Given that Rolex is the world’s most famous replica luxury watch brand, it is probably no surprise that the Swiss watchmaking giant now produces only chronometer-certified watches. In fact, the cheap fake Rolex goes beyond the industry standard Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) certification with its own “Superlative Chronometer” standard. Since 2015, every Rolex watch has been guaranteed to run within -2/+2 seconds a day, and almost all models have the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” label on the dial.
However, this was not always the case. For example, some of Rolex’s earliest sports watches, most of which are now highly collectible, were not chronometers (like the vintage copy Rolex Daytona chronographs and early pre-crown-guard Rolex Submariner replicas). In addition, some of the longest-running references in the Rolex archives never ran on a chronometer-grade movement. Perhaps surprisingly to some, a few models persisted in using non-COSC certified movements until the mid-2000s. From manual to automatic movements, keep on reading, and let’s review some of Rolex’s non-Chronometer watches that you may be interested in.
Non-Chronometer Rolex Submariner Copies: 5513, 14060, And 14060M
The brand introduced the high-end Rolex 5513 in 1962 as an affordable alternative to the chronometer-certified Submariner ref. 5512. While the two replica watches are virtually identical in appearance, the Rolex ref. 5513 relies on Caliber 1520, which is not COSC-rated. Due to its high-quality but affordable Swiss ETA movement, the reference 5513 lacks the additional “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text on its dial.
Production of the ref. 5513 continued until 1989 when replica Rolex manufacturer eventually replaced it with the model 14060 in 1990. However, even the updated version of the no-date Submariner did not have a chronometer-certified movement. The Submariner 14060 may have been the first no-date Submariner to feature a sapphire crystal, a Triplock winding crown, and 300 meters of water resistance, but the inside the case still housed a non-precision chronograph movement, the Caliber 3000.
Ten years after the production of the 1:1 Submariner 14060, Rolex replaced it with the Submariner 14060M, where the “M” stands for “modified”, referring to the newer Caliber 3130 that powers the reference. However, despite the updated movement, the first-generation Submariner 14060M watches also came with two-line dials. Probably due to the additional cost of submitting the movement to third-party testing, the first Rolex Submariner 14060M watch was not officially recognized as a chronometer.
In short, from the time Rolex stopped offering the imitation Rolex ref. 5512 (1980) to the end of 2007, when the reference 14060M was finally acquired with the Submariner Date model.
Non-Chronometer Rolex Air-King Clones: 5500, 14000, And 14000M
The Rolex Air-King replica was originally intended to be a reliable, simple watch that could occupy an entry-level position in Rolex’s lineup. The ref. 5500 was introduced in 1957 and has remained largely unchanged throughout its more than 35 years of production. The Air-King was able to achieve its lower price for Rolex fans by using a non-Chronometer grade Calibre 1520 or 1530 self-winding movement.
As a result, the cheap Air-King ref. 5500 watch does not have the words “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” printed on the dial, but is instead marked “Precision” or “Super Precision.” While not a hard and fast rule, in general, the Precision dial indicates a Calibre 1520 case, while the Super Precision dial indicates the watch has a Calibre 1530 movement. Some of the earliest examples of the reference 5500 have absolutely no text printed on the lower half of the dial. These “pre-precision” Air-King dials are the cleanest dial design ever proposed by Rolex, symbolizing an earlier, less standardized era in Rolex’s history.
Like the no-date Submariner, the Air-King did not have a chronometer-certified movement when Rolex released the next generation of Air-King watches. In 1990, the Rolex replica factory released the Air-King 14000 with a smooth bezel and the Air-King 14010 with an engine-turned bezel. both models had a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial, which was still marked only “Precision”. Ten years later, these two models were replaced by the Air-King 1400M and 14010M models, both running on the non-Chronometer Calibre 3130 movement.
It wasn’t until 2007, with the introduction of the Reference 1142xx collection, that the Air-King finally became a certified chronometer, with the accompanying “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text added to its dial.
Luxurious Fake Rolex Oyster Precision 6426
The vintage Oyster Precision 6426 is pretty much the simplest Rolex replica watch you’ve ever seen. Produced from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s, this long-running Rolex reference watch features a 34mm steel case, a simple chronograph dial, and a manual-winding movement not commonly found in Rolex’s lineup.
Yes, these Rolex timepieces run not on the famous “Perpetual” movements, but on manual-winding Calibre 1210 or 1220 movements, which emphasizes the vintage vibe of the fake watches. In addition, the “Precision” text on the dial lets us know that the ref. 6426 is not a chronometer. Depending on the year of production, the dial of the replica Rolex Oyster Precision 6426 (usually silver, black, or blue) can have radium or tritium lume in addition to dauphine or pencil hands.
Exact Replica Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694
In terms of size and clean look, the Oysterdate Precision 6694 is similar to the Oyster Precision 6426 with the added advantage of a date window at the 3 o’clock position – with a Cyclops magnification lens on top. Most clone Rolex Oysterdate 6694 watches come with black or silver dials, but there are also examples with blue, champagne, and white dials.
Rolex began production of the Oysterdate Precision 6694 in the early 1960s and did not discontinue it until the late 1980s. In fact, the Oysterdate Precision 6694 was the last hand-wound Rolex watch.
The Appeal Of Non-Chronometer Rolex Replica Watches
Today, every watch in the Rolex catalog contains a chronometer-certified in-house movement. Even modern Grade AAA+ Rolex Cellini watches are certified chronometers, although their dials do not bear the familiar “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text that appears on all other Rolex watches.
As mentioned earlier, many of Rolex’s earlier knockoff watches were not certified chronometers. In addition, as we have already explained, many non-precision timepieces managed to remain in production for decades but never received a COSC-rated movement. While non-Chronometer-certified Rolex watches may not be guaranteed to be identical to their COSC-rated counterparts, many collectors prefer them to chronometers.
While the “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” text on Rolex watch dials is intended to be a mark of accuracy and is therefore considered a badge of honor, many collectors appreciate and indeed covet the beauty of non-COSC dials with less text. This explains why two-liner Rolex dials usually cost more than their four-liner dial counterparts of the same model.