimate tribute to Panerai watches as they also have a similar clasp style crown guard. Plus, the Megir makes use of Hardlex mineral glass to protect the face. The glass looks crystal-clear from all angles. 

Megir has also paid attention to the size of this watch's diameter. Unlike other larger, chunky models, the 44mm size is a good size for many wannabe owners. 

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Chronograph
  • Crown guard

Cons

  • Lume could be better

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz
  • Crystal: Hardlex
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Band material: Leather
  • Water resistance: 30m (100 ft)

Check latest prices

Megir Low Fly Chrono

Peugeot Sport 2056BK - Panerai Luminor Homage

A black Luminor homage complete with crown guards and sunray brown dial. 

  • Seiko quartz movement
  • Iconic, retro design
  • Crown guards

The 2056BK from Peugeot watches is another Luminor inspired watch worth considering if you're after the iconic Panerai inspired crown guard.

Cars and watches have a great history together. But, don't confuse this watchmaker with the French car manufacturer by the same name. They are not related. 

That is not to say the Peugeot Sport 2056BK would look out of place on a wrist driving through the French Riveria. It absolutely has that iconic, classic look.

The dark, stainless steel and matte finish work very well together, all the while giving subtle nods to the Panerai Luminor. The adjustable, soft calfskin leather strap is simple, but more than adequate. 

This model comes with free battery replacement and also has the backing of a lifetime warranty. That means you shouldn't need to spend much more on this watch once you've added it to your collection. And at an affordable price, this represents great long-term value. 

Pros

  • Seiko quartz movement
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free battery replacement
  • Iconic crown guard

Cons

  • 10m water resistance is limiting

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Metal
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Band material: Calf leather
  • Water resistance: 10m (33ft)

Check latest prices

Peugeot Sport 2056BK

So & Co Soho - Panerai Luminor Homage

SO & CO's Panerai homage delivers simple elegance at an affordable price. 

  • Crown guards
  • Japanese quartz movement
  • 100m water resistance

The SO&CO New York Men's 5022.2 SoHo Day and Date Watch provides class, comfort, and performance - all what you'd expect to find in a Panerai Luminor. But, this comes in affordable package available to everyone. 

The stainless-steel case comes with polished round bezels and a black-matte dial. This watch also comes with the iconic crown guard, a clear giveaway that it is indeed a Luminor homage. The SO & CO label is engraved on the crown guard. 

With reliable and fuss-free Japanese quartz movement and a leather calfskin band that sit's comfortably on the wrist.

The 100m water resistance is a nice touch for a watch at this price-point. Many others in this list fail to provide the same level of resistance, giving it a solid edge in the water. 

Pros

  • Japanese quartz 
  • Crown guard
  • 100m water resistance

Cons

  • Leather band could be higher quality

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Band material: Leather
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)

Check latest prices

SO & CO SoHo

Spinnaker Hull California - Panerai Radiomir Homage

Classic Panerai Radiomir homage of the 1930s complete with California dial

  • Japanese automatic movement
  • California dial
  • 100m water resistance

The Spinnaker Hull with California dial is one of the few Panerai Radiomir homage watches you will find.

Whilst the Radiomir was the first watch produced by Panerai for the Italian Navy, it was surpassed in popularity during the 1990's after Sylvestor Stallone wore a Luminor in the hit movie Daylight. The distinctive Luminor design has remained the most popular Panerai ever since. This has limited the number of watch makers that are also producing Radiomir homage watches. 

Similar to the Radiomir, the Spinnaker Hull features a vintage cushion case. The Californian dial (mixture of Roman and Arabic indexes) is a great throwback to the earliest Radiomir's that were created during the 1930's for the Italian Navy. 

The self-winding Japanese automatic movement offers quality and precision without needing too much adjusting. The soft leather strap fits comfortably on the wrist, but it does need some wearing in to overcome initial stiffness. 

The Spinnaker Men's Hull California 42mm can resist up to 100 meters of water and the mineral crystal dial window provides crystal clear viewing.

The second hand is included in the main dial, rather than as a secondary seconds dial like the newer Radiomirs. I'm okay with small modifications like this as it's clear that Spinnaker has not tried to take every Radiomir feature. Rather they have taken inspiration from a classic Radiomir design and created a classy and elegant watch in it's own right. 

