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Guide - how to purchase your first rep.

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    Guide - how to purchase your first rep.

    Guide - how to purchase your first rep!

    After reading so many clueless first buy reviews, I decided perhaps a how-to guide would be a good idea.
    As I too only began using RWI only a while ago, I can understand the confusions and frustrations of new comers. Below are some helpful information when it comes to your first purchase.

    TD = Trusted Dealers of replica watches
    AD = Authorized Dealer, shops where you buy expensive genuine watches
    Franken = Frankenstein, referred to watches using various mixed parts to improve authenticity.
    M2M = member to member sales/ trade
    WIS = Watch Idiot Savant, someone who's severely addicted to watches or horology. Often very knowledgeable within a field of expertise
    SS = Stainless Steel, FG = full gold TT = two tone, RG = Rose gold
    ETA = A famous swiss watch manufacturer dating back to 1856. Many of today's swiss watches either use a movement directly produced by ETA or uses a movement modified/ based on their designs. In the old days of rep making, Chinese movements were crudely made, and many people preferred to have a swiss ETA movement in their watch for accuracy and stability. ETA since 2010 provide limited supply of Ebauche movements, and thus has become very expensive, often adding $200 on top of the rep price tag. Meanwhile Chinese watch movements has improved vastly in quality, it seems less and less worthwhile to use ETA movements.
    Asian Movements = whenever you see for example, A2824, A3120, It means it's an asian clone or imitation of the swiss movements. However, not all Asian movements are clones of their counter-parts. While clones mean it's almost identical in a mechanical sense in terms of its structure, imitation movements are merely disguised to look like the real movement, but functions very differently. Clone movements tend to be more reliable than imitation movements. Current widely used Asian clones that are reliable include A2824, A2836, A2892, A7750, A6497.
    Miyota= Miyota movements 8215 and 9015 are japanese designed movements, and are trusty inexpensive alternatives to Asian ETA clones. Noting that because they are single-directional rotors, they tend to be louder than eta based movements.
    QC = Quality control, the process of checking a watch for defects before shipping it out

    It may be a bit harder than it sounds. While some came to the forum with a specific watch in mind, many new comers (myself included) wants to know whats the most authentic / close-to-gen rep is. Thus the joke "who has the best sub?" on your status. I will begin by answering that question.

    Rolex Submariners
    The best Non-Ceramic submariner by consensus is the TC sub. Thomas Caddell is a submariner enthusiast who source his parts from all over the world in pursuit to make the best rep. His reps are however, a bit more expensive than others. Just google TC sub and you can find his blog and contact info. The current closest to gen Ceramic submariner is a debate between noob V5 and JF 116610. To be fair, neither has gotten the bezel right so far.

    It is fairly dated and doesn't include newer information on the noob v5 or JF. Noob v5 has shallower bezel engravings but better paint job while the JFs are the newest additions to submariners with better dial, SS bracelet, and deeper engravings like gen. The paint however, is wayyyy off. A DIY repaint on the bezel isn't too hard, but you'll need to research into that for further information. (use the search function to your top right)

    Panerais are probably the 2nd most popular reps people seek. There are way too many super reps to list. A general advice is to go for a closed-back if you don't want to research into the best display-back. Some good closed-back starters are PAM 005, 029/29m, 292, 380. For a very thorough guide that will take a whole day to finish reading:

    Audemars Piguet
    APs are easily one of the most popular reps, and may perhaps be even more popular than Panerais. I wasn't very enthusiastic about them until I owned my first, and then it became an addiction. There's something about the intricate craftsmanship and playfulness of APs that made them my #1 watch. They're never dull. After owning more than a few reps, I can truly say, some watches look better on the shelve, APs look better on the wrist. There are three main categories when it comes to APs, Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore (ROO), and Royal Oak Offshore divers. APs just keep piling on their names, it's not uncommon to find an AP watch with a 10-words name. If you're very anal about precision and likeness to gen, avoid display backs. While Jf and noob both have pretty decent decoration plates nowadays, there are still flaws. Research into what those flaws are, or PM me for more details. The current best versions are made by JF with very close competition by noob. Some good closed back options include ROO Bumble Bee, Volcano, and Panda. The SS ROO Diver and Ceramic ROO Divers are also very well made. However with divers, the genuine 3120 has a low beat 21,600 vph as opposed to the 28,800 movements used by reps. That translates to 6 ticks/ second vs 8 ticks/ second. I have a very good eye for sweeping movements and so it bothers me, but not everyone can tell.

