Big Date replica watches: updates to our recommendation for two of the best

The genre, if there is one…well, if there isn’t an official genre, let’s create one, began with replica A. Lange & Söhne way back in 1994. Their now legendary launch event and rebirth on October 24, 1994 was marked by three watches which feature what they call “Outsized Date” viz the Lange 1, the Saxonia and the Arkade. The only exception was the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite which had no date display.

The Lange 1 remains in their catalog today, though updated with a new and improved movement. The Saxonia is also retained, but have undergone extensive rework, and now a family identified by the bar indices on the dial. And the Arkade, a ladies model, once thought of to showcase that the large date was not possible using the conventional date wheel, has been dropped. What a pity, for it is a magnificently beautiful watch.

Under the instruction of supremo Günther Blümlein, the patent for the double digit date display which was held by Jaeger-LeCoultre was used exclusively for Lange. It was only after his death in 2001 that the patent was made available for other house brands. And finally, JLC was able to adopt it in their watches. As was IWC and other Richemont brands. Other brands followed suit. Interestingly, Glashütte Uhrenbetrieib (which became today’s Glashütte Original) too had shown a double date style display in one of their watches circa mid-1960s. But the panorama date, as GUB calls it, was not programmed. Meaning it went on from 31 to 32…all the way to 39 and before it cycled back to 1. One had to make a correction of 9 days for long months, and 10 days for short months and 11 or 12 days for February. But the principle of a double disc date display was demonstrated, and as GUB was in the German Democratic Republic then, no patent application was filed.
A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moonphase Replica With Blue Leather Strap

We begin at the beginning. The luxury A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 copy watch was the first watch with a large double date display. Lange calls this their “Outsized Date” and is the only date display they have ever used since. The latest 2021 crop of watches follow in the footsteps with the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar being a favourite. But our pick is for the Little Lange 1 Moonphase. A drop dead, stop your tracks gorgeous watch, if there ever was one.

The first Little Lange 1 Moon Phase was introduced in 2009 in limited numbers, and then reintroduced in 2017 as regular production with silver guilloche dial (still available) and an improved calibre L121.2. But it is the latest version of the Little Lange 1 Moonphase in white gold and goldstone dial which bowled us over. And the outsized date is as prominent as ever. Even in the smaller 36.8mm case size. Retail for Ref. 182.086 in white gold case is SGD 64,900.
Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Copy With Swiss Movement

Another German next. One of our favourites. The best fake Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date is part of the Specialist Collection introduced in Time to Move 2019. Our pick is the two tone rose gold and stainless steel version.
The design, especially the box shaped sapphire crystal has a hint of vintage charm. But quickly topped up with the panorama date, and up to date movement. The Calibre 36-13 is beautifully built and finished and features a modern silicon hairspring. The overall package is great, and it manages to balance that leverages on its past and builds on the fundamentals to provide a modern interpretation of the original Spezimatic with refinement and quality finishing. The retail price of SGD 23,000 is rather reasonably as well.