Pros

  • Vintage cushion case
  • California dial
  • 100m water resistance

Cons

  • Band can be stiff until worn in

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese automatc
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Band material: Leather
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)

Check latest prices

Spinnaker Hull California

Verdict - Which Penerai Look-Alike Should You Buy?

Priced at around $60, the Megir Low Fly offers a minimalist design that looks high-end. You can get a feel for how a $8,000 Panerai PAM 344 would look on your wrist, but for a few dollars. Making it an incredibly affordable Panerai alternative. 

For those on a slightly higher budget, we recommend the Parnis Marina Militare, which, while being genuinely affordable (approx $150), brings you about as close as you can get to the Luminor. 

Finally, those looking for a Radiomir homage and have a slightly higher budget, should consider a Spinnaker Hull California as a worthy addition to their watch collection.

Rolex Submariner Homage Watches

The 6 Best Rolex Submariner Homage Watches

Best Choice

Seiko 5 Sea Urchin - Submariner Homage

Seiko 5 Sea Urchin

Original

Rolex Submariner Watch

Rolex Submariner

Rolex has become a dominant and much-respected name not just for its watches, but for its more subtle brand of upscale culture. When you hear 'Rolex', you automatically think quality, luxury and wealth.

This powerful brand association has been created over time due to it's classic range of watches such as the Rolex Submariner. 

Why Rolex Submariner Homage Watches are so Popular

Rolex Submariner watches are as impressive as they are expensive. Since launching in 1953, they have remained one of the most popular and distinctive wristwatches. Whilst the Submariner is undoubtably one of the premier luxury dive watches, given the price tag, most find them out of reach. 

It is still marketed to sports figures and athletes owing to its endurance to withstand the harsh environment of underwater diving with grace and style. The strong water-resistance, coupled with luminous hands and the helium release valve, make the Submariner as practical, durable and as comfortable as is possible underwater.

By combining the elegance and ruggedness of a timepiece designed for water with functionality and luxury, you have a watch that is widely worn above sea level too. You'll commonly see the Submariner being sported in boardrooms, airport lounges, and indeed, wherever successful executives are hanging out. 

But, we get it.

Not everyone is in a position to pay the steep price for a Rolex Submariner. Enter the Rolex Submariner homages. 

Here's our top 6 Rolex Submariner homages so you can still get the iconic look shaped by Rolex, at a price that you can afford.

5

Best Choice

Seiko 5 Sea Urchin - Submariner Homage

The Seiko 5 Sea Urchin is a very high-quality Submariner homage at a price for the masses.

  • Automatic movement
  • Hardlex crystal
  • 100m water resistance

The Seiko 5 Sea Urchin SNZF17 is our all-round favorite Submariner homage watch.

Part of the incredibly popular and affordable Seiko 5 series, the Sea Urchin is very well built featuring a stainless bracelet and a stainless case in an unblemished white matte finish.

With its luminous hands, unidirectional bezel, the design and material are both functional and elegant, with a striking resemblance to the Rolex Submariner.

The Seiko 5 SNZF17 is further complemented with Hardlex crystal for a robust build, which also adds a touch of class, making it a stylish and practical option..

On the performance front, packed with Seiko caliber 7S36 (Vollsmose) automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve, you know that you are in for a treat. The accuracy of the Sea Urchin is well regarded, meaning you won't need to be constantly recalibrating the time. 

At 42mm in diameter, it carries a good amount of weight without being clunky.

The 100 meters of water resistance may not be best in class, but it is certainly good enough for most of us. 

Overall, the Seiko 5 Sea Urchin provides a lot of what the Rolex Submariner is known for: quality, toughness and classic looks. But, it packs all of this in at a price that allows you to buy right now.  

Pros

  • Automatic movement
  • Understated and classic
  • Affordable & high quality

Cons

  • No screw down crown
  • 100m water resistance is good enough for most, but 200m would be nice.

Specifications

  • Movement: Automatic 
  • Crystal: Hardlex
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Water resistance: 100m (3300ft)

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Seiko 5 Sea Urchin SNZF17

4.5

Best Value

Casio Duro Submariner

Casio's Duro packs many Submariner features into a mind-boggling price.

