Watches are valuable accessories used to tell not only time but also social status, thanks to the emergence of luxury watches. Luxury watches have become status symbols because of their ludicrous price tags that only the richest can afford.
Those who are on a budget often go for the alternative homage watches. Homage watches, however, have been the center of a controversy for years with people debating whether they should be considered fakes or a different breed of timepieces altogether.
What is a homage watch
A homage watch is basically a timepiece that somehow imitates famous, authentic ones but is sold at a fraction of the cost. Homage watches are considered more affordable alternatives to luxury brands which typically have high price tags not everybody can afford.
Luxury brands like Rolex, Hublot, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger Le Coultre, and Bremont sell ludicrously expensive watches that are worth more than a thousand bucks each. Only a few are able to own them for their price and possessing one enables you to enjoy the exclusivity known only to the richest people out there.
In the effort to make these timepieces more affordable and available to the average individual, many companies have created homage watches that take on their design inspiration from authentic luxury timepieces.
Homage watches are not to be mistaken for replicas or counterfeits. They are legal imitations because they don’t try to pass off as real ones. They don’t mimic each and every detail available on the luxury timepieces. They also don’t illegally use the name of the brand on their products.
Reasons to buy them
Despite doubts and debates, many people are attracted to homage watches. Here are some of the most popular reasons why collectors and non-collectors alike love them.
Homage watches are intentionally made to be inexpensive to reach even those who are on a budget. Usually, they can be bought for only 20% of the price of the authentic models.
You may not be wearing a Rolex or a Hublot, but homage watches look equally beautiful. Homage watches take on the designs of luxury brands which is why attention to detail is given importance by manufacturers. The result: an elegant watch that looks as luxurious as the authentic ones.
Worry-free to wear
Since homage watches are cheaper, you won’t worry about bumping it onto something. Scratches and damages on luxury watches will cost you a fortune when repaired, more so for vintage and ultra-rare collectibles.
Homage watches, on the other hand, can be replaced instantly. You won’t have to worry about parts because the repair centers most likely have spares readily available.
Easier to find
Many luxury watches are rare collectible items that are hard to obtain. Chances are you’ll have trouble buying them from an existing owner even if you price them higher than the market average.
Homage watches can be found on almost every watch store.
Luxury and homage watches share a common thing: they both tell the time. Sometimes, homage watches perform even better than luxury timepieces because their electric circuits are powered by modern technology. Many homage watches also feature additional functions that luxury watches don’t have.
Difference between luxury and homage
The term homage itself means to pay respect to something. Although homage watches cost cheaper, manufacturers make sure they stay true to the design of the luxury watches where they drew inspiration from.
Luxury watches are expensive because of the process manufacturers undergo just to assemble one piece. The watches are typically made up of hundreds of tiny pieces, most of which are handcrafted.
Usually, it takes months to even years to complete the production of a single watch. What you’re really paying for is the research involved in making the watch, the quality of the materials used, and the laborious man-hours it took to assemble a single timepiece. In addition to that, the rave from the collectors and the limited supply add to their expensive selling prices.
On the other hand, homage watches use modern technology and processes that allow for cheaper manufacturing costs and faster production times. Modern watches are also powered with quartz crystals and electric motors that run on batteries. All their components are readily available in the market so there’s no scarcity in the components used, unlike in mechanically-driven luxury watches that are already out of production. However, although the attention to detail in homage watches is high, they may not exhibit the same quality of craftsmanship luxury timepieces have.
The price gap between homage and luxury watches is the result of the big difference in workmanship and manufacturing methodology. This is the greatest advantage of homage watches that entices people to buy them. You can save as much as 80% on homage watches or even more, depending on the brand you’re buying.
For example, an authentic Breitling Navitimer costs around $3,500. On the other hand, the Citizen Perpetual Calendar, a homage watch that takes on the design of the Navitimer costs only $500.
The infamous Rolex Submariner costs around $8,000. The alternative homage Invicta Diver Watch will only take $85 from your pocket.
There are homage watches with better quality that range around $200 to $500. They’re a little more expensive but their price tag doesn’t even compare to those of the original classics.
Difference between replica and homage
A replica is an exact copy while a homage doesn’t necessarily duplicate each and every feature to look authentic. A replica copies while a homage resembles.
A counterfeit doesn’t value the heritage associated with the timepiece it’s imitating. This is the exact opposite of what homage watches are doing which is paying respect to the classic design of luxury watches.
Homage watches aren’t considered counterfeits although they’re created to give the same vibe as that of the original. On the other hand, replicas are considered counterfeits because they try to copy each and every detail available on the original watches, albeit haphazardly. From the color and font to the brand and logo, everything is copied but with little attention to detail. This makes counterfeits easier to identify.
The existence of counterfeits is unethical and illegal that local enforcement is allowed to seize the fake watches and question sellers who offer them.
Not only do they look bad but wearing them will also make you look insecure. People will even look at you as someone who’s a supporter of fake products that don’t value hard work.
Counterfeits are dirt cheap because they’re made up of plastic components that are unreliable and tend to malfunction within a few months’ time. Homage watches, on the other hand, make use of genuine components that are built to last.
Conclusion and key takeaways for Homages
If you don’t mind spending more than a thousand dollars on a timepiece, then a luxury watch is something you can add to your wardrobe. However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative that still sports the same elegance, then a homage watch is your best option. Whichever type you choose, the thing that matters most is how comfortable you feel wearing them.