Posted on November 06 2020
I want to take you through the five best Corgeut watches currently available. Before that, however, I’d like to take a closer look at the brand and the ethics of homage watches.
The History of Corgeut Watches
This is going to be a short section. This brand doesn’t really have a history in the same way that other watch companies do. It’s what watch nerds have termed a mushroom brand. By that, they mean a watch brand that has just sprouted from nowhere to suddenly be all over the big e-commerce sites, social media and the like.
It’s a fairly common occurrence, with some brands surviving and others quickly disappearing. Corgeut to their credit has been around for a few years now. To a certain degree, these Chinese names are interchangeable and often originate in the same factories. You may already be familiar with Parnis, Bagelsport, Pagani Design and others. Corgeut seems to have made quite an impact and has been well received by watch fans.
Is it ethical to buy a homage watch?
This can be a difficult question, and probably one that you ultimately have to answer for yourself. There’s a number of good arguments for not buying homage watches
- The watches are using stolen IP
- Luxury watch brands lose money
- Homage watches are poor quality
Are Homages Watches Fakes?
Homages aren’t fake watches. It may seem like I’m splitting hairs, but we do need to clarify that a homage watch is not a fake. Homage brands like Corgeut are certainly using the designs created and made popular by Rolex, Omega and Tudor - but they’re not kidding you that you’re getting a Rolex.
You don’t wear a Corgeut watch in the hope of convincing people that you’re wearing a Swiss luxury piece. Let’s be honest. Nobody notices your watch anyway, and if they do they’ll either not know that your watch is a homage to a different brand or they’ll not care.
Homage watches are just for your own pleasure.
Do luxury brands lose money when you buy a homage watch?
I’m going to suggest that they don’t. I suspect that there are a couple of types of buyers for homages. The first probably just browses Amazon and see’s an affordable watch that they like. They have no idea that they’ve just ordered a watch styled like a previous luxury design.
The second type is people like me. I like the luxury brand's designs but I don’t have the available cash to buy them. Even if I did - I love watches! I want more than one or two. If I had £10k to drop on a Rolex I probably wouldn’t - because I know that there are several other watches that I also want.
So what I do in reality is buy affordable brands, Microbrands and the odd homage. No luxury brand loses a sale.
Are homage watches poor quality?
The simple answer is that it depends.
I’m sure you know by now that many well-established watch brands have their watches built in China. It’s where I get my own brand Northwind made. There’s no doubting the ability of Chinese factories to produce high-quality watches.
But if you buy a £20 automatic watch online you’re probably buying rubbish. Just use the normal common sense that you would when buying any watch. Read guides like this, check the reviews and have a look at the watch specifications.
There are a few additional ethical issues, but I believe that they are either not limited to homage watches - environmental and labour issues for example - or are down to your own conscience - has meaningful intellectual property been stolen?
Are Corgeut watches good quality?
The reason that I’m doing this post on Corgeut watches is that the consensus seems to be that they make decent watches. There are others that seem to be hit and miss when it comes to specs and quality control, but on the whole, Corgeut gets good feedback on the watch forums.
For the most part, Corgeut mechanical watches use Miyota Japanese movements. These are better than movements used in most affordable watches on the high street. Expect to also find that the watch has a sapphire crystal, decent lume and functional water resistance.
I’d encourage you to follow the affiliate links I’ve included in this article and read some of the customer reviews to get an idea of how others have found the quality.
The Best Corgeut watches
As I’ve mentioned, Corgeut is built around producing homages. They do multiple variations of popular models, particularly the Tudor Black Bay. I’ve distilled all these choices down to what I believe are the five best watches currently available from the brand.
I’ve looked at price, build quality and design.
Originally launched in 2003, the Seamaster Aqua Terra is a reliable and rugged tool watch. Where the Seamaster professional line had increasingly became focused on divers watches, the Aqua Terra could be seen as a return to the Seamaster ranges roots. A direct competitor to Rolex's Explorer 1.