  • Very affordable
  • 200m water resistance
  • Quartz movement

Designed to handle the rigors of the sea, the Casio Duro MDV106-1AV 200M bears a significant resemblance to the Submariner whilst still cutting a unique look that is distinctly Casio (ie no Mercedes hands). 

The watch comes with a set of simple 3 hands for time display with an additional date display at 3 o'clock. Unlike the Submariner, the date display has no magnification that may put off some buyers.

The second hand is red-tipped to make its viewing easier, but the relatively low lume can be difficult to read underwater. 

On the performance front, this watch uses a quartz-powered system with a battery life of up to 3 years. Many owners pride the accuracy of the Duro's quartz movement. 

The timepiece is also water-resistant up to 200 meters.

In a nutshell, it pays homage to the Submariner with exceptional design and robust, water-resistant capabilities. All at a very affordable price that makes it an easy decision to use as an everyday wear or occasional water use. 

And hey, if it's the watch of choice for Bill Gates given the income at his disposal, I'm happy to add it to my collection too. 

Pros

  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Affordable Submariner homage
  • Thin for a dive watch
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • Quartz movement may put off some buyers
  • Lume on second hand could be better

Specifications

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Band material: Resin
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Water resistance: 200m (660 ft)

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Casio Duro MDV106-1AV

Invicta Submariner Lookalike

A true Submariner lookalike at a fraction of the price. 

  • Japanese automatic movement
  • Designed to look like a Submariner
  • 200m water resistance

This Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver in stainless steel looks about as close to the Submariner as you can get. Every detail on this watch, down to the mercedes hand design, screams Submariner. 

With an ample 40mm stainless case, this timepiece features luminous hands and markers, a unidirectional bezel, and a magnified date window for easier viewing.

The stainless-steel link bracelet straps have a fold-over clasp and safety enclosure for secure strapping. 

The Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver  is powered by Japanese automatic watch movement designed for accurate timekeeping.

With water-resistance up to a depth of 200 meters (or 660 feet), it is appropriate for occasional water use.

Overall, the Invicta Pro Diver is suited for anyone wanting a true Submariner lookalike at a rock bottom price. 

Pros

  • Looks almost identical to a Submariner
  • Japanese automatic movement
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • Bezel can be on the loose side
  • Bracelet can feel lightweight 

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese automatic 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 40mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Water resistance: 200m (660ft)

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Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB

Orient Ray II - Submariner

When bang for matters, the Orient Ray II delivers!

  • Affordable diver
  • Hackable automatic movement
  • 200m water resistance

This another timepiece that pays homage to the legendary Submariner.

With Japanese automatic movement, the Orient Stainless-Steel Diving Watch has everything you will need in a timepiece if you need to get wet.

It has a 41mm case diameter with a mineral crystal dial window. 

The 120 click bezel makes a good addition for timing above water, but the small bezel teeth may limit its effectiveness underwater. 

Additionally, it comes with bold, luminous hour marks and the hands also provide strong lume for 8 hours. And with stainless steel straps, the watch can withstand harsh environments and knocks without breaking. 

The Orient Ray II Caliber F6922 is water-resistant up to 200 meters, making it suitable for leisure diving (but not professional diving). 

Overall, there is plenty to like in the Orient Ray II. We recommend it for those looking for an inexpensive, yet iconic design and value the extra accuracy that comes rom a watch with hackable, Japanese automatic movement. 

Pros

  • Japanese automatic 
  • Versatile
  • Hackable (ie manual winding)
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • No solid end links in bracelet

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese automatic 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectional
  • Water resistance: 200m (660ft)

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Orient Ray II

Citizen Promaster - Diver

Citizen's diver with eco-drive means no more battery changes. Ever. 

  • Eco-Drive quartz movement
  • Elegant blue face
  • 200m water resistance

The Citizen BN0151-09L has taken inspiration from the Submariner, but Citizen has packed in enough unique design elements to prevent it from being an outright clone.  

It sports a 48mm stainless steel case and mineral dial window. With blue dials and a unidirectional bezel. The hands and hour markers provide solid lume for easy reading at  night and underwater.

