Luxury watches are expensive, and the temptation of a cheaper replica is always there. But replicas are illegal and unethical as well. What about homage watches? Why are homage watches better than replicas?
Homage watches are better than replicas as they are ethical and legal. Homage watches are also easier to service, maintain and usually come with a warranty. Homage watches are also easier to resell in the future. You also do not worry about being caught wearing a fake watch.
In this article, we will take a closer look into homage watches and present to you 10 reasons you should go get a homage instead of a replica.
ALSO READ: Affordable Homages To Rolex Submariner
What Are Homage Watches?
Homage watches are basically a ‘lookalike,’ a watch made to look like the original but not an exact copy.
A great example is how the Orient Panda Neo is an homage to the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. Notice how the design is similar not exactly the same.
Homages differ from a counterfeit/replica/fake watch in several ways:
First, homage watches are made to pay ‘homage’ to the original. As they say, ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery, and homage watches are proof of the original watch’s iconic status. Replica watches just try to rip off the original directly.
The second is that homage watches are made by proper watchmaking companies that use their own brand on the watches. Replicas would just duplicate the original’s logo, but not homage companies. This sets them apart from replica watches.
Finally, homage watches do not copy 100% of the original but leave design differences to ensure they have their own look. This also prevents homage companies from getting into legal trouble with the original watchmaker.
We have covered homage watches in detail in another article. Feel free to check it out by clicking on it:
ALSO READ: The Truth About Homage Watches
Are Homage Watches Better Than Replicas?
Homage watches are always better than replica in that it is legal, ethical, and moral. Your purchase will support honest, proper watchmaking companies instead of criminal enterprises. Homage watches are easier to service and maintain, as they mostly come with a warranty.
If you need more convincing, here are 11 reasons you should purchase a homage watch instead of a replica.
You Know What You Are Getting
When buying a replica, you know you are buying a watch that looks like the original on the outside. Often high-grade replicas get the job done very well on the external.
But what about the inside? A replica Rolex Submariner will definitely not run a Rolex Caliber 3135.
If it is a more expensive replica, you might see a Swiss or Japanese movement running inside. You better thank your lucky stars if it runs a Sellita or Miyota.
But in many cases, you will get a generic Chinese movement, with its externals modified to look like the original movement. You often see this if the original watch design has an exhibition caseback.
You will have no idea about the movement’s quality, performance, reliability, or longevity.
On another note, if you purchase a homage, the makers usually will tell you what movement is running inside.
Most homage makers do not develop their own watch movement, so you tend to see movements from companies like Sellita, Miyota, or Seagull. These are reputable, great watch movement makers.
This means when you buy a homage watch, you can have peace of mind and understand that your watch movement will perform well and be reliable over the long term.
You Can Service & Maintain The Watch Easily
If you own a replica watch, you might not know about the movement inside it. You have no idea about the movement’s performance, reliability, and longevity.
You will also have problems servicing it.
Many watchmakers will reject servicing a replica out of principle and ethical reasons. Even if some watchmakers are willing to try, they will also be very cautious since they do not know what they are working with.
A watchmaker often develops familiarity with movements as they gain experience. For example, when opening up a Hamilton, Tissot, or Omega, he knows that the movement will be from ETA and can immediately know what to do.
He knows the ‘common problems with these movements. He would know who to reach out to get quality spare parts for the watch. He also knows what grease and oil to use with the movement.
If he is unsure about anything, there is an official repair manual that he can consult.
With a replica, there’s none of this. There is no repair manual, no places to seek spare parts, and no recommendations on oils and grease. The watchmaker might not even know much about the movement he is servicing.
You do not get the same problem with a homage. Watchmakers will not reject servicing a homage as it does not violate their principle and ethical standards.
Homage watchmakers use popular movements such as ETA, Sellita, Miyota, or Seagull, which helps the watchmakers service them quickly.
If they are unsure, they can quickly consult an official repair manual to help them.
It is much easier to service and maintain a homage than a replica.
ALSO READ: Can You Service A Replica Watch?
Your Watch Comes With Warranty & Support
On top of ease of servicing and maintenance, your homage watches will also come with a warranty and support.
Homage watch companies operate openly as a business entity, as they are legal. This means buying a homage would be similar to buying an original watch.
Homage watchmakers also offer their customers a warranty, servicing, and support. The after-sales experience with homage watches would be similar to owning an original watch.
With replicas, you do not get this. Often you purchase it in some ‘gray’ area, an online store of unknown origin, or some back alley from a hustler.
Once you purchase a replica, you are mostly on your own. No support, no warranty. You might even not be able to reach out to the person who sold you the watch if the replica turned out to be a lemon.
You Are Not Supporting Criminal Enterprises
Producing and selling replica watches is illegal and is considered a crime in many countries. This is because it is a violation of intellectual property and patent laws.
This means entities in the business of replica watches could be considered criminal enterprises.
Since criminal enterprises do not adhere to the laws of the country they operate in, it might not be surprising that they are producing these replica watches without adhering to labor laws.
Chances are the production of these replica watches might involve child labor, unlivable wage, or indentured service that are not too far different from slavery.
By buying replica watches, you support these criminal enterprises and whatever other illegal activities they might be involved in.
