Homage watches have become increasingly popular, as people look for more affordable alternatives to their dream watches. However, are homage watches worth it?
Homage watches are worth it because they are legal, honest, and ethical timepieces. Homages are not counterfeit watches. They also have reasonable prices, quality customer service, and are easy to maintain.
In this article, we try to answer whether homage watches are worth it. We also look into some brands of homage watches you can check out to start your collection.
Are Homage Watches Worth It?
If you are unsure if you pick up a homage, here is a simple answer. If you can purchase the original high-end watch, get that. If you can’t, you can always pick up a homage. Just stay away from fake watches.
The reason? Homage watches are just much better than replicas.
Homage watches are well within the affordable price range compared to the expensive luxury watches they are inspired from.
Take, for example, a Rolex Submariner. A Submariner may retail between $9,100 to $42,000, a sum few of us can afford. However, a decent homage such as Pagani Design PD1639 costs less than $200.
This represents an excellent opportunity to taste these iconic watches without spending too much money. Plus, it’s a better, more ethical option than getting a fake watch.
You may be surprised at the price of homages and wonder if the quality is good. In many cases, if you pick up watches from proper homage watchmakers, you will appreciate the workmanship.
Homage watchmakers can keep prices low by using conventional materials when making their watches. For example, Rolex watches are usually made with Oystersteel, a special steel blend to give that special sheen and hardness.
Homage watchmakers skipped those and just used regular 304 or 316 stainless steel. Visually, you may not notice much difference from the expensive watches they are inspired from.
Aside from those, many more homage watch brands also add awesome features that you would appreciate, such as sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating and textured bezels. Many also come with excellent water resistance, up to hundreds of meters.
Expensive luxury watches usually use proprietary movements inside their watches. These are usually high-performing automatic movements that keep time extremely well. However, these are expensive movements and may not make sense to many.
Now with homage watches, you may not get these movements. But what you get instead are affordable and solid workhorse movements. These are usually from Japanese movement makers, such as Miyota (part of the Citizen watch group) or Seiko.
Miyota 8215 or Seiko NH35 automatic movements are the staples with the most affordable watches, including homages. For quartz movements, you may see a lot of Japan VK63 movements from Seiko.
These movements are robust, and very easy to service and maintain.
Quality homage watches may also use Swiss movements from companies like ETA, Ronda, Sellita, or STP. Some of these Swiss movements may even be found in original middle-range watches.
For example, some models of homages from San Martin carry the ETA 2824 automatic movement. The same movement can be found in brands from the Swatch group. Examples include Swatch, Hamilton, Tissot, and even Omega.
Homages are designed to pay tribute to some of the most iconic and classic watches ever made. Despite being around for decades, these original timepieces with iconic designs will never go out of style.
Consider models like the Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, or Rolex Explorer. Many dive watches, such as Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster, are timeless models.
If you purchase an homage version of these famous watch designs, your watch will never go out of style. In fact, some selections of homage watches are also becoming well-hunted by watch collectors, such as Steinhart.
For many, an affordable homage watch is more than just a timepiece. It’s a way to connect with the past and pay tribute to the watches that came before.
Many original watches have a nostalgic feel to them. They can remind you of a time when watches were something a gentleman cared about. Take the vintage Omega racing watches from the 1950s and 60s. They have classic design features that just exude class and sophistication.
These watches are no longer in production. Even if they do, the prices would be out of reach. If you wish to own a piece of history, you can always look for a homage.
Some makers of affordable homage watches, such as Dan Henry, create models with vintage designs. These watches are created with vintage watches in mind.
The best thing, however, is that they may carry the vintage style, but what’s ticking inside are solid movements. Japanese movements usually power these watches. For example, Dan Henry’s 1964 Gran Tourismo uses the Japan VK63 movement.
This is a Seiko movement known to be a solid quartz workhorse. It is known to be able to tick away steadily for years without requiring servicing.
Some affordable homage watches are actually very collectible, with a strong market. Many homage watches are made in limited quantities, which can make them collectible.
Some watches even have waiting lists, and once they are sold out, they become highly sought after by collectors.
Take, for example, watches from brands such as Dan Henry. They carry 10 models in their lineup, and each watch is produced in a limited number. This instantly creates a thriving collectors market for these watches.
Another benefit of homage watches is customization. Depending on the homage makers you are shopping from, you can request certain customization on your watches.
For example, if you shop from brands such as San Martin or Steinhart, you can choose your watch movement. Usually, you choose between a more premium Swiss or Japanese movement.
You can sometimes choose movement from brands too. For example, suppose you prefer Swiss ETA movement over Sellita. In this case, you can request an ETA movement.