On the performance front, this watch harnesses the power of light. Using Citizen's proprietary Eco-Drive technology, the Citizen Promaster BN0151-09L can use any light, whether artificial or natural, to power the timepiece. This eliminates the need to every replace the battery, making it one of the least maintenance prone watches you can find.

The timepiece is water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters (or 660 feet), making it a great choice for the occasional dive or other water spors. 

Overall, the Citizen Promaster BN0151-09L is for those that want a maintenance free watch that shares many similarities to a Submariner, but retains its own sense of style and dignity. 

Pros

  • Eco-drive movement
  • Deep blue face
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • Day window can be hard to read

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 43 mm
  • Band material: Rubber
  • Bezell: Unidirectional
  • Water resistance: 200m (660ft)

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Citizen Promaster BN0151-09L

Stuhrling Depthmaster - Submariner lookalike

Great design and functionality at an affordable price for an everyday beater. 

  • Under $100
  • Easy to read underwater
  • 100m water resistance

While the above five watches are our top picks for your first Rolex Submariner homage watch, we have a bonus pick for your consideration. 

Not only does the Sturling Depthmaster take design cues from the Submariner line of Rolexes. it has been designed and optimized to function in the marine environment, just like a Submariner would. 

This watch has an analog dial driven by a Japanese Miyota quartz movement that is highly accurate. Like every other watch in this list, it has luminescent hands and indices. 

The watch is housed in a 40mm diameter case and has a triple row stainless steel link bracelet.

Unfortunately, the 100m water resistance is not as resistant as some of the other watches listed above, making it more suited for occasional water use only. 

While the diving capability is a letdown, it does compensate with considerably better pricing than higher resistance rated divers.

If you want a watch with similar functionality and performance qualities of a Rolex Submariner, this is still a great option. 

Not only are they affordable, but they also strike a balance between style and functionality.

Pros

  • Japanese quartz
  • Striking design
  • Unidirectional bezel

Cons

  • 100m water resistance may limit appeal for some 

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese quartz
  • Crystal: Krysterna Crystal
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectionall
  • Water resistance: 100m (330ft)

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Stuhrling Depthmaster 3950

Verdict - Which Rolex Submariner Look-Alike Should You Buy?

The Seiko 5 Sea Urchin is, in our opinion, the best timepiece for those seeking for an affordable Submariner alternative that provides great looks, ample diving features and can be worn in all environments.

Those on a more limited budget should consider the Casio Duro MDV106-1AV, which has many features found in the Submariner, but with Casio's distinctive style, quality of build and easy to read face.  

But, if you're after a watch that tries to match the Submariner design as closely as possible, the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB is definitely worth closer inspection. 

As all of the divers included in this list are very affordable, you may not need to choose just one!

Omega Seamaster Homage Watches

Our 6 Favorite Omega Seamaster Homage Watches

The Omega Seamaster, a timepiece owned by the few that can afford one, is the epitome of fine Swiss timepieces — with stunning engineering, exquisite Swiss watchmaking craftsmanship and a deep sense of secrecy.

Why Omega Seamaster Homages are a Popular Alternative

The Omega Seamaster collection features watches that are amongst the most recognizable in the world - and the most coveted by those in search of true Swiss workmanship and exclusivity.

However, the prices of many of the Seamaster variants can be astronomical - making these stylish and iconic watches beyond the reach of the majority of watch lovers, including professional and amateur divers, many of whom regard the Seamaster as the ultimate diving watch.

The prices for the classic Ploprof 1200M Seamasters can range from around $7,000 to $13,100, depending on the materials used. The entry-level Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M goes for around $4,000. But at the high end is the Seamaster 1948 'Co-Axial Small Seconds 38mm (Limited Edition),' which can fetch in the region of $42,000.

Clearly, many of those who are in search of Omega style might have to look elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are a number of watches that pay homage to the Seamaster - and sport a similar stylistic footprint. Here are some of the best.

5

Best Choice

Seiko SKX007 - Omega Seamaster Homage

Seiko has produced a very high-quality Seamaster homage at a price for the masses.