The same could not be said for homage watchmakers. These companies are legal business entities operating within the confines of the law they are based in.
They conduct their business openly, source materials properly, and pay their workers proper wages. Homage companies also pay taxes, contributing to the economy and social development.
By buying homage, you are ensuring your money stays ‘clean’ and supporting good companies operating within the law. Call this spending your money morally and ethically.
You Support Smaller Watchmaking Companies
By buying a homage, you also support small, honest watchmaking companies.
Most homage watchmakers are small companies that do not have the capital to design, develop and market their own watches. As a result, they make homages to leverage the popularity of iconic watches.
These companies do not make huge profits, and the staff is also not paid huge salaries or bonuses. But the staff members get to do meaningful work, and their income could be used to raise families and put their children through college.
Compare that to buying a replica. Your money might go towards helping a criminal boss expand his ’empire’ of illegal businesses. Your money will contribute to increased crime and the general deterioration of peace and order in society. These enterprises would not pay tax for sure.
Which is more palatable to you? You decide.
ALSO READ: 15 Affordable Watches That Look Like Rolex
You Get To Worry Less About Wear & Tear
As homage watches are much more known in quality and quantity, you do not worry about wear and tear on them compared to a replica.
For example, instead of a Replica Rolex Explorer, you purchased a Tissel 9015 Explorer, which is an excellent homage to the original.
You know that the watch runs a Miyota 90S5 movement, known for its robustness, reliability, and easy service. You worry less about putting the watch ‘to the test.’
Wear it to play tennis and piano, and expose it to shock. Wear it to snorkel and water sports, and expose it to saltwater and some water pressure.
You know the watch will hold and do well. Even if the watch breaks, you can reach back to the homage watchmaker and get customer support.
With a replica, you do not know how well the watch will perform. Sure it is made to look like the original, but can it handle abuse as well as the original?
Can it handle shocks? Or does the generic movement inside the watch even have a shock absorber in the first place?
What about the rubber gasket? Can it handle water pressure like the original watch? Or 30M (99ft) is all it could go?
If you put the watch to the test and it breaks, good luck finding watchmakers willing to service them and the right parts.
You Get More Respect
In the world of horology, if you can wear the original, wear the original. You will get the utmost respect from even the snobbiest of watch snobs.
If you cannot afford the original or refuse to wait for years for it, then get a homage.
Any watch enthusiasts worth their salt would appreciate your honesty and respect your integrity and ethical standards.
You will be respected for your ability to say no to the temptations of a cheap replica and buy a homage instead.
You will also be respected for your sense of justice. Instead of supporting a criminal enterprise, you support an excellent homage watchmaker that operates by the law, pays taxes, and contributes to the economy and society.
But most importantly, you will be respected for your honesty, to yourself, and to the people around you. You do not try to lie to people that you own a Rolex when it is actually a fake.
You Can Easily Resell The Watch
A homage watch can also be easily resold in the future if you no longer want it.
This is because you can sell them just like an original watch. It will come complete with papers, purchase history, and an after-sales support network for the future buyer.
You can also openly advertise the watch for sale on Facebook Market, Craigslist, or eBay.
The future buyer could also quickly know what movement is running inside the watch. If service and spare parts are needed, they can easily be arranged.
Compare this with trying to sell a replica watch. You certainly cannot place the product for sale openly since it is illegal. Many platforms are against counterfeit products being sold on their marketplace.
The future buyer will face the same issue such as serviceability, reliability, and not having after-sales support to fall back on if something happens.
You Do Not Worry About Getting Caught With A Fake
Wearing a replica watch can look nice, and you might feel great with it on your wrist. But deep down, instead, you still worry about having the watch checked out closely by others, as it is a fake.
Suppose you have never seen the original before. In that case, you will worry even more about being caught with a fake watch.
This is because you have never made a comparison about how close your replica watch is to the original.
You will not allow people to look at your watch closely. That sends an indirect signal that your watch might be a replica. If your watch is really the original, you won’t worry about letting others take a closer look at it.
Plus, in many cases, you can still tell apart original watches from the replica, with some effort.
You do not have this fear with a homage, as you are not even trying to lie to others. They can tell that the watch looks like a Rolex, but it is from another watchmaker and not a fake watch.
You might even be able to strike a conversation and educate people about the wonderful world of homage watches if they ever got interested in your watch as well.
ALSO READ: Affordable Homages To Rolex Datejusts
You Are Being Honest With Yourself & People Around You
Finally, by choosing a homage instead of a replica, you are being honest with yourself and the people around you.
You can purchase a replica and impress people around you that you have an ‘original’ Omega Planet Ocean, but deep down inside, you know you have lied to them.
Even if you can square that with yourself for being a liar, you still know that you are lying to yourself and have sacrificed your integrity.
If you buy a replica watch to impress people, that is already the wrong way to impress people.
If they cannot accept you for who you are but for the watch you are wearing, then these people are not worth impressing, as they are shallow and too judgmental of your outward appearance.
To borrow loosely from Will Rogers, too many people are buying things they do not need to impress people they do not even like in the first place.
Don’t be that guy.
You will feel so much better with yourself if you are honest. Save up the money to buy the original. Wear a homage as you do so. Just never entertain a replica.