Some also allow you to choose generic movements, usually Chinese-made. Some may also allow you to pick a solar chronograph movement if you feel fancy.
Aside from movement, you can also request watch faces, textured bezels, and higher water resistance. The level of customization may even be much more than high-end watches.
You may be surprised to hear this, but wearing an affordable homage watch may actually earn you respect. The reason? You are being ethical and honest about yourself.
By wearing true homage watches, you tell the world you know your watches. Only those who know about luxury watch designs or brands will shop for a homage.
On top of that, you also tell people that you may be unable to afford these luxury watch brands. Still, you are ethical enough not to buy replica watches.
If you can easily spend about the same amount of money and pick up counterfeit watches that look like the authentic ones they copy. Replica watch manufacturers can also produce super clone watches that may even fool watch collectors.
By buying homage, at least you know your money goes to supporting proper, tax-paying businesses. You are not supporting shady enterprises that may use sweatshop labor to make your fake watch.
But the most important thing about you wearing a homage instead of a fake watch is this – honesty. You may be able to fool the world that you have an authentic watch, but you can never fool yourself. By wearing a counterfeit watch, you are just being dishonest with everyone.
Best Homage Watch Brands
Some of the best homage watch brands include:
- Pagani Design
- San Martin
- Dan Henry
These homage brands produce homages inspired by iconic original designs from luxury brands.
Now that you have seen how worthy it is to own a homage let’s look at several homage brands you can explore.
These are popular homage brands known for making high-quality homages of famous designs, such as Rolex GMT, Omega Speedmasters, or Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
Steinhart is based in Stadtbergen, Germany. It is known for producing very high-quality homages. Do not be surprised to find homages with ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal, and high-quality leather straps with Steinhart watches.
Steinhart offers a variety of watches, from dive, pilot, chronographs, etc. Most watches are homages of Rolex, Omega, and to some extent, Tudor.
READ MORE: 15 Homages That Look Like Rolex Watches
Homages for iconic models are well represented here – Rolex Submariner, Explorer, GMT, Daytona, Omega Planet Ocean, etc.
Pagani Design is a Chinese homage watchmaker. They may have the most complete range of homage watches out there. Expect major watch brands to be represented in their homages too.
READ MORE: Best Pagani Design Homages Under $200
These watches, in general, are powered by either Japanese or Chinese movements. More expensive models get Japanese Miyota movements, while lower-end watches get generic Chinese movements.
These generic Chinese movements are from companies such as Hong Tai and Sunon. If you are particular about movement, take extra care when shopping for a Pagani Design homage.
San Martin is a homage maker based in China. It is one of the homage makers that allow you to customize the movements inside the watch based on your personal preference.
For example, when purchasing their SN800G, you can choose between having a Swiss Sellita SW-200 movement or a PT5000 from HK Precision Hong Kong. The SN800G is a homage to the Tudor Black Bay.
Prices will differ between the movements, with the Swiss movement making the watch more expensive. Expect to find watches with ceramic bezels, high-quality crystals,
San Martin also makes homages to many models, such as those from Rolex and Omega. These are homages for the Seiko Tuna, Sumo, and Blancpain. Almost all are automatic watches.
SteelDive is also a homage maker from China. It seems to focus more on creating homage dive watches for its lineup.
The usual luxury divers are all available, such as Rolex Submariner, Omega Planet Ocean, and more. There are also homages for Seiko divers, such as the Sumo and Tuna.
Their dive-inspired watches come with impressive water resistance. With SteelDive, you certainly get a good price and quality together.
Dan Henry is a famous watch collector who later started making his own homage models for sale. Most of Dan Henry’s watches are based on popular vintage watches.
For example, the Model 1947 is based on Omega’s cal. 331 bumper automatics from the ’40s and ’50s. The watch case is designed to be similar to Patek Philippe Calatrava.
Another model is the 1962 Racing Chronograph, which resembles the Rolex Daytona and Omega Speedmaster.
Dan Henry models are usually given the Seiko VK63 Meca-Quartz movement and finished with mineral instead of sapphire crystal.
If Swiss-made watches are y our thing, well, there is such a thing as a Swiss-made homage. Check out Davosa. Davosa’s watches are made, encased, and inspected in Switzerland.
This is unlike brands such as Invicta or Festina that like to play up the Swiss heritage but make their watches in Asia.
Davosa’s homages are based on many Rolex models, such as GMT, Submariner, Daytona, etc. There are also models such as the Omega Planet Ocean and IWC watches.
Davosa’s watches also tend to run ETA-based watch movements, giving their watches a premium, luxury feel. This helps it to stand out from other homage makers.