It’s a distinctive design and the first part to catch your eye is usually the unusual “teak concept” dial. Reminiscent of the pattern on the wooden surfaces of luxury yachts the dial adds uniqueness to these Seamaster models. As does the arrow on the minute hand. To round off the Omega dial there are neatly tapered indices.
This particular variant of the Aqua Terra is the > 15,000 Gauss. It was the first watch to be made resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. It’s the kind of innovation that Omega has excelled at - but also hints at why a homage watch may be an alternative choice. A lot of fans just want a nice looking watch and don’t want to pay for unnecessary functionality.
The Corgeut homage is a faithful recreation of the original with only the dial text being the obvious difference. It is powered by a Miyota automatic movement and has a sapphire crystal and exhibition case back.
The Heritage Black Bay is the most popular watch in Tudor’s stable. A vintage-style diver, it has been a success story for the brand and there have been a few well-made homages.
The Corgeut, for me, is the best of these. Again, it has a Japanese automatic movement and sapphire crystal. It’s available in a number of colour variations and strap options, of which the red bezel and stainless steel bracelet is my favourite.
The Seamster 300 comes in a few variations and the Spectre was a limited edition release. It was worn by Daniel Craig’s James Bond in the Spectre movie. Now sold out it’s a desirable watch and once again this demonstrates why you may want to buy a homage. In this case, the original is discontinued.
As expected, the Corgeut is a good take on the original and again houses a Miyota 8215 movement. This is visible through the exhibition back. It includes the Grey and Black James Bond Nato strap which isn’t as nice as a stainless steel bracelet, but in keeping with the Omega.
The Fifty Fathoms was developed in collaboration with the French navy’s elite SCUBA squad, the Nageur de Combatand. It debuted at the Basel watch fair 1953 - a year before Rolex released the Submariner.
It’s now an iconic watch, with its distinctive styling still proving popular. The oversized and legible bezel, bold numerals and uncluttered dial have all stood the test of time. It is, however, an expensive watch.
The Corgeut recreates this look well, down to the red tip on the second hand. It doesn’t have usable water resistance, but it does have a reliable Miyota 8215 movement.
I’ve featured the Fifity Fathoms here and other vintage-styled divers here. It’s a look that I really enjoy and there’s been an increase in brands reissuing classic divers from their own back catalogue. This Corgeut is a great place to start.
Corgeut Fifty Fathoms
In 1957 Omega launched the Railmaster - it’s part of a trilogy of watches that includes the Speedmaster and Seamaster. The innovation in this watch, like Rolex’s Milgauss, was its resistance to magnetism. Specifically, it was designed for Railway engineers and others who may be exposed to magnetic forces. With less than stellar sales, it was discontinued in 1963.
It is now back as a part of Omega’s range, although still less well-known than its stablemates. I like it though. It has a great tool watch vibe, and like the Fifty Fathoms, an authentic vintage appeal.
The Corgeut version is a modestly sized watch that is 11mm thick. It makes for a comfortable dress watch that also works well with less formal clothes. I prefer this version on the stainless steel bracelet and like the Aqua Terra, there’s an attractively textured dial.
This is a good choice if you want something a little less obvious than the big-name watches.
Alternatives to Corgeut Watches
There are a number of Chinese brands similar to Corguet. Whilst not quite interchangeable, they come from the same factories and often have similar specifications. Here are two other brands that you might want to have a closer look at.
Parnis are one of the better known Chinese homage brands. I have their Rolex Milgauss homage and it’s a good quality automatic, that nails the styling.
Pagani Design is a more recent name. They make plenty of non-homage watches, but also a number that resembles the Submariner and the Omega Seamaster.
Corgeut makes good quality homage watches. There’s nothing original in the design - with almost all their models being based on a previous Swiss luxury watch. They are, however, well-made and powered by reliable, branded Japanese automatic movements.
The other components - the glass, lume and case - are good quality and better than you’d find on most similarly priced highstreet watches.
Whether you’re comfortable buying and wearing a homage is a personal choice. It comes down to two main questions.
- Are you cheating the luxury brand out of a sale?
- Do you consider the watch to be a fake or a true homage?
Leave your answer in the comments below.