    Other Close-to-Gen Reps
    Other very well made reps that are very close to gen include but not exclusive to: ZF Tudor Black Bay, V6F Tudor Pelagos, MKF IWC Mark XVII black dial, V6F IWC Pilot Chronograph Black Dial & Le Petit Prince Edition, V6F Cartier Ballon Bleu, Noob Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Noob Jaeger Le-Coultre Master Compressor Diver. There are more to the list but alot of them are subject to individual opinions. For example the ZF Tudor Pelagos is said to be better craftsmanship than the V6F, but it has the wrong bezel numeral spacing. Various factories are still competing to make the best XVII petit prince etc. Most of the times, the watches will look 95% like gen, with small flaws that most people won't notice unless they're comparing them side-by-side or knows the watch very well. Sometimes a watch will have a great dial, bezel and over-all feel, but with a wrong movement in the display back. However no one is going to strip your watch from your wrist and compare it to theirs or google pics unless you voluntarily walk into an AD to get it checked out. So just wear with confidence, and ignore the little flaws that no one's ever going to notice.

    I know it can be very disorienting choosing a TD out of that list of almost 20 TDs in the dealers section. While they are all trusted doesn't mean they're equally active. Trusted simply means they have a long standing record for not ripping off their customers and have good reputation. On that point, I would like to say, once you choose a TD, please trust that they will not run off with your money. Many of the TDs here sell hundreds of watches monthly from sales here, other forums such as Repgeek, RWG etc, and local sales in their area. Many of the TDs have been in business for 3+ years. They have no interest in ruining their reputation and sabotaging their future business for your measly $400 USD. I see too often a first time buyer complains on a buyer review thread after not getting a reply from their TD within 12 hours. Most TDs here live in China, that's how they ensure a steady quality-controlled supply from the factories to you. Keep in mind that while it might be broad daylight here in North America or Europe, it's 3am there and everyone's sound asleep. Sometimes check your calendar, it might be Saturday or Sunday there, and they may be out with family or friends. Once you wire the money or charge your credit card, it takes an average of 3-5 days for the watch to arrive from factory for them to QC. Sometimes the TD will have a watch in stock, and you'll have QC photos within the next few hours, sometimes the factories have to make from scratch, and may take up to five days or more. Allow 3 days before sending another email to them asking where your watch is at. Then allow another 2 days for them to reply you. It doesn't mean they'll necessarily take 2 days, but give them time to sort things out or return from vacay. If there is still no reply after a ridiculously long time, file a complaint ticket with Helpdesk! on the tab above. Do not directly resolve to complaining or writing a bad review on forum right away, the moderators and admins of this forum are not very sympathetic with potential defamation of TDs. I've seen it many times, a noob buyer doesn't get a reply within 12 hours, complains with bad review, moderator condemns behavior, TD returns email when they woke up and saw how bad things elevated. Problem resolved because they always do, TDs would rather lose money than credibility. Noob end up apologizing in thread. Then why bother make it an embarrassment in the first place?

    Now how to choose a TD:

    The #1 incentive for choosing a TD over another is of course price. However most TDs won't differ in price more than $30 usd, and I've found that when they do, it's often because the factory has dropped its price and the TD has forgotten or haven't yet updated their price. Check with them by sending an email. The best place to start for selecting a TD is to actually head over to RWI dealer of the year.
    This gives you a sense of which dealer has been most active in the past year. once you shorten the list to 5-6 potential dealers, head over to their buyer review section within their own sub-forums and check the number of recent reviews and people's comments. Sometimes a TD may have been absent for a while now, or may be on vacay.

