WatchCharts Forum

Homage watches, Love or Hate?

In my years on the watch forums, trends come and go, but a few topics stand the test of time, and fuel sometimes heated debate among our fellow watch lovers. Omega Vs. Rolex… Divers watches on Leather straps :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: , Mechanical Vs Quartz… Invicta watches…
The one hot topic I want to put out there today is about Homage watches, out of all the controversial topics I have seen on reddit, or Wus, or Omega forums, or Rolex forums, or Timefactors, etc… the Homage watch seems to produce the most intense responses. (Ginault watches, im looking at you)
Im a lover of watches, all watches, more specifically, I think i respect all watches, I may not like all watches, but I respect their place in the market. Some people take a very different stance, and see watches that are made to look like other watches as theft, or disrespect to the brand, or with outright disgust.
One thing that always confuses me is that certain brands of Homage watches seem to get a pass in the watch community, and some dont.
Maybe ill stop the rant there, as im not trying to start an argument.
What i am trying to do, is see what you think of Homages, ask if you own any, or if you have ever owned any?
Right now I own a few. to me a Homage watch lives on a sliding scale, from outright copy, to a loosely based tribute to an old watch from years gone.

My Steinhart OVM is a Homage, but to me its a tribute to a long gone watch that is over 100K if you can even find one (Rolex 5517 MilSub)
it pays tribute to the Rolex on the dial and hands, but the case is really not much like Rolex at all in dimension, size, or shape.

Scurfa Diver One D1-500. This watch is not as much a Rolex in the dial design as the Steinhart, but it follows the Rolex design much more closely in the case design.

the watch that sparked this topic today is one i just got yesterday. Its a Corgeut Black Bay Homage. This is actually the 3rd one of these I have owned over the years. To me, this one rides the fine line between Homage and Copy. I prefer the sterile dial version of this model, and im glad Gorgeut no longer puts the Tudor Rose on the crown. There is no mistanking what this watch is trying to be, its not a tribute, its not loosely based on a watch, its basically a copy. Having said that, im still ok with wearing it, as it doesnt say Tudor anywhere on it, and the color combo doesnt actually exist in Tudors lineup.
but still, this watch is polarizing, there are huge threads about the Corgeut BB over on Wus, its debated, loved and hated. but for me, ill take it, I got it used for $50. it has Domed Sapphire, Miyota automatic, and screw down crown. and looks pretty cool. its my new weekend beater watch for the beach or down at my beach trailer. im not afraid to beat this one up.

So tell me, what do you think of it, and Homages in general.

1 Like

This is a super interesting topic, and actually one that we’re bringing up on our Instagram post tomorrow.

For me, it’s about why the watch was created. Is it to create a tribute to the original, with reasonable quality and cost? Is the brand creatively bankrupt, or do they have some unique designs of their own like Steinhart? A Submariner homage made by “Relox” might still be a homage, but it’s clearly trying to convey something different than a Steinhart. Basically, the brand still has to offer a sense of authenticity and enthusiasm for quality watchmaking, albeit at a lower price point and with unoriginal designs.

I’ve personally never owned a homage, and my feelings towards them are mixed. My question is this: what is it that compels you to buy them? For a vintage watch like the 5517, a homage makes more sense to me since there’s factors other than price to consider. But for the most part, I feel like you can find unique and compelling designs at almost any price point, without having to resort to a watch that’s trying to look like something else.

That said, if I were to get a homage, I’d more likely opt for a sterile dial one like the one that you recently acquired. It’s a cleaner aesthetic and acknowledges that it’s not trying to be something it isn’t.

Just my two cents. Curious to hear your response!

you have some interesting points there.
I feel Some brands opt for the low hanging fruit, the easy out. make a watch that someone else has already put the work into designing and test marketing. basically ride the back of the hard working original designing brand. (Corgeut, Parnis, Rodina, etc) . They know what works and they make watches that they know will make them money with little to no expense in R&D, and test marketing. This gives people entry into the style of an expensive watch at a price point that most everyone can afford. the big compromise here is quality, longevity, and lack of creativity. (not many outside of us watch freaks would care about any of those compromises). As long as the dial is sterile of any branding, I’m usually Ok with having one of these in my collection. these are more of a copy than Homage

Other brands borrow ideas or concepts, like the basic shape or style of the Oyster case and rotating dive bezel, while still inserting enough of their own design to retain a unique identity. My Scurfa I feel falls into this category. it has close dimensions to the Sub, but side profile, and shape are still unique to Scurfa, the dial is a Scurfa design, and to me is not so much a true Homage.

The Steinhart is more of a Homage by paying tribute to the 5517. Its not even close to being a copy, but has strong enough styling cues to make it obvious what its trying to Homage.
Im on the fence on if I add Squale to this category, or if they fall more into the first category I listed.
Squale 1545 20 Atmos is a very close copy to the Sub, only difference is in the branding on the dial, dont get me wrong I love Squale, and they have a great solid and intersting history, I have owned the 20Atmos and a 30 Atmos. but im onm the fence on how i class them.

