Really should forget replicas and go with perfectly legal homage on Panerai
Like Parnis Marina http://www.manbushijie.com/
This is $144 it is 44mm Marina Militare PVD case Sandwich Dial Green number Auto watch with Seagull auto movement
I agree with going the "homage" route. But "Marina Militare" is trademarked by Panerai. I wouldn't feel good wearing a Parnis labeled "Marina Militare." There are plenty of Panerai style watches at Manbushijie that are either sterile (unbranded) or labeled Parnis. I ordered from them once, and the service is very courteous (although the online tracking for the shipments sucks). Also, you're not seeing the real prices until you register with the site. They go down a lot.
There's also Tao, who is pretty much in the same price range.
Last edited by Big M; 02-23-2012 at 10:52 AM.
Check out http://forums.watchuseek.com/forum.php
I did quick search on there and found a 52 page thread on best Panerai homage watch
I ordered (and paid) on Feb 28, and it arrived by March 6 via DHL.
I emailed them on March 4 because the website was still listing my order as "awaiting payment." They got back to me right away, we emailed back and forth, and by the end of the day they sent out the order...which had already been sent out. Two days later, I got my watch, and I ended up getting a second watch on March 14 via certified USPS. Like I said, their order tracking sucks, but their customer service is very prompt and helpful. I offered to send back the extra (at their expense), but they said to keep it with their compliments.
Their watch bands are notoriously stiff and uncomfortable, and mine was no different. I eventually swapped on a nicer padded leather band, and it really makes the watch. The workmanship is pretty darn good, considering it's a $64 Chinese watch. I got THIS watch (click). It's easier to spot in this pic than in person, but the 12 and 6 are flatter than the other markers. And the display caseback could have done a better job framing the movement instead of showing the spacer around it (yours doesn't seem to have that problem, based on the pic on the site). Otherwise, it's pretty sharp overall.
I normally gain about 5 seconds a day. When I have it wound all the way to full charge, it gains more. It's a simple Seagull movement, so there's not much to go wrong. Crown in, crown out, works fine. This Christmas, I got an Android with Seagull movement that has a date complication. It works fine so far, but it's a bitch to get the crown in the damn middle position.
Last edited by Big M; 02-28-2012 at 11:56 AM.
I picked up one from triconstore on ebay for around 75 bucks. Took a good and long time to get to the US, but I'm happy with it. The strap is just ok. The buckle often unscrews from the bracelet, but then I've been too lazy to put any manner of thread lock on it. My only real gripe is the PVD coating or black paint flaked off around the crown so that bit is silver. Let me know if you'd like pics (as obscure as they'd be because it's pretty murdered out).
I've been looking around this site lately, and it has a pretty good selection. Watchuseek forum members say good things about the customer service, too.
It takes forever for their pages to load, though.
Meanwhile, does anyone know of any Panerai style watches by mainstream brands? Like how everyone has an homage of the basic Submariner style. If Seiko or Citizen had a fair PAM homage, I'd probably have one already instead of looking to China.
I have experience with both Jacksontse.com and getat-watch.com and the watches are very good. You are better off going through one of these dealers than you will be on eBay. They will be more likely to stand behind the watch and help you in case of a problem than an eBay seller will. I have a few 'homage' watches myself...