    Keep in mind there are different types of TDs. Torobravo, Intime, Puretime, TS Watch, Chazingtime/Psychospike are active TDs that are based in China and have a team of employees working and are fairly fast-paced. Supermirror is based in China/Europe and often have stock shipping from within Europe for the convenience of those living there. Trevor and WBK specialize in cheaper small-batched watches where you can often find great deals. BK's Perpertorium is a modder that sells modded/ improved versions of various watches for a surplus. Yuki is a good place to seek various watch parts such as dials and cases and movements for reparations or modding. There are many more dealers whom I'm not familiar with or are not active.

    When choosing a TD, find someone who is willing to do a very detailed QC and has the patience to communicate with you. While most TDs have a return policy, waiting 2 weeks for a watch only to send it right back is not fun. Also, the shipping fee back will not be covered. Whatever minimal the price difference is, its worth it to pay a little more for a dealer who is willing to go that extra mile for you. While you're free to try different dealers, I recommend sticking to one for future purchase if the buying experience was a pleasant one. Loyal customers tend to get more perks. Sometimes they'll omit the $10~$20 difference if you decided to switch orders after payment. They'll also be more detailed when QCing your watch, and more willing to do exchanges. You can also order parts from them if your watch is ever damaged. If you have another product in mind that is not listed on their website, you can also inquire about it, and often they'll try to find it for you.

    M2M sales are trickier in that they don't have the kind of reputation TDs do, and are therefore a potential risk. Although often times members will sell a watch they no longer want for a discounted price, it is ultimately at the buyer's risk of what condition the watch arrives in and whether they arrive at all. I suggest holding off M2M until you're more familiar with the members of this forum. Some long term members are just as reputable as dealers. You can also click into their profile to see how many past transactions they've made through this forum, often that's a good indicator of their trustworthiness.

    3. PAYMENT
    There's not much to be said here, most TDs provide the same methods of payment: credit card, direct bank transfer, western union, [S]paypal [/S]etc. Some TDs provide up to 10% discount if you choose to wire money through Western Union or Moneygram. One thing noteworthy though, is that don't be too hasty to seek chargeback via paypal or credit card. As mentioned before, just because a TD does not answer you right away does not mean they're trying to scam you. Sometimes they're sleeping or away, or if it's Saturday or Sunday they need weekends too. Often things get resolved if you just allow them a little trust and time. You may have gotten your money back from chargeback, but it damages your credibility with credit card company and paypal too. Furthermore may result in a permanent removal of your account / IP from RWI and a ban across all replica fora. Which may not be a big deal for you, but why complicate an issue that the TD was willing to deal with if you just trust them in the first place? Like I mentioned, they sell hundreds of watch monthly. Lets say if $50 is their profit margin. why would they lose out on a stable monthly income of $5000+ for a measly one-time $400?
    Edit by DVL: Paypal is not offered to first-time customers and even rarely to repeat customers because of the high scam rate and trigger happy buyer disputes. Western Union usually gives you the best price. If you run into problems with an RWI dealer, contact the helpdesk.


    Most TDs check for defects before sending the photos to you, as it's also very troublesome for them to have to deal with disputes and returns or refunds. A subject not frequently talked about is how meticulous/anal should we be about quality control. The watches being thousands of miles away can often make us feel insecure about the condition of the watch. Does it work? Are there scratches/dents? I say dents are not acceptable. Hairline scratches are likely going to happen within the first week of you wearing the watch anyway, it is really worth exchanging over and over to find that 1 watch with absolutely no imperfections? When checking QC make sure to check a few places.
    1. Rehaut / Bezel / Tachy alignments. This is most often the problem and are often hard/ impossible to fix. Rolex rehaut for example (google rehaut if you don't understand), is a part of the case, and a misaligned rehaut cannot be corrected unless sanded off and re-engraved. Bezels and Tachy rings are fixable with right tools, but if you need my advice, likely you won't know how. Easier to just make sure they're aligned.
    2. Check for misprints. Misprints can come in the form of missing print, double print, smudged prints, or uneven prints. With the printing technologies today, this doesn't happen that much anymore, but because dials are often printed in stages, they may have forgotten a stage of printing, and therefore have missing print.
    3. Check lugs and edges for dents and big scratches. These are places most easily damaged during transportation and manufacture. Although with strong materials such as SS, significant damages are unlikely.