1 Like

“A few topics stand the test of time, and fuel sometimes heated debate”, when it comes to the discussion of homage watches, i couldn’t agree more with this statement haha.

Similar to charles, i too do not own any homages, however that’s not to say that some of them haven’t caught my eye. As you mentioned, there is a fine line between Homage and Copy. Personally i am not a big fan of pieces that fall within the ‘copy’ field.

There’s a reason why homages of a watch are made, and that’s due to its timeless design. I do appreciate a good homage, one that adds its own unique twist/flavour. One such example is WMTwatches, which specialise in creating homages with a distressed look.

However, at the end of the day, it’s all down to personal taste! On a side note, that is a beautiful steinhart, i love it :slight_smile:

Thank you for adding your thoughts to my post John, this may sound bold, but i kind of feel like discussing, politics , religion, and Homage watches can cause very heated arguments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes voicing your opinion can put you on the hot seat. I was a bit nervous posting this topic, but I figured I have been in the watch game for years, and im confident in my collection, so lets talk it out.
Thank you for your kind words about my Steinhart, they do make a solid watch! The only regret I have with it is that the 39mm version was sold out at the time I got this one. 42 isnt too bad, but the long straight lugs of the Steinhart fit much more proportioned in a 39mm case.
WMT watches, they are all about the Homage. I really like how you can customize those! I would love to have one. I “built” a very vintage looking and bad ass Royal Marine!

I find it very interesting the value you can potentially get with an homage watch. I’ve had an Invicta Pro Diver (Submariner homage) for a while now, and despite only paying $50, it keeps very accurate time and looks sharp. Some brands try to pack in as much as they can, giving you the biggest “bang for your buck”. Some Chinese microbrands, like Pagani Design for example, usually have sapphire crystals and ceramic bezels on their homage watches, and their prices rarely go over $100. Granted the quality of homage watches are obviously not as high as something from Rolex or Omega, but it’s interesting to see what you can get for your money.

1 Like

I have to agree with you, love them or hate them, some of these Homage brands offer a great bang for the buck ratio.
Im glad you brought up the Invicta Pro-Diver model 8926OB! this is one of those watches from a highly contested (in the watch world at least lol) brand that gets a pass with the hardcore watch modding community. The Invicta 8926OB, and its variants is one of, if not the best bang for the buck in the Homage world. you get an excellent Oyster style case at 40mm, not too bad bracelet, 200M of water resistance, and the well proven and respected Seiko movement SiiNH36 (mass market version of the Seiko 4R36) that hacks and hand winds.
This Homage watch is so popular that it sparked some monster threads at other watch forums, threads all about modding the 8926, I have owned a few of these, and had both stock 8926’s and heavily modded ones. this is about the best and easiest modding platform out there.
The 8926 helped inspire the BSHT thread/custom dial on WUS. (Best Sub Homage Thread).
I dont really like Invicta for their insane pricing tactics, and garish designs, and over the top large watches, but for some reason the 8926 stands alone in the Invicta lineup. its a high quality well built diver for cheap, with endless modding possibilities.

Very interesting topic. I would start by saying, any watch purchase is at the discretion of the buyer. I personally do not like watches that are 1:1 copies, fakes ect… But I have seen some homage watches that have better specifications than the watch they are copying. As an example, the Chinese brand San Martin, has very high quality homage watches. I bought their version of the Seiko 6105-8110 turtle. It has sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel, 316L stainless steel and bgw9 lume. Excellent bezel rotation and alignment ect… I am VERY impressed with the quality and accurate time keeping of this watch, plus a very affordable price. Than I have seen homage watches that have good specs, but bad quality control. I prefer to buy name brand watches, with a proven track record, but if you want a affordable alternative with good specs and good quality, do your due diligence and you can find a homage watch that you like, and will have no problem sporting on your wrist.

1 Like

Jack, this was a fun article, thanks for putting it together!

I can definitely understand why one might buy an homage watch, especially if they can’t afford, or don’t feel comfortable wearing the real version.

For me though, there are so many fun watches with their own exclusive designs, that I don’t see myself ever buying an homage. For the same price of many homage watches, I can get a Seiko, Orient, or any number of microbrand watches, and have something that gives me a unique experience.

Harley mentioned San Martin, which is an interesting one. Most of their watches are homages, but they have a few unique designs, and also offer unique materials such as bronze and titanium that are not available from the original makers. I wanted to try out an affordable bronze watch, which is why I purchased the Water Ghost model that I reviewed recently. It does not seem to be an homage to anything, but I do think their bronze Tuna models look cool too!

1 Like