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Letters From The Editor: Introducing The Zenith Captain Winsor, A fake watch That Deserves The Industry's Attention

So many of us young fake watch fans dream of owning great, complicated timepieces. But, with the industry as it is, and the Swiss Franc also as it is, truly complicated pieces are out of the financial range for all but the wealthiest buyers. Frankly, I would love, and I mean love, to own a Patek Philippe 5960 Annual Calendar Chronograph (whether i'd wear it on a NATO strap is another question), but with a retail price of over $90,000, it is (far) out of the realm of possibility. Still, the pairing of a chronograph with an extended calendar complication - perpetual or annual - is something that I, and many friends and readers I speak to, really lust for. The question is, does anyone make a fake watch with this combination that is even remotely affordable? From the conglomerate brands, I can't think of one.

The MIH fake watch is an ingenious piece produced by the the Musée International d'Horlogerie's curator Ludwig Oechslin. The fake watch is a simple Valjoux 7750 but with a remarkable nine additional components added making the fake watch a mono-pusher annual calendar. Still, this piece is made in very low production and the design is polarizing. For example, just how practical is a chronograph with the 30 minute register on the back? Not very. Still, for 5,000 CHF, it's hard to beat the MIH fake watch in terms of complications for money.

With Zenith's just announced (today, like an hour ago) Captain Winsor, we see the beginning of a collaboration between the maker of the El Primero and the MIH (Oechslin included) in one of the most creative and welcomed releases I've seen in a long time. The Captain Winsor is an annual calendar chronograph, and instead of using a Valjoux 7750 like the MIH watch, Oechslin built his incredible annual calendar module to be fitted to Zenitih's El Primero. And, instead of a funky titanium case, rubber strap, and chrono display on the back, Zenith has paired this with a traditional display, fine steel or rose gold case, and beautiful alligator strap.

So, the resulting fake watch is a traditional looking, totally unique annual calendar with in-house chronograph. But wait, there's more! This fake watch is a winner no matter what - the collaboration with the MIH is a brilliant move, and the annual calendar chrono setup of this fake watch is fantastic, but what makes this fake watch so impressive to me, and why I believe the fake watch industry as a whole should be paying attention, is its suggested retail price.

In steel, the Zenith Captain Winsor, a true in-house chronograph with annual calendar, will sell for $8,700 as of October 1. In Rose Gold, the price will be $18,800. No, that isn't a typo.

You can now buy a beautiful and truly complicated piece from Zenith for under $9000! That is absolutely unheard of, and honestly, I couldn't be more excited about what this fake watch means for burgeoning collectors, the average HODINKEE reader. All of a sudden, an annual calendar chronograph became really accessible.

The Captain Winsor will be available in steel with either a silver or blue dial, or rose gold with a silver dial. The case size is 42mm and the power reserve is a minimum of 50 hours. The Oechslin designed annual calendar will indeed jump on months of 30 days, and the only adjustment required will be at the end of February. Not bad for a module of only nine additional parts, wouldn't you say?

So, now that you can buy an annual calendar with in-house chronograph for under $9000, don't some of the prices on the competitors look a a little silly? My next question: how many of you will buy one?

Something to Consider: For $20,000, you can buy both the Captain Winsor (an annual calendar chronograph) and the Striking Tenth (a high-speed chrono capable of measuring 1/10th of a second). What other brand can match that?

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