SevenFriday's replica watches have made a big splash over the past few months, getting a lot of attention on the internet in particular. Here at HODINKEE we're always excited to see people doing new and different things in the world of horology, so we decided to get our hands on a SevenFriday P1 to check it out for ourselves. After wearing the P1 for a week and doing some thorough research we came up with some pretty interesting results.
A Closer Look At The SevenFriday P1Haute Horology Inspired
It's important right off the bat to place the SevenFriday P1 in its proper context. While through most of the history of mechanical clockmaking, right back to the 15th century and the sundial before that, the system of simple circular dials with hands of some kind has been the mainstay of horology. Ask anyone what a clock or a fake watch looks like, and they'll describe some variation on this theme.
But starting in the mid 1990s and early 2000s, brands like Urwerk and MB&F began reimagining what a fake watch can be from the ground up. Satellite indicators, spinning cones, and refracted discs have all come into play over the past two decades. These pieces use a combination of fundamentally traditional mechanics, cutting edge technology, and forward-thinking vision to produce replica rolex for sale watches that offer a new way to look at and interact with time. Because of both R&D and production costs, these pieces of haute horology rarely come cheap and can easily push into the six-figure stratosphere.
SevenFriday seems to be setting off down a similar path, but with different goals and priorities. The brand itself describes the design focus of the P1 as being the "impressive mechanical display of visual complications" and "the interface transporting the power of the engine to the surface." The interplay between impressive visuals and complex mechanics is one of the things that makes haute horology so interesting, but, importantly, SevenFriday is currently producing three replica watches priced around $1,000. Let's take a closer look at what you get (and what you don't get) in these interesting entry-level watches.ADVERTISEMENT Introducing SevenFriday
SevenFriday was officially founded in May 2012 by Daniel Niederer, though he had already been working on product and brand development for more than a year and a half prior to the official launch. The first collection of replica watches includes the P1, P2, and P3, all variations on the same basic design. The P3 features a black PVD treatment with red accents, the P2 has a dark grey PVD with rose gold colored accents, and the P1, which is the fake watch we have here, has a non-PVD-treated stainless steel case with a tonal grey/silver color scheme.
Specs Engraved on the P1's Caseback
The steel case is a large 47 x 47.6mm, 13mm thick, and features integrated lugs. There is no playing down how massive this fake watch looks a feels, though that is clearly intentional and part of the P1's overall aesthetic. On the back you'll find a variety of specs engraved right into the case back, including the case dimensions, strap width, water resistance (3 atm), movement information, and serial number. It's a nice touch and plays into the industrial feel of SevenFriday.
Details On The SevenFriday P1's Dial
On the dial side, it's difficult at first to tell quite what you're looking at - the P1 initially appears to be extremely complicated. But, looking a little closer, you realize how simple and straightforward the P1 actually is. The large gear-ornamented hand on top of the dial is the minutes hand, the shorter bronze-colored hand underneath is the hours hand, the disk at 9 o'clock is a 24-hour indicator, and the disk at 5 o'clock keeps track of running seconds. Nothing too crazy here, which could be good or bad depending on what you were hoping for.
The SevenFriday P1 seems to present itself as a piece of industrial haute horology, though what you really get is a three-hand fake watch with a 24-hour indicator. Powering all of this is an automatic Miyota movement and you can see the balance beating away through a few dial cutouts around 7 o'clock. Combined with the complex looking hands system and the variety of case finishes, you end up with a very interesting looking fake watch that belies the simple functions.
And that is where the SevenFriday P1 really succeeds. The case is solid and well-built, and it's clear a lot of attention has been paid to finishing. There are various colors of brushed finishes on the case, as well as the highly polished bezel, and the dial features a few colors, both brushed and polished surfaces, and grooving and beveling on a handful of components as well. The five-layer dial has lots of visual depth and light plays off the various surfaces nicely, catching the eye from almost any angle.
You will notice the dial clearly says "Zurich" between 3 and 4 o'clock, which we do find a bit misleading. As mentioned above, a Japanese Miyota movement powers the P1, and speaking with Mr. Niederer himself we found out that none of the components are actually made in Switzerland. Parts are sourced from a variety of suppliers around the world and the SevenFriday replica watches themselves are assembled in Hong Kong and China. While this is not an inherently bad thing, the branding does seem to imply the replica watches are of Swiss origin.
Typos On The Packagine
Before getting into the experience of actually wearing the SevenFriday P1, we have one final criticism - the packaging. While the attention to detail afforded to the various case and dial components seems excellent, the packaging is great in theory but less than wonderfully executed. The industrial crate box perfectly fits the fake watch inside, but the printing on the outside featured multiple typos. While this certainly isn't the most important thing about SevenFriday, it is frustrating when you've invested in a product and the "Owner Informations" includes a spot for your "Adress."
The P1 On The WristADVERTISEMENT The SevenFriday P1 On The Wrist
Packaging aside, it's the experience of wearing the P1 that really matters. I spent a full week wearing the P1 around New York City and found it had quite a few surprises in store. First off, I have small wrists and assumed that the 47mm case would be just plain too big for me. While aesthetically I still find it a little larger than I typically prefer, comfort was not an issue at all. The case's integrated lugs and padded strap make the P1 very easy to wear for such a large watch. It's still nearly impossible to get it to slip under your cuff, but you don't wear a fake watch like this if you want to hide it under your shirt or jacket.
Integrated Lugs Help The P1 Wear Comfortably
Another issue I expected was legibility. The massive gear-shaped minutes hand is so large as to all but obstruct the smaller hours hand underneath. For the first day or two, I did find this to be a problem, but over time my eyes adjusted to the dial and it became a little to read the P1 at a glance. The 24-hour indicator is a big help here and I often found myself using it instead of the hours hand to get the time.
For such a large watch, the P1 wears nicely
The SevenFriday P1 is the sort of fake watch that will get attention everywhere you go. Whether it was the guy sitting next to me on the Subway or a friend with whom I was having a drink, everyone wanted to know what was on my wrist and what it did. Most were surprised when I explained that the complex dial was simple to read and told the time like most watches. Additionally, when they asked about price and found out the SevenFriday P1 retails for under $1,000, many were shocked that it was not twice that or more.Conclusions
That brings us to the particular value offered by the SevenFriday P1. Though some of the critique above might sound outright negative, we're just trying to offer a balanced look at what the SevenFriday P1 offers and does not offer, its strengths and its weaknesses. Its greatest strength is without a doubt the visual impact and interest you get for the money.
While the P1 doesn't offer the liquid driven mechanics of HYT or a dual-retrograde tourbillon movement like Christophe Claret, it does cost a mere fraction of what these pieces cost, at $992. If you're someone interested in haute horology and want a solidly-built fake watch that offers many of the same visual cues and inspiration as these pieces, but might not feel like dropping a year's salary (or more) on a watch, the SevenFriday P1 could be a great option for you.
To see the full lineup and to order directly, please check out SevenFriday's website.Video Sevenfriday A-week-on-the-wrist