  • Automatic movement
  • Hardlex crystal
  • 200m water resistance

Seiko has built an enviable reputation for supplying high-quality timepieces at a reasonable price. Their range of dive watches is especially impressive.

Seiko doesn't manufacture Omega look-alikes with that classic blue face - but the blackface version looks very similar to the black-faced Omega Seamaster variants. 

The hands might be a bit chunkier than those on the Seamaster, and it does feature a day/date, unlike the Seamaster, which only has the date displayed, but this is a solid, well manufactured, and attractive choice.

It's water-resistant to 200m (660ft), features an automatic movement, and a 'Hardex' crystal window. At a price of around $300, this is our go to watch whenever someone asks for a recommendation for a more affordable Omega Seamaster. 

Pros

  • Automatic movement
  • Unique black-face design
  • Affordable & high quality
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • No blue faced variant
  • Day-Date instead of just day 

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese Automatic 
  • Crystal: Hardlex
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 200m(660ft)

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SEIKO SKX 007

4.5

Best Value

Invicta Pro Diver 9094 - Omega Homage

Invicta's Seamaster homage is the closest you're going to find to the real deal for the price. 

  • Very affordable
  • 200m water resistance
  • Automatic movement

This watch is about as close to a Seamaster clone as can be without attracting the beady eyes of the Omega legal team.

There are, however, a few slight cosmetic differences. The bevel is more textured than that found on the Seamaster, and the face does have different patterning.

Like the Seamaster, it does feature dot hour markers and a date function at 3 O'clock. 

Like some other more expensive homages in this list, it is water resistant to 200 meters and features a uni-directional bezel and automatic movement.

To be expected for the price, many specs are lower than most of the Seamaster's.  

All in all, an attractive timepiece that can easily double up as a diving and dress watch. With some models priced at around $70 (online), you are going to struggle to find a better combination of value and sheer good looks.

Pros

  • Automatic movement
  • Affordable Seamaster homage
  • Date function at 3 o'clock
  • 200m water resistance

Cons

  • Bracelet pins can be difficult to tighten
  • Crown can be stiff at first

Specifications

  • Movement: Japanese Automatic 
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Band material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 200m (1000ft)

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Invicta 9094 Pro Diver

4.5

Premium Choice

Tudor Pelagos Blue - Seamaster Homage

A luxury watch with a striking blue face and impressive features. 

  • Swiss automatic movement
  • 70 hrs power reserve
  • 500m water resistance

With this watch, we are starting to get into the more expensive echelons of Seamaster homage designs. At a whisker under $4,000, some buyers might start to think of going for the Seamaster itself.

But the specs are impressive. It's a high-quality Swiss creation like the Seamaster, featuring water resistance to 500 meters (1654ft) and the strap has a 'deployment clasp.' Like the Seamaster, the Pelagus also comes in titanium model (case and bracelet) - which we think adds to the sleek and elegant design. 

The window is sapphire crystal, and the automatic movement is COSC (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) certified which means it comes with a number engraved on its movement and a certificate of authenticity. It's worth noting that this timepiece is manufactured in the same factory as Rolex watches. 

All in all, a very impressive piece of Swiss timepiece manufacturing - and highly attractive.

Pros

  • Swiss automatic movement
  • Striking blue face
  • 70 hrs power reserve
  • 500m water resistance

Cons

  • Most expensive in list

Specifications

  • Movement: Swiss automatic 
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Case: Titanium
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Band material: Titanium
  • Water resistance: 500m (1650ft)

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Tudor Pelagos Blue Dial

Orient Ray II - Seamaster

When bang for matters, the Orient Ray II delivers!

  • Affordable diver
  • Many similarities to the Seamaster
  • 200m water resistance

You'd have to look extremely closely at this watch to spot that it is not an Omega. It sports some very similar features, and the style is pure Omega. 

The similarities include the blue face and dial, which are classic Seamaster. The silver-colored hands, and the lettering are all very similar to the Omega classics too. 

The dive watch is water resistant up to 200 meters (around 660 feet) - it's not quite in the same class as some of the more advanced Seamaster's. 

But at a price point of around $150 (online) and featuring 22 jewel Japanese movement with a mineral crystal window, it is definitely worth a look.

Pros