    Shipping time varies depending on country. Customs tend to be stricter in Europe than it is in North America. However the TDs are usually very experienced in what kind of labels leads to the least seizures. In case of extremely bad fortune, most TDs cover free replacement or refunds, so buy with confidence and let them worry about customs (check about his terms of service BEFORE you buy!). Edit by DVL: High risk countries require triangle shipping. The dealer will advise you, the money is well-spent.

    6. ARRIVAL
    This part may seem redundant, but after the excitement of the watches finally arriving, many people start going through scrutinizing comparisons between their new watch and online photos of the genuine, and start picking their watch apart. While many reps do an extremely good job of resembling the gen, it is nonetheless not a gen. It will never pass as a gen, and if your intentions are not malevolent, you do not need them to pass as gens. Passing as a genuine watch means when the caseback is opened and the movement is revealed, an AD or watchmaker still cannot differentiate between a gen and a rep. Only 2 watches I know have the possibility of passing as such, one is the Tudor Black Bay and the other being the Cartier Ballon Bleu. Despite being able to using very similar movements, the finishing on the movements are still different, and can only deceive novice watchmakers or inexperienced ADs. Other watches like ones I've mentioned above have a 1-2% difference to the gen, and can never be differentiated. Many people go through hundreds to thousands of dollars of modding franken projects, going as far to using gen crystal, dial, bezel, bracelet, hands, date wheel only so that they feel more secure about their rep. however, it is still not a gen despite spending $2000-$3000 into it, and for double or triple that price, you can pretty much own a used gen which retains its value. The cliched saying in the rep world is "wear with confidence" and that's essentially all you need. No one's going to strip the watch from your wrist to do a closeup analysis just to proof that its a fake, so enjoy your new watch and welcome to RWI.

    I have the best sub.

    Nice write up - great to see people taking the initiative of doing this for new members! A+ effort
    My Name is Ruski91 and I am a Watchaholic


      Excellent post. Enjoyed reading this.


        Possibly the best guide i've read in the forum.
        Thank you very much.


          What an excellent thread. Rep points for you bud.


            This is excellent. Great threat. Thank you for your Work. Thumbs up!!


              Really good guide. Impressed. Sticky?
              CURRENT GENS: Gen Rolex GMT Master II BLNR 'Batman' - Gen Rolex 116613LB 'Bluesey'
              CURRENT REP: Nothing
              AP Diver JF V7- Pam127 - Rolex pre daytona 6238 - Pam605 - Pam504 -BP DD40- Pam111v3- Tudor BB Red - BK 116610LV - Omega Spectre 300 - Super Franken Rolex DateJust 1601 - Franken TC 16610 - TC Elabore Yachtmaster - Tudor BB v3 Red - Rolex V6S 116610LV


                [MENTION=11620]trailboss99[/MENTION] can this be a sticky?

                Tudor GMT


                  Awesome post. This is definitely sticky material.


                    This would have came in handy a month ago as I literally wrote the exact same thing for a guy I met in a work training class that was interested in joining the rep game after noticing my PAM. Great post.


                      Definitely sticky material. What took me months to learn, you laid it all out in one excellent post. Bravo!


                        Thank you for this. I've been a member here for many years but still appreciate this post. Should definitely be a sticky


                          Stickied that.

                          Edited some information (see italics).
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                            Agree...excellent information

                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                            I'm a Pamaholic.


                              Great post, as a new member this is vital information. I appreciate you taking the time for something like this.