It’s no secret that I am a fan of the Rolex GMT-Master II with the blue and black bezel – a watch known as “Batman” to some. There’s something strangely magnetic about that watch. And one reason that I am drawn to it is that it strikes me as a pure piece of modern perfect Rolex replica watches design and manufacturing. The bezel colors paired with the overall contemporary styling of the numerals and case proportions make it a quintessential modern offering from the Crown. This isn’t a re-issue or a new interpretation of something old. There is no vintage predicate for it. But what if there was?
This year, when the new updated 1:1 UK fake Rolex Air-King watches was announced at Watches & Wonders, it struck me in the same way my Batman does. It bears the vintage Air-King moniker, in the equally vintage typeface, but there’s no Air-King of yore to which it directly calls back. It’s a reinvention of the form with no forebear.
It was actually this new Swiss made replica Rolex Air-King watches which led me to a twisted thought exercise: imagine what presently non-existent vintage Rolex models might look like if they did exist. My adventure began with the Air-King because, to my mind, it is the most outlandish model to come out of Rolex in some time. And its outlandishness is not paired with some highfalutin complication like, say, the Yacht-Master II (A watch that you won’t find here today because – well – I couldn’t do it justice with my rudimentary graphic design skills). No, the Air-King is a time-only watch. So I began to think how it might look, say, 40 years ago.
My first thought is it would have to be larger than standard 34mm Air-Kings due to the colorful design. I figured it would be a model that would sit side-by-side with the Rolex Explorer 1016 in display cases. So 36mm was my number. And since cheap Rolex copy watches is nothing if not economical, I figured the dial design would borrow heavily from the 1016 much the way the modern Air-King shares the three, six, and nine with the modern Explorer. I then worked to create a vintage-evocative numeral set for the pilot-style Arabic numerals adorning the dial which I took from vintage Oyster Perpetuals of the past.
The result is a watch that I think works in the vintage context. In fact, it almost changed my perspective of the modern execution. I decided to give my vintage piece crown guards and imagined that the 2022 refresh was actually a return to tradition in my invented universe. Would I see this luxury Rolex replica watches differently today if this watch really existed? Who’s to say, but being able to manifest this 36mm yellow and green Air-King on a computer screen was satisfying, nonetheless.
As I was doing this, I looked down at the Batman on my wrist. “Why the hell not?” And so that adventure began, which was a bit trickier than you might think, considering that there is no blue-and-black vintage GMT-Master bezel. In any event, I powered through, determined to invent a ref. 1675BLNR.
Overall, I like the way it looks with the slightly faded bezel, matte dial, and painted markers. I could see this Swiss movements Rolex fake watches being a stealthy hit back in the day, say around 1978. But I couldn’t stop there. 2022 was the year of left-of-the-dial releases, and one watch epitomized that about as literally as any can: the “Lefty” GMT-Master II. So you know I had to play around with that one. To be honest, this works too! If anyone has access to a time machine, let me know as soon as you’re done reading this. But of course, there’s more.
I was determined to challenge my Photoshop acumen with the Crown’s most complicated watch: the Sky-Dweller. I went a little bit crazy with this one because I could. The basis for my design was a vintage, fluted bezel Datejust because the coolest thing about the Sky-Dweller for me is the functional fluted bezel. I then thought about how, historically, watch brands were making insanely complicated watches in cases sizes as small as 34mm (ahem, Blancpain in the ’90s). Considering this was an exercise in “imaginary vintage,” I made the decision to render my top Rolex Sky-Dweller replica watches in a 36mm case fitted – obviously – to a jubilee bracelet.
The result is a watch design that looks confusing and almost impossible. I’d venture to say that it might be impossible to manufacture a 36mm Sky-Dweller. But in my fictional universe, anything is possible. Here I once again looked to the wholesale Rolex GMT-Master fake watches for numerical inspiration. You’ll notice the 24-hour dial features the same numeral style as the bezels of vintage GMTs. The thought here was similar to that on the Air-King: Rolex would likely try to keep its typographical choices somewhat uniform.
I wrapped things up with something of a volley – or at least a model that technically did have a vintage predecessor but not in the way I re-thought it. That would be the Explorer II. Vintage models – known as the “Steve McQueen” – were notorious oddballs in the Rolex lineup. I based my new design on the modern AAA super clone Rolex Explorer II collection watches, mixing the marker styles of the current generation with the bezel of the McQueen. The result is a watch that I’m a bit on the fence about: A matte dial number with a Sea-Dweller-esque layout (with a bit of patina, for added effect).
In the end, this was just a fun exercise. We all play these games in our head, making design observations on every single new release. I just took that idea and put it in reverse. Let me know which of these is your favorite, or if there’s something from the modern best online Rolex replica watches collection you think I missed – other than the Yacht-Master II, of course.